• Everything's A Problem (For Me)
    It's impossible for anyone to do something that doesn't benefit faer in any way at allTheMadFool

    Actually, I don't see at all why this is so. It is quite a popular idea, and I think it comes from an analogy with causation.

    "A person's action is caused by their motive.", says U. But the causal agent is a thought, not a benefit. The benefit of an action if any, is a result that comes after the action, and so the benefit cannot cause the action that produces it, but a thought is the cause. So there is no particular reason that I can see, why a thought of another cannot be as good a motive as a thought of self. I might have a complicated thought about how mowing my neighbour's lawn will benefit me in some way, or I might have a more simple thought that it would benefit him, or even just benefit the lawn. Why is that impossible?
  • Coronavirus
    Here's how I heard it. The good stuff is reserved for medical staff and rich fucks. The rest of us use crappy makeshift masks that provide almost no protection to the wearer in a virus laden atmosphere. What they do that is beneficial is literally slow the virus being breathed or coughed out by an infected person. This means that droplets (bigger than an individual virus) sink floorwards a bit faster, and reduce the viral load in the atmosphere, thus reducing to risk to uninfected persons. Typically, it requires more than a single virus to become infected, because not every virus will get to the right place and manage to penetrate an appropriate cell. some get swallowed and digested, some are breathed in and then breathed straight out again, etc.

    So wearing a mask is a constraint on freedom like having to have a driving licence. Nobody cares If you want to kill yourself in your own car on your property, but we don't really want you to kill us on the public roads. Like having a licence, masks don't guarantee safety, but they help along with other stuff.
  • Everything's A Problem (For Me)
    Firstly, you are correct that 'all x are Y' statements escape my critique, so if U were to claim a more modest and precise F[1, "all (human?) motives are selfish", then there would be a different argument to be had.

    At this point I'd like to revisit our old friend, F = everything is selfish. Truth be told, my guess is that a hypothetical is involved here - the person, call faer U, who claims F imagines in faer mind what selflesness is and going by faer belief in F, this imagined selflessness precludes any and all benefit to the selfless person. In other words, there's a "...background...", the imagined selflessness U has in faer mind.TheMadFool

    I hesitate to characterise the mind of U - for about 3 seconds, before concluding that the the asshole deserves every insult I am about to lay on them. By U's own hypothesis, their motive for claiming F or F1 is selfish. They cannot dispute that. Nevertheless, they must be able to imagine selflessness in some form, or have some experience of it, simply for 'selfish' to mean something (as per original argument). So I will assume that U considers that raindrops fall, when they do, selflessly, and that in general, things that have no awareness have no self. That is U's claim is F1.

    Statements of this nature can be either observational or definitive.

    An F1 observational justification would be along the lines of - J1. "I've heard a lot of claims of unselfish motivation, and every time I challenge them, they turn out to have been selfish after all."

    Whereas the definitive justification would be a priori - J2. "If it isn't selfish, it doesn't count as a motive."

    Thus if a philosopher "knows" that all swans are white, he can preserve his claim in the face of those Australian birds, simply by insisting that they are black long necked ducks. They cannot be swans, because a swan is a white bird with a long neck. Such philosophers are best ignored.

    So I address myself to J2.

    K mows his neighbour's lawn. K claims he did it not for himself, but for his neighbour. U suggests various other motives.

    1. K wants to stop weeds spreading to his own patch, or an untidy garden lowering the tone.
    2. K expects his neighbour to return the favour in some way.
    3. K wants to encourage a neighbourly ethos that will benefit him in the long run.
    4. K expects some kudos and respect.
    5. K wants to feel superior.
    6. K wants to feel unselfish.

    This is how it generally goes; U looks first for immediate benefits, then for reciprocal benefits, then for indirect and social benefits, and in the last resort for psychological benefits. And any of these can be motives, and often are.

