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Arbitrary Reality?

 
 
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Sep, 2010 10:36 am
@Razzleg,
Razzleg wrote:


i imagine that all of us experience those brief periods in the, otherwise arduous, task of piling thought upon thought to make a shape out of the apparent facts when--suddenly everything seems to make sense! Let's call it "inspiration". One moment, one is struggling to support an argument, and then in another the entire structure of our various opinions seems to be self-supporting. For days, our every interpretation seems infallible, and deeply connected with another erstwhile and seemingly meaningless opinion. We seem wise to ourselves, and trustworthy in our judgments. But then...inevitably, reality intrudes. A seeming irrelevance has grown to present an unavoidable obstacle to our increasing omniscience. As suddenly as everything seemed comprehensible, everything requires revaluation. Sometimes, this happens because of some mistake on our part, but sometimes it is because reality itself has only made some hitherto undiscover-able portion of herself available to us, but only those of us willing to open ourselves up to that very portion of reality.



I enjoyed the post and do not have a problem with it. I have the tendency to think the same way, or at least similarly. My ultimate issue with meaning as applied in these situations is the eternal search for cause. I feel that the need to find cause has been mistaken for meaning in its general sense. It is one of my issues with existentialism in general. Why must there be cause for meaning? IN this thread's case, 'the universe has no meaning because wecan't find cause for that meaning'. As my original post stated the universe is a vast machine churning and cranking. It has no will and no direction, therefore it is causless and has no meaning. This firmly places us in the experiential center of the universe and if we are part of that machine we as well must have no cause, which extends to no purpose, which extends to no direction. We have become metaphorically mechanized.

At least a rhythm would introduce a pattern, even if that pattern seems random. With every rest of meaninglessness in the midst of the notes of meaning, doubt and despair are introduced. Yet as in music a rest makes the surounding notes more meaningful. A rest opens up the musical space. The existence of the rhythm,is meaning. The cause of the rhythm is irrelevant. Even if the rhythm is the random machine noise of the universe it is meaningful. It may be, the ghost in the machine, so to speak.
0 Replies
 
Ding an Sich
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2010 02:29 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:


Section 3 on Bergson's intuition versus that of Kant. It is also in chapter 12 of The Creative Mind

Ding an Sich wrote:

Premises
1. If our knowledge comes from experience and neither of us have experience "the universe", then we have no knowledge of it.

2. That of which we have no knowledge must be rendered into a form comparative to that of which we do have knowledge, which becomes a metaphor.

Conclusion

3. You can say X part of the universe, which has been experienced, is, but you cannot say the universe "is".

This is what you said correct? I want to make sure before we step any further.


Yeah that works. Although it was somewhat presented tongue in cheek to play with the quote you gave. It is a nice enough argument for the need to use metaphor in regards to the nature of the universe, or the whole of the universe, or really anything in which we have experience in part but not the whole yet feel that we need to synecdochally extend the part to the whole.


Well I do admit that I will actually read Bergson. Apparently my college has a lot of him. Whee! But he will have to wait, as I am reading "The Cement of the Universe" by Mackie (forget the first name of the author). I'm really getting into causation; it's some really good stuff. I like me some causality. Yum.

But anyway lets tackle this argument! I need practice anyway. A logic student always needs practice.

I will argue that the first premise of the argument is unsound; the reason being is that just because all of our knowledge begins with experience, does not necessarily mean that it ends with it. I know that Paris is in France, which is in Europe, but I have never exeprienced Paris, nor for that matter France or Europe. If we are to go off your first premise, then I could never know of Paris in the first place, because I would first have to experience Paris. By extension of the first premise, I could never know anything about Paris (or Paris for that matter).

The second premise seems a little silly; if I say that something is like something else via metaphor, it does not always have to remain a metaphor. I can tell someone something of which they know nothing about by means of a metaphor, but that is to make sure they understand a resemblence, so that they may come to understand what it is that needs to be known. Once they know of a subject, thing, concept, etc., then what is the use of metaphor? It is useless in this case.

By the way, I like quoting philosophers. It is a hell of a lot better than using my own words to explain something. Oh and yes I did use the Kant quote out of context. Blunders blunders and more blunders.

Im not riding on any train. Im simply star struck by certain philosophers. Kant for his immense genius, and Wittgenstein for his immense genius and his straightforwardness. So I like to sling quotes around by them, particularly because they say what I coud not say better. The Kant quote I thought was in context, but its not. Apologies.

