• macrosoft
    674
    My experience with people is actually that there's a really wide, really varied range of opinions about the same stuff, a range that doesn't at all resemble the consensus of communities like rateyourmusic users, or SteveHoffman regulars, or gearslutz regulars, etc., and each of those communities has very different consensuses, too.Terrapin Station

    Maybe I should lighten my thesis to this. I think individuals find some music more important than other music, and that they can grasp the idea of the continuum in this way.
  • Terrapin Station
    5.9k
    Maybe I should lighten my thesis to this. I think individuals find some music more important than other music, and that they can grasp the idea of the continuum in this way.macrosoft

    I'm taking it that you aren't thinking of "more important" as "they like it/value it a lot more," but something else?
  • macrosoft
    674
    I'm taking it that you aren't thinking of "more important" as "they like it/value it a lot more," but something else?Terrapin Station

    No, that's it. They like some stuff more than others, sometimes a lot more. Ask yourself which artists/musicians/philosophers you would most regret never having discovered. I'm just saying something simple. We understand that 'great' applies to what most deeply moves us.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.5k


    ”The best I can come up with is, as you suggest, it is a small thing in the "big picture" -- a side effect that will be made up for in other ways. But, I claim no certainty here.”--Dfopolis

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    “I said it, but that answer didn’t entirely satisfy me.”
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    Can major injury, misery and horror, followed by early death be “made up for”? “— Michael Ossipoff

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    If you believe in some form of eternal bliss.
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    Eventually things are timelessly better, and I agree on that. But I’m just saying that, at the time when the horrors are happening, that’s still pretty bad, isn’t it? And it likely seems like a long time. I’m saying that Benevolence wouldn’t and didn’t make there be that.
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    The Gnostics agree. They answered the “argument from evil” a long time ago.
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    ”But would it even mean anything to say that what’s happening to those people is somehow later (if there’s reincarnation) “outweighed” or “cancelled-out”? How does that change anything when it’s happening to them? When it’s there, it’s there, and that isn’t a good thing. “— Michael Ossipoff
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    I have never understood how reincarnation makes sense. How can one be the same person/being
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    You won’t be the same person in every regard, but you will still be you, because there’s continuity of experience, as I answer about directly below. Among the infinity of hypothetical experience-stories, there’s one whose protagonist and his experience are the same as you and your experience at that time.
    .
    , when there is no physical or intentional continuity between the old and the new self?
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    But there is intentional continuity. There’s continuity of experience. And there isn’t a new self. Among the infinity of hypothetical experience-stories, there’s one whose protagonist and his experience are the same as you and your experience at that time. Though you’re unconscious at that time, you still have subconscious perceptions of need, want, inclination, predisposition, future-orientation and Will-to-Life. …like someone who is in (some part of) a life.
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    Of course the hypothetical version of you who actually dies, who just continues into increasingly deep sleep—That person, for one, is the protagonist of one of the infinity of stories. But is that your story? The one that matches your subconscious feeling?
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    No--Though you’re unconscious at that time, you still have subconscious future-orientation, perceived wants, needs, inclinations, predispositions and Will-to-Life. …like someone who is in (some part of) a life.
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    Among those infinitely-many life-experience-stories that match you and your experience at that time, there’s also one in which you aren’t dying, but are instead at the beginning of a life. That hypothetical life-experience-story is the one that matches your subconscious feelings, perceived wants and needs, inclinations, predispositions, future-oriented-ness, and Will-to-Life.
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    At that time, you aren’t ready for or inclined to the quiet and peaceful rest at the end of lives. You’re still inclined to the striving and experiences of life.
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    There’s no difference, at that time, between you and that protagonist of that hypothetical story, and there’s no difference between your experience and his.
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    But you’re physical and that protagonist is hypothetical? Are you sure about that distinction?
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    Even right now, during this life, in waking-consciousness, it’s all real in its own context, but you can’t claim any proof that it has some kind of absolute, noncontextual, context-independent reality. And so it doesn’t provably have any kind of reality that a hypothetical experience-story doesn’t have.
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    Such a hypothetical story has the requirement of consistency. That requirement is satisfied if the continuation of your experience is consistent with your current experience, including your subconscious feelings.
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    If that sounds like something made up, or unsupportedly believed-in, I’ll just say that reincarnation is a natural and expected consequence of my Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism metaphysics.
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    But I emphasize that it isn’t part of my metaphysics, and that my metaphysics doesn’t depend on it. I can’t prove that there’s reincarnation. I only say that there is because it’s consistent with and suggested by my metaphysics.
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    If there’s a reason why you’re in a life, and if, at the end of this life, that reason remains, then what does that suggest? It suggests that you’ll again be in a life.
    I should add that the Gnostics, too, say that there’s reincarnation, until such time as we sufficiently perfect our lifestyle.
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    The reason why you’re in a life?:
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    There’s an infinity of abstract implications. Abstract “If….then….”
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    …and infinitely many complex systems of inter-referring abstract implications about propositions about hypothetical things.
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    That’s uncontroversial. I’m not making any claim about their reality or existence, but those abstract implications are related by inter-reference. …the logical and mathematical relational-structure that Michael Faraday referred to in 1844.
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    So, among that infinity of abstract logical systems, one of those, with suitable renaming of its things, has a description that is the same as a description of the experience of someone who is just like you—someone who is you. ,,,duplicating, indistinguishable from, the supposed, alleged, absolutely-existent person that you are, and the supposed, alleged, absolutely-existent physical world in which you live.
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    I claim that, among the things of the describable realm, there’s no such thing as absolute-existence. In that realm, it’s meaningless to speak of existence or real-ness other than in and with respect to a specified context. Your hypothetical life-experience story, and the physical world that is its setting, of course can be said to be real and existent in their own context.
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    That, too, is uncontroversial. That person/story-protagonist, and that person’s “Will-to-Life” is a necessary complementary part of that hypothetical life-experience-story.
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    So, that’s why you’re in a life, and that’s why it’s reasonable to suggest that you’ll again be in a life if, at the end of this life, there remain the subconscious feelings of want, need, inclination, predisposition and Will-to-Life.
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    You’re different from how you were at the beginning of this life, due to your experiences, and subconscious habits different from before.
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    Because there are no mutually-inconsistent facts, consistency is the requirement of your experience-story. So, the physical world that is the setting of that life-experience story will of course be one that is consistent with the person that you are. For example, it will be one whose inhabitants include the kind of people who would beget someone like you.
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    (I’ve been capitalizing “Will-to-Life”, because it’s a borrowed term that people have been quoting from the metaphysics of a classic philosopher.)
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    What does make moral sense to me is the idea that death is not the end
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    There’s no such thing as an experience of a time when there’s no experience.
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    At the end-of-lives (or at the end of this life, if there weren’t reincarnation) of course there’s sleep, increasingly deep sleep, timeless because eventually there’s no knowledge that there is, ever was, or ever could be, such things as time or events.
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    Death is the end of (only) this life. (Or, if there weren’t reincarnation, death would be the end of worldly life for you)--though, rather than being something new, it will be no different from the familiar and usual nightly sleep. Either way, life is a temporary blip in timelessness, as I’ve been saying. A temporary anomaly, from sleep that’s the natural, normal and usual state-of-affairs, and which eventually becomes timeless.
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    , so that this life is the birth pain of a new stage of existence.
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    That’s a good way of saying it. The experience of the full, free of lack and incompleteness, restful and easy end-of-lives, happens only because there was a life in the first place. Likewise for what’s good during one’s life or lives.
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    …except that that new stage of existence is the genuine, natural, normal and usual nature of our existence and state-of-affairs. At the end-of-lives, it’s the experience of approach to the natural and normal Nothing, and arrival to nearly Nothing, when there’s no knowledge that there was supposedly something.
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    There’s the natural question: Did this whole thing have to happen in the first place? Only because there’s the hypothetical experience of being someone with Will-to-Life, and the “if…then” that goes with that. …and away the story goes…
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    …and the life (or sequence of them) ends with a forgetting about the needs, wants and inclinations that were the basis of it.
    So, why would Benevolence send us on that anomalistic, illusory, sometimes quite horrible, life-experience that we eventually no longer perceive need for, and don’t miss at all when it’s over? I say that Benevolence didn’t make there be that.
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    What I mean is that each kind of being has its own good
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    But there’s temporary unnecessary experience of suffering. Temporary? Yeah, but most likely, at the time, it seems quite long. …and that’s an imperfection that wouldn’t be made to be, by an omnipotent and benevolent God. Reality is benevolent, but I question the omnipotence notion that would blame everything on God.
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    You once spoke of God having the power to do anything logically possible. Exactly. But, (if I may repeat it) just as there logically can’t be a true-and-false proposition, so there logically couldn’t not be the abstract facts that comprise our hypothetical life-experience-stories.
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    , and we need to bear that in mind if we are thinking objectively. As a matter of belief, supported by probable reason, I think that the good are rewarded and the evil punished, not by divine fiat, but by the ontological structure of reality.
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    Of course. Quite so.
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    What do I mean by that? In a context in which love means willing the good of the beloved, morally good acts are loving acts, and morally evil acts are unloving acts.
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    Harmful acts are more and worse than just unloving.
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    As God necessarily wills the good of His creatures, God is identically love.
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    Certainly. Aquinas said it too.
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    Those who live a life of love, necessarily have an intentionality that will lead them to a life of bliss (a life intentionally linked to God).
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    Yes, to the extent that we, at least to a degree within our ability, reflect and at least partially act the Benevolence.
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    When, eventually, we’re life-completed and life-style-perfected (which includes how we treat our fellow living-things), the conflicts, needs, wants, predispositions that were the basis of our birth won’t be there.
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    Those who live an unloving life will also find what they have chosen: a life of eternal alienation and frustration of their natural end. These final states trivialize any suffering that has come before.
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    Correct.
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    …except that “unloving” is an understatement for the worst people. But yes, people get what they are, and people are what they do.
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    ”It isn’t about anthropocentricity, because the same misfortunes happen to the other animals too.” — Michael Ossipoff
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    I take the unpopular view that the reactions of creatures without intellect and will are fully explained by their mechanics and they are aware of nothing. In saying this, I am not saying that humans are the only creatures with intellect and will, even on this planet.
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    I don’t think there’s a sharp demarcation like that. Most nonhuman animals, especially the ones that don’t harm, embody the best that is in all of us.
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    Spiders? I suggest that, in natural-selection and evolution, the inclination to prey on one’s fellow living-things preceded the detailed evolution of body-forms specialized for that purpose.
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    But, not only among the animals, not only among the biological organisms, but also among all of the purposefully-responsive-devices (…from future robots that can fully duplicate human capabilities, to such things as mousetraps, refrigerator lightswitches, thermostats, and electric pencil-sharpeners) – where exactly would you draw the “consciousness” line?
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    I suggest that the elusive “consciousness-line” is a matter of chauvinism. It’s more meaningful, definable and philosophically-supportable, to speak of us as purposefully-responsive devices.
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    Logical relations have no actual existence apart from the minds that think them. Independently of such minds, they are only possible, not actual. So, they have no being of their own to persist.
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    I emphasize that I don’t claim any existence for them. As I said:
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    I’m talking about inevitable timeless logical relations and inter-reference among timeless abstract facts about propositions about hypothetical things.
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    I’m not claiming “existence” or “reality” for those abstract facts or their propositions or hypothetical things.
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    I’m not claiming existence for anything in the realm of contingent, interdependent, dependently-originated, things interdependently related by logic and facts.
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    ”So, within this physical universe, there are a number of laws that require the continuations that you referred to.” — Michael Ossipoff
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    Yes, there are. I address this exact question in my paper. These laws are not self-conserving. For example, the law of conservation of mass-energy conserves mass-energy, not itself. So there has to be a meta-law conserving it. To avoid an infinite regress of meta-meta-meta-...laws, we must come to a self-conserving law, God.
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    But I’m not claiming existence or reality for the logically interdependent things. The physical laws, and the things that they describe, are figments of logic, and, as such, need no explanation.
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    God, Benevolence, is why things are good overall. …and as good as they can be under the circumstances of the (apparent) worldly lives that there inevitably are.
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    Which is better, to commission the breeding of a dog, so that you can treat it well, or to rescue a dog from the animal-shelter, and treat it well?
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    I suggest that God didn’t create us, didn’t and doesn’t make there be the inevitable apparent worldly-lives, but, rather, made there be overall good, with the apparent worldly lives as good as possible under their inevitable circumstances.
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    ”Those relations and inter-reference in those logical systems are inevitable in the same way as it’s an inevitable tautology that there’s no true-and-false proposition. — Michael Ossipoff
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    The fact that we use observed data to decide questions shows that this is not the case.
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    We use observed data to determine “physical” facts within the logical/mathematical relational structure of our experience-stories.
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    That doesn’t mean that the whole experience-story is other than a hypothetical story, consisting of the relational-structure among a hypothetical complex system of inter-referring abstract-implications about propositions about hypothetical things.
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    Michael Ossioff
  • Valentinus
    245