    Except 6. K is not an idiot. K knows that wanting to act so as to feel or be unselfish is selfish. So it does not function as a motive unless it is an unconscious motive. And now U needs some justification for imputing this unconscious motive to K, and indeed to every act by everyone ever. Such misanthropy starts to look more like an excuse for being selfish oneself, more than a coherent psychological or moral theory.
  • Maintaining Love in the family
    Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new. — Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

    And made by hand and muscle and patience, not by machine. If you think love is a feeling you have rather than a labour you work at, there is not much hope for marriage or for child rearing.
  • What does it mean when a discussion on the forum is grey?
    Just means you've looked at it and nothing has been added since. Don't panic!
  • Everything's A Problem (For Me)
    I had asserted that everything is selfish. unenlightened responded by saying to the effect that if everything is selfish then <something that didn't make sense (to me)> I hope unenlightened will chime in and clear up my (our) confusion.TheMadFool

    The thesis is that words carve the universe, that is they make distinctions. So 'Washing machine' carves the universe into two pieces that I will call figure and background. The figure is all those machines that function as washers, and they are distinguished from everything else in the background., like armchairs and ice creams.

    likewise, 'red' distinguishes anything red as figure, from anything not red as background. Now if you imagine a world lit by only red light, then everything will be a shade from red to black. In this world - it might only be a room - it stops being meaningful to say 'pass me the red cube'; 'red' doesn't function to specify anything when everything is red. It loses meaning when it loses the background of non-red things.

    So the exception is the word 'everything' which does have everything as figure, and nothing as background. So strictly, in the red lit room, "red" isn't completely meaningless, it means "everything".

    And so it is with "selfish" If everything is selfish, the 'selfish' doesn't pick anything out, and it means exactly 'everything'. But when you say, 'everything is selfish', I suspect you want to say more than that everything is everything.

    I'll leave it to you to work out how this affects the understanding of solipsism.
  • Memory Vs Imagination
    Is it my imagination, or did you say that already?
  • God?
    I am sorry. So the first quote in this post, where I quoted you, was made in jest, as a parody? How would I know that? Because I certainly disagree with the conlcusion of the first quote. I assert that that argument is not valid. So... you wrote it as a parody?god must be atheist

    Good grief! That is a really terrible way to do philosophy. I will not engage with you further.
  • Memory Vs Imagination
    No, it presumes your point, and concludes that nothing can at all be known because knowledge can only be of the past. Accordingly it ceases to engage in the discussion. It constitutes a reductio ad mad folly argument.
    — unenlightened

    Do you have a refutation for my argument?

    Did you make an argument?
  • God?
    But don't let my destroying your arguments deter you.god must be atheist

    Deter me from what? You destroy my arguments like I was making them for real, rather than parodying your arguments. You seem not to have noticed in your urgency to win, that we do not even disagree.
  • God?
    Neither of the premises contain the conclusiongod must be atheist

    All unicorns have a single horn.
    Nico is a unicorn.
    Therefore Nico's unicorn horn exists.

    Happy days! I'm sure i can come up with one for god on the same basis.

    All unenlightened philosophers have Gods.
    Unenlightened is an unenlightened philosopher.
    There unenlightened's god exists.

    If only I'd known how easy proofs were.
  • God?
    I do not need to be convinced of the fatuity of all such existence arguments. If you can find a valid proof of the existence of any damn thing that does not include its conclusions in its premises, then you either won't have noticed that it is so contained, or you won't have noticed it's invalidity. However, my argument at least has the merit of bearing some relation to something that believers might claim - that their god is the most important thing in their life.

    It may be that the non-existence of god is the most important thing in your life, in which case you would have to disagree with my definition of what god is. But then nothing you might say will be on the same topic as what any religious person is talking about. and that is a problem I might have too, because while a believer might agree that god is the most important thing in their life, the would not accept that god is whatever you or I think is the most important thing, but rather, they would claim to know better. But I am a democrat, and must allow every worshipper an equal vote.

