• Terrapin Station
    12.4k


    Right, your self is not identical through time--nothing is.
  • Coben
    770
    You keep being consistent. It's rare. Whatever the irony in the current context.
  • DingoJones
    1k


    I understand about foundational stances, but you are saying it doesnt need to at least be internally consistent? You think someone thats not making any sense at all is still valid in their moral views?? In other words, you abandon reason and sense as a standard for anything ethical/moral?
    You always say morals are not something anyone can be right or wrong about, but if a person doesnt even need to make sense then isnt it more accurate to say you don’t believe morals exist rather than that they are based on anything (feelings)? If there is no distinction at all between feeling and morality, then why have you bothered to co-opt the language (use the terms of ethics/morals) at all? I would think you would describe morality as an illusion or somesuch instead.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.4k
    You think someone thats not making any sense at all is still valid in their moral views??DingoJones

    Logically, yes. Traditionally, in logic, any argument with contradictory premises is valid. That's because the logical definition of validity is that validity obtains just in case it's impossible that the premises are true and/or the conclusion false. That's the whole idea behind "everything follows from a contradiction" (aka the "principle of explosion").

    Re not changing the language, etc., the belief that there's anything other than feelings to morality is what's mistaken and what's a misunderstanding what we're saying when we "do morality." Abandoning the language would be surrendering to an "objectivist co-opting" of the language. I think it's better to understand what's really going on when we make moral utterances.
  • S
    11.3k
    You're not equivocating moral right/wrong and right/wrong in the sense or correct/incorrect or accurate/in error here, are you? When I say that this is the sort of stuff that we can't get right or wrong I'm saying that we can't say something accurate or in error about it (insofar as moral stances go, where we're not simply reporting what moral stances people happen to have). I'm not saying that we don't have moral dispositions, that we don't think that various things aren't right or wrong.Terrapin Station

    Right and wrong, along with correct and incorrect, with regard to morality, are relative. It's not a category error. You're just deciding to interpret it that way.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.4k


    So you don't actually believe that morality/ethics is subjective. Probably because you don't actually believe that reason/rationality is subjective. Maybe you'd say you would call them that, but you can't be using the terms in the same way I'm using them.
  • DingoJones
    1k


    Lol, I knew that you would focus only on that one sentence. The rest of my post was meant to elaborate what exactly I was getting at. Lets address my “other words” instead, I should have been more careful with my words.
    So do you abandon all reason and sense when ethics are involved?
    And for the language, that doesnt explain why you wouldnt explain ethics/morality as an illusion. It seems like thats what you think other people have concerning morality/ethics.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.4k
    So do you abandon all reason and sense when ethics are involved?DingoJones

    I didn't address that again because I'd say the same thing I said earlier ("People will reason from stances that they take to be foundational in a given instance (what people treat that way can change on different occasions)_._._._plus the three later paragraphs from that same post). So it's not that you abandon reason, but there can't be a stance that's wrong (alethically)/incorrect/mistaken etc. via reason.

    Ethics isn't an illusion because it's really a way that we feel/think about things. It's just like saying that our emotions in general aren't an illusion.
  • DingoJones
    1k
    I didn't address that again because I'd say the same thing I said earlier ("People will reason from stances that they take to be foundational in a given instance (what people treat that way can change on different occasions)_._._._plus the three later paragraphs from that same post). So it's not that you abandon reason, but there can't be a stance that's wrong (alethically)/incorrect/mistaken etc. via reason.Terrapin Station

    There is no purpose to reasoning though, it doesnt matter how a person arrives at any ethical/moral position, or even that they make any attempt at all to make sense. If you arent concerned about being consistent with reason, in what way are you not abandoning it?
    Re the illusion, the distinction that morality is something different than the way you feel is an illusion in your view right? Im not talking about the feelings themselves as being an illusion.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.4k
    There is no purpose to reasoning though, it doesnt matter how a person arrives at any ethical/moral position, or even that they make any attempt at all to make sense. If you arent concerned about being consistent with reason, in what way are you not abandoning it?DingoJones

    In other words, I'm just descriptively saying that we reason about things we at least temporarily take to function as foundational moral stances. Which is true. We do that.

    I'm not endorsing or prescribing reasoning about foundational moral stances, especially not as a way to arrive at moral stances with "more normative weight" or anything like that.

