• Argument for deterministic free will
    It's not about the word "free"! Is this all that you got from my whole comment?Alkis Piskas

    I think I'm the one you mean to be speaking to lol.

    I read your comment and was going to respond, but never got around to it. Allow me to address your more detailed points now.

    1) What world is this? Physical, human, both? Because it's one thing talking about deterministic laws in Physics (the physical world) and another thing talking about deterministic actions in humans.Alkis Piskas

    This world can be likened to something of a formal system, which I liken to our universe. This is contentious; although I don't go so far as to say the universe is equivalent to the models that describe it (a.k.a. the math), I do think, when looking at the fundamental nature of the world, we can strip away most of the material things we usually attribute to making up reality. For example, we often think of the world being comprised of physical "stuff" interacting: space, time, particles, energy, matter, etc. all related and obeying certain laws. However, I would say none of these features of the world, despite their supposed indispensability, are necessary in any possible world. The only thing that is necessary are that there are laws that determine how things work. It's like mathematics in the sense that you could create your own internally consistent system, as long as everything (its objects and rules of inference and such) is precisely defined. So the answer to your question is that this world is not physical in the sense that its made up of material in our world, merely that it is a well-defined and self-consistent system.

    2) Where or how does free will --which is the main subkect here-- come in here? Can the physical world have free will? Of course not. So it leaves us with human free will.Alkis Piskas

    Free will comes in because even this sort of hypothetical world seems deterministic, because everything obeys the laws, and if things obey laws (like a cellular automata for example), there doesn't seem to be room for anything in the world to have a say in the matter. You say the physical world of course doesn't have free will. This is what I'm trying to ascertain. The reason I bring up this hypothetical world in the first place is because I think such a world can exist, and it would be a world in which agents (choice making entities) would be fundamental (like an axiom) to the world. Because the difficulty it seems for free will in our world is that pre-determined causes have their effects on us, so we're just a domino in the chain. But if there was a possible world in which agents are the ones that push the dominos, we would at least be able to think of some possible world in which free will could exist, while still obeying laws, hence free will compatible with determinism. The next step would be to figure out if it's possible to somehow map this possible reality onto our own, to see if the agents we take as axiomatic in the possible world can emerge in the actual world. I don't know if I can, but it doesn't seem impossible to me, so I'm trying to explore it.

    3) What (kind of) laws/rules/regulations are these?Alkis Piskas

    I kind of answered this earlier, but these laws are basically the rules of the game. They are the well-defined, governing, unchanging laws (like the laws of physics) that comprise reality, that make a world predictable and not just meaningless chaos.

    4) Don't you think that at least one example is needed?Alkis Piskas

    I mentioned cellular automata before, so let's talk about Conway's Game of Life. Because this is an example of a possible world: it is entirely composed of well-defined rules that govern the cells, their states, and determine the evolution of the game. What I wish to do is imagine a world like this, except that somehow agency is built in, so that we can try to map such a world onto our own.

    As I've been thinking a lot about this, I keep having new ideas, new questions, and new potential answers. Unfortunately, when communicating this I don't have the proper knowledge or vocabulary to accurately get my point across (I've never been educated on formal systems, well, formally). So apologies for being confusing, but I would like to hear your input if you better understand my position.
  • Argument for deterministic free will
    I think I agree with you that there isn't really a difference between "will" and "free will". So just understand that I'm really just using the term "free will" because it's what most people use to denote this idea of one making choices not determined by anything else, like a demon or prior external causes.

    I also tend to agree that an indeterministic selection of choice based on randomness wouldn't be desirable; it runs into the same problems as determinism, that being the choice isn't yours. So to me, to salvage our idea of free will, it must be the case that either: 1) we are capable of making our own choices despite being determined by prior causes, or 2) our choices are indeterminant in the sense that they are not determined by prior causes, but the mechanism by which the choice is selected is not random chance. For what it's worth, btw, I don't think there must be a hidden variable of sorts in quantum mechanics, I think God may genuinely play dice with the universe, pure randomness. I don't see why not.

