Comments

  • arbeit macht frei
    I thought work = modern slavery where you get just enough to escape the definition of slavery. It's a jedi mindtrick.
  • libertarian free will and causation
    Free will needs a clearer definition? I could define it as having the power to do choose uninfluenced by anything one didn't choose in the first place. That's a very restrictive definition I believe and makes free will impossible. Afterall who has ever chosen what one likes/dislikes.
    Nevertheless, we can analyze, in terms of rationality, our preferences and then pick from them what is reasonable and discard what isn't. The fact that we can do that points to free will of some kind doesn't it?

    Of course not all our preferences can be so dealt with. There are some things about our personality beyond our control. Whether this is significant or not is debatable. If you ask me, I think our ability to change/add/delete our preferences indicates free will. That there are unchangeable parts to the code that makes us who we are is irrelevant because we've already proved that we can alter our personality.

    And no these alterations to who we are aren't necessarily coded beforehand because we can make choices against our preferences.

    As for causality and free will I propose a gedanken experiment. Imagine a pool table. There are balls on the table subject to causality. At the center of the table is a box with some balls inside it. The box has an opening with a valve that only allows balls to exit the box and not enter it. Now, despite balls moving, hitting in all possible combinations on the table they can't cause anything for the balls inside the box due to the walls of the box. However, the balls inside the box have access to the balls outside through the opening in it (remember there's a valve that allows exit but no entry). Our minds could be like that - protected from causality from without by the skull and other mental barriers but capable of initiating a causal chain both within and without. Free will?
  • what's the probability that humanity is stupid?
    Well, we're homo sapiens, defined as wise and we're positively smarter than the rest of the animal kingdom. Yet, our brains have made us the single biggest threat to the planet. We're, bottomline, killing ourselves and that definitely isn't a sign of intelligence is it? Or is it?

    Are we so stupid that we're killing ourselves or are we so smart that we can do such a thing?
  • Is being free the same as feeling free?
    So, I recently begun adhering to a daily schedule. At first I felt very restricted and trapped. But as time went on, I begun to felt fulfilled, happy, and "free" in a way. Like, I had no stresses and problems to face since I didn't hold off in doing them. Does being free actually make people feel free? Or are they two separate things?adamhakeemiforv

    Are you mistaking peace for freedom? Peace of mind may come from not having to worry about every small detail as would be the case in an unstructured unscedhuled life. Once we plan and have a routine there's time for all the things we ever wanted to do. That probably gives a sense of fulfillment to us but it definitely isn't freedom in the sense we can do whatever we want. Is it?
  • Divine Timelessness/Eternity and Libertarian Free WIll
    I don't think your analogy really works. Unlike physics (which can be explained with mathematical precision) libertarian free will thoughts cant be.

    I agree that it is fallacy to say that If God knows X, then necessarily X.
    However, since God only knows the actual state of affairs, and that that includes every thought and action I do, then how could I ever make those thoughts and actions otherwise or fail to happen?
    Walter Pound

    You're assuming God uses causality to know our choices. You seem to think that God knows us thoroughly and from that has preknowledge of our decisions. This reasoning is something like knowing the initial state of a physical system and then deducing its future state.

    It is a possible explanation of God's omniscience and would preclude free will for us.

    However, what if God's knowledge isn't deduction based but a type of clairvoyance for lack of a better word. He knows what we'll do BUT not by deduction but something else - a sixth sense so to speak.

    Imagine we have free will and we are in a movie doing things with complete freedom. God knows what we'll do not because he deduces our future states from knowledge of our initial states but because he has full access to the entire movie. I couldn't find a better analogy. Sorry.
  • Empathy is worthless for understanding people
    However, on the other hand, it's a fairly good indication that you shouldn't do something to somebody if you imagine they won't like it - they probably won't, it's just a good assumption to make.Judaka

