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The Impossible Question?

 
 
saw038
 
Reply Wed 21 Sep, 2016 08:44 pm
"Once upon a time, I, Chuang Tzu, dreamed I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly, and was unconscious of my individuality as a man. Suddenly I awoke, and there I lay, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man."
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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 2,909 • Replies: 45

 
View best answer, chosen by saw038
chai2
 
  0  
Reply Wed 21 Sep, 2016 08:48 pm
@saw038,
A butterfly doesn't have the brain to conceive what a man is, let alone what it would be like to be one.

It only has a ganglia which guides it in its essential tasks.
saw038
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Sep, 2016 09:07 pm
@chai2,
That is a materialist view and really doesn't answer the question whatsoever, because you are referring to a butterfly from your conscious perspective, but what he is stating is from a dream state where he was one and he felt and thought.

I didn't expect an answer to this because I actually quoted this from my book of paradoxes, but I have to redirect you because you are off the mark.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Sep, 2016 09:10 pm
@saw038,
No I'm not. You're speaking nonsense.

The butterfly has no capacity to think of, let alone dream of being a human.

It's not an impossible question, it's just ridiculous.

End of subject.

If you want to speak of philosophical ideas, at least pick one that isn't so obviously wrong.

saw038
 
  0  
Reply Wed 21 Sep, 2016 09:28 pm
@chai2,
So, if I dream I am a butterfly and have consciousness, and then I wake up as a man who also has consciousness, you are saying that they are unrelated because the man knows the butterfly's consciousness is nothing like the man's?
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 Sep, 2016 10:00 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:

You're speaking nonsense.


Yes. Sometimes people post the obscure in hopes it will be mistaken for profound. Sometimes, it's just nonsense.
saw038
 
  0  
Reply Wed 21 Sep, 2016 10:25 pm
@roger,
So, I take it you have figured out dreams and consciousness then? If you are proposing that such an inquiry is nonsense.
Kolyo
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 Sep, 2016 10:46 pm
@saw038,
I understand. You're talking about a really, really smart butterfly, right?
saw038
 
  0  
Reply Wed 21 Sep, 2016 10:54 pm
@Kolyo,
It has nothing to do with the butterfly, it has to do with the dream state and consciousness as whole.

If I think in a dream does that mean therefore I am as Rene Descartes stated.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2016 12:27 am
@saw038,
saw038 wrote:

It has nothing to do with the butterfly


So why'd you bring it up?

I think That's the impossible question here.
chai2
 
  0  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2016 12:30 am
@roger,
roger wrote:

chai2 wrote:

You're speaking nonsense.


Yes. Sometimes people post the obscure in hopes it will be mistaken for profound. Sometimes, it's just nonsense.


Not just posting, everywhere.

I hear crap all the time that makes no sense and not at all profound, but because it's the sheep that are listening, they're all like "oh yeah".

If some good/funny examples come to mind, I'll be back.

0 Replies
 
saw038
 
  0  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2016 12:30 am
@chai2,
It has nothing to do with the conscious' mind of butterfly but rather the state of dreaming and existence as a whole. Our idea of consciousness our idea of being whether it be a man or a butterfly. It is philosophical.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2016 01:48 am
@saw038,
If it was a repetitive dream he might have a point, but I doubt anyone goes to bed and constantly dreams of being a butterfly, they do however, always wake up as a human being.
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2016 04:31 am
@saw038,
The analogy can be extended infinitely. The counterpoint to which, is "maybe you are nothing at all".

That isn't an answer, just more navel gazing.
saw038
 
  0  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2016 10:29 am
@izzythepush,
Why does the frequency of occurrence have anything to do with the significance. If you have near death experience, I'm willing to bet that will profoundly affect how you view life. You don't have to have one every day in order for the experience to be significant.
saw038
 
  0  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2016 10:30 am
@rosborne979,
No, I like it! That is philosophical food for thought. Thank you.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2016 10:33 am
@saw038,
Because I have a lot of dreams, but I only have one life. The amount of different dreams I have contrasted with the uniformity of my life tells me which one is real.

If only one is real I doubt very much it's a dream I had when I was six years old and haven't had since.
saw038
 
  0  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2016 10:51 am
@izzythepush,
But, while in your dreams do you think you are you and do you not question anything being odd about it; that is, you believe it to be real?
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2016 12:11 pm
@saw038,
Depends on the dream.
saw038
 
  0  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2016 12:15 pm
@izzythepush,
Okay, but has it happened to you even once?
 

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