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How can we be sure?

 
 
StumbleUpon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2014 02:39 am
I think we can never be sure without clear restrictions.
Rickoshay75
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2014 02:09 pm
@Raishu-tensho,
Raishu-tensho wrote:

If a tree falls in the middle of a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
According to philosophy, it makes no sound because there is no one to hear it, but according to science, it makes a sound because of the vibrations of the tree hitting the earth (probably a lot more complex, but that is off topic).
My question is, is anything certain? Can we be sure of an outcome merely because it has been done? Or because logic dictates such? Is there any real truth to it, or can that not be decided?


The only things we know for sure is what we detect with our senses, thoughts, words, beliefs, etc. are all illusion.

“No lesson is so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should NEVER TRUST EXPERTS.” Lord Salisbury

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. Mark Twain
0 Replies
 
Herald
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2014 02:56 pm
@kuvasz,
kuvasz wrote:
No, the philosopher is wrong, since sound, is classically defined as a property that needs no observer to exist; in comparison "color" is derived from the reflection of an object illuminated by incident light, yet "color" is itself considered a physiological phenomena.
      ... and the next question is: if you have sound & video encoded on some frequency or any other carrier that nobody can decode, does that TV program exist as a broadcast, or not?
OnionPun
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Aug, 2014 11:07 am
@Raishu-tensho,
It is all an experience and experience is all interpreted by those who is beholding it with whichever instruments it is beholding with.

If we define "sound" as vibrations as many here have, then the tree fell in the forest and the forest did, indeed, have the effect of the vibrations pass through them, so long as we are defining "hearing" as the reception of those vibrations on some level, in some way.

Naturally, sound and hearing are both labels and language words used to define a concept and an experience. Naturally still are the multiple concepts we can append to that label. So, concurrently, the waves are produced and all of the environment is subject to those waves. Yet, nothing exists to interpret those waves as sound, and so it is not sound. It is waves.

The question was "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" I would say no. Sound is not the vibrations, the vibrations are interpreted as sound. Sound is the end state and sound is not produced when no such apparatuses exist to interpret the waves as sound.
PhilipOSopher
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2014 04:04 am
@OnionPun,
So it would be more correct then to say that 'when a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there to hear it fall, it makes something ('waves') which has the potential to become sound'.
In this sense, does our concept of 'sureness' depend in some way on the distinction between potentiality and actuality? Can we say that we can be more sure of something which actually is than something which potentially is? If this is the case then we can't necessarily be unsure of anything - we can still be sure of a potential object to some degree even if we are only sure that it is as a concept.
Apologies if I've misunderstood you OnionPun - that's probably the case!
Phil
0 Replies
 
PhilipOSopher
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2014 04:06 am
@Herald,
Is it necessary for something to be perceived to exist or only sufficient? I'm more convinced by the latter, but I don't know...
Rickoshay75
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2014 06:17 pm
@Raishu-tensho,
Raishu-tensho wrote:

If a tree falls in the middle of a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?


It's your story. Only you would know the answer.

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. Mark Twain

“What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is WHAT WE DO.” John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

0 Replies
 
Herald
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2014 08:42 pm
@PhilipOSopher,
PhilipOSopher wrote:
Is it necessary for something to be perceived to exist
     Absolutely not. A lot of things have existed much before we have ever been aware to look for them - like for example the elementary particles. What about the gravitation - it exists no matter whether we understand it or not ... and whether we will ever be able to find its quantum carrier or not.
PhilipOSopher wrote:
... or only sufficient?
     This is also highly disputable - we all 'know' that Time exists - but does it really exist in the physical world ... as a physical presence and objective reality, or is it only in our mind?
0 Replies
 
room109
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2014 06:05 am
@Raishu-tensho,
by the result
0 Replies
 