    This conversation between you and Terrapin Station interests me, in that I had to learn how to listen to some music while others felt like I had been expecting it without knowing that I did. I have become leery of a lot of comparisons because my primary goal is the experience without qualification. A desire for immersion.
    So, many of the things I value most highly are avoided most of the time because I am not ready for them. I need a grammar lesson for some things but I cut it off if interferes with my exposure to it.
  • macrosoft
    674
    This conversation between you and Terrapin Station interests me, in that I had to learn how to listen to some music while others felt like I had been expecting it without knowing that I did. I have become leery of a lot of comparisons because my primary goal is the experience without qualification. A desire for immersion.
    So, many of the things I value most highly are avoided most of the time because I am not ready for them. I need a grammar lesson for some things but I cut it off if interferes with my exposure to it.
    Valentinus

    I can't quite understand everything you are saying here, but it sounds positive, and we share a goal: the experience without qualification, a desire for immersion. I suppose that I am also looking for words that betray pure experience as little as possible. The point (as I see it) is to intensify this immersion with words that point the way. While philosophers do enjoy arguing, a higher goal is to exist in a better way. We don't need to frame philosophy in terms of propositions that eschew a poetic charge. We can think of philosophy as a set of existential tools that happen to be made of words. How do you feel about that?

    *As a nod to the OP, teleology seems almost the essence of being human, which is to say being the future as possibility directing our doings now.
  • Valentinus
    245
    We don't need to frame philosophy in terms of propositions that eschew a poetic charge.macrosoft

    Maybe we don't have to frame philosophy that way. I have some sympathy for Socrates pouring cold on the idea. He did it in the context of forming an ideal curriculum for teaching children.But he was also challenging people who knew by heart what was being proposed to be separated. Their agreement to the argument as given didn't mean they were agreeing to remove narratives written into their lives with indestructible threads. It is kind of an argument that removes its strongest points of justification if the proposed action is taken.
    So, I don't have a good answer to your good question. I do have a few questions left in me.
  • Dfpolis
    646
    Eventually things are timelessly better, and I agree on that. But I’m just saying that, at the time when the horrors are happening, that’s still pretty bad, isn’t it? And it likely seems like a long time. I’m saying that Benevolence wouldn’t and didn’t make there be that.Michael Ossipoff

    i agree on the pain. As I said, I don't see God as the author of moral evil, but moral agents who can choose evil acts. As for physical evils, yes, it is a problem, but the Gnostic solution does not work.

    I have never understood how reincarnation makes sense. How can one be the same person/being

    You won’t be the same person in every regard, but you will still be you, because there’s continuity of experience, as I answer about directly below.
    Michael Ossipoff

    But, I have no continuity of experience with a former life. If I did, I would agree that reincarnation is real.

    Among the infinity of hypothetical experience-stories, there’s one whose protagonist and his experience are the same as you and your experience at that time.Michael Ossipoff

    Hypotheticals have no cognitive value beyond being notions to consider and test. If they are confirmed, they have practical value, but no intrinsic certainty. On the other hand, my life, and everyone else's, is an experiential reality.

    , when there is no physical or intentional continuity between the old and the new self?

