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"I think therefore I am," only holds true on a individual materialistic basis.

 
 
Reply Fri 17 Sep, 2010 01:11 pm
Whilst taking part in a religious discussion, the subject of self creation through thought came about; "I think therefore I am."

I called the idea absurd, and somebody replied with this:
"I object. The only thing that we do know is that WE exist. YOU can only determine, truthfully, that YOU exist. The only thing that we know for certain is that we are thinking. We can't prove anything other than that. Following this logic, the only plausible, provable solution is that we thought everything into existence. Therefore, it is not ridiculous that we created ourselves."

Then I replied with this:

"The hypothetical situation; "We created ourselves through thought," is self defeating in several ways because in order for us to assume we thought ourselves into existence ("I think therefore I am,") we must also assume we are an entity capable of thinking. We must also assume we are an entity with a beginning and an end, because we begin to think ourselves into existence and we end thinking ourselves into existence.
You may attempt to reconcile this by stating that the cycle is unending in that post-thinking ourselves into existence we begin anew, re-thinking ourselves back into existence. This cannot hold true because if we claim we think ourselves into existence we must uphold that we are one single entity, from this we must also say that we think every animated and non-animated animal/object into existence simultaneously yet cannot perceive the feelings, be they emotional or physical, of all other thought created things.

We also have to think of materials, colours, and other such senses and states of energy which we would have no way of knowing about since we cannot be taught anything because we created everything by thought. Also, the ability to reconstruct everything as it was in time when we ended thinking ourselves into existence is impossible as memory cannot be stored in non-existence, and we would hold memories from past "lives" if we held the memories in our entities memory, hence, (to end on a more familiar note:)

"I think therefore I am," only holds true on an individual material basis."

I am wondering if my train of thought is logical?
Thanks!
theelous3.
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 4,720 • Replies: 25
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Sep, 2010 05:55 pm
@theelous3,
theelous3 wrote:

Whilst taking part in a religious discussion, the subject of self creation through thought came about; "I think therefore I am."

I think you're misinterpreting Descartes's maxim. In saying "I think, therefore I am," he didn't mean "my thinking created me," he meant "I conclude that I exist because I think."
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Sep, 2010 07:14 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

theelous3 wrote:

Whilst taking part in a religious discussion, the subject of self creation through thought came about; "I think therefore I am."

I think you're misinterpreting Descartes's maxim. In saying "I think, therefore I am," he didn't mean "my thinking created me," he meant "I conclude that I exist because I think."


That is exactly right. How could my thinking create me when unless I already existed I could not think in the first place? I think, therefore I exist is an argument (hence the "therefore") not an explanation.
0 Replies
 
theelous3
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 07:46 am
@joefromchicago,
Looks like I jumped to a conclusion of my own about descartes' maxim.
Still though, removing refrences to the quote, do you find it to be sound?
ikurwa89
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 07:58 am
I find it astonishing that people actually fall to "I think therefore I am" quote to "prove" their own existence.

To answer your question, I don't think it even holds water on any individual let alone our thoughts.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 08:01 am
@theelous3,
theelous3 wrote:

Looks like I jumped to a conclusion of my own about descartes' maxim.
Still though, removing refrences to the quote, do you find it to be sound?


It is not a maxim. It is an argument.

1. Does the conclusion follow from the premise? Yes, since it would be impossible to think (or to do anything) unless I existed.
2. Is the premise true? Would it be possible for me to believe I think, and not think? Not if believing I think is thinking, it would not.

So, if the premise is true, and if the argument is valid, then it follows that the conclusion is true.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Sep, 2010 09:51 am
@theelous3,
theelous3 wrote:

Looks like I jumped to a conclusion of my own about descartes' maxim.
Still though, removing refrences to the quote, do you find it to be sound?

No.
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Sep, 2010 10:18 am
@theelous3,
I'm this is a beautiful catch pharse for naive people with very low rationallity.

Most are forgetting that brain dead people still exist, but not thinking. Just look at those who are kept artificially alive in respirators, even though their brain is dead. The ability to think is not a nesseary premesis to exist, children has also been born without brains.
0 Replies
 
Owen phil
 
  2  
Reply Mon 20 Sep, 2010 12:27 pm

"I think therefore I am." is an instance of the logical theorem:
Gx -> (some F:Fx), for all x ..material or not.

D1. (x exists) = (some F:Fx).

(x thinks) -> (some F:Fx).

(x thinks) -> (x exists).

If a thing has a particular property then that thing has some property. That is to say, it exists.

Abstract things exist or not, in the same way.
e.g. (2+1=3) -> (1 exists).
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2010 08:05 am
@Owen phil,
Owen phil wrote:


"I think therefore I am." is an instance of the logical theorem:
Gx -> (some F:Fx), for all x ..material or not.

D1. (x exists) = (some F:Fx).

(x thinks) -> (some F:Fx).

(x thinks) -> (x exists).

If a thing has a particular property then that thing has some property. That is to say, it exists.

Abstract things exist or not, in the same way.
e.g. (2+1=3) -> (1 exists).


Yes, it is sometimes called "the principle of instantiation" and sometimes, "existential generalization". I suppose that the only major philosopher who did not think it was true was Plato who held that there were uninstantiated properties.
0 Replies
 
jack phil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Sep, 2010 07:30 pm
I hope my response is not too off base to the OP, but I did have some minor discussions with friends and a brother about the phrase 'I think, therefore I am'- though this post is not really concerned with Descartes nor the Meditations.

What the statement claims to be is a causal claim because of the word 'therefore'. However, the claim lacks a causal necessity, nevermind that Descartes came across that sequence. The claim in no different than the claim "I think, and I am".