    Ok.
  • Divine Timelessness/Eternity and Libertarian Free WIll
    God knows everything including what everyone will want and do at any particular time BUT this knowledge has no causal import on us. For example I can know what will happen to a billiard ball if I cue it with a certain force and at a specific angle but my knowing it doesn't cause the billiard ball's motion.
  • To be or not to be
    As many in the past have reached this conclusion more or less, it all comes down to the most simple of questions. To be or not to be?
    Some live good lives even though they know that life is ultimately pointless.
    So what keeps you alive, and why? Do you have any tips on how to get past nihilism?
    Rhasta1

    People are too busy just living to think about living. It's like the situation where you're in some crappy deal but it's too late for you to change your mind. So, you simply follow the path that lies in front of you - hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
  • Is an armed society a polite society?
    I don't understand how arming oneself helps to be be ''polite''. Is it fear of retaliation with deadly force that makes for the ''politeness''. The whole thing is premised on fear and that's not a polite society. It's a scared society. Perhaps fear of death is better than actually dying/killing.
  • Empathy is worthless for understanding people
    Good question.Judaka

    How do you act/react regarding others? In other words how do you deal with people and know how what and when to do something? Empathy? I guess in the world today empathy isn't that important as it's the rule rather than the exception to tread on people's dreams.
  • It is life itself that we can all unite against
    If something hurts the most rational thing to do is to examine it closely, like a doctor, diagnose the problem/affliction and treat it. For someone with my worldview suffering is a symptom of a faulty Weltanschauung. In a world of lemons it's impossible, ergo unreasonable, to look for anything other than lemonade. Plus life isn't always sour/bitter is it?

    Therefore, we need to teach ourselves how to increase and prolong the pleasurable and decrease and shorten the pain in our lives. This seems more reasonable than saying life itself is the disease/affliction and needs to be prevented.

    Yes there will always be people who will negate my whole point with death. Is death the final invincible foe for people like us who think life is better than nonexistence? Well, that we fear death is evidence that life is better than nonexistence is it not? Also, death is part of life, an inevitability that no one (yet) can escape. So, why waste time fretting over it? We have that between birth and death, LIFE, to appreciate and enjoy.
  • libertarian free will and causation
    How would you explain your awareness of other minds without using causation?Harry Hindu

    That, my friend, is the million dollar question. We can't answer that question but that doesn't mean free will is impossible does it?

    I've been thinking about explaining free will within a causal framework but I'm unable to do it. The problem with causation is there's always something that precedes everything in a cause-effect sense.

    How about this for possibility of free will: Our brains and thus our minds are isolated, sealed off, from the rest of the causal web. I mean, yes, we are effects of the great chain of causation that extends back to the Big Bang but once we're born our minds are put inside a cranium that prevents any external influences and thus the choices we make are ours alone. Of course our proclivities are decided beforehand by our genes which connect back to the Big Bang itself but we can and do make decisions that we don't like, which is an ability to override our constitution. Free will?
  • libertarian free will and causation
    Yes, it seems if causation is a universal fact, free will would be impossible. Free will is premised on the existence of a prime mover in the causal matrix. I don't know how that's possible from a materialist perspective.

    However, if dualism is allowed then the mind may not be causally bound. It could very well be free. Of course what of causation in the mind plane? Could it be that the mind also is subject to causality? While one can't answer that in the negative neither can we in the affirmative and that provides enough room for the possibility of free will. Do you accept?

    However, I can't disprove the possibility of causality acting on the mind. Is it that the mind and where it dwells is also subject to causality just like the physical world is? Then we'd have to look at ways of accommodating free will in a causal context.
  • Our conscious "control" over our feelings.
    Control our emotions?

    I guess there's a lot going on than meets the eye.

    Emotions are part of our personality and our experience of the world. We're described as upbeat, gloomy, jealous, indifferent, etc. and emotions give color to our experience which otherwise would be a black & white world of facts (and lies). Do we need to and also can we control our emotions?

