13
   

Why do people care about absolute certainty?

 
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 May, 2014 10:07 pm
The only "certainty" that matters to me is the FEELING of certainty, despite the fact that it is not ahsolutely certain.
0 Replies
 
BL0CPARTY
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 02:36 am
@JLNobody,
Precisely.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 04:13 am
@BL0CPARTY,
BL0CPARTY wrote:

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/bachelor?q=bachelor

Bachelor n.

1. A man who is not and has never been married. Rolling Eyes


Correct....which is quite different from "Ok, all unmarried men are bachelors because the definition of a bachelor is an unmarried man. I'm certain of that."

A man who is not married, but who was married and his wife died, is a widower...not a bachelor. A man who is not married, but who is divorced, is a divorced man...not a bachelor.

So...all unmarried men are not bachelors.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 04:14 am
@Frank Apisa,
Why not give up on this bachelor nonsense...and go on to whatever it is that is bothering you about people expressing a difference between "certain" and "absolutely certain."
0 Replies
 
BL0CPARTY
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 04:22 am
@Frank Apisa,
Nice find! But I'll just swap them around and say:

all bachelors are unmarried men.

Are you certain now?

Since my silly error has been rectified, I sincerely hope you can now contribute something substantive to this discussion.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 04:36 am
@BL0CPARTY,
BL0CPARTY wrote:

Nice find! But I'll just swap them around and say:

all bachelors are unmarried men.

Are you certain now?

Since my silly error has been rectified, I sincerely hope you can now contribute something substantive to this discussion.



Absolutely certain!

So what is your point?

What do you see as the difference between being "certain"...and "absolutely certain."

If a person says, "I am certain there is a God"...how is that different from "I am absolutely certain there is a God?"

If a person says, "I am certain there are no gods"...how is that different from, "I am absolutely certain there are no gods?"

Not trying to break balls here, Bloc...just trying to understand what you are getting at.
BL0CPARTY
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 04:43 am
@Frank Apisa,
What if there's an evil, omnipotent demon who invented logic to trick us into believing things that weren't true? Therefore, every time we make the statement: all bachelors are unmarried men, it's actually wrong since logic is actually an illusion? Have you acknowledged this possibility? If you do say such a thing is possible, then you're not absolutely certain all bachelors are unmarried men.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 05:02 am
@BL0CPARTY,
BL0CPARTY wrote:

What if there's an evil, omnipotent demon who invented logic to trick us into believing things that weren't true? Therefore, every time we make the statement: all bachelors are unmarried men, it's actually wrong since logic is actually an illusion?


Possibly. But as I noted in my second post, if we define all bachelors as "unmarried men"...then all bachelors are unmarried men. It is a tautology.

If you are saying that we humans CANNOT be certain of anything...then stop using "I am certain..." because it is not really different from "I am absolutely certain."


Quote:
Have you acknowledged this possibility?


Yes...enough times so that I am sure there are readers following our conversations saying to themselves, "Jesus H. Christ, don't get him started on that again!"

Yes, I have! Many, many, many, many times.

But for the sake of discussion, whether in an illusion or not, if we define certain things a certain way in order for the discussion to actually occur...you gotta stick with it.

Here, we are defining, for the sake of this discussion, all bachelors as unmarried men.

If there is an evil, omnipotent demon tricking us...let's play along with It so we can have the discussion, Bloc.


Quote:

If you do say such a thing is possible, then you're not absolutely certain all bachelors are unmarried men.


Let me grant that. But if I do...then I am not absolutely certain that all bachelors are unmarried men...and I am also not certain that all bachelors are unmarried men.

What, I ask for about the fifth time, is the difference that you see between being "certain" and "absolutely certain?"

If you are not certain...you are not absolutely certain. If you are not absolutely certain...you are not certain.
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 05:20 am
Quote:
Why do people care about absolute certainty?


why would they, i'm much more comfortable with uncertainty and the improbable
0 Replies
 
BL0CPARTY
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 05:27 am
@Frank Apisa,
So you just admitted it's metaphysically conceivable that the tautology may not hold.

Therefore, to be consistent must have to grant you're not absolutely certain that the tautology holds, since there's a chance you could be wrong. It's not an option.