I do not tout logic, I use it. Oh yes and I do support it. Its a mighty good tool. Most people do not know how to use it (and yet they do use it. How strange is that?).
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2010 03:29 pm
@Ding an Sich,
Ding an Sich wrote:



I will argue that the first premise of the argument is unsound; the reason being is that just because all of our knowledge begins with experience, does not necessarily mean that it ends with it. I know that Paris is in France, which is in Europe, but I have never exeprienced Paris, nor for that matter France or Europe. If we are to go off your first premise, then I could never know of Paris in the first place, because I would first have to experience Paris. By extension of the first premise, I could never know anything about Paris (or Paris for that matter).


1) Knowledge may not end with experience, but according to the quote we are using it must begin with it. If there is no beginning we cannot skip straight to the end.
2)You have experience of Paris insomuch as you have the experience of Paris being in France. You have experience of cartography, media, education, witnesses etc... The conclusion that Paris is in France does not require your direct experiential physical presence in Paris. You are relying of geopolitical experience, the same as you would if you were physically in Paris itself. To even know that paris exists as Paris is to rely on the same set of geopolitical sources andexperiences as you do when you read about it. There are signs when you enter and leave, and governmental boundaries and border etc... the same things used to make maps. If it were not for these experiences you would simply be in a populated area, not in Paris, or in France.
Ding an Sich wrote:

The second premise seems a little silly; if I say that something is like something else via metaphor, it does not always have to remain a metaphor. I can tell someone something of which they know nothing about by means of a metaphor, but that is to make sure they understand a resemblence, so that they may come to understand what it is that needs to be known. Once they know of a subject, thing, concept, etc., then what is the use of metaphor? It is useless in this case.

I agree. Yet you are not countering the premise or misinterpreting it, or I wrote it sloppily. The premise is for something that cannot be experinced in a way in which someone could make a credible claim to understanding. The universe metaphor or other metaphors in this vein are useful because we can only experince parts of the whole and synechdotally extend the part to the whole through metaphor, otherwise we could not even make a rude credible metaphor. There is no one around that can aquaint me with the nature of the universe through metaphor (as per your example), and thus unless I have means to experience the nature of the universe (or the universe in its entirety) metaphor cannot progress to understanding and knowledge.

Ding an Sich
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Sep, 2010 06:48 am
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

Ding an Sich wrote:



I will argue that the first premise of the argument is unsound; the reason being is that just because all of our knowledge begins with experience, does not necessarily mean that it ends with it. I know that Paris is in France, which is in Europe, but I have never exeprienced Paris, nor for that matter France or Europe. If we are to go off your first premise, then I could never know of Paris in the first place, because I would first have to experience Paris. By extension of the first premise, I could never know anything about Paris (or Paris for that matter).


1) Knowledge may not end with experience, but according to the quote we are using it must begin with it. If there is no beginning we cannot skip straight to the end.
2)You have experience of Paris insomuch as you have the experience of Paris being in France. You have experience of cartography, media, education, witnesses etc... The conclusion that Paris is in France does not require your direct experiential physical presence in Paris. You are relying of geopolitical experience, the same as you would if you were physically in Paris itself. To even know that paris exists as Paris is to rely on the same set of geopolitical sources andexperiences as you do when you read about it. There are signs when you enter and leave, and governmental boundaries and border etc... the same things used to make maps. If it were not for these experiences you would simply be in a populated area, not in Paris, or in France.
Ding an Sich wrote:

The second premise seems a little silly; if I say that something is like something else via metaphor, it does not always have to remain a metaphor. I can tell someone something of which they know nothing about by means of a metaphor, but that is to make sure they understand a resemblence, so that they may come to understand what it is that needs to be known. Once they know of a subject, thing, concept, etc., then what is the use of metaphor? It is useless in this case.

I agree. Yet you are not countering the premise or misinterpreting it, or I wrote it sloppily. The premise is for something that cannot be experinced in a way in which someone could make a credible claim to understanding. The universe metaphor or other metaphors in this vein are useful because we can only experince parts of the whole and synechdotally extend the part to the whole through metaphor, otherwise we could not even make a rude credible metaphor. There is no one around that can aquaint me with the nature of the universe through metaphor (as per your example), and thus unless I have means to experience the nature of the universe (or the universe in its entirety) metaphor cannot progress to understanding and knowledge.