Herald
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2014 11:11 am
@PhilipOSopher,
PhilipOSopher wrote:
Is it necessary for something to be perceived to exist or only sufficient?
     IMV sufficient is stronger than necessary. As far as I could remember sufficient had the meaning of necessary and enough by itself, but I can't argue.
     As far as the perception is concerned - this is highly disputable. Suppose we (the humans and the animals on the Earth) are quantum entanglement of various species throughout the Universe ... that we will never be able to perceive 'offline', for they may be at a distance of 10 000 - 30 000 lys away ... and our lifespan is not more than 110 - 120 years, as a maximum. Does our quantum entanglement in the Universe exist in that case, for we personally are a proof of its possible existence, but this is not sufficient?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2014 11:43 am
@Herald,
Herald wrote:
Suppose we (the humans and the animals on the Earth) are quantum entanglement of various species throughout the Universe ... that we will never be able to perceive 'offline', for they may be at a distance of 10 000 - 30 000 lys away ... and our lifespan is not more than 110 - 120 years, as a maximum. Does our quantum entanglement in the Universe exist in that case, for we personally are a proof of its possible existence, but this is not sufficient?


Ah-hahahahahahahaha . . . Herald is one of the more entertaining bullsh*t merchants at this site--sometimes.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2014 07:28 pm
@Setanta,
I hate to think I have an entanglement of me somewhere across the cosmos, but I dread even more one of Set. Razz
One Eyed Mind
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2014 07:42 pm
The term "sound" means picked up by the "ears", not the vibrations of the tree. That's the point of the entire riddle. To get people to think about the difference between sound waves and the definition of sound.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2014 10:50 pm
@One Eyed Mind,
Yes, "sound" like "color" refer to phenomena which are inherently sensual.
One Eyed Mind
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2014 10:58 pm
@JLNobody,
Indeed.

So does the falling tree make a "sound"? No, there are no ears to create the phenomenon of "sound". The riddle says specifically, "if nobody was around", which means: (+no ears) no body = no sound).

We're always on the same page, it seems. I quite like that!
PhilipOSopher
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2014 03:08 am
@One Eyed Mind,
Would it be better to say we need 'sense contents' (A.J. Ayer) and the stimulus of sound waves to create the phenomenon of sound within our minds rather than just sense organs? We could take the case of someone who has at some point in their life seen a tree fall followed by a sound being made, but in later life has gone deaf, and when they see a tree fall again but cannot hear anything they may still reasonably assume that a sound is being made. So could we say that it is enough to have a memory of audial sense contents, combined with the knowledge of what produces sound (i.e., a falling tree) to know in the mind that a sound is being produced even without being explicitly perceived?
Herald
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2014 12:30 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
Herald is one of the more entertaining bullsh*t merchants at this site
     Right after you .... obviously. You don't have the vaguest idea from where your personal biocode is coming from, but you have fresh ideas who is 'entertaining' and who is the mastermind of the bullshit. I wished I had your self-confidence and self-assurance ... on the basis of missing, misinterpreted and misunderstood information ... of any kind.
0 Replies
 
One Eyed Mind
 
  2  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2014 12:53 am
@PhilipOSopher,
The point of the riddle is to trick you. You're being tricked by its intended purpose. The riddle is testing your understanding of the term "sound". Sound is the phenomenon of "picking up" sound. When the tree falls, with nobody around, there will be no ears to "pick up" the sound. It doesn't matter if the tree makes a sound or not - the riddle is specifically drawing a distinction between sound waves and the phenomenon of sound - as in "picking up" sound waves.
0 Replies
 
Herald
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2014 03:24 am
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:
I hate to think I have an entanglement of me somewhere across the cosmos
     I don't claim actually that we have entanglement in the Universe, but if the Theory of the Quantum Mechanics is right (it has 3 Nobel Prices after all) that is not to be excluded.
     'Actually nobody understands the Quantum Mechanics' - Richard Feynman ... but I doubt whether somebody will ever even start understanding the evolution 'theory' and its mind-blowing claims about the impossible that may become somehow possible with the time.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2014 11:06 am
I think that the OP of this thread should be, instead of "How can we BE sure?", HOW CAN WE FEEL SURE?
 

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