    But there is intentional continuity. There’s continuity of experience. And there isn’t a new self.
    ...
    Though you’re unconscious at that time, you still have subconscious perceptions of need, want, inclination, predisposition, future-orientation and Will-to-Life. …like someone who is in (some part of) a life.
    Michael Ossipoff

    I do not see either innate or learned inclinations, etc., as evidence of a former life. There are much simpler explanations. I can see that they might motivate a faith commitment, but that is not a conclusion.

    you can’t claim any proof that it has some kind of absolute, noncontextual, context-independent reality.Michael Ossipoff

    I am happy to agree that reality is contextual. The difference between what I judge to be real and what is merely hypothetical, is that the real acts (directly or indirectly) on me, while that there is no reason to think the merely hypothetical does. That is a manifest difference.

    Such a hypothetical story has the requirement of consistency. That requirement is satisfied if the continuation of your experience is consistent with your current experience, including your subconscious feelings.Michael Ossipoff

    No, it is not. There is nothing inconsistent in rejecting previous lives.

    If that sounds like something made up, or unsupportedly believed-in, I’ll just say that reincarnation is a natural and expected consequence of my Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism metaphysics.Michael Ossipoff

    How does that help convince others who do not agree with your metaphysics?

    If there’s a reason why you’re in a life, and if, at the end of this life, that reason remains, then what does that suggest? It suggests that you’ll again be in a life.Michael Ossipoff

    That I am who I am, is no reason for me to have other lives. Also, there is no separate "me." I am a single, unified being (body and soul). If I survive death, it will not be the whole of me that survives, but only my subjectivity -- my intentional core.

    The reason I am who I am is that I was created a unique person, individuated by the network of relationships into which I was conceived. I am the one who relates to my correlative relata -- you are the one who relates to yours.

    So, among that infinity of abstract logical systems, one of those, with suitable renaming of its things, has a description that is the same as a description of the experience of someone who is just like youMichael Ossipoff

    Yes, and I know that one is real because I experience it. The overwhelming majority of the others are completely unparsimonious and irrelevant. Why create this vast structure, when experiential reality is ever so much more compact and relevant?

    I claim that, among the things of the describable realm, there’s no such thing as absolute-existence.Michael Ossipoff

    You may claim whatever you like, but the rest of us need evidence and analysis.

    That person/story-protagonist, and that person’s “Will-to-Life” is a necessary complementary part of that hypothetical life-experience-story.Michael Ossipoff

    Think about this. Our “Will-to-Life” cannot be the reason we are alive because, absent life, we can't will anything. Also, as evidenced by suicide, many people do not have a “Will-to-Life."

    Because there are no mutually-inconsistent facts, consistency is the requirement of your experience-story. So, the physical world that is the setting of that life-experience story will of course be one that is consistent with the person that you are.Michael Ossipoff

    I think you have this backward. Consistence is not a requirement, but a consequence of the nature of reality, of being. No putative thing can both be and not be at one and the same time in one and the same way. On the other hand, hypotheticals, as mental constructs, can have implicit inconsistencies. We can imagine living in a world with slightly different physical constants, but, as the physics behind the fine tuning argument shows, such a world would not support our life.

    At the end-of-lives (or at the end of this life, if there weren’t reincarnation) of course there’s sleep,Michael Ossipoff

    How do you know? Mystics claim that there is an experiential state of non-empirical awareness that isw not sleep.

    What I mean is that each kind of being has its own good

    But there’s temporary unnecessary experience of suffering.
    Michael Ossipoff

    Pain is not evil in itself. It is a warning that something is wrong and a motivation to take corrective action, and so good in itself.

    just as there logically can’t be a true-and-false proposition, so there logically couldn’t not be the abstract facts that comprise our hypothetical life-experience-stories.Michael Ossipoff

    I have no idea what this means.

    “unloving” is an understatement for the worst peopleMichael Ossipoff

    I agree, the term is not forceful enough.

    It’s more meaningful, definable and philosophically-supportable, to speak of us as purposefully-responsive devices.Michael Ossipoff

    Doing so ignores our experience of being subjects,which is how we know we are conscious.

    I emphasize that I don’t claim any existence for them. As I said:
    .
    I’m talking about inevitable timeless logical relations and inter-reference among timeless abstract facts about propositions about hypothetical things.
    Michael Ossipoff

    But, there are no relations except existential relations.

    The physical laws, and the things that they describe, are figments of logic, and, as such, need no explanation.Michael Ossipoff

    Not quite. The laws of physics are not fictions, but describe an aspect of reality. They are approximate descriptions of laws observed to be operative in nature, and so quite real. It is continued operation of the laws of/in nature that requires an explanation.

    I suggest that God didn’t create us, didn’t and doesn’t make there be the inevitable apparent worldly-lives, but, rather, made there be overall good, with the apparent worldly lives as good as possible under their inevitable circumstances.Michael Ossipoff

    Sound reasoning requires that God sustain the continuing existence of all finite being. This is the classical creatio contunuo. So, your solution does not work.

    We use observed data to determine “physical” facts within the logical/mathematical relational structure of our experience-stories.
    .
    That doesn’t mean that the whole experience-story is other than a hypothetical story, consisting of the relational-structure among a hypothetical complex system of inter-referring abstract-implications about propositions about hypothetical things.
    Michael Ossipoff

    Of course it means exactly that it is more than hypothetical. Once we observe a reality, it ceases to be merely hypothetical.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.5k
    This reply is late because it’s long. I wrote it in daily installments. But, though I often post long messages, and many of my posts are long even if they aren’t replies, in this case I was _replying_ to a long post.
    ---------------------------
    Edit added December 3 & December 4, 2018, after writing and just before posting:
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    I’m not saying that, regarding what’s real &/or existent, I’m right and you’re wrong. I’m just saying that it isn’t even a meaningful question or issue, given that no one seems to have a definition for it.
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    Yes, you spoke of things being real if they act on you, but that definition includes the physical world as I explain it, because in your experience-story, your physical surroundings act on you, and you act on them.
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    The notion and belief in “real” and “exist” have caused a lot of philosophical confusion over the millennia.
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    Without those, there’s no need to ask why there’s something instead of nothing. No assumptions, no brute-fact.
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    I emphasize that:
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    1. Reincarnation isn’t part of my metaphysics, though it plausibly follows from it
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    2. I’m not promoting or forcefully-advocating reincarnation. I merely mention it when the matter of the end of a life comes up in conversation. And, then, I mention it matter-of-factly (…instead of forcefully-argued), merely mentioning that reincarnation plausibly follows from my metaphysics, a metaphysics that claims or assumes nothing other than a few quite uncontroversial premises.
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    And then, when there’s discussion about it, I (also matter-of-factly rather than argumentatively) tell what I mean by it, and how it plausibly follows from my metaphysics, Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism,.
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    3. I’m the first to admit that metaphysics doesn’t cover all of Reality. An example that I often use is that metaphysics is to Reality, or even everyday reality, as a book on how a car-engine works is to actually taking a drive in the countryside.
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    In my household, we recently watched a movie entitled _Shutter Island_. In that movie, it turns out that the story’s initial premise isn’t really true in the story’s reality. After the movie, I mentioned that wrong premises are a common feature of philosophy, and it’s as if the movie is an allegory for that.
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    Of course there are other such movies, such as _The Others_. They can be regarded as allegories for how we don’t know what’s going on, or have any way of knowing why or how we’re in this life. What happened?
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    Sure, there are metaphysical explanations, such as the one that I propose, but for such astonishing unexplained things, metaphysics doesn’t really explain anything. Metaphysics only talks about a logical-framework, a mechanism and verbal description. That doesn’t change the wonder about the astonishing fact that we’re in a life.
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    Metaphysics, logic and argument don’t even come close to explaining Reality, or even everyday reality.
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    Metaphysics is valid as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go very far.
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    ”Eventually things are timelessly better, and I agree on that. But I’m just saying that, at the time when the horrors are happening, that’s still pretty bad, isn’t it? And it likely seems like a long time. I’m saying that Benevolence wouldn’t and didn’t make there be that.” — Michael Ossipoff
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    I agree on the pain. As I said, I don't see God as the author of moral evil
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    But you’re saying that God made or maintains a physical world in which bad things (temporarily) happen to people. Why would that be so?
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    …, but moral agents who can choose evil acts. As for physical evils, yes, it is a problem, but the Gnostic solution does not work.
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    Do you mean the Gnostic explanation? I don’t know if they offer an explicit explanation. They use a lot of allegory. Their allegory for that is that this physical world was made, not by God, but by a demiurge (subordinate deity) who was acting without authorization.
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    Even if they didn’t have an explanation, the Gnostics knew that it was problematic to assert that God made this physical world, with its horrors (though temporary).
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    Most likely, that demiurge is an allegory for an inevitability that isn’t part of Benevolence.
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    ”I have never understood how reincarnation makes sense. How can one be the same person/being”