    For the record, as a relationalist, I think I qualify as a non-determinist since multiple different states can claim the same prior state.noAxioms

    Isn't this what I asked when I talked about events with multiple outcomes? In other words, causes that have multiple potential effects?
  • Argument for deterministic free will
    I hate to keep derailing the conversation with new points but there was another observation that I had that I want to ask about: Is it not possible for an event to have multiple possible outcomes, particularly in our reality? Because obviously we could consider probabilistic events, so I guess I ask if its possible for events in reality to be truly probabilistic? If not, why not? And if it is possible for an event to have multiple possible outcomes, must it necessarily be random? Im just trying to test our understanding of causality and determinism to see if perhaps there is a misunderstanding we have that precludes free will (again, the ability to choose an action from multiple possibilities).
  • Argument for deterministic free will
    That's why it is nonsense to discuss about freedom in any philosophy that wants to be a system, a systematic philosophy.
    Freedom is a psichological, emotional, human need, so it is good for non systematic philosophies, like nihilism, or postmodernism. In systematic philosophies it just creates contradictions.
    Angelo Cannata

    Isn't every philosophy that wants to speak about the nature of the world systematic? Because nature/reality is systematic? Another way of saying it is, is there a possible world that is not systematic? And if not, then isn't freedom simply not possible and intelligible? Just curious of your view.
  • Argument for deterministic free will
    Have we lost Jerry?noAxioms

    Just busy, and trying to figure out how to respond to the points being made lol. I mean, I feel like most of our disagreements are kind of semantic, we both agree (I think) that we have the power to choose from alternate options, and so possess free will, despite the fact that classical mechanics appears deterministic. I guess I just don't understand by what means you personally think the decision-making process realizes itself.
  • Argument for deterministic free will
    I'll be 100% honest, and maybe it's just because I'm quite tired, but I'm having difficulty extracting the meaning of the definitions you gave in your first post. I think I understand something though: "But more people define free will as making choices that are not a function of physical state at all". I would disagree with this, because I am arguing that the free will I'm talking about—which is generally the ability to "do different", make choices that can alter your future—is dependent on prior physical state, as there has to be some input from the external world that may trigger an internal thought or decision.

    I guess my argument is that, whether it's a deterministic or indeterministic process, free will (the ability to choose a path from multiple outcomes) is possible despite the external macro world (i.e. not the quantum realm in which things seem indeterministic) being deterministic. And this is not saying that the freedom to choose is because or related to the indeterminacy in quantum systems. So to be clear, these examples of indeterminacy you're bringing up in terms of quantum phenomena I am not considering completely relevant, but do illuminate an example of possible indeterminant systems.

    Let me ask you directly: given that the macro-scale universe is causally determined, do you think it's possible to still have the ability to choose different paths (free will)? Is the quantum phenomena involved in your assessment?
  • Argument for deterministic free will
    Sorry for not responding to anyone in particular or addressing specific points, but I think my comment is relevant to each of your responses in some way.
  • Argument for deterministic free will
    Let me highlight one of the questions I had asked initially: What would a non-determinant world look like? I could theoretically imagine a world where there aren't any regulatory rules that govern how things behave, but such a world would seem to be chaos. To me, it feels like the logical principle of explosion; if a single rule can be broken, anything is possible. So a world—at least a reasonable one—must have such unbreakable, unchanging rules. But then, does that inherently imply determinism? Or can there still be an indeterminant world with unbreakable, unchanging rules?
  • Argument for deterministic free will
    So do you say we do have free will, or that free will does exist in our world? What do you mean when you say free will? Because you say a free will world looks like ours, but also seem to imply that decision is an illusion.
  • Argument for deterministic free will
    I sent that by accident, I didn't finish. But I think I got the point across thankfully. Have I made a mistake in my thinking somewhere? Please let me know.
  • Considering an alternative foundation for morality (apart from pain v. pleasure)
    I'm interested in what you have to say, but you don't seem to be interested in sharing, as evidenced by your refusal to clarify further than your, rather confusing, phrase, "optimization of common agency via reduction of individual harms". I interpreted "optimization of common agency" as "promoting good will" and "reduction of individual harms" as, um, "reducing harm". Maybe I don't understand English well enough to parse your sentence, or maybe you don't understand English well enough to translate your thoughts into digestible sentences.
  • Considering an alternative foundation for morality (apart from pain v. pleasure)
    What the heck is 'true character'? How are good deeds designated true or false? Adversity and harmto whom is required to prompt those good deeds?Vera Mont