But... I argue that you're still certain that the tautology does hold, even if you're not absolutely certain. The idea of a mischievous demon tricking us, although conceivable, is quite silly. So silly in fact that I put my money where my mouth is and say: there is no evil demon, the tautology holds.

Above all else, certainty requires courage.

I took that courageous leap when I say all bachelors are unmarried men or the speed of light is faster than the speed of sound. Just like when you take that courageous leap and say there's milk in the fridge although it possible that a thief stole it while you were on the computer. Just like when you take that courageous leap when you say you're certain your children are actually your children. Do I make myself clear?

Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 05:30 am
@BL0CPARTY,
BL0CPARTY wrote:

So you just admitted it's metaphysically conceivable that the tautology may not hold.

Therefore, to be consistent must have to grant you're not absolutely certain that the tautology holds, since there's a chance you could be wrong. It's not an option.

But... I argue that you're still certain that the tautology does hold, even if you're not absolutely certain. The idea of a mischievous demon tricking us, although conceivable, is quite silly. So silly in fact that I put my money where my mouth is and say: there is no evil demon, the tautology holds.

Above all else, certainty requires courage.

I took that courageous leap when I say all bachelors are unmarried men or the speed of light is faster than the speed of sound. Just like when you take that courageous leap and say there's milk in the fridge although it possible that a thief stole it while you were on the computer. Just like when you take that courageous leap when you say you're certain your children are actually your children. Do I make myself clear?




Yes...you think you are very courageous.

Perhaps I have not asked this, but allow me to do so:


What is the difference that you see between being "certain" and "absolutely certain?"

BL0CPARTY
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 05:45 am
@Frank Apisa,
When you're certain you can still doubt what you've said by inventing silly ways you could be wrong.

When you're absolutey certain there are no grounds whatsoever to doubt what you've said.

Clear yet?
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 06:04 am
@BL0CPARTY,
BL0CPARTY wrote:

When you're certain you can still doubt what you've said by inventing silly ways you could be wrong.

When you're absolutey certain there are no grounds whatsoever to doubt what you've said.

Clear yet?


Not even close to it, Bloc!

If you are certain...you are certain...whether you state it as "I am certain" or "I am absolutely certain."

You can include qualifiers...such as, "If we accept the definition of bachelors as being men who are not married"...then we can be certain that all bachelors are not married.

Here in A2K we often refer to where this resolves itself as the "Don't step out in front of tractor trailers, no matter how "certain" you are that all is an illusion" sensibility.

In any case, you are inventing a problem here...unless you give an actual example of what you are talking about.

Most people don't care about absolute certainty...in the sense to which you are alluding.

Yes...the entire of what I conceive of as "me" and "the world out there" MAY BE AN ILLUSION.

I always have that in mind...and I dare say that anyone engaging in these kinds of conversations have it in mind.

So what is your point?

Are you trying to invent a problem for which you can assert you have a solution?







BL0CPARTY
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 06:20 am
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
You can include qualifiers...such as, "If we accept the definition of bachelors as being men who are not married"...then we can be certain that all bachelors are not married.


You can add all the qualifiers you like. It's all irrelevant to the mere possibility that pesky demon is tricking you, rendering your logic and your qualifiers false.

...If you want to man-up and say 'that's stupid! We can still be certain even though there's a possibility of that pesky demon.' Then we can agree and move on. Are you courageous enough for that?

Quote:
In any case, you are inventing a problem here...unless you give an actual example of what you are talking about.


It's a very real problem some people have. I've given examples of (a) what I've found certain, and (b) things that are not absolutely certain. Hence, the dichotomy is real.

I'm bored, answer me these questions:

Are you certain that your children are in fact your children?
Are you certain that the speed of light travels faster than the speed of sound?
Ding an Sich
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 07:21 am
@BL0CPARTY,
BL0CPARTY wrote:

I'm bored, answer me these questions:

Are you certain that your children are in fact your children?
Are you certain that the speed of light travels faster than the speed of sound?



Since I have no evidence to the contrary, I am certain that my children are in fact my children.

BL0CPARTY
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 07:23 am
@Ding an Sich,
Agreed.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 07:28 am
@BL0CPARTY,
BL0CPARTY wrote:

Quote:
You can include qualifiers...such as, "If we accept the definition of bachelors as being men who are not married"...then we can be certain that all bachelors are not married.


You can add all the qualifiers you like. It's all irrelevant to the mere possibility that pesky demon is tricking you, rendering your logic and your qualifiers false.

