• Pity = bad?
    The word "pity" always sounds bad, but is it ever bad to pity someone? Going by dictionary definition you aren't looking down on them. Simply empathizing with problems they are having in their life which aren't necessarily permanent?TiredThinker

    My thoughts exactly but I fear some psychological disorder is at play in looking at pity in this fashion.

    My own take is there are two kinds of pity but before that a definition of pity: the feeling of sadness you experience when you encounter someone who's missing something in life i.e. the person is, in some sense, not whole. I've heard people say, "so sad" when they saw a paraplegic.

    The two kinds of pity:

    1. Normal pity: X sees Y lacks something. X pities Y because of that which Y is missing out on. For example, If Y has a bad voice and X is a singer who's made faer mark in the music business.

    2. Paradoxical pity: Y lacks something X has but X wastes that something, whatever it is. For instance, X is a talented singer but Y can't carry a tune in a wheel barrow but...X has no interest in music at all. In this case, Y pities X for X is, in a sense, no different from Y; it's as if X couldn't sing even if faer life depended on it and that's exactly how Y perceives faerself.

    Perhaps the moral function of pity is wholly predicated on an asymmetry between the pitier and the pitied, the former being in a relatively "better position" than the latter. It's supposed to be that way is what I mean.
  • Philosophical Plumbing — Mary Midgley
    philosophical truths, which I hold to lie in the intersection between logical/mathematical and rhetorical/artistic truthsPfhorrest

    Sometimes, a language, despite its immense capabilities, lacks the word that matches the feelings/ideas going through our hearts/minds and then, what usually happens is we choose (have to) the next best word. I believe the concepts rhetorics and art are like that - they're good, good enough, as they say, for government work but deep down, we know they're not it.

    Mind you, I'm not saying that you're off the mark (inaccurate); all I mean to say is there's room for improvement.

    All that said, I suppose we're on the same page.
  • Kant in Black & White
    How so?Christoffer

    Indeed, it's true that Kant's categorical imperative is content independent. It's, let's just call it, a formula more general than, that's a big clue, than the utilitarian maxim, maximum happiness for the maximum number of people. Endorsing utilitarianism immediately commits you to happiness as the mainstay of morality.

    Kant's categorical imperative (CI), on the other, hand prevents anyone from smuggling in any preconceptions about morality - whether it should be happiness-based or something else entirely is deliberately and wisely left out of the equation. Thus, even if the standards of society were to undergo radical shifts, even if these changes affect morality, they won't do anything to alter the fact that moral theories are essentially gunning for the status of a universal law. Given this, the CI being a simple test of whether or not a particular maxim can be universalized, it follows that the CI is like some sort of master key to morality. I'd bet even aliens, with completely novel ways of living, out-of-this-world (literally and metaphoricall) values, etc. will agree Kant's CI encapsulates in one single sentence the very heart of God's (perfect moral being) goodness.

    Act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law — Stanford Encyclopedia Of Philosophy
  • Kant in Black & White
    But there you point out the action is immoral before the examination of whether or not it is. If it is universalized in a society where stealing is the way we feed ourselves and being viewed as a good act that helps people and that anyone can do it or protect against it. You cannot say it is immoral because it is in our society considered so. This is why both stealing or not stealing can't be universalized because that would demand the foundation of society is universal, which it isn't, it is an invention by us.Christoffer

    If one considers adopting the personal maxim, "I shall steal", this maxim only provides benefits in a world in which stealing is a no-no! Now, if you want everyone to steal, then stealing is permissible. You then have the contradiction: Stealing is not ok (your maxim would be pointless without it) AND stealing is ok (stealing is universalized).
  • Kant in Black & White
    you can also universalize that killing someone to help another is morally justifiedChristoffer

    That's exactly what I meant - the point, if it is one, of morality is to cover all the bases i.e. any good moral theory must eventually pass the Kantian categorical imperative (CI) test. If a moral theory is only partially implemented - as is the current status quo - we'll never get anything done so to speak. Free will appears to be a crucial factor in that if we accept it's real, immoral people will have to be included in the moral equation and this is the stuff that exceptions/special cases are made of.

    you could easily universalize stealingChristoffer

    It's not that immoral actions can't be universalized. They can but you would be guilty of a crime against logic, contradiction.