    What I speak of (and in general, the principal of the ethics I'm outlining here) can be exemplified by a quote from "A Game of Thrones":
    Bran thought about it. ‘Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?’ / ‘That is the only time a man can be brave,’ his father told him.
    Given the knowledge that a particular action is good, I believe that one who can do the action without deliberation may be acting well, but not virtuously, whereas one who must deliberate on the action (because of qualms or circumstances that make the action undesirable) is acting virtuously. To return to your questions, this would be a display of stronger "character", because the actor must overcome the harm/adversity to do the right thing. Again, assuming we already have an idea of what the right thing is to do; I don't at the moment have a good answer for where that knowledge comes from.

    Let's all become yogis - yes, even the tiny tots with fetal alcohol syndrome! There is nothing virtuous in becoming tough; that's a survival strategy, not a moral precept.Vera Mont

    I don't understand the cynicism, your aversion to the concept of resiliency. Is it not better to confront a problem despite discomfort rather than avoid the problem entirely?

    It means living as near as possible to our potential of accomplishment, freedom, health, fulfillment and happiness as we can, in our given environment and era.Vera Mont

    I feel compelled to agree with this generally, because it seems to align with my ultimate goal for the individual, which is, again, to become the best person one can be, to act in accordance with one's own values, despite perhaps feeling discomfort or an unwillingness to do the right thing. I don't know Ayn Rand, and I don't think I'm saying people's values are unique, only that, whatever values one has, they should be followed with conviction. Additionally, I do believe that the average, rational person does care about the well-being of others, and so will do good and should do good unto them because of that conviction.
  • Considering an alternative foundation for morality (apart from pain v. pleasure)
    As for why flourishing "ought" to "be the goal"? That's as silly as asking why health-fitness ought to be the goal of medicine or why sustainability ought to be the goal of social ecology.180 Proof

    Pretty much my whole point is to reject this claim. First of all, "flourishing" is too vague. What do you mean by it? Flourishing for society? Flourishing for the individual? Does flourishing mean a life without harm, or building resiliency towards harm? Does it mean to feel happiness, or simply to survive as long as possible? It simply isn't as clear-cut as you say, like most things in philosophy, I might add. Saying it's silly is rather silly and dismissive in and of itself. Also:

    And "the goal" of virtue ethics is flourishing180 Proof

    As an example, to me, virtue ethics is about the individual "flourishing" where flourishing means to act in accordance with one's own values. This has much different implications from the flourishing you seem to be proposing, which is to make the human species as a whole "flourish", in terms of reducing harm and promoting good will towards others. Even if ultimately I agree that my virtue-based moral framework does result in a similar society, the motivation is much different, and may inform our evaluations of actions much differently.
  • Considering an alternative foundation for morality (apart from pain v. pleasure)
    Rape and murder, for example, can apparently always be justified on consequentialist systems in one way or another.Leontiskos

    Probably a good reason why I now prefer more virtue-based ethics than consequentialism. While context is pretty much always required when evaluating whether a particular action is just, the idea of "This is bad, unless..." just sounds like making ad hoc excuses for a bad action.
  • Considering an alternative foundation for morality (apart from pain v. pleasure)
    Let's try taking this one at a time.