...If you want to man-up and say 'that's stupid! We can still be certain even though there's a possibility of that pesky demon.' Then we can agree and move on. Are you courageous enough for that?


If you want to define your courage as more manly than mine...and more substantive...do so.

I think it to be a laughable proposition.

I am courageous enough to say "I do not know" when I do not know something."

For you to suggest you can say, "I am certain..."...and be courageous because you have not used absolutely certain, is a joke, Bloc. I hope I get the opportunity to show you the punch line. You will enjoy it.




Quote:
Quote:
In any case, you are inventing a problem here...unless you give an actual example of what you are talking about.


It's a very real problem some people have. I've given examples of (a) what I've found certain, and (b) things that are not absolutely certain. Hence, the dichotomy is real.


Where? In the bachelor mistake? That is absurd.

Quote:
I'm bored, answer me these questions:

Are you certain that your children are in fact your children?


I have no children that I know of...but if I have fathered any that I do not know of (a possibility)...I am certain they are mine (given the qualifier).



Quote:
Are you certain that the speed of light travels faster than the speed of sound?



In the sense you are asking that question, Bloc...I am not even sure light and sound exist. They may be an illusion. And if they exist, I am not sure they "travel" the way you are suggesting.

But living in the illusion, I am willing to accept that science has measured what appears to be light and sound; determined that they "travel" in waves of some sort; that they travel at different speeds; and that the speed light travels is much, much faster than the speed sound travels. I am willing to accept those items as reasonable...in order to live in what I consider the universe, whether it is an illusion or not.

Said another way: I am not willing to step out in front of a speeding tractor, Bloc.

Sorry you are bored. I am finding this interesting. It happens to be something I have discussed many times in this forum and the forum that preceded it. I always marvel when newbies come along and seem to think that they are proposing something never before considered by us (or the rest of humanity).
BL0CPARTY
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 08:03 am
@Frank Apisa,
Quite a confused response.

Quote:
If you want to define your courage as more manly than mine...and more substantive...do so.

I think it to be a laughable proposition.

I am courageous enough to say "I do not know" when I do not know something."

For you to suggest you can say, "I am certain..."...and be courageous because you have not used absolutely certain, is a joke, Bloc. I hope I get the opportunity to show you the punch line. You will enjoy it.


Ah, quite a few ad homs but no mention of that pesky demon who keeps making you doubt stuff.

Quote:
In the sense you are asking that question, Bloc...I am not even sure light and sound exist. They may be an illusion. And if they exist, I am not sure they "travel" the way you are suggesting.

But living in the illusion, I am willing to accept that science has measured what appears to be light and sound; determined that they "travel" in waves of some sort; that they travel at different speeds; and that the speed light travels is much, much faster than the speed sound travels. I am willing to accept those items as reasonable...in order to live in what I consider the universe, whether it is an illusion or not.


A rather long and sloppy way of saying: I'm reasonably certain but not absolutely certain. Smile

Quote:
Sorry you are bored. I am finding this interesting. It happens to be something I have discussed many times in this forum and the forum that preceded it. I always marvel when newbies come along and seem to think that they are proposing something never before considered by us (or the rest of humanity).


Hm, no. I didn't think that I'm proposing something groundbreaking. It's a position called 'fallibilism', which arose due to epistemic uncertainty. Look it up.

I may be a newbie on these forums but it seems, judging by your confused and indirect responses, that you're the newbie when it comes to philosophy.

Your position as evidenced by your responses:

1. You're 'absolutely certain' that bachelors are all unmarried males - Post # 5,679,040

2. You get acquainted with the demon and acknowledge that 'such a thing is possible, [and] you're not absolutely certain all bachelors are unmarried men.' - Post # 5,679,056

3. But then you somehow revert back to thinking you're certain that all bachelors are unmarried males by including 'qualifiers' and asserting that 'most people don't care about absolute certainty.' - Post # 5,679,089


One word for you buddy: confused.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 08:37 am
@BL0CPARTY,
BL0CPARTY wrote:

Quite a confused response.

Quote:
If you want to define your courage as more manly than mine...and more substantive...do so.

I think it to be a laughable proposition.

I am courageous enough to say "I do not know" when I do not know something."