    But it also requires having an active rational mind rather than fall back on a spreadsheet of moral laws.Christoffer

    Indeed, I worry about that. A moral theory will operate just like a mathematical function; you input the relevant information regarding a particular moral question and it'll output the right answer and by "the right answer" I mean you wouldn't have cause to doubt its goodness. A very formulaic approach but at least it's reliable insofar as the moral theory in question itself is.
  • What happens to consciousness when we die?
    The answer is found in Plotinus.Apollodorus

    Gracias! I'm sure I'll get around to reading him one day. Let's hope I remember the pointers you gave me these past few days.

    spirit (nous), mind (psyche) and body (soma)Apollodorus


    The 'mind' thinks but trying to work out the logistics is not that easy.Jack Cummins

    You hit the nail on the head Jack Cummins. I remember the time when I really, really liked this girl (seems I'm a heterosexual) but the logistics was a nightmare. It didn't end well for me at all. :sad:
  • Philosophical Plumbing — Mary Midgley
    Is philosophy like plumbing? I have made this comparison a number of times when I have wanted to stress that philosophising is not just grand and elegant and difficult, but is also needed. It is not optional. — Mary Midgley

    Midgley means business! First impression is the last impression as far as I'm concerned.

    When the concepts we are living by
    function badly, they do not usually drip audibly through the ceiling orswamp the kitchen floor. They just quietly distort and obstruct our thinking
    — Mary Midgley


    Great philosophers, then, need a combination of gifts that is extremely rare. They must be lawyers as well as poets. They must have both the new vision that points the way we are to go and the logical doggedness that sorts out just what is, and what is not, involved in going there. — Mary Midgley

    I thought lawyers were rhetoricians disguised as logicians. Anway, gets the point across well. Logic + Creativity = Philosopher.

    Plainly, social contract thinking is no sort of adequate guide for
    constructing the whole social and political system. It really is a vital means of protection against certain sorts of oppression, an essential defence against tyranny. But it must not be taken for granted and forgotten, as a safe basis for all sorts of institutions. It needs always to be seen as something partial and provisional, an image that may cause trouble and have to be altered.
    — Mary Midgley

    In true scientific spirit! Birthing science has paid handsome dividends to philosophy.

    Freedom, here, is no longer
    being viewed as a necessary condition of pursuing other ideals, but as being itself the only possible ideal
    — Mary Midgley

    Reminds me of money! It's become an end unto itself. With money, you can buy, I kid you not, everything and anything. Freedom must be like money.

    This ought to make it
    easier to admit also that we are not self-contained and self-sufficient, either as a species or as individuals, but live naturally in deep mutual dependence.
    — Mary Midgley

    Yeah, but my aunt doesn't agree!

    But if we can once get it into our heads,that a model is only a model[...] — Mary Midgley

    What's wrong if "...a model is only a model..."? :chin:

    The alternative to getting a proper philosophy is continuing to use a bad one [...] — Mary Midgley

    Tough call, philosophers (men, women, and children)!

    That realization seems to be the
    sensible element at the core of the conceptual muddle now known as Postmodernism [...]
    — Mary Midgley

    Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science (1998; UK: Intellectual Impostures)

    Myths are stories symbolizing profoundly important patterns, patterns that are very influential, but too large, too deep and too imperfectly known to be expressed literally. — Mary Midgley

    A uniquely interesting point of view on mythology. Myths aren't falsehoods, they're truths too deep for language. Am I reading this as intended?