    Human flourishing (i.e. optimization of common agency via reduction of individual harms¹).180 Proof

    I'll just go ahead and ask, why ought this be the goal? You say the grounding for it is, from what I understand, supporting our own survival and acting to minimize the inherent negatives of our being. But I argue, as I think I stated in my original post, that minimizing harm is not necessarily a good thing. I could argue, and shall, that the true character of a person, and truly good deeds occur only when faced with adversity and harm. To minimize suffering is analogous to a child never leaving their room for fear of danger from the outside world. Rather than minimize suffering, we ought learn how to best equip ourselves to become resilient to harm.

    The other aspect is why human flourishing for the species as a whole is desirable. Personally, I never really cared about the survival of the species as a whole. I did care for being good to our fellow man, but should we because being good to others is good in and of itself, or do we do good simply as a means for good to be imparted on us?

    To clarify: I don't really care about the actual origins of our moral system. I care about what we ought to do now and how we can justify that. The reason I say "We are no longer the same agents we were a hundred thousand years ago" is because we have different, perhaps more evolved ideas of morality. That's shown by how I can undermine the usual story of the origins of morality by questioning those values and proposing alternatives.
  • Considering an alternative foundation for morality (apart from pain v. pleasure)
    Still, you're speaking about the way morals formed as part of our evolution, I'm more concerned with moral systems as they take place now. By foundation, I don't mean the "beginning" like where our morals came from, rather what grounds our current sense of right and wrong? Although we may have behaved on instinct to form the interactions that are now ingrained in us, why ought we now value kinship and survival? We are no longer the same agents we were a hundred thousand years ago.
  • Considering an alternative foundation for morality (apart from pain v. pleasure)
    No, only help society if one feels the urge.jgill

    Extend this further, if you will. Are we ever obligated to help by doing a good deed, or only when we feel the urge?

    It's to act in accordance with our authentic selves, from our hearts if you will. That requires that we have faith in your our spontaneous action. In my understanding, the foundation of all this is our nature as social animals with family feeling, community feeling, and empathy. All "rational" moral systems are intellectual and ideological overlays we use to justify our actions after the fact.T Clark

    I'm pretty sure acting in accordance with ourselves is the point I was making. But as an objection I brought up myself, when we consider these natures of "community feeling", would you say humans intrinsically (in general) have a compulsion to cooperate with and help others, or might you say cooperating with others is simply a means to our own end, as implied?
  • Considering an alternative foundation for morality (apart from pain v. pleasure)
    This sounds like a fine assessment of the fact of the matter, but this doesn't address the foundations for the moral system. For example, are you saying this from an individualistic perspective, where what matters is one's own survival, and the rest of the group is just a means to that end? Or do we intrinsically value other members of our group? Also, why is survival, either as a group or an individual, desirable?
  • "What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer."
    I'm not sure I'm versed well enough to speak on these conceptual schemes of Davidson. I'm not sure what Banno means here by:

    The alien conceptual scheme can only be recognised as a conceptual scheme if there is an interpretation for in in our conceptual scheme.Banno

    I'm not entirely sure if it is the case that conceptual schemes must be interpretable between them, other than through their construction of reality.
  • Might I be God?
    Whereas if I create the stone myself, then although I will have given up my omnipotence, I will have some so by exercising one of my powers.Bartricks

    So then it seems an omnipotent being can cause themselves to lose their omnipotence, and that doesn't contradict their nature of being omnipotent? In which case, an omnipotent being need not necessarily always be omnipotent? Perhaps you're saying that an omnipotent being has the potential to do anything, but need not actually do it for they would lose their omnipotence? It's all very confusing, so I'd like to go back to basics.