For you to suggest you can say, "I am certain..."...and be courageous because you have not used absolutely certain, is a joke, Bloc. I hope I get the opportunity to show you the punch line. You will enjoy it.


Ah, quite a few ad homs but no mention of that pesky demon who keeps making you doubt stuff.


Don't give me a lecture on ad homs, Bloc. You started that stuff.

Quote:
Quote:
In the sense you are asking that question, Bloc...I am not even sure light and sound exist. They may be an illusion. And if they exist, I am not sure they "travel" the way you are suggesting.

But living in the illusion, I am willing to accept that science has measured what appears to be light and sound; determined that they "travel" in waves of some sort; that they travel at different speeds; and that the speed light travels is much, much faster than the speed sound travels. I am willing to accept those items as reasonable...in order to live in what I consider the universe, whether it is an illusion or not.


A rather long and sloppy way of saying: I'm reasonably certain but not absolutely certain. Smile


Actually, it was a very clear way of saying that I am not certain...and will not assert that I am. But, if I am allowed the qualifiers of living in the illusion (if that is what it is)...I am willing to accept it.

Try reading what I say...rather than what you wish I had said because you think it bolsters some argument I hope you eventually make.





Quote:
Quote:
Sorry you are bored. I am finding this interesting. It happens to be something I have discussed many times in this forum and the forum that preceded it. I always marvel when newbies come along and seem to think that they are proposing something never before considered by us (or the rest of humanity).


Quote:
Hm, no. I didn't think that I'm proposing something groundbreaking. It's a position called 'fallibilism', which arose due to epistemic uncertainty. Look it up.


Look up "honesty", Bloc...and try to practice some of it.

If someone says, "I am certain there are no gods involved in the REALITY of existence"...that is no different from saying, "I am absolutely certain there are no gods involved in the REALITY of existence."

I think you are trying to create a problem...for which you will suggest you have a solution.

It's cute. Young people need that kind of thing to feel good about themselves.

Quote:
I may be a newbie on these forums but it seems, judging by your confused and indirect responses, that you're the newbie when it comes to philosophy.


I doubt that, but if it helps you to feel good about yourself, I don't mind you thinking it to be so.



Quote:
Your position as evidenced by your responses:

1. You're 'absolutely certain' that bachelors are all unmarried males - Post # 5,679,040


I did not say that at all. I said that "if we define bachelors as unmarried males"...then by definition, all bachelors are unmarried males.

Quote:
2. You get acquainted with the demon and acknowledge that 'such a thing is possible, [and] you're not absolutely certain all bachelors are unmarried men.' - Post # 5,679,056

3. But then you somehow revert back to thinking you're certain that all bachelors are unmarried males by including 'qualifiers' and asserting that 'most people don't care about absolute certainty.' - Post # 5,679,089


Learn how to use the quote function...and quote what I said in full. Then I will try to take you seriously.


Quote:

One word for you buddy: confused.


I'm not confused at all, but there is the possibility that you are. Still waiting to hear your argument in order to make a better assessment about that. Wink
BL0CPARTY
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 May, 2014 09:04 am
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
Actually, it was a very clear way of saying that I am not certain...and will not assert that I am.


Here you have it folks: someone who is uncertain, despite all we know about physics, as to whether light travels faster than sound. Drunk

Quote:

If someone says, "I am certain there are no gods involved in the REALITY of existence"...that is no different from saying, "I am absolutely certain there are no gods involved in the REALITY of existence."

I think you are trying to create a problem...for which you will suggest you have a solution.

It's cute. Young people need that kind of thing to feel good about themselves.


Problem: people who get anxious because they can't be absolutely certain their life isn't an illusion. I've met people who've lost sleep over this.

Solution: fallibilism.

Nothing odd about that buddy.

Quote:
Look up "honesty", Bloc...and try to practice some of it.


...Oh the irony
Quote:
I did not say that at all. I said that "if we define bachelors as unmarried males"...then by definition, all bachelors are unmarried males.


Yet when I asked
Quote:
Nice find! But I'll just swap them around and say:

all bachelors are unmarried men.

Are you certain now?


...You replied:

Quote:
Absolutely certain!


So, yes. You did say that and now you're lying.

And I guess you didn't reply to our other contradictions because you you've dug yourself too deep. Your thought on this subject matter is too confused. Too incoherent. And you know it Wink
 

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