    Examples like these led Enlightenment thinkers to denounce all myths and to proclaim, in Positivistic style, a new age free from symbols, an age when all thoughts would be expressed literally and language would be used only to report scientific facts. But the idea of such an age is itself a highly fanciful myth, an image quite unrelated to
    the way in which thought and language actually work. All our thinking works through them. New ideas commonly occur to us first as images and are expressed first as metaphors. Even in talking about ordinary, concrete things immediately around us we use these metaphors all the time, and
    on any larger, more puzzling subject we need constantly to try out new ones.
    — Mary Midgley

    Ironic, don't you think? That there is no myth is the greatest myth! :chin:

    Thought is incurably powerful and explosive stuff [...] — Mary Midgley

    :up: This was a thought :point: (Tsar Bomba October 1961)

    That is the way people often do interpret this kind of claim, and it is particularly often brought forward as a reason for doing science. But Socrates [the unexamined life is not worth living] was surely saying something much stronger. He was saying that there are limits to living in a mess. — Mary Midgley

    What a fine mess we're in! I would've screamed in frustration but it seems I'm not alone and it's not polite at all to vent like that, right?

    But wisdom itself matters everywhere [...] — Mary Midgley

    Everybody knows that, right?

    It may well be that other cultures, less committed to talking, find different routes to salvation, that they pursue a less word-bound form of wisdom. — Mary Midgley

    What the literal can't do, myth (metaphor) can; what myth can't do...

    Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must shut our gob — Ludwig Wittgenstejn

    Those who speak don't know. Those who know don't speak. — Lao Tzu
  • In praise of science.
    As others have commented, science is just a tool, it is neither good or bad in itself.Foghorn

    A surgeon's keen scalpel can neatly cut out a tumor; taken to the jugular, it's a different story. :up:

    That said, science is the poster boy of the rational, no-nonsense mindset that prevails in the West and now also in the East. In that sense, science must be considered good, right?
  • Belief in god is necessary for being good.
    If God's the (only) reason that keeps you on the straight and narrow, then you'll have to answer one question, why? My best guess, from my own experience is, people usually adhere to rules, morality being one such set of rules, because either 1. it makes sense to them or 2. there's a rather brutal enforcer making sure everyone stays in line but it could be both. Notice though that if the reason why you're good and not bad is 1. it makes sense (to you), you're already committed to the position that it's not God that matters but you (you decide what's good/bad). If the reason is 2. there's a rather brutal enforcer, you don't think too highly of morality, right?
  • Euclidean Geometry
    Given a point in a plane, how many lines exist such that they do not pass through the point?anon123

    The answer: The number of lines in a plane - the number of lines in that plane that pass through that point = Infinity - Infinity. It's been a long drive, I'm tired. Here, you take the wheels.
  • What happens to consciousness when we die?
    Why assume "I" thinks?

    Why assume I "thinks"?

    Descartes confused himself (us): "the cogito" concludes to nothing more than thinking, therefore thinking happens which presupposes, not proves, existence.

    Why, Fool, assume it's "self" you are aware of?
    180 Proof

    Indeed, some wrinkles that need a hot iron. At best, all I can reasonably assert is, "Thinking is going on." Does that mean there's a thinker doing the thinking? Is the TV in your living room actively generating the News you're absorbed in or passively receiving them from the cables? Suppose there is a thinker. Can I assert with complete certainty, I am it? God knows! Your guess is as good as mine.
  • Does systemic racism exist in the US?
    fighting racism with racism.Harry Hindu

    [...]As fire drives out fire, so pity pity[...] — Brutus
  • What happens to consciousness when we die?
    Body, mind, and spirit are just different degrees of consciousness.Apollodorus


    completely forget our true identity.Apollodorus

    I've been giving this issue some CPU time as it were on my brain but the results are far from satisfactory.

    I've been thinking analogically about it and if you're in the mood, I'd like some feedback.

    Imagine two laptops - same manufacturer, same model. You and your friend both bought them brand new. For you and your friend these laptops, call them X and Y, are identical, so identical that if the two of you decided to swap them, it wouldn't make a difference to either of you. Note though that numerically, they're distinct e.g. you can number X as 1 and Y as 2.