    What is an omnipotent being? I think a useful definition would be a being that can make anything possible, actual. That is to say, an omnipotent being can't make a square circle, but could mold a unicorn into reality, perhaps. Some additional properties I'd think such a being would have—in virtue of it being "a being"—are identity (has a sense of self), persistence (that self doesn't go away or lose its identity), and will (the ability to conceive and make changes to reality).

    Under this conception, I'd probably say an omnipotent being couldn't make a boulder that they couldn't lift, because that would be an impossible state of affairs. However, the being would still be omnipotent, because the thing it couldn't do was impossible, and couldn't become actual. Also, it seems to me under this definition there could be any number of omnipotent beings, simply because any contradictions that would arise don't entail something they couldn't do, but an impossibility that can't be made actual.

    This is all under my definition of course. I don't know how you understand omnipotence. How would you describe it, and however you do, I'd like to refer you back to my initial questions of whether an omnipotent being has to always be omnipotent or if they can be omnipotent without actual doing actions that make them lose their omnipotence.
  • Might I be God?
    I think you missed my point, not that it was entirely clear. I mean to claim that there are paradoxes that arise in a single omnipotent being, so if those can't be resolved, what does it matter that there are paradoxes with two? But also, if those paradoxes can be resolved, what makes them resolvable in a way we might not resolve the paradoxes of two.

    For example, the boulder. If the omnipotent being can make a boulder he couldn't lift, surely that means there's something he can't do, i.e. lift the Boulder. I'm not claiming that it's unresolvable, just that if it is, I'm sure two omnipotent beings can be resolved similarly.
  • Might I be God?
    What paradox arises from two omnipotent beings existing that doesn't with just one? For example, how do you personally justify the "Can God make a boulder that he can't lift?" or whatever?
  • Might I be God?
    Uniqueness follows from omnipotence - you can't have more than one omnipotent person.Bartricks

    It's not clear to me why this is the case. Are you viewing it like there are two omnipotent beings having an arm wrestle and one of them has to win?
  • "What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer."
    Surely there are no falsehoods without a conscious entity to make them. I.e. truth is the default state of the universe, those truths might be unrevealed without a conscious entity to discern them but they are still there, simply as properties of the universe.TheVeryIdea

    I think there's a small but major difference between our claims.

    It's correct to say that there are no falsehoods without conscious entities, but that also holds for truths. "Truth", as I argue, is completely observer-dependent. It's incorrect to say "truth is the default state of the universe" because without observers, there is no truth. Rather, existence is the default state of the universe, and whether or not the models we construct correspond to that reality determines truth value.

    However, there's an elephant in the room with this argument that brought up, which is what exactly does it mean for the model to "correspond" with reality? As Pie says:

    Talk of mental models and representation in general seems to want to put two things together side by side, but it seems that only the thing on our side is intelligible. How does 'the sky is blue' match anything ?Pie

    My solution to this, and also to answer Pie's general concern of how truth claims seem redundant, is to say that truth doesn't describe reality per se, but instead are constructible within reality. Consider the proposition "the sky is blue". I think Pie would say that our idea that the sky is blue would be true if, in reality, the sky is blue. This is a correspondence of some sort between our mental model and reality, but it isn't clear why the model must be treated separately from the reality; it seems to be redundant.

    However, I propose a radical shift in perspective. That is to say, in reality, there is no sky, and there is no blue. The objects we commonly consider like the sky and the color blue are examples of ways we, as observers, carve reality. But these slices we carve aren't necessary, and may not be true in every sense. For example, consider a table viewed from the perspective of an alien species. An alien species isn't necessarily humanoid, nor has the etiquette to dine on such a surface. To most species, a table would prove rather useless. So I ask, would an alien species even consider the concept of a table? Couldn't they go about their lives, their existence even, across generations, and never want or need to build a table? I think so. So, although we may live in the same reality, one where we build and see tables, an alien, even if they saw a person using a table, I argue, wouldn't carve a table into their reality.