    .
    “You won’t be the same person in every regard, but you will still be you, because there’s continuity of experience, as I answer about directly below.” — Michael Ossipoff

    .
    But, I have no continuity of experience with a former life. If I did, I would agree that reincarnation is real.”
    .
    Continuity of experience, during any particular duration, doesn’t require that you later remember everything in your past. Do you remember the day that you were born? Does that mean that you didn’t have continuity of experience on your first day, or that you weren’t born?
    .
    If not remembering reincarnation means that you weren’t reincarnated, then not remembering birth, and the day of birth, means that you weren’t born.
    .
    ”Among the infinity of hypothetical experience-stories, there’s one whose protagonist and his experience are the same as you and your experience at that time.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Hypotheticals have no cognitive value beyond being notions to consider and test.
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    I wasn’t expressing any evaluation of their cognitive value.
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    If you’re using the assumption that experience and its physical-world setting don’t consist of hypotheticals, then I suggest that an assumption can’t be used as an argument for itself.
    .
    Anyway, I don’t claim that the hypotheticals, or anything else in the contingent, logically-interdependent realm, “exist” or are “real”, whatever that would mean. But a complex system of inter-referring abstract facts, and the propositions that they’re about, and the hypothetical things that those propositions are about--whatever you think about their “existence” and “reality”--have inter-relation and inter-reference. That’s all I claim.
    .
    …and that, inevitably, among the infinity of such systems, there’s one such that the logical relations among its hypothetical things, propositions and abstract implications, with suitable naming, fit a description of the logical relations among the logically-interdependent things and events of your experience.
    .
    That’s uncontroversial. If someone claims that this physical world is other than, more than the setting of an experience-story consisting of such an inevitable system, then the burden is on them to explain what else this physical world is, and in what regard it has reality and existence that isn’t had by what I describe.
    .
    …and to explain what he means by absolute (not just contextual) existence.
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    …and to explain why there is that physical world. God made or maintains it? Why, when it sometimes includes extreme horror, even if temporary?
    .
    I emphasize that I don’t claim that any of the antecedents of any of the abovementioned abstract implications are true.
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    If they are confirmed, they have practical value, but no intrinsic certainty.
    .
    What is this “intrinsic certainty” that you want this physical world to have? Some sort of absolute (more-than-contextual) existence?
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    As I said, I don’t claim that anything in the logically-interdependent realm is real or existent, whatever that would mean. …or that any of the abovementioned abstract implications’ antecedents are true.
    .
    On the other hand, my life, and everyone else's, is an experiential reality.
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    Of course. Your experience, and its setting, are quite real in their own context.
    .
    **Context is the critical consideration here.**
    .
    What experimental evidence is there to believe that this physical world is, in some way absolutely, more-than-in-its-own-context, “real” and “existent” (whatever that would mean) . Yes, what would that even mean???
    .
    …and, if it isn’t, then why would it need any explanation about being created or maintained in (some undefined) “existence”?
    .
    …thereby relieving us of the impossible task of explaining why God would make there be (or continue to be) a physical world in which there are horrors, even if temporary.
    .
    ”…, when there is no physical or intentional continuity between the old and the new self?”--Dfopolis

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    “But there is intentional continuity. There’s continuity of experience. And there isn’t a new self
    .
    [...]
    .
    Though you’re unconscious at that time, you still have subconscious perceptions of need, want, inclination, predisposition, future-orientation and Will-to-Life. …like someone who is in (some part of) a life.” — Michael Ossipoff

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    I do not see either innate or learned inclinations, etc., as evidence of a former life.
    .
    Of course not, and I didn’t say that they were.
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    What I said was that one’s subconscious perceived wants and needs, inclinations and predispositions remain for a while during the unconsciousness during death, and that those subconscious perceived wants and needs, inclinations and predispositions plausibly (by my uncontroversial metaphysics) would draw someone into a next life, in the manner that I described.
    .
    …consistent with the Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism metaphysics that I’ve proposed.
    .
    The belief that just-one-life is the natural-presumption and the default-assumption is a sacred article-of-faith of the religion of Science-Worship.
    .
    You’ve said that you have no reason to believe that there’s reincarnation, and maybe you don’t. But do you have reason to believe that there’s eternal waking-consciousness in a Heaven or Hell?
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    There’s no reason to believe in eternal waking-consciousness. …or waking-consciousness that isn’t part of worldly-life. Waking-consciousness is inextricably part of worldly-life.
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    I’ll repeat here that reincarnation is a plausible consequence of the metaphysics that I propose, which, unlike Materialism, doesn’t need, use, or have any assumptions or brute-facts.
    .
    ”…you can’t claim any proof that it [this physical universe] has some kind of absolute, noncontextual, context-independent reality.” — Michael Ossipoff
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    I am happy to agree that reality is contextual.
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    If you’re referring to the reality of our physical universe, then that eliminates our disagreement.
    .
    Of course Reality itself isn’t contextual.
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    The difference between what I judge to be real and what is merely hypothetical, is that the real acts (directly or indirectly) on me, while that there is no reason to think the merely hypothetical does.
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    I’ve answered that before.
    .
    In your life-experience-story, the other elements of that story act on the physical, biological animal that is the “You” in that story. Of course your physical world, the setting of your life-experience-story, acts on you. That’s the nature of the experience of being an animal in a physical world, which is what your life-experience-story is about.
    .
    We agree that this physical world doesn’t necessarily have any absolute (more than contextual) existence, and that, therefore, you don’t attribute to it any existence or reality other than the kind that is had by a hypothetical life-experience-story consisting of a complex system of inter-referring abstract facts about propositions about hypothetical things.
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    As I said, we have no disagreement.
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    ”Such a hypothetical story has the requirement of consistency. That requirement is satisfied if the continuation of your experience is consistent with your current experience, including your subconscious feelings.” — Michael Ossipoff
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    No, it is not.
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    Yes, it is.
    .
    The consistency requirement is undeniably satisfied if experience isn’t provably inconsistent with previous experience.
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    There is nothing inconsistent in rejecting previous lives.
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    I didn’t say that there was something inconsistent in rejecting previous lives.
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    ”If that sounds like something made up, or unsupportedly believed-in, I’ll just say that reincarnation is a natural and expected consequence of my Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism metaphysics.” — Michael Ossipoff