    You take your laptop and your friend takes his. You have different tastes and so while you install the programs Q and R, your friend installs S and T. Immediately, X (Q, R) acquires a unique identity, distinct from Y (S, T).

    However, the identity X and Y possess is determined by things that they're not. Q and R are not X and neither is it that S and T are Y. X's identity should be based on things of X but is instead based on things not of X, the same goes for Y. What I mean to say is, insofar as we identify ourselves as minds, your mind and mine are indistinguishable (generic mind hypothesis) and they acquire distinct identities only when different sets of ideas are "installed" on them. Something's off about this, right? How can a thing's identity be determined by that which that thing is not? :chin: Are we thinkers or are we thoughts? If we're thinkers then our identity is numerically defined but not qualitatively i.e. your friend wouldn't be able to tell my mind apart from your mind. If we're thoughts then the paradox of the identity of a thing being based on that which that thing is not rears its ugly head.
  • What happens to consciousness when we die?
    I am not sure if I can think about putting the mind into setsJack Cummins

    Bad analogy? May be, not sure. Is it correct to say my legs contain walking or that my fingers contain typing? Is the function of a dog's fur contained in the fur?

    Yet, your eyes contain the images you see.

    Should the mind be treated as eye-like (containing) or leg-like (not containing)?

    mind involved in reflecting on itself.Jack Cummins

    Here's how I become self-aware: I think and I conclude there's a thinker and I = the thinker. Descartes' cogito argument if you couldn't make the connection.
  • Kant in Black & White
    It's too absolute. The same goes for utilitarianism, it's too absolute to work in practice.Christoffer

    I guess so. The impression that I get is all moral theories till date has the fatal flaw of being unable to cover all the bases i.e. there are multiple exceptions or, as some might say, many special cases in which the formula (categorical imperative, maximum happiness for the maximum number of people) fails to output a recommendation for an appropriate course of action, an action that sits well with our overall sense of right and wrong.

    Nevertheless, Kant's theory is unique in one particularly significant sense - it makes a very crucial attribute common to all moral theories its foundation, that being their aspirations to a status of universal law explicit. Other moral theories seem to have it as a, how shall I put it?, implicit axiom. Perhaps, it's just so obvious that to state it would invite ridicule or scorn for it would be seen as superfluous. I'm not a 100% sure.

    Where was I? Oh, as I was saying, all moral theories are created with the express purpose to become a universal law. The fact that they're considered inadequate/deficient when exceptions/special cases arise is proof of that. Kant seems to have grasped the full significance of this simple truth and I, suppose realized that the secret to a sound moral theory hinges on the essence of a universal law. That essence, that secret, is in the simplest of terms that immorality is existentially predicated on it being an exception. Immoral actions can't be, as per Kant, universalized for that immediately make the immoral action in question inconceivable, another name for contradiction. As you can see, I have a general idea of what Kant's moral theory is all about but, unfortunately, I'm still hazy on the details.

    The long and short of it is Kant's deontological ethics zeroes in on the heart of the matter - we want to get our hands on a moral theory that is a universal law and this requirement is, Kant discovered, the crux of morality. There seems to be this quest for a perfect moral theory, one that has now occupied great minds for almost two millennia, and the received opinion on what it'll look like is that it should be able to handle exceptions/special cases as well as it manages to tackle the ordinary/usual problems. Can you spot any difference between this currently only hypothetical perfect moral theory and Kant's moral theory? There are none! To handle all exceptions is equivalent to having no exceptions. Put simply, the ultimate goal of moral theorists is to develop an absolute moral theory!

    act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law — Stanford Encyclopedia Of Philosophy

    A maxim: I'll steal
    Universalization of the above maxim: Everyone steals

    The maxim I'll steal implies there's private ownership
    Universalizaton of the maxim, everybody can steal implies there's no private ownership.

    (My maxim is I can steal + My maxim's universalization) -> (There's private ownership & there's no private ownership)

    Ergo, my maxim I can steal can't be universalized. To steal is immoral.

