• DingoJones
    834
    Of course it doesn't. :up: But, if you consider this discussion pointless, what are you doing posting here, in this topic?Pattern-chaser

    You might find it helpful to think before posting, and take the time to read and consider the responses you get. As I just explained, I exited the discussion once I realised it wasnt a discussion of anything of substance but a circle jerk for folks who seek to put some framing on their irrational, feel good conceptions. The only reason Im here responding now is because YOU directly addressed ME.
    Its ok to be simple headed, you have no control over that, but its obnoxious to be aggressively simple headed.
    Now, if there is nothing else you can go back to your feel good discussion about nothing. I, unlike you, have no problem with simply ignoring people with different sensibilities.
  • Isaac
    714
    Considering that this thread was posted in the Philosophy of Religion category, and that the OP and subsequent posts contain the words, "God", "soul", "supernatural", "the Force", "Taoist philosophy", "transcend", "worldview", "belief", and "afterlife", it seems reasonable to conclude that "spirit", as used herein, has religious and/or moral connotations.Galuchat

    Yes, I think that's a safe presumption. Still not seeing why a particular canon of written work would be the only, or even preferred, source of information on it. Religions are interpreted by ordinary people, and we have yet to delegate moral responsibility to some agreed authority, it seems to just beg the question to presume certain commentators have authority here.

    However, it is obvious that a religious/moral discussion makes many people uncomfortable and combative. For them, it is more comfortable to re-frame the question in terms of psychology, fantasy, or the paranormal.Galuchat

    But a religiou/moral discussion is a discussion about psychology, fantasy, or the paranormal. Morality is just psychology and religion is all about fantasy and the paranormal. I can't see what other frame this could be seen through (within philosophy).

    So, I would welcome information about "spirit" which is based on "your own feelings, for example, or those of your neighbours."

    Do you have any you can share?
    Galuchat

    Spirit, as so many other people have said, is too broad a topic without some parameters set, I could say virtually anything.
  • NKBJ
    1.1k
    We didn't when we spied the rock. According to you, we immediately (and perhaps unconsciously) generated a working definition of the rock. Why could we not do that with (say) an oboe (assuming we'd never encountered one before)?Pattern-chaser

    No we don't have to have a definition of a rock to espy a rock. But we have to have one in order to talk with each other about it.

    Even if we want to talk theoretically about unknown things, we've already given them the definition of things and being unknown to us. But that conversation isn't going to go anywhere special. It stops right there:

    "Are there unknown things in the universe?"
    "Very likely."
    "What can we say about them?"
    "They are things and they are unknown to us."
    "Anything else?"
    "They're.....not any of the things we do know about, and they're not not things."
    "Huh."
    "Yup, huh."

    To have a conversation about spirits and whether they exist, you have to start off with a baseline idea of what a spirit even is. That definition can be subject to change, if you find that it doesn't or can't apply, but you have to start somewhere rather than nowhere.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.4k
    This is a topic that I find interesting, and enjoyable to discuss. There are others too, who agree, and who have posted some interesting thoughts. And then there are the nit-pickers. The Objectivists and the Sciencists, disabled by binary thinking, and unable to address any topic that cannot be formally introduced into the world of science.

    Instead of first contributing, I find myself addressing the spoilers, those who would prevent this discussion by attacking the topic itself. If you don't find this topic worthwhile, don't post to it. Surely, if others agree with your focussed and logical stance, the thread will fade away due to a lack of interest? If you don't want to play, just take your ball(s) and go. :up:
  • Galuchat
    601
    I could say virtually anything.Isaac
    Which says nothing. Congratulations.
    We are done here.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.4k
    I, unlike you, have no problem with simply ignoring people with different sensibilities.DingoJones

    I haven't attacked you, only your approach to this topic. If you want to stop posting here, go ahead. No-one will be offended (except maybe you). :up:
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.4k
    "Are there unknown things in the universe?"
    "Very likely."
    "What can we say about them?"
    "They are things and they are unknown to us."
    "Anything else?"
    "They're.....not any of the things we do know about, and they're not not things."
    "Huh."
    "Yup, huh."
    NKBJ

    Hmm. If you consider Objective Reality (that which is), you will probably discover that we can (knowingly) have no Objective knowledge of it at all, apart from its existence. In that sense, all things are unknown and unknowable to us. The dialogue you post applies to everything we could know and therefore to everything we could discuss. And yet we've found a way to proceed. It's time philosophers caught up with the rest of humanity on this one. :up:
  • Terrapin Station
    10.4k


    The question is what anyone is "spying" that they're calling "spirit"?
  • leo
    435
    Saying "it is beyond scientific understanding"...is actually saying, "it is beyond the understanding of scientists."