    How does that help convince others who do not agree with your metaphysics?
    .
    I’m not trying to convince anyone. …just stating a few obvious facts, and doing so for no particular reason, other than maybe to find out how people will try to argue against conclusions that follow from uncontroversial premises.
    .
    (…and maybe I should re-clarify here that I’m not asserting that my metaphysics is true—only that there’s no particular reason to unparsimoniously assume that this physical world consists of more than what I’ve suggested. )
    .
    ”If there’s a reason why you’re in a life, and if, at the end of this life, that reason remains, then what does that suggest? It suggests that you’ll again be in a life.” — Michael Ossipoff
    That I am who I am, is no reason for me to have other lives.
    .
    …but that isn’t what I said.
    .
    I said that, if there’s a reason why you’re in a life, and if that reason remains at the end of this life, then that suggests that you’ll be in a life again.
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    Also, there is no separate "me." I am a single, unified being (body and soul). If I survive death, it will not be the whole of me that survives, but only my subjectivity -- my intentional core.
    .
    That’s right. Your “intentional core” refers to what I referred to when I spoke of your subconscious feelings, perceived wants and needs, inclinations, and predispositions.
    .
    Undeniably those subconscious attributes “survive” during death for a while, even when there’s no waking-consciousness. That’s all I was talking about.
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    The reason I am who I am is that I was created a unique person
    .
    You say you were created. I say (uncontroversially) that there (inevitably) timelessly is a life-experience-story (consisting of a logical system such as I’ve described) of which you’re the protagonist/experiencer. That is the original, primary, “You”.
    .
    You’re in a life because that “You” is protagonist/experiencer in that life-experience story. You’re there because there’s that story. That story is an experience-story because it has an experiencer—You.
    .
    There are, complementarily, you and that story, of which you’re protagonist/experiencer, because of eachother.
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    In that experience-story, you and your physical-world surroundings are the two complementary components.
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    And so yes, of course those surroundings act on you in the story.
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    ”So, among that infinity of abstract logical systems, one of those, with suitable renaming of its things, has a description that is the same as a description of the experience of someone who is just like you” — Michael Ossipoff
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    Yes, and I know that one [abstract logical system] is real because I experience it.
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    Of course. …real in its own context and that of your life.
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    Only one of them is “actual” for you, if “actual” means “consisting of or part of the physical universe in which the speaker resides”.
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    Yes, and, as you agreed above, you don’t claim other than contextual existence and reality for it. You don’t claim absolute, more-than-contextual, existence and reality for it.
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    …thereby disavowing, for it, any kind of reality or existence that isn’t had by the hypothetical physical universe that I propose.
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    As I said, we don’t disagree.
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    The overwhelming majority of the others are completely unparsimonious
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    No, they aren’t.
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    Something is unparsimonious only if it requires (at least more than necessary) assumptions or an avoidable brute-fact.
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    Uncontroversial inevitabilities aren’t unparsimonious.
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    They don’t require any assumptions, brute-facts, or un-supplied explanations.
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    But, what is unparsimonious is the assumption that this physical world has some special (unspecified) kind of absolute (more-than-contextual) existence.
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    Such an assumption is an unparsimonious, unnecessary assumption, and is pre-Copernican in spirit.
    .
    …and irrelevant.
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    Hardly, since there’s no evidence, no reason to believe, that your life-experience-story is other than one such.
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    …certainly not irrelevant to metaphysics. But you might not be interested in metaphysics. Lots of people aren’t. If you aren’t interested in metaphysics, I’m not saying that you should be interested in it.
    .
    Each person is free to choose for hirself (himself or herself) what is relevant to hir.
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    Of course this is a philosophy forum website which has a topic-designated forum about metaphysics.
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    Why create this vast structure
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    I didn’t create it. It’s an uncontroversial inevitability.
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    Remember that I’m not claiming that any of it has absolute “existence” or “reality” (whatever that would mean).
    .
    A complex system of inter-referring abstract facts about propositions about hypothetical things, and its inter-relations and inter-reference, needn’t “exist” or be “real” in any context other than its own inter-referring, inter-relating context.
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    I claim nothing more than that for it.
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    , when experiential reality is ever so much more compact and relevant?
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    I haven’t said anything to deny experiential reality. …only some unspecified absolute, more-than-contextual reality or existence assumed (…and which you’ve correctly disavowed) for this physical universe.
    .
    Of course your experience is real in its own context. …and undeniably fully relevant to you.
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    There’s no physics experiment that can show, prove, imply or suggest that this physical world has absolute existence, existence other than in its own context and that of the life of any particular experiencer.
    .
    As I’ve said, Michael Faraday pointed out, in 1844 that there’s no reason to believe that this physical world is other than a complex system of logical and mathematical relational-structure.
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    Since then, Frank Tippler and Max Tegmark have made similar statements.
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    Because of great popularity of Science-Worship in our society, I’ll point out that Michael Faraday, Frank-Tippler and Max Tegmark are/were physicists.
    .
    Additionally, Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of your own, said that there are no things, just facts.
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    (By “things”, he surely meant “things other than facts”.)
    .
    ”I claim that, among the things of the describable realm, there’s no such thing as absolute-existence.” — Michael Ossipoff
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    You may claim whatever you like, but the rest of us need evidence and analysis.
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    No, evidently not, if you firmly believe the brute-fact of the absolute, more-than-contextual, existence of this physical world. …but you’ve renounced that belief, above in this post that I’m replying to.
    .
    Anyway, the claim that there’s such a thing as absolute existence in the realm of logically-interdependent things, requires, on the part of someone making that claim, a definition of absolute existence and justification for the unparsimonious claim that there is such a thing.
    .
    …and what’s your evidence in support of your belief in eternal waking-consciousness in a Heaven or Hell?
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    …or waking-consciousness independent of worldy-life?
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    ”That person/story-protagonist, and that person’s “Will-to-Life” is a necessary complementary part of that hypothetical life-experience-story.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Think about this. Our “Will-to-Life” cannot be the reason we are alive because, absent life, we can't will anything.
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    You’re circularly using your assumption to support itself.
    .
    Also, as evidenced by suicide, many people do not have a “Will-to-Life."
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    This planet, in reference to its human-population, can be fairly referred to as “The Land-Of-The Lost”
    .
    (…though, of course, “A” would be more accurate than “The”)
    .
    Someone making a conscious choice that they (no longer) want life, doesn’t mean that they never wanted life. Do you think that every suicide rejected life, wanted no part of it, at every stage of their lives, even in infancy, even in hir (his/her) fetal time?
    .
    But yes, this world has existential-angst-ridden Absurdists and Existentialists who are indeed very lost. But were even they always like that, even in childhood? Infancy? Fetal existence?
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    ”Because there are no mutually-inconsistent facts, consistency is the requirement of your experience-story. So, the physical world that is the setting of that life-experience story will of course be one that is consistent with the person that you are.” — Michael Ossipoff
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    I think you have this backward. Consistence is not a requirement
    .
    Yes, consistency is a logical requirement. There can’t be a true-and-false proposition, or a pair of mutually-contradictory facts.
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    , but a consequence of the nature of reality
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    I’ll assume that you mean Reality, the whole of what is.
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    You can call the consistency-requirement for facts “the nature of Reality” (I’d say, instead, that it’s a subset of the nature of Reality), but it’s still true. It’s certainly, obviously, part of the nature of Reality, an inevitable subset of Reality, a subset consisting of logic and facts.
    .
    Is the Reality, as a whole, Benevolent? Of course. Does that mean that there can’t be any inevitable subset that, while part of Reality, isn’t part of Reality’s Benevolence? Of course not.
    .
    Did God make logic be as it is? No, because it has consequences that can (temporarily) be very bad for some people and other living-things. Sometimes one of the infinity of logically-implied lives can consist of horror and serious injury for someone’s entire short new life.
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    As I’ve pointed out, that isn’t something that Benevolence would make there be.
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    …reality, of being. No putative thing can both be and not be at one and the same time in one and the same way.
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    Alright, that’s a re-statement of what I said about the consistency-requirement for facts.
    .
    The good news is that our timebound lives, and the whole logical system of which they’re a part, are of questionable reality and relevance. God didn’t (and doesn’t) make there be those things, and their “reality” is doubtful.
    .
    On the other hand, hypotheticals, as mental constructs, can have implicit inconsistencies.
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    No doubt some of them do. But mutually inconsistent propositions aren’t facts. There are no true-and-false propositions or mutually-inconsistent facts.
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    We can imagine living in a world with slightly different physical constants, but, as the physics behind the fine tuning argument shows, such a world would not support our life.
    .
    No, but it hasn’t been determined that there couldn’t be other, completely-different, physical worlds that, too, could support biological life of some kind.
    .
    It has been shown that life would seemingly be impossible with more than, or fewer than, 3 large-scale spatial dimensions.
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    Chemistry requires consistent and discrete atomic properties. One way to achieve discrete values is via standing-waves, and one way to achieve those is via wave-mechanics. Hence, quantum-mechanics.
    .
    It goes without saying that the physical world that is the setting of your life-experience-story is inevitably one that can support life.
    .
    ”At the end-of-lives (or at the end of this life, if there weren’t reincarnation) of course there’s sleep”, — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    How do you know?
    What else would you expect if, as the body shuts down at death, reincarnation doesn’t occur?
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    Ever-deepening sleep. …an approach to Nothing and an arrival at near-Nothing.
    .
    Mystics claim that there is an experiential state of non-empirical awareness that is not sleep.
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    “To sleep, perchance to dream”
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    I don’t claim knowledge of what that ever deepening sleep will be like, other than that (at the end-of-lives when, after many lives, there aren’t the predispositions that lead to another life—or if you’re right and there isn’t reincarnation) there eventually won’t be any such things as identity, perceived needs and wants, or hardship, lack, incompletion, time or events. …or any knowledge that there ever were (or seemed to be) , or even could be (or even could seem to be), any such things.
    .
    ”What I mean is that each kind of being has its own good”--Dfopolis