    That's as far as I could get. The sources I referred to are not as clear on this issue as I'd hoped.

    Maybe you can shed some light on the matter, you know, clear up my confusion.
  • Is it better to learn things on your own?
    1) You can learn from others by copying their instructionWheatley

    Pros: You won't have to reinvent the wheel.

    Cons: You won't discover anything new.

    2) You can figure it out yourself.Wheatley

    Pros: You might discover something new.

    Cons: You'll probably reinvent the wheel.

    It boils down to, as usual, risk. If you feel the downside of reinventing the wheel is offset by the likelihood of a discovery and the fame and money that comes with it, figuring things out for yourself is the right choice, wander off into uncharted territories. Explore.

    On the other hand, if you don't wish to waste precious time and resources as would happen if you reinvent the wheel and there's only a snowball's chance in hell that you'll discover anything worthwhile, learn from others and stay within territory that's already mapped. Colonize.

    Speaking for myself, I prefer a mashup of the two. Learn from others and once you have what's known about a particular topic under your belt, activate explorer mode and set forth into the unknown. Mind you, this is only true of ideal situations, few and far between I'm afraid.
  • Does systemic racism exist in the US?
    I'm sure there's someone who must've already discovered this particularly interesting truth - its veracity, however, is cast into doubt by the existing racist culture that all cultures, unfortunately, exhibit to varying degrees, either in subtle forms or overtly on occasion.

    This "...interesting truth..." I refer to can be understood in terms of the so-called Three-Strikes Law

    Three strikes and you are out. — Baseball

    The rationale is not so clear but here I'll offer my own for criticism.

    1. First offense: An honest mistake. Forgiven!
    2. Second offense: Circumstances were such that committing the offense couldn't be avoided. Forgiven!
    3. Third offense: Assume as deliberate, wilfull violation of an ethical code. Not forgiven!

    Can we somehow, is it reasonable, to give racism a second look in the context of the Three-Strikes law? Is this humanity's third strike? If it isn't there's still hope, right? People would let the centuries of slavery and racist ideologies slide because, let's face it, we didn't know any better. If the current racism phenomenon is the "third strike", we really need to do something about it, and pronto! After all, every possible reason to excuse it (strikes one and two) is no longer a valid one. :chin:

    I'll probably regret making this post! :sad:
  • What happens to consciousness when we die?
    I don't know. You might be in a better position to answer that.Fooloso4

  • What happens to consciousness when we die?
    Well, you can think of the sea as a vast expanse or body of water that (1) contains and is itself as water and (2) contains things other than water itself such as fish.

    Now compare consciousness with the sea. It is a vast expanse or body of self-aware intelligent energy that is (1) aware of itself as itself and (2) aware of objects such as thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, etc.

    I still can't wrap my head around M = {M}

    Assume M = {x} is the mind (M) is thinking about x
    Steps to self-awareness
    1. The mind is thinking about fire: M = {fire}
    2. The mind is thinking about the mind is thinking about fire: M = {{fire}}

    3. M = M
    4. {fire} = {{fire}}
    5. M = {M} = The mind is thinking about the mind

    Before we proceed, I'd like to clarify that treating mind as a set seems reasonable if we subscribe to the view that the mind contains thoughts, fire in the example above.

    6. M = {M}

    Is such a set, M = {M} possible? In other words, is the mind capable of self-refelction? Can the mind contain itself? Not out of the woods yet, I'm afraid.
  • Kant in Black & White
    The categorical imperative (CI) against lying is easy enough to ounderstand.tim wood


    The categorical imperative (CI) against lying is easy enough to ounderstand. The question in MD is whether the circumstance in question outweighs the CI, perhaps justifying lying.tim wood

    :ok: I believe this is referred to as conflict of duties?!

    Moral of the story:, lots of people criticize Kant when in fact they haven't even come close to understanding him, Don't be that person. Especially don't be the person who is wrong, doesn't know it, and insists he's right because, as one recently observed, "Kant himself was horribly confused."tim wood

    :lol: We're all confused in one way or another, right?