This reordering shows us what the claim actually is, namely, it is not a causal claim but grouping of the imaginary (think) and the metaphysical (am, being). Algebra shows the two "I" claims to cancel; afterall, "I, therefore I" is superfluous.

Then we have something like 'thought begets existence' or 'thought = existence'.

What constitutes thought and what constitutes existence? I am fairly confident that if you asked enough questions from people you would find they do not agree upon what things are capable of thought- and 'existence' is also in uncertain waters even among logicians.

I rather like the simplicity and consistency in "I am here". Smile
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Sep, 2010 07:35 pm
Pls see my long-time sig line.
(It lets you know where I stand on this q.)
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Sep, 2010 07:37 pm
@theelous3,
It does not hold true at all... There is no objective proof of being... That is the why of forms of relationship... They help secure our existence when they work, and the relationships remind us we exist when we are recognized... We have no proof of being, we have the means and evidence of being..
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Sep, 2010 09:30 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:

It does not hold true at all... There is no objective proof of being... That is the why of forms of relationship... They help secure our existence when they work, and the relationships remind us we exist when we are recognized... We have no proof of being, we have the means and evidence of being..

I must admit, however, that we think by way of our forms, and they are not only what we create as social forms but exist as ideas and ideals, and concepts... All forms are forms of relationship, and when they cease to be shared they lose their meaning, as when they lose their meaning the cease being shared...
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Sep, 2010 10:40 pm
@Fido,
There are no forms, no shape without that which can give them identity...
Forms of relationship need rules of relationship.
Conversion of Information in no way imply´s that there are no Rules, on the contrary...those rules are the very reason of conversion...(transformation)
stevenya
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Sep, 2010 11:07 pm
I think therefore I am. I agree.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Sep, 2010 11:17 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

There are no forms, no shape without that which can give them identity...
Forms of relationship need rules of relationship.
Conversion of Information in no way imply´s that there are no Rules, on the contrary...those rules are the very reason of conversion...(transformation)

Forms are rules... What is formal behavior??? What is a uniform.. What is informality... All forms are classifications, and do you think you can classify without rules... I think you need to think about it...

All forms are also identities and there is no true identity without finite knowledge of a finite object...You can say a brick is an identity and a form based upon knowledge of the object, but no such thing can be said of moral forms which are infinites, have no physical being, and are all meaning...

I want you to note your use of the word form, in information, above...You get more than you think, but more thought would not hurt you a bit... Form is a very common word originally coming from the Greek Morph and Morphem, and it is a part of many other words common in our language... Even without a firm definition since there is not a finite object to define, form as a word must be generally understood, and I think it is...
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Oct, 2010 12:22 am
@Fido,
I can see your point Fido... and don´t think that by disagreeing with you in some very important small details I don´t appreciate the implicit profound messages your "Philosophy" brings in...I´m harsh but not a foul...at least not completely... Wink

Now to the point:

Forms in the sense of shapes refer to rules but they themselves are not those rules...yet their product.

Morph refers to that which can change...rules can´t change.

Still is only fair to admit that the common use goes your way on this...

We can say that rules are primal forms ! In fact the only forms there are...

...yet meaning derives from forms and not the other way around...
My meaning, show´s (reveals) a form, it does n´t make a form, given a form its True even before my meaning come to be...
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Oct, 2010 12:41 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Truth is ACTUAL in all possible meanings...BEING cannot be contradicted not even by INFINITY !!! (that´s the beauty of it)
...you should try and bring Infinity Up to, not down to, Finity...a far more original exercise....what do you say ?
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Oct, 2010 05:40 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Quote:
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

I can see your point Fido... and don´t think that by disagreeing with you in some very important small details I don´t appreciate the implicit profound messages your "Philosophy" brings in...I´m harsh but not a foul...at least not completely... Wink

Now to the point:

Forms in the sense of shapes refer to rules but they themselves are not those rules...yet their product.


Forms are concepts, and forms are also social forms we build out of our moral understanding, our moral forms, virtues, and vices, for example... And yes, there are rules, but mostly the rules of identity. that identities are conserved, and this is reflected in our notion of conservation, or motion, and matter for example, which clearly are rules that at times can be superceded, as when matter which is usually conserved can become energy and in that form, lost...

Forms of government as all social forms have their rules, who's in, and who's out for example... Friends are defined at the same moment as enemies... I am not denying that there are rules, but say that they give way before new facts, or different behavior so that laws change and so do forms, social forms, physical forms, and moral forms... Not one of them is fixed, totally defined, rigid, and inflexible... If this were not true, no new encyclopaedia or dictionary would need to be written... If you know every definition in the dictionary you know everything, because knowledge is understanding all meanings, but this is not true because our knowledge is constantly changing so no fixed form like a book can ever contain it all and will inevitably contain false information...
Quote:
Morph refers to that which can change...rules can´t change.

Still is only fair to admit that the common use goes your way on this...

We can say that rules are primal forms ! In fact the only forms there are...

...yet meaning derives from forms and not the other way around...
My meaning, show´s (reveals) a form, it does n´t make a form, given a form its True even before my meaning come to be...

What we think of as morphe today is not what the Greeks thought, and in fact, our rules change, our knowledge changes, our forms are in constant flux in time, and are spiritual in nature, and our word -essence- captures this sense of the spiritual in our forms, as morale does, and esprit de corp does for social forms...

Forms/concepts equal knowledge, and knowledge equals judgement, what you may call rules, because as we judge something of the nature of our reality we are formulating laws and rules we expect reality to follow...

We do not get being... Of any physical finite object we understand only a fraction of its being, but our forms are a certain meaning we take from them and say this equals that, this form equals that being... And forms/concept can be reduced to certain rules as even complex mathematical theorums rest on simple mathematical rules, but that is not the whole of the form, and the form is not the object...
 

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