    Re the illusion, the distinction that morality is something different than the way you feel is an illusion in your view right? Im not talking about the feelings themselves as being an illusion.DingoJones

    Yes, but morality is the feelings/dispositions we have. Again, ceding moral talk to people who want to assert that morality is something "more" than that isn't something I'd go along with.
  • DingoJones
    1k
    Right but it doesnt matter if someone reasons or not, right? People might do it, but they might not. Doesnt really matter to you does it?
    Re ceding moral talk, what do you mean “go along with”? It cannot be correct or incorrect for them to talk about it however they want to right? If they feel like morals are objectively reasoned, thats not something they can be correct or incorrect about, is that right?
  • elucid
    38
    I will try to explain what I am saying in a different way. Suppose a circle exists. The statement "That circle is a circle." Is a true statement and cannot be false. Just like saying, "1 = 1" cannot be a false statement. If someone claims that circle will become a square in the future, then the statement, "That circle is a circle" is a false statement at that time and that statement cannot be false, therefore that circle cannot become a square. Saying "That circle is a circle" is a false statement is just like saying "1 = 1" is a false statement.
  • S
    11.3k
    So you don't actually believe that morality/ethics is subjective.Terrapin Station

    I do. Feeling this way or that way about something is very clearly subjective. I just reach a different conclusion to you regarding correct and incorrect, because I go by a relativist interpretation instead of an objectivist interpretation. I'm more pragmatic than that. The conclusion that there's no correct or incorrect is unacceptable, as it doesn't reflect our strong intuition. Relativism solves that problem.
  • Mww
    994
    From Zeno’s shot arrow that doesn’t fly, to Russell’s barber shaving himself, logical paradoxes have been the bane to the dignity of philosophy for millennia.

    As if reason didn’t already have the means to trick us on its own, from which we try to abstain, we turn right around and consciously use it to purposely trick ourselves.

    In the words of my ol’ buddy Father Guido Sarducci, what a farging waste of brain cells.
  • S
    11.3k
    If someone claims that circle will become a square in the future, then the statement, "That circle is a circle" is a false statement at that time and that statement cannot be false, therefore that circle cannot become a square.elucid

    Lol, what?
  • elucid
    38
    This is my explanation for why change seems to exists even though things that tell us that it is not possible exist. I will use a circle and a square in this example. I will guess that a circle becoming a square is impossible, but a circle becoming non-existent and a square appearing is possible, making it seem like a circle became a square.
  • jprometheus44
    1
    Yes, circles and squares are two different geometric shapes. They are different things. That is clear. Like a human being and a rock are not the same.

    I don't see how that has anything to do with change being impossible.

    If I smash my computer in front of me (which is a square) into a bunch of pieces and then re-arrange those pieces into a circle, didn't a square just become a circle?
  • elucid
    38
    If I smash my computer in front of me (which is a square) into a bunch of pieces and then re-arrange those pieces into a circle, didn't a square just become a circle?

    It is hard to say if you cannot rule out the possibility of things disappearing and appearing to make it seem like things are changing.
  • SophistiCat
    815
    I will try to explain what I am saying in a different way.elucid

    You are not trying to explain it in a different way. You are repeating the exact same truism ("a thing is what it is and is not what it is not") over an over again. Despite the thread title, you have not attempted to move on from here to discussing anything relating to change. You seem to think that the implication for the impossibility of change from that basic law of identity is so obvious that you cannot even spell it out. But in actuality it's because this one tool that you are wielding is inadequate for the job. You have confessed at the outset that you don't know how to define change. That is the root of the problem: you cannot reason about something that you cannot grasp with your intellect.

    Here is my crack at it. The ordinary concept of change has two aspects to it: identity and difference. Change is possible because these two aspects are not in conflict with each other: a thing can preserve its identity through time, even if something about it is different from one time to another. For this to make sense the law of identity alone won't do; we need to have (at least) two identity scales: coarse-grained identity and fine-grained identity.

    When we see a cup, we readily identify it as a single gross object - a cup. In our mind, this object preserves its identity through time by maintaining its structural and compositional integrity (within reasonable bounds), as well as by maintaining space-time continuity. A small chip or discoloration may not cause the cup to lose its identity, but being crushed or dissolved in acid will. A cup preserves its identity through the passage of time and through continuous translation and rotation in space. But another cup that simultaneously occupies a separate region of space constitutes a separate identity, even if it is otherwise indistinguishable from the original. We may mistake their identities at times, but we think that there always is a fact of the matter about which is which.

    Our idea of what a cup is constitutes its coarse-grained identity that subsumes inessential distinctions - fine-grained identities. In other words, the coarse-grained identity (Cup) can be seen as a (possibly infinite) equivalence class comprised of fine-grained identities: Cup yesterday, Cup today, Cup on the table, Cup on the dish rack, clean Cup, dirty Cup, new Cup, chipped Cup, etc. That we can distinguish between these fine-grained identities, while at the same time lumping them all under the same coarse-grained identity is what makes change in the ordinary sense possible.
  • S
    11.3k
    Dude, watch the animation.
  • elucid
    38
    This is my explanation for why change seems to exists even though things that tell us that it is not possible exist. I will use a circle and a square in this example. I will guess that a circle becoming a square is impossible, but a circle becoming non-existent and a square appearing is possible, making it seem like a circle became a square.