    I guess it's the rational part of our mind that's asking this question. Afterall emotions are linked to irrational thinking. Plus emotions need to be appropriate to the situation in both type and intensity. So, it is control over our emotions the rational seek but it isn't that we want to be able to do with our emotions as we will and see fit. For example we don't want full control over our feelings in a way that we could will ourselves to feel sad when seeing a laughing baby or be happy at the sight of torture. No it isn't that. Rather we wish to modulate our emotions - their type and degree - and make the appropriate to the state of affairs.

    Can we achieve such control?

    A characteristic of our feelings is that it is reflexive. Our feelings are rather immediate reactions to something or other. It's only later that the logic is engaged. We then, upon reflection, come to realize the appropriateness or not of our reactions to things.

    Perhaps some emotions, the ones that are in response to things we've already thought upon, are appropriate and acceptable to us but there'll always be ones that are spontaneous and inappropriate. Given so, it seems it's going to be quite difficult to have even the type of control I suggested.
  • What is this error in debating logic called
    Maybe you did destroy your argument by contradicting yourself. Or maybe not
  • Total Recall - Voluntary Ignorance Paradox
    If you could remove your identity or your past how could you know that you chose to do that in the past if that past and that choice could potentially be faked?pbxman
    X
    You can't. Any possibility of memory being modified for a person would make it impossible for the person to know anything about him/herself. Not even an external reference point, like another person, can do anything about it since the person whose memory's been modified would have to rely on his memory which is, well, no longer reliable.
  • Buddhism to Change the World
    Isn't Buddhism just a political too to indoctrinate people to make them submissive and willing to be exploited with the existential promise to be saved in the next life? What's the psychological impact of reincarnation, karma and only looking trying to fix things only from the inside?pbxman

    For a Buddhist there are 3 things that are important

    1. The law of Karma which is basically ''what goes around comes around''

    2. Samsara, the universe in which you're born and live under the circumstances decided by 1 above

    3. Nirvana, an awakened state which frees you from 1 and thus 2.


    To answer your question:

    Our circumstances (poverty, riches, oppressed, power, etc) are decided by Karma - our actions in our past lives. Nothing can be done about it and we only have ourselves to blame. What should we do? Acceptance is said to be a very important step in psychology. We then have nirvana - the great escape from all this suffering and pain. We can only achieve it through change within as our external circumstances are not ours to control/change, at least not in a Karmic sense.
  • On Happiness
    I've always been more than a little confused about happiness. As a teenager the acquiring of and the comprehension of knowledge were things that made me happy. I was better at the former than the latter although I wished it was the reverse. Anyway, it doesn't take long to discover that all knowledge isn't always joy-inducing - there are sad facts like sickness and death to name a few. How am I ever going to achieve happiness if the very thing I enjoy also becomes a source of melancholy?

    Are you in a similar situation?
  • Empathy is worthless for understanding people
    I don't see the things you've listed as evidence of empathy being successful at developing understanding.Judaka

    What sort of evidence would convince you?
  • Empathy is worthless for understanding people
    don't think I'm being unreasonable by suggesting that such a complicated topic shouldn't be tackled by the imagination of an individual who knows nothing about it and hasn't experienced it. That should be the bare minimum, that you at least know a little bit about it and you have some experience with people who experience ugliness.Judaka

    Well, I said you're right but why do we have things like etiquette, manners, good, evil? Their existence point to a shared belief vis-a-vis our feelings. I agree manners may differ among cultures and this maybe something relevant to your assertion. However, one thing all this points to is our ability to virtually experience (you said imagination) another person's comfort zone or no-go area. This is empathy at work, don't you think?
  • Empathy is worthless for understanding people
    I understand what you're saying but you're asking for perfection. Nothing is perfect. All I'm saying is empathy works for most of us because we are similar in many respects especially those things which bear on the matter e.g. happiness and pain. You may not appreciate this generalization but it's being done all the time. That of course doesn't prove anything but wouldn't a tool so ineffectual as you describe it have been discarded a long time ago. It works so it's still in use.
  • Empathy is worthless for understanding people
    I agree that there are many differences between people but are they enough/more than required for empathy to lose its value? We have similarities too don't we? We all feel pain and joy for very similar reasons. If we didn't all human activity would be different e.g. we could all have been happy for very different reasons. Yet here we are, ALL of us trying to achieve fame, money, social acceptance, etc. and avoiding their contraries. In other words if we behave in similar ways doesn't that imply we feel and think in similar ways. To me, this suggests that we can be reasonably correct about other people's feelings through our own feelings if put in their situation - this is empathy.
  • Is reality a dream?
    ahaa here's the BIG MISTAKE. How do you know that wake up from a dream?what makes you sure that you didn't wake from a dream to enter another dream?..in night time you dream 3-4 dreams at least. And each time you get tricked that it's "reality " but it turns out it's a dream. Now whats happening right now is just another dream . You can't tell the difference..you know why? Because THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. Otherwise you could have been able to tell that it's a dream from it's very beginning. Think of an infinite dream..you will live for eternity inside that dream without knowing it's dream. Now that's what reality is. Infinite dream which you will never wake up from but to enter another one.Nobody