    I'd argue we can expand this principle to include almost all human conceptions, and we could also apply it to ourselves to say that there could be ways of viewing reality that we would never even think of. And in this world of arbitrary world-slicing, it seems clear that the objects we hold to be "real" aren't necessarily real to all observers. If something isn't real to all observers, how could it be part of reality?

    So now we have a conundrum, which is to say we want a statement like "the sky is blue" to be true, because it seems evidently so, but there is no real sky or real blue. If our mental model doesn't correspond to reality, how can such a statement be true? It's because while I do claim our slices of reality aren't reality proper, they are still constructible from the reality that is there. In fact, I'll cut this short and just get to the thesis: Truth isn't what is real, but rather, what observers can construct from what is real. "The sky is blue" isn't true because the sky is blue in reality, because there is no real sky to be blue, but because we can construct something called the sky from observation and determine its blueness again through observation and other reasoning faculties.

    Now, there are further ideas to be discussed, such as what reality really is, if our world-slicing mechanism can't determine real things, or how a world without observers is different from just an "ineffable clump", but that's enough words for one post I'd say.

    (In hindsight, I may have been repetitive on a couple points and not explained thoroughly why certain things are true, but I'll let others point out what they are.)
  • Your Absolute Truths
    The philosophy I've learned about which I think deals with these sorts of ideas is structural realism, more specifically ontic structural realism. James Ladyman is the particular figure I know that talks about it (he wrote the SEP entry on structural realism). Can't elaborate too much on it now (at work) but just researching those things should put you down a good rabbit hole.
  • "What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer."
    Skeptics will often say things like they want to believe as many truth things and as few false things as possible.Tom Storm

    Isn't that just a Dillahunty saying? Although I suppose the sentiment is typical of skeptics.
  • "What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer."
    How can I have true beliefs ?Pie

    For some reason this question contextualizes truth better for me. When we say things like "I want to know what's true", I feel like we mistakenly treat truth as if it's something out there that we can attain. When really, all that's out there is reality, what is, and when we seek truth, we're simply looking for patterns existing in reality. What we can say of truth though, is when it applies to our mind. For example, beliefs can be true or false, like the belief that "the sky is blue", and their truth value is dependent upon whether the content of the belief is an actual pattern in reality. If I believe the sky is blue, and the sky really is blue, then my belief is true, but under my understanding, that the sky is blue isn't really a truth in and of itself. It simply is.

    I guess this is just a roundabout way of accepting the correspondence theory of truth, but I think the key idea is that truth isn't a fundamental "thing", like an abstract object that we discover. It simply describes whether our mental models correctly describe reality.
  • Shamanism is the root of all spiritual, religious and philosophical systems
    Am I out of the loop? Because I don't know what shamanism is and nobody seems to have bothered to explain what it is in a discussion about whether or not it's the root of all (or many) things.

    From the very cursory things I looked up, it's described as a religious practice originating in Europe in which there are shamans that can be claimed to have attained transcendent powers. Can't really extrapolate from that how it would be the root of all things. I guess it would be helpful if you could give us your perspective on what Shamanism is and how its practiced.
  • "What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer."
    My first thoughts on the matter of truth is that truth seems to be a human construction. All there really is is reality, things happening and existing. It is when you introduce a human or some sort of human-like observer that we start carving up the world, identifying real things that happen (truth?) and things that don't (falsehoods?). Consider this example: is it true that bachelor's are unmarried? It seems the answer is yes, by definition, but do bachelors even exist in the first place? I might take a radical stance (if it is one) and say bachelors only exist insofar as there are observers of reality that identify a pattern compatible with the bachelor definition. But if the existence of a bachelor is dependent on how the observer carves reality, then it is only true that they are unmarried given that context.