Wow I completely forgot about this.

I thought that you were talking about direct experience in the first premise. Is this not the case? Direct experience being that we gain knowledge from something by direct contact with it (or in this case being "in" it). If this is not what you were saying then ill have to rethink this first premise.

I want to actually tackle this argument further, but I will keep my mouth shut for now.

Thanks!
0 Replies
 
north
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Nov, 2010 08:17 pm
@A Lyn Fei,
A Lyn Fei wrote:

I have come to see reality as meaningless and therefore a wonderful playground for all imaginable thought.


so imagine then beyond the blue sky , see the much , much , much bigger picture

Quote:
Have you come to this conclusion that there is no meaning in the universe?

Why or why not?


NO

because our planet is unique , it promotes life , to the point of having an intelligent life , US

where else is it so far ? a long well off so far

55hikky
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 09:43 pm
@north,
was this a sarcastic reply?
north
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 08:57 pm
@55hikky,
55hikky wrote:

was this a sarcastic reply?


NO
0 Replies
 
55hikky
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 10:17 pm
@Arjuna,
Your claim is stated in a very, nice way, for a lack of words.
I really like it and perhaps some of the most happiest people on the world cater some recapitulated form of your post.
But is this something you believe in or just something you read in a book that just made sense to you so you honor?
Because I feel as if the question of "is reality meaningless" is still unanswered. Let me try to clarify...
You're agreeing with reality is meaningless, but you're adding on how to live in this world, by not "doing whatever you want", but also not "doing what you're 'supposed' to do" either (not bound by rules, traditions, rituals, dogma, pedagogy). ...So you shared with us a principle of how one can live life. ...but what about the underlying statement of "reality is meaningless"? I feel as if if this question is not answered with a no (as in, reality is not meaningless), it is absurd to do anything else, even applying this principle...
Once this question is in your mind, can we escape from it?
Or are you suggesting that we don't have to "escape" from it, but rather accept it, that our life (or this universe) somewhat, somewhere, somehow, has some level of "meaning" whatever that may be. (I suppose it is subjective to individual to determine what their purpose to life is...) but again, we return that whatever "meaning" they give is fabricated...
hrm, i seem to be ranbling with no thesis, argument or conclusion.
feel free to butcher this post -_-...
clearly i have no idea what this post is about, nor any grasp on "reality" and stuff like that... like life, and ..ya...
0 Replies
 
55hikky
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 10:26 pm
@A Lyn Fei,
well, I won't lie that I haven't heard of that, and there really isn't much you can say against it. The only logical reason we exist is because "Earth wants to get hot, and will do anything to be hot" (the purpose of dinosaurs is to become oil, and purpose of humanity is to burn them to make earth hot, and when Earth is hot and happy, all humans die since their purpose was served.)
I am weak, and so I can't commit to kill myself (unless I really start to think about reality, have a lot of respect for my intellect, and come to a logically sound conclusion with unflawed argument that I should die).
I am too attached to the delusional empirical world I find myself in.

With crude logic, I can conclude that slitting my throat and dying is much less suffering than living obviously. But I'm scared, and choose to stay in this earth. I try not to obsess over any media, entertainment, fashion, hobbies, electronics, political issues, international policies, foreign affairs, etc. and only concentrate mostly on finding out what I'm all about, as well as morals (in which case I do read up on foreign affairs, unlawful international and foreign policies, abortion, etc.). It is the only thing that is close to "meaningful" thing I can think of and only way i'm taking "reality" right now =\.

Did I say you go around killing people? Because a lot of people say that, that just because people find out that reality isn't really real (lol wth?) that people are all the sudden supposed to go around killing people, I never understood why they made that connection so immediately; like someone smart enough to come to this conclusion is now all the sudden inclined to kill people, cuz that has meaning to them, somehow...
0 Replies
 
55hikky
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 10:32 pm
@GoshisDead,
we have, today, in the english language, and perhaps in others too the vocabulary word "being" indicating live things, and "machines" indicating non-live things. What if the universe was a thing that we have yet to have any conception about =O, then would we even have the capacity to give it a "meaning" in which we have come to recognize? this "new entity" is not being, nor a machine, does have meaning, but also not, in which case who are we to try to determine whether the "universe" has meaning or not when perhaps the option is not a dichotomy to begin with and so reductio ad absurdum is inapplicable in neither direction. lol
0 Replies
 
 

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