    Therefore...it is beyond the understanding of humans.

    Supernatural usually is defined as, "something attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature." If it is "beyond scientific understanding"...then by definition it is beyond human understanding. Surely there ARE things beyond human understanding.
    Frank Apisa

    What is a scientific understanding? It is an explanation given in terms of what scientists deem to be real, of what they deem to exist. But different cultures have different ideas about what is real and what is not real. What one culture may interpret as contacts with another dimension, another culture would interpret as imagination. If someone experiences something that other people don't, scientists are quick to dismiss it as imagination, as something that originated from the person's mind.

    Say you hear a sound that other people don't hear. The sound would be real to you but not to other people. Say you keep hearing it. Does the fact other people don't hear it implies you're not really hearing it? Surely not. If other people don't find a scientific explanation for why you're hearing it, that still doesn't mean you're not hearing it. But to other people it doesn't exist, either you're lying, or you're imagining things. As it turns out scientists have eventually come up with an explanation why sometimes some people hear something that others don't, they call it tinnitus. They could come up with an explanation because they found in the range of what they experienced something that could explain why someone could hear something that others don't.

    But now let's say everyone was visually blind except for a few people. If you're a scientist making experiments with your senses (without vision), if you've never experienced sight in your life, you wouldn't know what colors are. Those who do see with their eyes would attempt to describe what they see, but they couldn't do it in a language that you could comprehend, because in your language there would be no word to describe colors, what they would describe would seem very vague to you. You wouldn't find any evidence of what they are talking about in the world you see, and so you would conclude that they are crazy and are imagining things. But if you're being scientifically honest, you can't rule out that they might see things that you can't see, that they have a sense you don't have, or that you have that sense but have never found how to use it.

    The distinction between real and imaginary is not clear-cut at all, it only appears to be because we arbitrarily classify experiences as real or imaginary, because we impose a clear distinction rather than there existing an absolute clear boundary that we discover.
  • DingoJones
    834


    I already DID stop posting! :lol:
    YOU are the one that keeps talking to ME!
    Go back to your circle jerk you thoughtless fool, your authoritarian need to be rude and obnoxious under an obvious mask of civility and open mindedness is nauseating. I doubt many people are fooled by your illusion of enlightened virtue, under which resides a disgusting insincerity and pretence.
    You go ahead and have the last word, Im done with you.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.4k
    The question is what anyone is "spying" that they're calling "spirit"?Terrapin Station

    :smile: Yes, it's easier with rocks. :up: In this case, our spying is not literal. Spirit - at least in some of the many meanings that the word carries (look here: OneLook) - is something we feel. It's not a physical thing we can hit with a (scientific) hammer. But it is a concept that resonates with many people. As such, it is capable of discussion, surely?

    But to come back to your specific question, you're asking for a definition of "spirit", even though you've used different words. It's not that there isn't one; it's that there are many. Each of them interesting in its way, and all of them referenced by the general term "spirit" (where a poster does not see fit to narrow or clarify the dictionary definitions we start from). So, what is spirit? It's all the things here, and probably more besides. I think the intention of the OP is to examine and explore these concepts, to see where it takes us. Coming? :smile:
  • Terrapin Station
    10.4k


    Well, if they're just spying something they feel, if that's all they're referring to, then it's easy to believe that people are feeling however they are.

    It might be more difficult to relate to it for someone who doesn't obviously feel an analogous way. But of course it's not easy to convey a feeling to someone else who might not have the same feelings.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.4k
    Indeed so. :up: But it's still an interesting topic (to me).
  • Frank Apisa
    896


    Let's take this from a different angle.