    .
    “But there’s temporary unnecessary experience of suffering.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Pain is not evil in itself. It is a warning that something is wrong and a motivation to take corrective action, and so good in itself.
    .
    You’re confusing pain’s biological evolutionary natural-selection adaptive value—with the desirability of pain, horror and major injury in a life (sometimes a short life consisting of nearly nothing else).
    .
    That can’t be called desirable. Benevolence wouldn’t and didn’t make there be (or continue to be) that.
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    ”…just as there logically can’t be a true-and-false proposition, so there logically couldn’t not be the abstract facts that comprise our hypothetical life-experience-stories.” — Michael Ossipoff
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    I have no idea what this means.
    .
    Within logic, there can’t be true-and-false propositions or mutually-contradictory facts.
    .
    That can be and sometimes is called an “axiom” or “rule” of logic, along with the transitive and substitution axioms or rules-of-inference, when they’re mentioned with regard to logic (…as opposed to just in mathematics). But call it what you want—It’s part of logic, the relation among facts and propositions.
    .
    There are propositions that can be shown to imply a true-and-false proposition. Because such a proposition can’t be true, then a proposition that such a proposition isn’t true is a fact.
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    It’s inevitable that there are such facts, just as surely as (and because) there can’t be a true-and-false proposition.
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    What’s that you say? All of that is just human-discussion, and not real? Who said anything about it being real?
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    ”It’s more meaningful, definable and philosophically-supportable, to speak of us as purposefully-responsive devices.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Doing so ignores our experience of being subjects
    .
    Of course, because that’s a different topic.
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    But, though it ignores it, it isn’t at all incompatible with it.
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    Your experience is an experience of being an animal, a biologically-originated purposefully-responsive device.
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    Where’s the contradiction or disagreement?
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    …,which is how we know we are conscious.
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    Objectively, from a 3rd-person point-of-view, consciousness is the property of being a purposefully-responsive device.
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    Subjectively, it’s your experience. You might want to define it the having of that experience.
    .
    ”I emphasize that I don’t claim any existence for them. As I said:
    .
    .
    I’m talking about inevitable timeless logical relations and inter-reference among timeless abstract facts about propositions about hypothetical things. — Michael Ossipoff

    .
    But, there are no relations except existential relations.
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    …relations about existence?
    Not so at all. “Exist” doesn’t even have a consensus metaphysical definition.
    .
    There are certainly relations, such as implications, in logic that aren’t about claims of “existence”. There are abstract logical facts about things that aren’t claimed to exist, whatever that would mean.
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    ”The physical laws, and the things that they describe, are figments of logic, and, as such, need no explanation.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Not quite. The laws of physics are not fictions, but describe an aspect of reality.
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    Of course. What isn’t an aspect or part of Reality, the whole of all-that-is?
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    A figment is an aspect of Reality, but that doesn’t make it other than a figment.
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    As for physical reality, as opposed to Reality:
    .
    To say that physical laws describe aspects of physical reality is a tautology.
    .
    They are approximate descriptions of laws observed to be operative in nature…
    .
    Can we assume that, by “nature”, you mean this physical universe? …just for the purpose of interpreting what you’re saying there.
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    …, and so quite real.
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    …with respect to physical reality. Of course. This physical universe is real and existent in its own context and in the context of your life. …as I’ve been saying all along.
    .
    You’ve agreed (above in the post that I’m replying to) that this physical universe isn’t real other than in its own context.
    .
    It is continued operation of the laws of/in nature that requires an explanation.
    .
    Those laws and the continuing operation of the physical world can be explained in terms of abstract implications about propositions about hypothetical things. You can’t show that it’s other than that. You’ve agreed that this physical universe needn’t be real or existent other than in its own context.
    .
    And, as I’ve said before, the word “continuing” implies time, and time is just an attribute of a physical universe, something within a physical universe. So continuing-ness can’t be meaningfully spoken of outside the internal context of a physical universe.
    .
    ”I suggest that God didn’t create us, didn’t and doesn’t make there be the inevitable apparent worldly-lives, but, rather, made there be overall good, with the apparent worldly lives as good as possible under their inevitable circumstances.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Sound reasoning requires that God sustain the continuing existence of all finite being.
    .
    Above in this reply, I spoke of Reality including logical inevitabilities that aren’t part of the Benevolence of Reality. …inevitabilities with bad consequences for living-things. Yes, those logical inevitabilities are part of Reality. No, they aren’t part of the Benevolence of Reality.
    --------------------------------------------
    **Overall, Reality is Benevolent. That’s true even though there’s an inevitable subset that isn’t always Benevolent.**
    --------------------------------------------
    This is the classical creatio contunuo. So, your solution does not work.
    .
    There were all sorts of mutually-contradictory schools, positions and claims during the Classical Period.
    .
    ----------------------------------------------
    This is part 1 of 2. Part 2 will be posted next, and is only a few paragraphs long.
    ----------------------------------------------
    Michael Ossipoff
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.5k


    Part 2 of 2 (brief):

    ”We use observed data to determine “physical” facts within the logical/mathematical relational structure of our experience-stories.
    .
    That doesn’t mean that the whole experience-story is other than a hypothetical story, consisting of the relational-structure among a hypothetical complex system of inter-referring abstract-implications about propositions about hypothetical things.” — Michael Ossipoff

    .
    Of course it means exactly that it is more than hypothetical. Once we observe a reality, it ceases to be merely hypothetical.
    .
    Call it what you want, but, regarding the things and events of your experience: There’s inevitably an abstract logical system of abstract facts about propositions about hypothetical things, such that the relations and inter-references among its propositions and implications are the same as the relations and inter-references among the things and events of your experience.
    .
    And you’ve agreed that this physical universe needn’t exist or be real in any context other than its own. In other words, it needn’t have any existence or reality that the abstract logical system described above doesn’t have.
    .
    We observe that one thing or event is a consequence of another. Who’s at the door? If you get up and open the door, you’ll find out. Every fact about this physical world corresponds to part of an “If”. …to a proposition that is part of an abstract implication.
    .
    Every observed “fact” in your experience-story corresponds to an abstract proposition that is the consequent of an abstract implication.
    .
    …and is (at least part of) the antecedent of other abstract implications.
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    There’s a completely abstract logical system such that the relations and inter-references among its abstract implications and propositions, and hypothetical things are the same as the relations and inter-references among the things and events of your experience.
    .
    Making it moot, and experimentally in-determinable, whether your experience is other than such as system. If so, then how is it different?
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
  • Dfpolis
    646
    And you’ve agreed that this physical universe needn’t exist or be real in any context other than its own.Michael Ossipoff

    I do not know what this means. The existence of the universe has no a priori necessity, so, it is contingent. A posteriori, it is necessary.

    The universe is what we abstract logic and its relations from. Thus, it has priority over logic. In other words, if there were no universe, there would be no logical relations because logic would not exist.

    Every fact about this physical world corresponds to part of an “If”. …to a proposition that is part of an abstract implication.Michael Ossipoff

    Yes, but our experience of the events comes first, then we abstract the relation, and finally find other instances of the same relation.