    I have my keys in my pocket. If you were present here, I could get them out and show you, If you doubted they were my keys, I could show how they open my front door, and if you doubted that, I could introduce you to the neighbours, etc. This is not called 'proof' in philosophy, but demonstration and evidence. It is what one might wish for, but it is unavailable. My keys exist in my pocket, but there can be no cunning arrangement of words that obliges this to be the case, or convinces the skeptic that it is the case.
  • God?
    Sure, good proofs always work by the conclusion being contained in the premises. What did you expect?

    Let god be something for which there can be no evidence, totally beyond experience.

    Therefore there can be no proof that God exists.

    Choose your gods choose your proofs.
  • God?
    that entails there are more than a billion gods...The Opposite

    Only one. You are only one, and what is most important to you is singular. Don't worry about everyone else, unless humanity is the most important thing in which case it is still one god. Everyone else may give importance to trivia... Indeed, if you look around there are worshippers of money, power, beauty, tradition, science, sex... too bad for them, and not worth further consideration.
  • God?
    LET God = the most important thing, person, idea, or principle in your life.

    IF you exist the most important thing, person, idea, or principle in your life exists.

    You exist.

    THEREFORE God exists.
  • inhibitors of enlightenment
    It seems as though you may be skeptical that enlightenment can actually occur.Dymora

    I understand it is a personal choice what to or not to believe in, but in this case, appearances are deceptive. I wonder if you would be interested in my last thread comparing Christian Mysticism with Zen and other Eastern Traditions and with some consideration of J Krishnamurti? In discussions like this, I think it is preferable to consider third party material rather than give the impression of having any authority oneself in the matter.
  • Incomplete Nature -- reading group
    So far, I think it means the thing that's missing.frank

    The word in psycho-babble is "desire". The absence of beer that sends one to the fridge. (We don't want to say that the beer in the fridge is capable of spooky action at a distance.) One wants something because it is wanting.

    For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
    For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
    For want of a horse the rider was lost.
    For want of a rider the message was lost.
    For want of a message the battle was lost.
    For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
    And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

    Such is the traditional power of the absent. England expects every smith to shoe his horses properly.

    In architecture, its a "plan" - a structure that does not exist, and whose absence provokes its creation (or sometimes not).

    Perhaps the discerning subject is also missing, or at least indiscernible.
  • inhibitors of enlightenment
    You might find that no journey is necessary to discover oneself; rather, it is in a fruitless effort to escape themselves that folk rush about.
  • Memory Vs Imagination
    I don't know. Do you remember making an argument, or did you imagine making one?
    — unenlightened

    That proves my point, doesn't it? :lol:

    No, it presumes your point, and concludes that nothing can at all be known because knowledge can only be of the past. Accordingly it ceases to engage in the discussion. It constitutes a reductio ad mad folly argument.
  • Memory Vs Imagination
    Is this not an argument?TheMadFool

    I don't know. Do you remember making an argument, or did you imagine making one?
  • Memory Vs Imagination
    To have categories like false memories and confabulation suggests that there are true memories and my aim in this thread is to demonstrate that there can be no such thing at all - memory is indistinguishable from imagination insofar as (an attempt to) distinguishing the two is a purely mental exercise.TheMadFool

    Ok. But since I cannot tell that you said that or presented any argument for it, it's not worth responding.
  • Happiness is a choice. Sadness is a choice.
    Sadness is a choice too, but I refuse this, I do not consent to sadness. I refuse to copy the character of my enemy.healing-anger

    You are missing out, and I am sad about that. To choose to love, to choose to care, is to make oneself vulnerable. In the end to be alive is to be vulnerable and to be invulnerable is to be dead. Therefore, choose life; choose to be vulnerable, choose to be dependent on others for your happiness. Care about people and be sad at the pain and misery in the world.
  • Memory Vs Imagination
    The received wisdom regarding the two notions - memory & imagination - is that they're not the same.TheMadFool

    Yeah it's fairly fundamental, the distinction between fact and fiction, and unfortunately, as a matter of psychological fact, it is quite easy to implant false memories.