    What I was attempting to say and may have done a poor job of...

    ...is that there ARE things that humans may not know about...may not understand...

    ...BUT THAT ACTUALLY ARE. They exist.

    Essentially that is an extension of my comment, "Unless a thing is established as IMPOSSIBLE...it is POSSIBLE.
  • Frank Apisa
    896
    Pattern-chaser
    860

    Saying "it is beyond scientific understanding"...is actually saying, "it is beyond the understanding of scientists." — Frank Apisa


    No, it's saying that it is beyond the understanding of scientists if they apply only science and scientific techniques.
    Pattern-chaser

    My response essentially is what I just posted to Leo.

    I am answering the question of the OP with:

    It is possible.
  • NKBJ
    1.1k
    It's time philosophers caught up with the rest of humanity on this one. :up:Pattern-chaser

    All of humanity who ask questions and probe the depths and limits of human knowledge are philosophers.

    If you consider Objective Reality (that which is), you will probably discover that we can (knowingly) have no Objective knowledge of it at all, apart from its existence.Pattern-chaser

    If by "objective" you actually mean "absolute" or "100% certain" knowledge, then yes. But philosophers (academic and otherwise) don't always or all insist on that narrow definition.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.4k
    I often consider spirit to be the counterpart to body. [Or maybe to body and mind?] The mental, immaterial, part of us. The really confusing and difficult-to-know-about part of us. There is mind, which we divide (why? :chin:) into conscious and unconscious, and the latter is, by definition, observation and actuality, inaccessible to our introspection. There are feelings and emotions. And there are beliefs, often arrived at by means we know not of. All of these things are difficult, all of them exist (confirmed by the observations of billions of humans), and it is this context/arena that spirit exists. So of course it's difficult to discuss.

    Simple discussions, whose terms can be clearly, completely, and accurately defined, are easy. Discussions like this one are a bit more challenging. Farther away from the lifelines of definition, logic, binary thinking, certainty, and so forth, discussion requires more of us. It's easy to dismiss such things as meaningless frippery, and if you do, I can't prove you wrong. But so what?

    For myself, I think I split my mental self into spirit and mind, where spirit has to do with such things as souls, spirits (to use another shade of meaning :wink:), and things that go bump in the night. So spirit follows into spiritual, which I see as a more general version of religion, but without some of the entrapping requirements and conventions. These days, few describe themselves as religious, but many describe themselves as spiritual. So spirit definitely has an aspect that resembles religion.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.4k
    If by "objective" you actually mean "absolute" or "100% certain" knowledge, then yes. But philosophers (academic and otherwise) don't always or all insist on that narrow definition.NKBJ

    No, they don't, but they still accept the truth (and the consequences) of what that (admittedly narrow) definition refers to. All is unknown, in absolute terms; it's just a matter of degree. Everything we discuss here is, to some extent, vague and ill-defined: unknown. So it seems pointless to target one topic and say 'we can't discuss that; there are too many unknowns'. Let's just embrace the topic, and see where it leads? :chin:
  • NKBJ
    1.1k
    No, they don't, but they still accept the truth (and the consequences) of what that (admittedly narrow) definition refers to. All is unknown, in absolute terms; it's just a matter of degree. Everything we discuss here is, to some extent, vague and ill-defined: unknown. So it seems pointless to target one topic and say 'we can't discuss that; there are too many unknowns'. Let's just embrace the topic, and see where it leads?Pattern-chaser

    To say that things are by degrees unknown is to say that some of it is known. Like I said, you have to have to start from somewhere.

