9
   

Questions Without Conclusive Answers: Are They Worth Discussing?

 
 
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 09:41 am
The history of philosophy shows that each generation has confronted questions on the meaning of existence, how people are governed, and how we should treat each other. Conclusive answers to the questions have eluded us. Do we benefit as human beings by continuing to discuss questions that have no guarantee of a definitive answer?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 9 • Views: 2,737 • Replies: 32
No top replies

 
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 09:56 am
@wandeljw,
No! lol I don't think there's much point in delving into the whys and wherefores of everything. Some things we just don't know, so why tease yourself with 'maybes' and 'what ifs'?

Is there a meaning of existence? Maybe, maybe not. But why care if you're never going to know-know? All anyone does is speculate and theorize, but nobody has come up with the definitive answer. So I think this sort of questioning is a waste of time. What would the answer get you, anyway? Would you be better off?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 09:56 am
@wandeljw,
Is there any guaranty of a definite answer to anything ?
Whose it worth it anyway ?

There is no guaranty. Yes it was worth it. Actually it was worth it precisely because there is no guaranty.

Certainty is "Death" !
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 09:57 am
@wandeljw,
As the saying goes, its not so much the destination that matters but the journey itself.
0 Replies
 
Jebediah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 10:24 am
How do you know that conclusive answers have eluded us? I think we've found a lot that we agree on.

Also, some questions require a lot of experience and thinking before you can recognize the answer. Just because they can't be answered in the same way as "why is the sky blue" doesn't mean they can't be answered.
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 10:34 am
@wandeljw,
Nope. Next question.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 10:51 am
@Jebediah,
Any question can be answered given any question besides a categorical quality also implies a length in what is asking...now whether the answer fits the length and quality of the question 100% hardly has anything to do with its worth doing...

Given questions exist, as expected to be answered and only for that purpose, communication... so as I said, whether the answer can be proved to be True, meaning perfectly fitting what was meant to be asked, is of no major relevance if not to the belief that it may or may not fit.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 01:07 pm
@Mame,
Mame wrote:

No! lol I don't think there's much point in delving into the whys and wherefores of everything. Some things we just don't know, so why tease yourself with 'maybes' and 'what ifs'?

Is there a meaning of existence? Maybe, maybe not. But why care if you're never going to know-know? All anyone does is speculate and theorize, but nobody has come up with the definitive answer. So I think this sort of questioning is a waste of time. What would the answer get you, anyway? Would you be better off?


I think it is worthwhile to question the meaning of existence. I may get insight into what it means to be human, how I treat other human beings, how I relate to animals and the rest of the natural world. I am willing to give up certitude. Simply discussing the meaning of existence makes me feel more human. (An inanimate object would not question the meaning of existence.)

The question of how people should be governed has also not been settled. Each generation faces new social, economic and political problems. The best way to address such problems can not be settled "once and for all time."
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 01:42 pm
@wandeljw,
I guess it's all a case of if you feel the need to know or not. I don't. You do. I'm happy to be amicably on the opposite of the fence from you, wandel.
0 Replies
 
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 02:04 pm
They are worth discussing. What makes them feel futile is not starting these discussions with some agreed method of evaluation.

A
R
T
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 02:38 pm
@wandeljw,
Sure. Some of the more sophomoric and/ or navel-gazing and/or pretentious stuff annoys me. But I don't think that translates to "just don't bother," at all!

Two main reasons:

1.) I think that thinking critically, itself, is a valuable skill. Not just accepting whatever is "conventional wisdom" and not just saying "yeah whatever." So if critical thinking is honed by engaging in these kinds of discussions, cool.

2.) While I don't necessarily think us message board people will come up with anything big, I think that these questions are important to ponder just in general (some more than others, for example I think questions of governance are more important than questions about the meaning of existence). Sometimes there are big advances, sometimes just a lot of little incremental ones, but I don't think society is well-served if anything abstract is sidelined.


Plus, I know you're talking about philosophy, but "Do we benefit as human beings by continuing to discuss questions that have no guarantee of a definitive answer?" applies to a lot of other things that I think are very worthwhile too, especially when it comes to science. We'll never find out if we just give up because we don't have a guarantee that we will find anything out.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 02:56 pm
The meaning of existence is the basis of inquiry for most people who can articulate about ones own life - and death.

I believe most of this inquiry is answered by where we are born, and what our parents believe about religion.

0 Replies
 
north
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 07:46 pm
meaning of existence

the proof of the existence of Universe, reality

simple really
0 Replies
 
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 07:54 pm
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:
Do we benefit as human beings by continuing to discuss questions that have no guarantee of a definitive answer?
If you stick to questions that are guaranteed to have a (correct) answer, you'll have very few questions: http://yudkowsky.net/rational/lobs-theorem
This problem isn't in any way limited to philosophy, for example, did the world have a beginning? seems to be a question without a comprehensible answer, but if classical logic is the logic of science, then scientists seem to be unable to escape this question.
north
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 08:10 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

wandeljw wrote:
Do we benefit as human beings by continuing to discuss questions that have no guarantee of a definitive answer?
If you stick to questions that are guaranteed to have a (correct) answer, you'll have very few questions: http://yudkowsky.net/rational/lobs-theorem


Quote:
This problem isn't in any way limited to philosophy, for example, did the world have a beginning? seems to be a question without a comprehensible answer, but if classical logic is the logic of science, then scientists seem to be unable to escape this question.


when you say " world " what world are you referring too ...?
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 08:14 pm
@north,
north wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
did the world have a beginning?
when you say " world " what world are you referring too ...?
I mean "the world" as the term is generally used by philosophers.
north
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 08:21 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

north wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
did the world have a beginning?
when you say " world " what world are you referring too ...?
I mean "the world" as the term is generally used by philosophers.


( it never ceases to amaze me that when asked such a simple question one has to refer to someone or something , rather than saying what they mean't within the context of there thought

its like they don't really know what they are trying to say ....hmmmm )

which is Earth then , (thrum my fingers) , I guess
north
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 08:56 pm

anyway;

meaning of existence

the proof of the existence of Universe, reality

simple really
0 Replies
 
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 10:51 pm
@north,
north wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
north wrote:
when you say " world " what world are you referring too ...?
I mean "the world" as the term is generally used by philosophers.
which is Earth then , (thrum my fingers) , I guess
Of course it's not!!!
north
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 11:04 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

north wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
north wrote:
when you say " world " what world are you referring too ...?
I mean "the world" as the term is generally used by philosophers.
which is Earth then , (thrum my fingers) , I guess
Of course it's not!!!


then the Universe

and as I said before then;

meaning of existence

the proof of the existence of Universe, reality

simple really
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

How can we be sure? - Discussion by Raishu-tensho
Proof of nonexistence of free will - Discussion by litewave
morals and ethics, how are they different? - Question by existential potential
Destroy My Belief System, Please! - Discussion by Thomas
Star Wars in Philosophy. - Discussion by Logicus
Existence of Everything. - Discussion by Logicus
Is it better to be feared or loved? - Discussion by Black King
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Questions Without Conclusive Answers: Are They Worth Discussing?
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 09/24/2020 at 12:02:59