    The moral of this is twofold; stay away from psychologists, and make a habit of telling the truth, lest you come to believe your own bullshit (see also confabulation).
  • How does a naive realist theory of colour explain darkness?
    Brains analyse the data and resolve it into a meaningful landscape.
    — unenlightened

    I'm gong to second Olivier5 here and say this is where the dispute takes place. That meaningful landsacpe the brain resolves, what does it mean for it to be direct?

    Yes. I agree. I don't know what brains actually do with the data, but I'm fairly sure they don't make a picture, because there is no point - there is no one inside the brain to look at it. So that was misleading. So I'll strike that and move on.

    Bodies have brains and brains connect to eyes, and eyes sample the ambient light and differentiate as to wavelength and direction. Neuroscience might tell us a little of what happens to the data in the brain. This process is called 'seeing'. The function of seeing is to detect food, danger, and obstacles at a distance and thus aid the organism to navigate the world.

    The evidence that this is the function of seeing is, on the positive side, that the greyhound chases the hare, and the fox flees the hounds, and the bee finds the flower, and more conclusively on the negative side, that creatures that live in the darkness of caves de-evolve their vision and become eyeless, eyes being a useless extravagance in that environment.

    So the evidence that an insect-eating bird sees the stick insect as a stick insect and the stick as a stick is in it's behaviour - eating the insects and not pecking at the sticks. The evidence that an ape sees the fruit is that we can watch it turn its head and scan and then head directly for the fruit. So we don't say that the brain sees or the eye sees, we say that the ape sees.

    Blind apes have their driving licences revoked and are forbidden to drive, because they crash into things all the time.

    Typically, eyes have a lens, such that a real image is formed at the back of the eye. This might confuse some into thinking that the ape sees that image. This is quite wrong. In order to see something, the ape needs eyes, so in order to see the image on the back of its eye, one would need another eye, pointing at the image. No such structure has ever been found, and this is unsurprising, because if it existed, it would presumably have a lens and form a real image of the image, and no progress would have been made.

    Apes pick the fruit in the trees not the fruit images in their eyes, or fruit-like brain substances. They fairly reliably stop at traffic lights and avoid driving off the road, and it is uncontroversial that seeing is what enables them to do these things.

    So to see is to be informed about the world, not to be informed about one's physiology eye-wise or brain-wise.

    Now your indirect realist likes to talk about vision, because it is remote. There is a distance between the apple and the ape, and this, along with that image in the back of the eye makes it seem plausible that seeing is 'indirect'. I think the image question has been dealt with. To the extent one sees an image, one does not see an image, but an image of an image, or rather an image of an image of an image... etc. And if all that is meant is that vision is remote sensing, then again there is no argument at all.

    But let us turn to touch. Finger presses key. Ape feels key depressing. Rather harder to insert something between the key movement and the ape-body feeling the movement. We could go on about nerve fibres and proprioception, and molecular forces at the interface between finger and key, but the notion that touch is indirect seems less attractive as an idea. Will anyone argue for the indirect realism of touch? I don't really make love to my wife, I make love to a wife-like sensation in my brain?
  • How does a naive realist theory of colour explain darkness?
    What makes you so certain?Marchesk

    I have never seen my brain, let alone seen it doing anything. Have you seen your brain? Do you know anyone who has seen their brain? Have you read any reports of people seeing their brain? My certainty combines never having heard of such a thing, with very good practical reasons why it is an impossibility that I will repeat since you seem to have a difficulty. People's eyes almost always point the opposite way, away from their brains, and it is usually pitch black inside the skull I believe, and if there is light getting in anywhere, it is almost always a serious medical emergency.

    There are some few reports of out of body experiences under surgery, and if you like we can discuss that, but I assumed you had already rejected the spiritual realm as a serious consideration.