    But, yeah, seeing where it leads:

    I often consider spirit to be the counterpart to body. [Or maybe to body and mind?] The mental, immaterial, part of us. The really confusing and difficult-to-know-about part of us. There is mind, which we divide (why? :chin:) into conscious and unconscious, and the latter is, by definition, observation and actuality, inaccessible to our introspection. There are feelings and emotions. And there are beliefs, often arrived at by means we know not of. All of these things are difficult, all of them exist (confirmed by the observations of billions of humans), and it is this context/arena that spirit exists. So of course it's difficult to discuss.Pattern-chaser

    So, I don't buy into any kind of mind/body dualism. The mind is a part of the body. If you want to call the sum total of emotions, thoughts, and consciousness a "spirit," I'm okay with that, but I wouldn't ascribe to it any religious/magical mumbo jumbo.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.4k
    I don't buy into any kind of mind/body dualism. The mind is a part of the body.NKBJ

    :up: And I think spirit forms part of the mind, in the context of mind/body. There is a connection, that some people find valuable, to "religious/magical mumbo jumbo" too. But I don't think it's compulsory. :smile: Not that I'm disagreeing with you: mind and body are not distinct. [The universe is not distinct, we only divide it up so that the pieces are of a size we can swallow without choking. So why would mind and body be distinct? :wink: ]
  • S
    10.2k
    However, it is obvious that a religious/moral discussion makes many people uncomfortable and combative. For them, it is more comfortable to re-frame the question in terms of psychology, fantasy, or the paranormal.Galuchat

    Kind of like what you just did.
  • S
    10.2k
    However, it is obvious that a religious/moral discussion makes many people uncomfortable and combative. For them, it is more comfortable to re-frame the question in terms of psychology, fantasy, or the paranormal.Galuchat

    Kind of like what you just did.

    I'm not sure you've fully thought this through. You mentioned talk of supernatural, yet you call responses about paranormal a "reframing". That seems an inappropriate word to use. The connection between talk of supernatural and God and the like, on the one hand, and psychology and fantasy, on the other, is clear enough. It's not a "reframing", it's just an explanation.
  • Isaac
    714
    CongratulationsGaluchat

    Have I won something?
  • S
    10.2k
    The only way I'd say it exists would be if someone offered some clear definition, where I thought that what the definition picked out exists.Terrapin Station

    Exactamundo.
  • S
    10.2k
    Consider something newly discovered. We, just this second, discovered that it exists, even though we have no idea what it is (yet). Imagine this is our first enquiry into this new discovery.

    I think that answers your question.
    Pattern-chaser

    Tell us about it then. Then we can actually make some headway. It's not like you've suddenly lost your ability to describe things.

    How absurd.
  • S
    10.2k
    If I choose not to “enjoy a general discussion” that doesnt mean I lack understanding about any aspect of the discussion. This is just you being condescending because I have no respect for the nebulous terminology demanded by a feel good discussion about nothing. You are perfectly welcome to your irrational, substanceless circle jerk, I stepped out and left you all to it after it became clear thats what you were all interested in.
    Your desire to bring me back in has nothing to do with actual engagement, but rather a need to satisfy your offended, authoritarian sensibilities.
    DingoJones

    Indeed, and we need more people speaking out about this sort of thing, not less.
  • S
    10.2k
    But, if you consider this discussion pointless, what are you doing posting here, in this topic? :chin:Pattern-chaser

    Because he cares about philosophy! Maybe, just maybe, he cares about how we should be doing philosophy. Maybe questioning how many angels can dance on the head of a pin isn't good philosophy.

    Did you ever think about that?
  • S
    10.2k
    That's a really bad attitude: trying to shut out those who are critical and labeling them as "spoilers". This is a philosophy forum.

    You really do not seem to have much of a philosophical attitude. You did a similar thing in the discussion on political correctness. You seemed in support of more of an uncritical, status-quo maintaining, people pleasing approach, instead of a critical and frank approach. Why are you here?
  • DingoJones
    834


    Its astonishing! The resistance you get for asking simple qualifying questions. I guess I get it, answering pesky questions like “what are you talking about” interfere with the feel good mental masterbation and whats a circle jerk without masterbation but still...you would think a philosophy forum would attract people who can think. Thats why I think Terra might be right about learning and reading disabilities here, are we getting the mentally challenged rejects from other, less tolerant of bad philosophy forums that are out there? Half of the folks don’t seem to know the difference between philosophy and therapy. I seem to remember this Pattern Chaser guy saying he got kicked off another forum by scientific zealots or somesuch. Small wonder! They were probably talking about such zealotous things like “facts” and “rationality”.
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