    I'm not sure if this is compatible with correspondence or redundancy theory, but I don't think truth is as absolute as most people think, I guess.
  • Trouble with Impositions
    The gamete has to do what is necessary to resist entropic decay, so does the person. Nothing has changed there.Isaac

    Except a gamete isn't a living, conscious thing with emotions that can feel pain? It's not until we choose to make it a baby that it does so?
  • Your Absolute Truths
    Try harder! Either you're lazy or I'm a fool! :snicker:Agent Smith

    That's not a dichotomy. But I suppose you think I'm saying humans are so exceptional that there can't be a natural explanation for it? Not quite, I'm happy to say that the human mind is a natural, even material thing. However, I do admit the quote-on-quote power of the mind does raise questions about our purpose and why we're here and such. I do consider supernatural explanations to those sorts of questions in a very particular sense.

    So maybe you're right.
  • Your Absolute Truths
    Divine fallacy.Agent Smith

    Don't know how that relates to be honest.
  • Trouble with Impositions
    I think a point that should be discussed more is the quality of life itself, as that is what some of these arguments are hinging on. I believe did concede that if life were perfect and unhappiness and such feelings were non-existent, then there would be no problem with procreating. But there is no such thing, and the introduction of unpleasantries at all makes life undesirable, while argues that the positives can outweigh the goods, and that substantiates life.

    On this front, there are many arguments in favor of life as undesirable. The one I'd put forward is that life seems to be at odds with our desires. At it's simplest, we desire happiness, health, etc., but the nature of life is survival, avoiding harm and death and such things. Even in the things we enjoy, we must endure until we reach the satisfaction. Perhaps this is a little personal, but for me, that would be cooking. I'd love to enjoy a good meal, but I'm a tad lazy and don't really enjoy the process of preparing food. It's not pain or suffering per se, but an undesirable situation I must endure.

    Of course, I would agree that with the good comes the bad, and the bad helps exemplify the good. However, the point is not whether or not the good outweighs the bad, at least not with this particular argument, but rather that the good has to outweigh the bad in the first place. And not only that, but the bad has to constantly be outweighed, that it's a fact of life that we have to fight for life. Should we bring people into being, forcing them to fight that fight?

    Now, this isn't the best argument. I anticipate and could formulate my own argument as to why this fight for life could actually be a good, a valiant thing, but I'll leave it there as a starting point.
  • Your Absolute Truths
    I was skeptical about your statement at first, but I have to agree that there's something exceptional about human consciousness. Although I'm not sure if we can "overcome anything", I do think it's possible that our mind can understand anything. Not necessarily that we can know or experience anything (like what it feels like to use echolocation), but it could be the case that our mind has achieved some form of observational power that allows an almost transcendent knowledge.

    I don't know how to explain it, really. Suffice to say I don't agree with arguments that the human mind is limited, such that it could (even in theory) never answer answerable questions or never solve solvable problems.
  • Your Absolute Truths
    I'm not sure if I'm thinking of "in common" in the same way. Take the True/False relation example again. You could say that they don't have anything "in common", considering they don't have any properties other than one simply not being the other. I think a problem I'm running into thinking about this is trying to use examples of things we know/experience, but they are so ingrained in our reality its hard to isolate them. For example, I'm trying to imagine a variety of things in a void, like a red cube and blue sphere, but such an idea presupposes the ideas of color, shape, and space, which themselves have their own sort of internal relations. In the end, I guess all I can really say is the least common thing all things have is they exist, meaning they take part in some relation.

    Hard to talk about such abstract and foundational things, it's as if we don't have the proper language to describe it
  • Antinatalism Arguments
    Just a random related question: approximately what percent of people in this forum are onboard with antinatalism or related sentiments? It seems like most are against it, although kind of convinced me long ago that it makes perfect sense, even though it's not something I'd actually practice, which must mean I'm a monster. I guess I'm just surprised not as many others were convinced as well.
  • Doing away with absolute indiscerniblity and identity
    Can't say I understand everything being said here. I'm personally a fan of the Identity of Indiscernibles and PSR. I've never really seen how Maxwell's Balls (the sphere problem you mentioned) disproves it. Perhaps or someone could restate or reformulate the argument/problem of this thread in more succinct terms?