    It just occurred to me that this explanation is not very logical because it would mean that we are all dead by now.
  • Shed
    8
    It just occurred to me that this explanation is not very logical because it would mean that we are all dead by now.elucid

    Does it really? When would we be dead? I know you said we would be dead "by now", but when the circle disappears and the square appears, wouldn't there be a square "by now"?
  • elucid
    38
    Does it really? When would we be dead? I know you said we would be dead "by now", but when the circle disappears and the square appears, wouldn't there be a square "by now"?

    Suppose, you are something that exists at time 12 pm. Once it is 12:01 pm, the guy (you), which existed at 12 pm is non-existent now.

    but when the circle disappears and the square appears, wouldn't there be a square "by now"?

    Yes, but that square is not that circle, they are two different things.
  • PoeticUniverse
    592
    Suppose, you are something that exists at time 12 pm. Once it is 12:01 pm, the guy (you), which existed at 12 pm is non-existent now.elucid

    There are no objects that are identical with themselves over time, although it appears to us that the world consists of parts that have continued on from “a moment ago”, and thus still retain their identity in time. There are little deaths of parts as well as little births of parts happening all the time, as atoms coming and going, and more changes.

    The self is thus not so rock solid as it seems.
    The moment-to-moment changes differ from Death
    Only in degree. In essence, they are identical,
    Although at the opposite ends of the spectrum.
  • Shed
    8
    Suppose, you are something that exists at time 12 pm. Once it is 12:01 pm, the guy (you), which existed at 12 pm is non-existent now.elucid

    I guess that would be true.

    Yes, but that square is not a circle, they are two different things.

    Right.

    This is my explanation for why change seems to exists even though things that tell us that it is not possible exist. I will use a circle and a square in this example. I will guess that a circle becoming a square is impossible, but a circle becoming non-existent and a square appearing is possible, making it seem like a circle became a square.elucid

    I think the problem with this is not that there would be no circle at one point (or that we would be dead), but that the circle would have to stop existing, and that the square would have to start existing. But let's say we grant that. It seems the time between the circle's non-existence and the square's existence is indifferent. How long do I, the guy that exists at 12 pm, exist before I become the next guy? Maybe you didn't really mean "a circle becoming non-existent and a square appearing is possible" and you just happened to say it that way.

    Statement 1 in your first post says,
    "A circle is never the same as anything that is not a circle."

    If a circle must be a circle and cannot be something else, time is irrelevant. I mean, you could omit all time-related words and say,

    "A circle is the same as anything that is not a circle. Therefore a circle is something that is not anything that is not a circle."
    "Something existent is not the same as something non-existent. Therefore, something existent is something that is not non-existent."

    A circle would be a-temporal, the same way a man is, the same way something existent is, the same way something non-existent is, etc.
  • elucid
    38
    If a circle must be a circle and cannot be something else, time is irrelevant. I mean, you could omit all time-related words and say,Shed

    The reason I created this thread is about that eternal property of things.
  • PoeticUniverse
    592
    The reason I created this thread is about that eternal property of things.elucid

    There are no permanent temporary things but just the permanent eternal. What's thought of as a 'thing' is series of events, as a hub of relations, a process.

    What is the basis of the semblance, you might ask. Nature is kind of a ‘possibility gestalt’, the whole world occurring anew each moment; however, the deeper reality from which the world arises, in each case, acts as a unity in the sense of an indivisible ‘potentiality’, which can perhaps realize itself in many possible ways, it not being a strict sum of the partial states. But… who really knows.
  • Andrew M
    707
    I would like comments on the following statements. It is about change.

    Statement 1:

    A circle is never the same as anything that is not a circle. Therefore, a circle is something that is never anything that is not a circle.

    Statement 2:

    Something existent is never the same as something non-existent. Therefore, something existent is something that is never non-existent.
    elucid

    As you probably know, accounting for change was a major issue for the ancient Greek philosophers. As Parmenides (and Plato and Aristotle) would have agreed, a circle never is and never can become a non-circle. Think of Plato's eternal and unchanging Forms.

    Instead on Aristotle's account, it is particular things (form/matter composites) that are the subject of change. For example, a circular (inflated) car tire can become a non-circular (deflated) car tire. As the example shows, it is the car tire, a particular existent, that is the subject of change, not the form.
  • staticphoton
    51
    The reason I created this thread is about that eternal property of thingselucid

    Things that physically exist are in an eternal state of change, nothing stays the same.

    What is immutable are abstract definitions/concepts. For example, a circle is not a thing in itself but a mathematically defined concept. A physical thing can for a moment in time, approximate the shape of a circle, such as a planet, a coin, a baseball. But after the physical thing eventually crumbles, there is only the definition left.

    After the last conscious mind capable of formulating such a definition ceases to exist, even the definition will disappear.

    Unless one believes in the existence of God, is which case abstract concepts will never cease to exist because the mind of God would hold such concepts beyond the limitations of time.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.4k
    If change isn't possible, how are people responding to this thread?
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.