    :lol:

    You have a point. We can't distinguish dream from reality. So, why not call it reality then and do away with the description ''dream''? You'll, of course, refuse because the thrust of your post is to convince us that we could be dreaming and all this we experience isn't real.

    Good observation but what's the point of such a claim? If this is a dream let it be. I'll play along and cross bridges when I get to them.
  • Is reality a dream?
    What is your point? Dreams are real and reality is a dream isn't it?

    Well, I wake up from my dreams but I haven't heard of anyone wake up from this reality of ours.

    Please clarify your claim.
  • Is reality a dream?
    I guess someone who's living life unaware of its facts can be said of as dreaming. For instance a naive child who doesn't know how the cookies crumble is in a dream world. A philosopher, on the other hand, who is cognizant of truths, their relations, their complexities can be considered awake.

    Perhaps you mean that not even philosophers are awake and that reality itself is an illusion, like a dream. If you do then may I ask what follows from it that is/maybe important? Thanks.
  • Counterexemple to Hume's Law?
    I consider the fallacy active only when it attempts to maintain a status quo, as in my example of killing being natural behavior. Why? Because morality is exactly about the opposite - what the world ought to be which is NOT the way the world is.

    However, morality must be grounded in something i.e. it has a basis from where our oughts originate. Isn't our desire for happiness and avoidance of suffering such a foundation? It is and from it all our oughts follow.
  • Counterexemple to Hume's Law?
    The is-ought problem seems to be a claim that the normative can't be deduced from the descriptive. The mistake is elucidated by claims such as:

    Killing is a natural behavior. Therefore, we ought to kill.

    However, the is-ought problem is not all encompassing error in my opinion. For example the following reasoning from an is to an ought isn't fallacious:

    We like to be happy and not suffer. Therefore, we ought to make people happy and not let them suffer
  • Sign conversation example (argued to be greater than word)
    I could whistle with you in syncronization as minor-conversational-tension rises, and whistle louder at the tender points, such as, when it is deemed that I've been whistling too much - I whistle a little quieter - and in that moment I've 'talked' through whistle, I've rationalized with the conversation, converged, to the level of what whistling is agreeable.

    I could then walk with you, whistling, and as we pass a bird I whistle a little louder; then you've taken it as a pointer (when I whistled loud, I was clearly on about the birds in close vicinity).

    This spur of the moment sign has much potential, you and I are not automatically stupid. We can grasp what others mean through the simplest stimuli.

    If we substitute whistling for every tone and sound we can make, or movement, or special effect; just this one example sheds light onto the greater picture where there is room for improvement.
    kill jepetto

    I've heard of whistling languages but they such languages, if you can call it such, have a very limited range. Proper language like the one we're using in having this conversation is more versatile. It's not perfect, I agree, but it's far better than whistling I'm sure.
  • Is the answer to any question binary
    There is no black and whiteAadee

    I agree but of the many colors that are available, each can be only either affirmed or denied.
  • Is Obedience Irrational?
    Obedience, without any qualification, is bad because in this case we've surrendered rationality to an authority. Nevertheless there are people/circumstances who/where obedience plays an important role. Children of learning can/do safely take the words of their parents and teachers as the truth.