    You've raised an important issue - old news, yes but, supposedly unresolved - which is the moral dilemma presented by the murderer at the door scenario (MD) to Kantian ethics.

    Allow me to elaborate a little on the MD to test my own understanding and also to ensure we're on the same page. The MD is basically a situation a person who subscribes to Kantian ethics can encounter and one in which there's conflict of duties. Either this person lies to the would-be murderer or not. If fae lies then fae fails in faer duty to tell the truth and if fae tells the truth, fae fails faer duty to save a life. It's lose-lose for this person.

    How do we approach this issue rationally?

    Kant's formulation of the CI (Categorical Imperative) states that you are to "act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law — Stanford Encyclopedia Of Philosophy

    Focus your attention on "...universal law...".

    Every moral theory, Kantian or otherwise, aspires to two achiecve two aims:

    1. Generate laws that are binding codes of conduct. Dos (moral) and don'ts (immoral) list.

    2. Universal application: Applies to everyone, everywhere, everytime. The best-case scenario: no exceptions to moral laws, not even one!

    To not make this post longer than necessary, let's discuss Kantian deontology in the context of the above two points (1. laws & 2. universal).

    Kant's moral theory among other possible specific moral commandments contains the following two laws:

    Law 1. Don't lie
    Law 2. Save lives/don't participate in murder

    The MD would have us think that there's something wrong with Kant's ethics but that's incorrect as I'll attempt to demonstrate in the following paragraphs.

    First off, take note of a simple but very important fact. If a moral theory X entails laws L1, L2, L3,... (derived from the moral formula of X) then, it has to be that, if X is adopted, all laws L1, L2, L3,...are in effect simultaneously and universally. Bear this in mind.

    Kant's moral theory (moral formula = CI) entails the following two laws among others of course:

    Law 1. Don't lie
    Law 2. Don't participate in murder

    As I mentioned above, both laws must be " effect simultaneously and universally." This is essential to a moral theory. Lawws, being laws, must apply together, to all, everywhere, at all times - this is Kant's crucial insight into the nature of morality, it's all about "...universal laws..."

    Notice now what happens or rather doesn't happen when both law 1. Don't lie and law 2. Don't participate in murder are being followed by a group, society. There will be no murderers and if there are no murderers the MD is an impossible scenario. People won't ever be in a situation in which they'd have to lie to a murderer because in the event Kant's moral theory is itself, in terms of its moral laws, universal, murderers won't exist, there'll never be a conflict of duties. The MD is a pesudoproblem - its possibility requires that only fragments/parts of Kant's moral theories are followed at any one time but then that contradicts the very essence ("...universal law...") of not only Kant's ethics but all other ethical theories.

    Why then does the MD seem so plausibly problematic to Kant's ethics?, you might ask. I suppose it's because we feel Kant's moral theory should also work in a world where immoral people exist, another way of saying only few but not all of Kant's moral laws are adhered to by a society. However thinking this way contradicts the very idea of a moral theory as a "...universa law..." All or none! Tertium non datur (a third is not given).
  • The Mind-No Mind Equivalency Paradox
    The post was not addressed to me. So, I butted-in without giving you a chance to respond. For that breach of etiquette, I apologize. :yikes:Gnomon

    No problemo!

    My responses are limited. [...] — Dr. Lanning's hologram (I Robot)
  • What happens to consciousness when we die?
    you raise such interesting questionsJack Cummins

    :blush: You're too kind.

    my mind explodingJack Cummins

    Logic bomb?
  • What happens to consciousness when we die?
    It would depend on what you mean by "something". According to Plotinus, the reasoning part of us (to dianoetikon) is conscious of objects perceived by means of the sense faculties. In contrast, the Intellect or spirit proper (Nous) is conscious of itself. In other words, the highest form of consciousness is self-reflective intelligence whose essential activity is reflexive. Therefore, self-consciousness or consciousness of oneself as consciousness, is the knowledge that philosophy ultimately aims to attain.Apollodorus