    I will say one thing though; when it comes to identity, I strongly feel in many of these scenarios we're talking about an artificial identity that we as humans project onto things. For example, that a statue is the same statue with an arm missing isn't making any real claim about reality, it's just something our minds construct and perceive. Same thing with things existing over time. That's not to say that the problems of identity or solved or anything, there's still plenty of interesting ground to cover, whether or not it's making claims about reality.
  • Your Absolute Truths
    Wow that was mind-fucking my friend I have to admit! Apologies accepted.hahahhdimosthenis9

    I think this is one of those cases where a comma would be handy. Although I think slightly differently about these "things" and "relations", which goes back to me claiming relations to be more fundamental than things.

    I am equating a relation to a transfer of information (an interaction - a change/deviation from the ground state/behaviour/nature/properties/form of an entity/particular/object/thing/individual due to an external effect*)Daniel

    In my reasoning, a relation isn't any sort of change, it's a description of existence. Relations are the rules by which "things" are produced. The simplest relation is a pure binary relation, in which the relation is simply that the relata are different—i.e. relata A is not relata B, and relata B is not relata A. This may seem silly, but I think it's the grounding for some of the most fundamental ideas in philosophy. In propositional logic, we can construe truth and falsity as this binary relation. There's nothing about a false truth value that makes it false, other than that it's not true, and vice versa. More contentiously, I'd argue that this principle could be applied to a metaphysics, that the very idea of being requires that there is not being as well. I could (and would, in a separate thread) argue that this principle explains the reason there can't be nothing, or, more precisely, only nothing. Could "nothing" still exist, despite existence? Maybe. Anyway. . .

    a relation cannot occur between the exact same thing(s), and the possibility for variation must exist before a relation can take place. So, even if things exist, if they do not change in any of their properties relative to each other simply because they cannot vary . . . and hence cannot be affected, there won't be a relation between them.Daniel

    Correct, except we have it at opposites. For me, it's not that a variety of things must exist for there to be a relation between them, it's that the variety in the things is composed by the relation, or that it is the relation that makes them varied in the first place. It seems like you might be imagining a universe in which there are things, varied things, but they don't interact in any way, so there are no relations between them. But I would continue on to say, if there are no relations between them, and they are just these disembodied things, then this is the same as if they exist alone, and as we agreed, there cannot be one thing.

    Lastly, I would ask, how can things be varied if there is no commonality between the things upon which they vary?
  • Negative numbers are more elusive than we think
    My primary explanation was sort of that too, that it was when we stopped treating mathematics as uncovering truth about the world or as something real, and more as a formal set of rules that we stopped treating negatives as something spooky. It really did unleash a mathematical beast with that change in perspective that allowed us to do math in ways we never would have thought up before. (At least, that's wht I'm assuming based on what I read about the period)
  • Negative numbers are more elusive than we think
    I read the beginning of chapter 13 of the book linked. It does mention the -1 : 1 ratio argument, which was put forward by Antoine Arnauld and discussed among "many men", including Leibniz whom agreed there was an objection but still used them to calculate. Perhaps I didn't read far enough, but the person mentioned that believed negatives were greater than infinity was John Wallis, who actually did accept them, but thought so because dividing by 0 gives infinity, and going smaller would have to mean going past infinity. Strange indeed.

    I don't quite understand the counter to analyzing past mathematicians views on this though. Why else do we study philosophy, especially the ancients? Historical inventory for sure, but we often learn things ourselves by studying their thoughts (of course, sorting the good ideas from the bad). Furthermore, history does repeat itself. It seems we accept negative numbers now on a similar footing as whole numbers, but complex numbers are still pretty hotly debated as to whether we should consider them as real as the real numbers. Whether or not it's an important issue that requires support from the mathematical community, that's why I'm on a random philosophy board and not writing letters to my local university or something.