    The logical form of obedience is when we've established the credibility/expertise of an authority.
  • Is Democracy an illusion?
    Given human nature, our lust/weakness for wealth and power, any form of government, no matter how well-thought, is going to be just another illusion.

    Perhaps it's not a choice between something real and an illusion but one between two/more illusions. Which dream of good governance would you prefer?
  • Is the answer to any question binary
    While a question may have many answers, each answer can be paired with its contradiction.
  • Being Unreasonable
    Have we not met? :wink:S

    :lol:
  • Idealist Logic
    Because it leads to rocks which suddenly cease to exist the very nanosecond that we all would. Because it can't plausibly explain the world, because it can't explain the world before and after we existed. Did rocks and everything else like them just suddenly spring into existence the very nanosecond that we did?

    Do you find that convincing? Or, like me, do you find it way more convincing that that there's something wrong with the premises which lead us here?
    S

    I see idealism has a lot to explain and it's similar to the situation where a person tells one lie and has to invent many other lies to make the first lie believable. In the end the story is just one big lie.

    However, to be fair, I'd be careful with absurdity because it's, with the exception of a logical contradiction, subjective and so may vary with people. The topic we're discussing itself is an open question. It seems reasonable, therefore, to be agnostic about it while of course choosing one that one likes/prefers.
  • Sign conversation example (argued to be greater than word)
    No. I assure you it's not; but you must first try this process I have enveloped.

    there is that spur of the moment jolt of energy that comes with the sign ability of marking, that you can synchronize with.

    i would go on to say, I do this process on R6 with that sign set in a multiplayer process, and I have to first build tension. I have had others join in I know it works, and gets hyper; where what you are visualizing is as deep as feelings or mind.
    kill jepetto

    To be frank language is symbolic but one that is capable of making fine distinctions and expressing the many shades of meaning a thing can have. What other type of symbolic communication are you talking about. Do you mean something like ♡ = love. Yes the symbol for love exists but it would be useful only if we know what love is and we don't, not exactly at least.
  • Sign conversation example (argued to be greater than word)
    Abstract thought would be impossible with just object signs.
  • Being Unreasonable
    I don't know if I'm right/wrong but no one wants to be unreasonable. People prefer to be level-headed implying unreasonableness is accidental and not deliberate. In my court that means cut people some slack.

    Of course there are always some who simply want to win an exchange with bad arguments. We should remember, in such cases, the ad hominem fallacy - just because someone is being unreasonable doesn't mean his claim is false.

    An ''advantage'' of talking to unreasonable people is they provide opportunity for us to sharpen our thinking skills.

    Anyway, is anyone that good a philosopher to find others unreasonable and him/herself perfectly rational?
  • Is anyone "better" than anyone?
    I agree these are the facts we base our morality on. But I don't see how to get past morality (how we ought to live) as subjective.ZhouBoTong

    What do we mean by ''we ought to do x''? It's a directive to follow a certain course of action and it needs a justification. I can't simply say ''we ought not steal'' or ''we ought to give money to the poor''. People will ask ''why?'' That query, the ''why?'', is another way of asking whether the basis of a moral injunction is objective or not. I guess I'm saying that the objectivity of an ought is simply the objectivity of its basis and that I've stated is the undeniable fact of suffering-joy.

    If our morality is objective, why does it apply to animals far differently than it applies to humans? Is it a fact that animals are inferior to humans?ZhouBoTong

    The way we treat animals is changing. There are many animal protection organizations now than in the past. We have laws against mistreatment of animals. I agree that the present situation is not what ought to be BUT we understand the trend and we can see the destination - humane treatment of animals
  • Idealist Logic
    If the alternative to my position which you describe above logically leads to consequences which are far more absurd, which it does, then you should reject or at least revise the premise or premises which lead there.S

    The only objective absurdity I can think of is a logical contradiction and neither realism nor idealism have any contradictions.

    How is idealism more absurd than realism?