    Well, to be frank, it appears that Russell's paradox pops up in the weirdest of places. First thing that must happen is the mind "set" must contain something, anything except itself of course. So, suppose M is the mind "set". You think of something, say, the number 1. Now the mind "set" looks like this: M = {1}. Only after such a step is completed can the mind contain itself like so M = {{1}} i.e. for the duration that you're thinking about 1, M = {M}. However, M = {M}, a set that contains itself is, last I gave it some serious consideration, is impossible. I'm out of my depths here. Help me out!
  • The Mind-No Mind Equivalency Paradox
    Sorry to butt-in againGnomon

    When did you butt out? How did you butt in without butting out? :rofl:
  • What happens to consciousness when we die?
    wishful thinking.Jack Cummins

    Right up my alley my dear Jack Cummins. I've been doing that my entire life and the results have been "amazing", if you know what I mean. :wink: :wink:

    A man always has two reasons for what he does—a good one, and the real one — J P Morgan

    It appears all is not lost!

    resurfacedJack Cummins

    Odd spot for a sub to "resurface." :rofl:

    Frankly speaking, your question, "what happens to consciousness when we die?" is particularly misleading from the standpoint of mysticism because of the mistaken emphasis on consciousness. It's like trying to understand the intrinsic nature of a, say, a gift box by studying its contents. Something not possible to my reckoning. It looks like I've been associating with the wrong crowd but if it's all the same to you, does being "conscious without being conscious of something" ring any bells?
  • What would you do?
    Aphantasia is not a disabilityKiingarian

    It should be! It means those with the condition can't do what normal people can. Also, to use a computer metaphor, your visualization app has been disabled. :rofl: No offense intended! I suffer from this condition too and I hate it!
  • Can the universe be infinite towards the past?
    I just don’t see why we would want or need to say that an infinite amount of time elapsed, if the past were infiniteAmalac

    What does one mean by past? Elapsed time ending in the present (now).

    So, if the past is infinite, an infinite amount of time must've elapsed. You can't accept one without accepting the other. It's like someone saying, "I've arrived in Paris". Well, if fae's arrived somewhere, for certain he was travelling.
  • What happens to consciousness when we die?
    "The pattern", whatever else it may be or however it is mathematized, affects and is affected by physical systems and so, to that degree, must also be physica180 Proof

    I'm not a mathematician, I'd love to be one but my love of math is an unrequited one, just like my other loves. Anyway, from what I know, if consciousness is a mathematical formula, I was wondering if we, our consciousness, exists in some kind of Platonic world of forms? Crazy or not, you be the judge.

    platonic180 Proof

  • The Catuskoti & Skepticism
    Any sovereign worth his bloodsoaked salt always makes strategic (e.g. propagandistic, consporatorial, "fake news-alternative facts") use of this ideological parable for dividing-and-controlling "the people" (for their own good? – certainly for the good (continuance) of his reign).180 Proof

  • What happens to consciousness when we die?
    Spot on. And the Greeks proved right on many things.Apollodorus

    It's all Greek to me! :rofl:
  • What happens to consciousness when we die?
    Unless I'm missing something else, this is confused, Fool. "An electrical energy pattern" IS "a physical pattern".180 Proof

    Indeed! You're right. I've always had trouble thinking of energy (electricity being one of them) as physical. I'm told this was a recent development in physicalism. My bad and thanks for correcting me. I hope I don't repeat this mistake again.

    However, in my defense, the pattern that consciousness may be needn't be physical per se, right? It could be, for instance, a mathematical one i.e. abstract enough to, well, escape the clutches of physicalist fanatics of which there seem to be a few im this forum. Not referring to you of course.

    If consciousness is a mathematical formula (patterns in maths are formulas last I checked) then, the medium in which it's instantiated (pun unintended).