    Why are you being dogmatic? Maybe direct perception is right, but what makes you so sure it is? It's not like there aren't reasons motivating the indirect side of the debate.Marchesk
    If there are reasons, you haven't made them understandable to me. I become more dogmatic as the linguistic confusion multiplies. Suppose we make this thing entirely impersonal and mechanical:

    Bodies have brains and brains connect to eyes, and eyes sample the ambient light and differentiate as to wavelength and direction. Brains analyse the data and resolve it into a meaningful landscape. This process is called 'seeing'. The function of seeing is to detect food, danger, and obstacles at a distance and thus aid the organism to navigate the world.

    Is any of this in dispute?
  • How does a naive realist theory of colour explain darkness?
    Its either representations in our brains, or the real objects in our brains. Do we have real apples in our brains or representations of them in our brains?Harry Hindu

    Is it? I'm fairly sure I don't have apples in my brain, though I confess I've never looked. And for the same reason, I've never noticed any representations of apples there either. I assume your argument would something along the lines of needing some kind of representation in the brain in order to recognise an apple in the world? I don't think brains work like that, but even if they did, such representations would be used to recognise apples out there in the world, and not more representations in the brain. I mean what would be the point of that?

    My point though is that 'brain' substitutes in the language game for 'I' .

    Thus "I see a red apple" equates roughly to "Brain recognises sense data as red apple."

    There is no possibility of "I watch my brain receiving sense data and comparing it to representation in the brain."

    There is no possibility of perceptions being perceived.

    And this is what the indirect realist is continually pretending to do. like this

    What about when the color perceived is the result of the brain adjusting for lighting conditions, which differs from the color normally perceived from the wavelength being reflected?Marchesk

    Yes, what about it? Eyes adjust according to ambient light, and brains compensate as best they can for ambient light conditions. Nevertheless, sight is imperfect and errors occur. "I t'ought I saw a puddy cat", but perhaps I didn't after all. What I didn't think I saw, and nobody ever did think they saw was a perception.
  • How does a naive realist theory of colour explain darkness?
    Then you have no argument with me.

    I literally live in the world
    — unenlightened

    What’s that like?

    It's like the perception of red.
  • How does a naive realist theory of colour explain darkness?
    The world is a vast place.Olivier5

    How do you know? Have you seen it?
  • How does a naive realist theory of colour explain darkness?
    You guys live literally "out of your mind"?Olivier5

    I literally live in the world.
  • How does a naive realist theory of colour explain darkness?
    But we are off topic. It's the darkness - how do we see the darkness? Only in the darkness of the mind can the darkness be seen. Those of us who do not live in the mind can go deep into the darkness of a cave and find that we cannot see anything at all; our eyes are useless there, and we might as well be blind.
  • How does a naive realist theory of colour explain darkness?
    My problem with it is the implicit assumption that the apple is red the way it looks red to the perceiver. In my view, the awareness of red is added by the perceiver.
    — Marchesk

    While I subscribe to that condition as well, it may be worth remarking that the schematic doesn’t qualify the real object perceived as having any color at all.

    I just noticed the weasel: "the implicit assumption that the apple is red the way it looks red to the perceiver."

    In what way does does a red apple look red to the perceiver? Only in the way it stands out from the yellow, green, brown, black, and purple apples. About how red looks to the perceiver, nothing can be said because it is a figment of a private inner world that cannot be made consistent or inconsistent with anyone else's private world. We cannot talk about it, and so we never do except by way of weaselling. (See private language argument.)

    I just noticed the weasel: "...the awareness of red is added by the perceiver."

    I concede. The apple is unaware of its redness. but it is unaware of anything much.

    This is how we talk: we say that some apples are red, and that some light is red. And we are fairly consistent about it and in agreement most of the time about it, and this consistency and agreement is the mark of what we like to call the real. Stuff that I see or voices that I hear that no one else does are rightly regarded as suspect. But ask a five year old to show you the red toy, and they can usually do it consistently. Ask them to show you a visual cortex or a perception,, and they might be in difficulty.