    The question is one of the order of dependence. In that order, logic comes after the physical universe.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.5k


    “And you’ve agreed that this physical universe needn’t exist or be real in any context other than its own.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    I do not know what this means.
    .
    Then you shouldn’t have agreed to it.
    .
    Anyway, which part of “needn’t exist or be real in any context other than its own” don’t you understand?
    .
    But yes, if you don’t know what “real” and “exist” mean, don’t feel bad, because I, too, have no idea what they’re supposed to mean in reference to the things of the logically-interdependent realm. Belief in the meaningfulness of those words have caused millennia of confusion and befuddlement in philosophy.
    .
    We definitely agree about the questionable-ness and dubiousness of the meaning of “real” and “exist”.
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    The existence of the universe has no a priori necessity, so, it is contingent.
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    Okay.
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    A posteriori, it is necessary.
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    Well, it’s necessary component of your life-experience story, of which you and your physical surroundings are the two complementary parts. So yes.
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    The universe is what we abstract logic and its relations from. Thus, it has priority over logic. In other words, if there were no universe, there would be no logical relations because logic would not exist.
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    There you go, with “exist”. I don’t make any claim about logic “existing”, whatever that would mean.
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    Yes, I get that you believe in the priority (within the logically-interdependent realm) of this physical universe.
    .
    We’re both Theists, but a lot of Theists are Materialist Theists. Though you aren’t a Materialist proper, you, along with the Materialists, believe that this physical universe is fundamental, prior and primary with respect to the logically-interdependent realm. It’s a Materialist belief, though you aren’t entirely a Materialist.
    .
    ”Every fact about this physical world corresponds to part of an “If”. …to a proposition that is part of an abstract implication.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Yes, but our experience of the events comes first, then we abstract the relation, and finally find other instances of the same relation.
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    Quite so. Experience is primary in the logically-interdependent realm. That’s why I call my metaphysics Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism.
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    First there’s experience, and it implies a story. If there were experience of a life, then there would be various relations among various hypothetical things. …and away it goes, with the story’s many abstract logical implications. …starting with “If there were experience of a life…”, the starting antecedent in the logically-interdependent realm.
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    Why is there experience? I said “If there were experience of a life…” A chain of “If “s has to start somewhere.
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    The question is one of the order of dependence. In that order, logic comes after the physical universe.
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    I get that that’s the belief of you and the Materialists. You believe that this physical universe has some kind of unspecified precedence, priority, primary-ness in the logically-interdependent realm.
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    …some sort of “existence” and “real-ness” that neither you nor the Materialists specify.
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    (Yes, the universe acts on you, and that doesn’t in any way mean that it has any “existence” (whatever that would mean) other than as one of the two complementary parts of your life-experience-story, a hypothetical logical system.)
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    I agree with the Gnostics about two major issues. (That God didn’t create (and doesn’t maintain) this physical world, and that there’s probably reincarnation (No, I can’t prove it, but it seems a natural metaphysical consequence) ).
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    I realize that we don’t agree on everything, but that’s how it always is with different people. I’ve just been clarifying my position, without any claim that you should agree with it. We agree on much, but not on everything.
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    Michael Ossipoff
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    December 18th (Roman-Gregorian Calendar)
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  • Dfpolis
    646
    Then you shouldn’t have agreed to it.Michael Ossipoff

    I don't think I did.

    Anyway, which part of “needn’t exist or be real in any context other than its own” don’t you understand?Michael Ossipoff

    I have no idea what the limitation "any context other than its own" means. Obviously, if we exclude the datum of actual existence, we have no basis for talking about actual existence, but that hardly seems fruitful

    But yes, if you don’t know what “real” and “exist” mean, don’t feel badMichael Ossipoff

    I have a good idea of what it means to exist. To exist is to be able to act in some, in any, way. Whatever can act necessarily exists, and what cannot act cannot act to make its existence known. If a putative thing can not act in any way, it is indistinguishable from nothing, and so is nothing. Clearly acting on us in experience is acting, so whatever acts on us exists, and is not merely hypothetical. How it exists depends on the details of the revelatory act(s).

    We definitely agree about the questionable-ness and dubiousness of the meaning of “real” and “exist”.Michael Ossipoff

    No we do not.

    A posteriori, it is necessary.

    Well, it’s necessary component of your life-experience story, of which you and your physical surroundings are the two complementary parts. So yes.
    Michael Ossipoff

    While not denying that I have a life-experience story, "story" is an ambiguous term, for stories can be real or fictional. As life experience involves inter-actions, it necessarily places us in touch with existents, which alone are capable of acting.

    I don’t make any claim about logic “existing”, whatever that would mean.Michael Ossipoff

    It's your call to make or not make claims, as it is mine. Logic exists, not as a separate being, but as a set of mental norms, in the minds of rational agents.

    Though you aren’t a Materialist proper, you, along with the Materialists, believe that this physical universe is fundamental, prior and primary with respect to the logically-interdependent realm. It’s a Materialist belief, though you aren’t entirely a Materialist.Michael Ossipoff

    No, that is not my position. I hold that the the universe has a derivative, dependent and participatory existence -- deriving its existence, on a continuing basis, form God Who alone is "fundamental, prior and primary with respect to the logically-interdependent realm" (creatio continuo).

    starting with “If there were experience of a life…”, the starting antecedent in the logically-interdependent realm.Michael Ossipoff

    Since there is the experience, we are no longer dealing with a hypothetical. Once the antecedent is affirmed, the conclusion is categorical by the modus ponens.

    The question is one of the order of dependence. In that order, logic comes after the physical universe.
    .
    I get that that’s the belief of you and the Materialists. You believe that this physical universe has some kind of unspecified precedence, priority, primary-ness in the logically-interdependent realm.
    Michael Ossipoff

    I think you are mis-reading me. Logic is a human tool, existing in human minds, and abstracted from the nature of being as found in the experienced universe, which is ontologically dependent on God. God, knowing all reality at once and eternally, has no need of ratiocinative thought, and so no need of logic. Of course God does know the nature of being, and it is from that nature that we humans abstract logic.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and positions.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.5k


    ”Then you shouldn’t have agreed to it.” — Michael Ossipoff
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    I don't think I did.
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    Yeah here’s what was said:
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    ”…you can’t claim any proof that it has some kind of absolute, noncontextual, context-independent reality.” — Michael Ossipoff
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    I am happy to agree that reality is contextual.
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    I assume that by “reality”, you meant “physical reality”. Materialists use that word in that way, to express their belief that this physical world is all of Reality.
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    You continued:
    .
    The difference between what I judge to be real and what is merely hypothetical, is that the real acts (directly or indirectly) on me, while that there is no reason to think the merely hypothetical does. That is a manifest difference.
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    It’s no difference.
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    As I’ve answered many times:
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    By definition, in an experience-story, the protagonist’s surroundings act on the protagonist, and the protagonist acts on his or her surroundings. That’s just the defined nature of the mutually-interacting complementary pair consisting of the protagonist and his/her surroundings in a life-experience story.
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    That interaction between you and your surroundings is inevitable in your experience-story, just by the definition of an experience-story. …so it hardly distinguished between a hypothetical experience story and whatever else you think this physical world is.
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    In the purely hypothetical story that I’ve spoken of, your surroundings, and the physical world as a whole are “real” and “existent” by your definition (because they act on you). So that leaves the question of in what way the physical world that you believe in is different from the one that I propose, and in what way it’s “real” and “existent” in a way that the one that I describe isn’t.
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    That’s what I’ve been asking you, and that’s what you haven’t answered. But I’m not pushy, and I’m willing to accept that you don’t have an answer.
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    And, by the way, action isn’t a good definition of or standard for reality, because actions are time-bound; they take place in time. Reality is timeless.
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    Events in time are of this physical universe only (…likewise for each of the other such universes, of course).
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    …which is why Nisargadatta said that, from the point of view of the sage, nothing has ever happened.
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    ”Anyway, which part of “needn’t exist or be real in any context other than its own” don’t you understand?” — Michael Ossipoff
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    I have no idea what the limitation "any context other than its own" means. Obviously, if we exclude the datum of actual existence, we have no basis for talking about actual existence, but that hardly seems fruitful
    .
    If “actual” means “part of, or consisting of, the physical world in which the speaker resides” and if that’s what you mean by “actual existence”, then this physical world and every physical part of it is “actual existence” even if it’s nothing other than the setting of a purely hypothetical story, someone’s hypothetical life-experience story consisting of a complex system of inter-referring abstract implications about hypothetical propositions about hypothetical things.
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    Again, your meaning for “real” and “existent” or “actual existence” wouldn’t distinguish between the hypothetical life-experience story that I refer to, and its hypothetical setting--and whatever you think this physical world is.
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    In other words, you haven’t answered my question. But that’s ok, I accept that you don’t have an answer to it, and I won’t continue to bother you for one.
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    I’m not talking about “excluding” “actual existence” (if that means this physical world and its things). I was just asking what, exactly, specifically, you think it is that makes this physical universe different from what I suggested that it is.
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    Your answer was that, unlike what I propose, this physical world is real and existent because it acts on us. I’ve answered that many times, including an instance above in this reply.
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    ”But yes, if you don’t know what “real” and “exist” mean, don’t feel bad” — Michael Ossipoff
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    I have a good idea of what it means to exist. To exist is to be able to act in some, in any, way. Whatever can act necessarily exists, and what cannot act cannot act to make its existence known. If a putative thing can not act in any way, it is indistinguishable from nothing, and so is nothing. Clearly acting on us in experience is acting, so whatever acts on us exists, and is not merely hypothetical.
    .
    See above. By your above-expressed definition of “exist”, this physical world, as nothing other than the setting of a hypothetical life-experience story consisting of a system of inter-referring abstract facts about hypothetical propositions about hypothetical things—exists. …because it acts on you and you act on it, even if it’s only an an experience-story. …acts on you inevitably, just by the definition of an experience-story.
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    Certainly what acts on one’s body in this physical world is physical and actual (as I defined “actual” above). But, as I said, by the definition of an experience-story, your surroundings act on you in that story. That’s the definitional nature of the hypothetical complementary-pair (you, and your experience of your surroundings) that I call an “experience-story”.
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    Of course you can say that you don’t believe that this life and this physical world are just a hypothetical system. But it isn’t valid to say that it must be more than that because your surroundings act on you. …because they do that in the hypothetical story too.
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    A scene in a movie:
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    Colonel arriving at a checkpoint in a car in WWII England, talking to sergeant guard: “Which way is it to Greensbury?”
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    Sergeant: “I can’t give information to people who show up in a car. You might be a Nazi.”
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    Colonel: “I’m not a Nazi!”
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    Sergeant: “That’s what you’d say if you was a Nazi, isn’t it.
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    ”We definitely agree about the questionable-ness and dubiousness of the meaning of “real” and “exist”.” — Michael Ossipoff
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    No we do not.
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    …not if you think that your definition of “real” and “existent” distinguishes the physical world of my proposal from the physical world that you believe in.
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    …or can come up with a (so far unspecified) useful or meaningful definition for “real” or “existent”.
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    But, before you try to come up with one, I’ll suggest that you not try, because if there were one, surely we’d have all heard about it before now.