    Yes. The 'connectome' is the target.180 Proof

    Poor connectome!
    nonreductive physicalism180 Proof

    What's that?
  • The Catuskoti & Skepticism
    You might want to revisit a Daoist cliché/trope:

    Those who know don't speak. Those who speak don't know. — Laozi

    The Tower Of Babel, the objective being to keep humans out of heaven. That's what you get when you mess with Yahweh!

    Is something stalking us? Zeroing in on our position - for the kill - with the help of the sounds (language) we make?

    Radio Silence: In telecommunications, radio silence or Emissions Control (EMCON) is a status in which all fixed or mobile radio stations in an area are asked to stop transmitting for safety or security reasons. — Wikipedia

    Some predators rely mainly on sound cues to detect prey. In nocturnal predators non-visual clues are especially important. The barn owl (Tyto alba) relies on noises made by prey, and can locate prey animals with great precision. — Wikipedia

    Or is the truth so shocking (could be either too terrible to share or so good that one is overwhelmed) that we're left speechless. See vide infra:


  • Board Game Racism

    I told someone once that all every man ever wanted was for her to drop her pants. :lol:
  • What happens to consciousness when we die?
    What happens to consciousness when we die?

    What happens to consciousness when we sleep?

    In Greek mythology, Hypnos (sleep) and Thanatos (death) were twin brothers. The Greeks were onto something.
  • How Do We Measure Wisdom, or is it Easier To Talk About Foolishness?
    When it comes to measuring, roping in mathematics, it's more about making a decision than getting it right. So, wisdom maybe as slippery as an eel but we can ignore the true meaning of wisdom and simply choose some quantifiable parameters that correlate with it. This rather simple method, though likely to be inaccurate can be useful (something is better than nothing, right?).

    Some parameters that correlate with "wisdom" that seem quantifiable. Taking a page out of the Delphic Oracle,

    1. Temes Nosce (Know Thyself): Is a person, say, aware of his own weaknesses and strenghts? That would be a start.

    2. Nothing to excess: Is the person mentally balanced? Does he take care of himself physically? Weight? Addictions? Illnesses (mental/physical)?

    3. Surety brings ruin: How certain is a person of his beliefs? This particular trait, uncertainty, is a trademark of sages I'm told. Easily measurable.
  • What would you do?

    Aphantasia: Difficulty/inability to visualize voluntarily!

    A coupla interesting points that might help you,

    1. What's your opinion on the fact that you can, if you try, visualize wth your eyes open? The usual way visualizations are done, if movies are anywhere near the ballpark, is by closing the eyes, perhaps to block interference from real images on the retina that end up in the occipital lobe (visual cortex). This phenomenon maybe related to Inattentional Blindness & Conversion Disorder. Let's not forget hallucinations.

    2. The person who visualizes or generates one knows it's not a hallucination, knows it's not a real image in the eye. In other words, the one visualizing knows it's only imagination (unreal). How can the person tell? Dreams are also considered visualizations (involuntary ones) but when we're dreaming we fail to recognize that (simple) truth!

    The image of an object that's created on the retina differs, qualitatively, from the image of a visualization. They feel different and that's why you know, with a fair amount of certainty, which is which.

    That the both can be experienced simultaneously must mean...something. However, from personal experience, it's either what's on the retina or what you're visualizing but not both - the brain can handle only one of them at a time. That gums up the works for someone trying to claim that there are two brain "centers" involved, one for the eyes and the other for visualizations. I'm not sure. We do close our eyes when someone asks us to visualize though.

    Then there's the issue of image quality - if you've seen the best, regular ones just won't get your juices flowing, literally sometimes. Some people maybe complaining about a deterioration in the image quality rather than a complete failure of image formation i.e. the visualizations have become less vivid than before - you get the same feeling when you're given a low resolution photograph, disappointment and suddenly you don't want to look at photographs anymore.

    My two butcoins worth.
  • What happens to consciousness when we die?
    "I" "don't" "have" "to" "provide" "evidence". "I'm" "not" "on" "trial" "here" ☆■□《》○The Opposite

    :up: :rofl: Your honor, the defendant is unfit to stand trial.