    All this clever optics and neuro-science is an explanation of reality, not a substitute for it. Photons and wavelengths and neurones explain how we see the world, not how we don't see it.
  • How does a naive realist theory of colour explain darkness?
    We represent in our brains.Harry Hindu

    Ok. We represent apples in our brains, and we represent our brains in our brains, and we represent ourselves in our brains and our eyes in our brains and our propensity to represent stuff in our brains.

    And then what? does the representation of the eye examine the representation of the apple and feed the information to the representation of the brain? Where the representation of the representation of the eye in the representation of brain in the brain examines...

    I think we'd do better to stick with the first presentation of the real apple to the real eye. See the red apple, climb the tree, pick the apple, eat. Yum.
  • How does a naive realist theory of colour explain darkness?
    Alas for the naïve realist, it also demonstrates that there is a subjective perception as well, that perception is distinct from its objects.Olivier5

    Not a problem for naive realists, I see the apple as distinct from my seeing already. Sometimes, when I peep round the back of what seemed to be a red apple, it turns out to be green on the other side. I still see it out there, not in my head.

    The language of perceptions attempts to drive a wedge between the senses and the world, and create an 'inner world' of perceptions but then, folks will say, 'I don't see the outer world, I see this inner world of perceptions.' This is impossible unless I have inner eyes with which to see these perceptions and I do not.

    No, I see the world. I see it partially, incompletely, in some aspects, from a point of view, with limitations and subject to errors. But it's the world I see and not my brain, I never see my brain or my perceptions or my inner world.
  • How does a naive realist theory of colour explain darkness?
    if I could see the entirety of it in colors, the world would like quite different. The apple would not be quite so red and solid looking.

    Moral of the story is just because the world is experienced a certain way, doesn't mean it is that way.

    A classic.

    If you were blind, apples wouldn't look like anything at all.

    Moral of the story is you can't see them even if you can see them.
  • How does a naive realist theory of colour explain darkness?
    In this case, there is a demonstrable difference between the objective and the subjective.Olivier5

    Alas for the indirect realist, whenever there is a demonstrable difference between the objective and the subjective, it demonstrates that there is an objective, that we can be deceived about. Sometimes we are deceived, sometimes things are ambiguous, sometimes we disagree. And we can explore and describe the circumstances when this tends to happen, and learn that some people see better than others, and everyone has a blind spot and all sorts of interesting stuff. We do not find that we see in our brains.
  • How does a naive realist theory of colour explain darkness?
    The colors we see are in the brain, because that's where the perception is formed. The cause comes from outside, but the cause is different from the colors seen.Marchesk

    Well, speak for yourself. I see colours in the apples and don't see my brain at all. I see apples out there, not in my brain, and the apples are out there, not in my brain. Seeing an apple is not having an apple in the brain, and seeing something red is not having something red in the brain.
  • How does a naive realist theory of colour explain darkness?
    And yet it is a great mystery to others. For example, how come wave lengths get coded in colours? Where does that happen?Olivier5

    In the paint shop, maybe.

    Let's not get into the fine details just yet. Some of us are trying to grasp how we tell a red apple from a green apple, and think the difference is somehow in the brain. My suggestion is that if we consistently and independently agree about which apples are red and which are green (which we do), then either the apples are different or our brains are in direct communication by telepathy.

    I favour the former explanation, and call the difference "the colour of the apples".
  • How does a naive realist theory of colour explain darkness?
    Dude, you know it's the wavelength of the photons. I don't know what telepathy has to do with anything.Marchesk

    Yes I do know its the wavelength of the photons that are absorbed and reemitted from the surface of the goddam apples because the goddam apples are red. It's called colour vision, and it's no great mystery to me. It becomes mysterious when you try and claim that the eyes somehow project redness onto the brain from nowhere.
  • How does a naive realist theory of colour explain darkness?
    Electrical signals from the cones in their eyes.Marchesk

    Bite the fucking bullet man. How do everyone's eyes get to signal the same apples as red? Is it telepathy , or is there something about the apples that tells the eyes to signal red? Or come up with another explanation that actually explains.