    .
    ”Well, it’s necessary component of your life-experience story, of which you and your physical surroundings are the two complementary parts. So yes. “— Michael Ossipoff
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    While not denying that I have a life-experience story, "story" is an ambiguous term, for stories can be real or fictional.
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    See above, about “real”. Stories can indeed be hypothetical.
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    As life experience involves inter-actions, it necessarily places us in touch with existents, which alone are capable of acting.
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    See above. Any hypothetical life-experience-story is, inevitably, by definition, full of interactions between its protagonist and his/her physical surroundings.
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    ”I don’t make any claim about logic “existing”, whatever that would mean.” — Michael Ossipoff
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    It's your call to make or not make claims, as it is mine. Logic exists, not as a separate being, but as a set of mental norms, in the minds of rational agents.
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    Suit yourself. As I said, I make no claims about its “existence”, whatever that would mean.
    .
    ”Though you aren’t a Materialist proper, you, along with the Materialists, believe that this physical universe is fundamental, prior and primary with respect to the logically-interdependent realm. It’s a Materialist belief, though you aren’t entirely a Materialist.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    No, that is not my position. I hold that the universe has a derivative, dependent and participatory existence -- deriving its existence, on a continuing basis, from God Who alone is "fundamental, prior and primary with respect to the logically-interdependent realm" (creatio continuo).
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    No disagreement about God, Benevolent Ultimate Reality, as what is really fundamental, prior, primary and Real.
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    But you want to blame this physical universe on God.
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    I, and the Gnostics don’t.
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    Einstein asked if God had a choice about “creating” the [physical] universe. I say 1) God didn’t “create” it; and 2) No, there was no choice about there “being” it. (I put “being” in quotes because there are spiritual traditions that say that this physical world has a low order of “is-ness”, in philosophical discussion.)
    .
    If God didn’t create it, but it isn’t really so “real” anyway, then there isn’t the question “If God didn’t create it, then why is there it??”
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    No one denies that this physical universe, as a system of inter-referring abstract-implications, is a (low-order, illusory) part of Reality. But it’s something inevitable and not a result of the Benevolence.
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    Traditional, non-Gnostic, Theism is a bit simplistic, with its lumping of all things together as part of the same intentional creation.
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    Just as we should try to explain physical events in terms of local, scientific physical explanations, instead of not trying to explain them and just bumping them up some levels to attribute them directly to God, then likewise so we should try to explain this logically-interdependent realm in terms of inevitable logic before we give up and resort to bumping it up to a higher level for direct attribution and explanation there.
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    In other words:
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    We should explain as much as we can, at the lowest level at which we can.
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    Theism is not incompatible with Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism.
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    ”…starting with “If there were experience of a life…”, the starting antecedent in the logically-interdependent realm. “— Michael Ossipoff

    .
    Since there is the experience, we are no longer dealing with a hypothetical.
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    Experience, and the experiencer, are about as fundamental, prior and primary as a part of the ethereal, existentially-whispy logically-interdependent realm can be.
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    The matter of the hypothetical-ness of the whole system comes up when we ask what metaphysical basis it has.
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    Expect to find something solid under it?
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    There “is” every hypothetical, as a hypothetical.
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    Once the antecedent is affirmed, the conclusion is categorical by the modus ponens.
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    I don’t claim the truth of any of the antecedents of any of the abstract-implications in the hypothetical logical systems that I describe.
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    …nor can any of them be proved true.
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    The question is one of the order of dependence. In that order, logic comes after the physical universe.
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    I get that you believe that. Your assertion above is an assertion of belief. …a belief that this physical universe has some (unspecified and unverified) sort of “existence” or “reality” (whatever that would mean) that the abstract logical system that I describe doesn’t have.
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    I’d said:
    .
    ”I get that that’s the belief of you and the Materialists. You believe that this physical universe has some kind of unspecified precedence, priority, primary-ness in the logically-interdependent realm.” — Michael Ossipoff
    .
    I think you are mis-reading me. Logic is a human tool, existing in human minds, and abstracted from the nature of being as found in the experienced universe
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    No one denies that logic is all of that. You’re additionally saying that logic doesn’t “exist” (whatever that would mean) other than that. I’ve repeatedly said that I make no claims about the “existence” (whatever that would mean) of logic, or the abstract logical systems that I speak of.
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    So: No disagreement there.
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    , which is ontologically dependent on God.
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    This universe is part of Reality, yes, but a low-order part, inevitable rather than intended by Benevolence.
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    God, knowing all reality at once and eternally
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    Yes, Benevolence implies knowledge.
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    , has no need of ratiocinative thought, and so no need of logic.
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    Yes, logic doesn’t begin to address Reality, or even everyday experiential reality, other than a limited set of facts about experiential reality, of which consists one’s necessarily-consistent experience-story.
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    Of course God does know the nature of being
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    Benevolence implies knowledge.
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    , and it is from that nature that we humans abstract logic.
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    By “nature” you and the Materialists (aka “Naturalists”) mean “this physical universe”. Sure, I won’t quibble about where humans get logic. Logic has no “real-ness”or “existence” (whatever that would mean) other than that? Fine. I make no claim about the “existence” or “reality” (whatever that would mean) of logic, or the abstract logical systems that I’ve been speaking of.
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    You want to believe in some sort of concrete, absolute “existence” or “reality” (whatever that would mean) for the things of the logically-interdependent realm—in some (unspecified) way more than that possessed by the abstract logical-system that I speak of.
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    That’s the big error of academic philosophy, and it goes back millennia in Western philosophy.
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    In fact, in general, when people can’t come up with a useful metaphysical meaning for a metaphysical term that they use, then you shouldn’t assume that it has one.
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    Of course it isn’t for me to want to change your belief in that. Beliefs never change at these forums. I’ve just been stating the difference between what you’re saying and what I’ve been saying.
    .
    December 21st, 2018 (Roman Gregorian Calendar)
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    .
    Michael Ossipoff
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