Gregol said:
I read a bit into that article you linked to, and... wow... I'm positively amazed. O_O
From my understanding of it, it's not that Buddha explicitly denied the existence of a self by saying "there is no self". It's like he rejected the topic altogether, and explained how discussing it isn't "skilful". It's rejection on a sort of meta-level, which is much more profound than the orthodox approach.
There's my food for thought for a few days to come...
yeah, and that also goes with the zen concept of 'mu' ... unask the question...

Zen students always becoming enlightened after their master smacks them or something and they realize the oneness of the universe xD
When talking about Nietzche (i think it's funny seeing everyone say it's "his favourite" when they only know 2 or 3 philosophers), why dont people want to live eternally? im talking abouteternal return.
I ask this cause i dont understand, maybe cause i would like to.
There's also a different "Mu", but I'm not quite sure how to explain it briefly...
http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/Philosophy/axioms/axioms/Formal_Problem_with.html

aradan said:
why dont people want to live eternally? im talking abouteternal return.
I suppose that in case of eternal return, if you retained your memories throughout, it would get quite boring and if you lost your memories there's no difference anyway.
An interesting alternative would be, if there was an "inter-universe lobby", where souls take a break between iterations of the universe, where they have all the memories from all their lives and can make preparations for the next life, using some benefits they acquired. Sort of like in a roguelike game, except that while playing the current character, the player is unaware that he played other characters before. Even though such a version would imply many more questions I left unanswered, who's to say that's impossible? Maybe the people/religions of the past simply lacked the creativity to "realise" such a possibility existed.
I'm firmly settled in my personal beliefs and eternal return isn't one of them, so I don't feel the need to discuss it in greater length at the moment, unless you insist. No offence.
As for living eternally in general, the Abrahamic faiths' paradise is a sort of eternal life, but without all the negative things, of course. I think the ancient Greek's, Egyptian's and maybe Norse's notion of the underworld could be considered as eternal (un)life, but I could be mistaken on a few of those. With this in mind, I think it's safe to assume that plenty religious people don't mind living eternally, as long as it's in paradise, Valhalla, or similar.
Which brings me to a point: until the rise of materialism, and the associated atheism, it seems like few people doubted the existence of an eternal soul... and it's not like atheists are the majority today either.
it's not my conception of time (i dont think it's the way to read it), it's just that, accepting life unconditionally would mean to do so even if all that had happened would happen again repeatedly, and a lot of people who have a vitalist vision of life dont like that point.
Gregol said:
If I remember correctly, Descartes argued that absolutely certain knowledge directly depends on God (or a benevolent, omnipotent, all-knowing being). His arguments are very convincing.

That question makes little sense, unless you're asking somefaith in particular.

I think that any knowledge we have relies on a certain degree of trust/faith we put into something somewhere along the line.
boom
sùzù said:
Why not come up with your own ideas? ;P
If we came up with our own ideas without any basis on other ideas, then this world would be doomed.
Somebody had to come up with these (religious) ideas at some point. So, I assume it happens at least.
Tyson said something about god that i found interesting:
God is what we don't know, cause people places him when they can't go further (to be later on identified and set even further). And he used Newton as a reference, after all the gravitation theory, when he got to a point that his ecuations couldnt solve he said that god gets in there and makes it work.

sùzù said:
Somebody had to come up with these (religious) ideas at some point. So, I assume it happens at least.
The people who make their own ideas are the genius that make the world advance (sometimes).
Love is War.
War is not Love...
What do the good people of the philosophy thread think of this idea? O.-

vf.nightcore once said:
The way of energy
People are like spotlights.
They exist to shine on other people.
sùzù said:
Not all our knowledge comes from other people, and those ideas that were inspired by somebody else, still had to be fabricated in an original form at some point.
linking back to Descartes: can you trust your own senses, reasoning, intuition, etc... ? We take the issue of putting trust in our own selves as a given in our daily lives, but I'm sure there are countless examples from our own respective experiences every one of us can come up with that led to failure or falsehood. If you're familiar with the game Neverwinter Nights, actual spoiler

Why not come up with your own ideas? ;P
Is that even possible though? If I remember correctly, Berkeley (or was it Locke? It was someone with a similar thought anyhow) argued that it's, in fact, impossible for the human mind to "abstract" concepts from those already known, and therefore also impossible to formulate a "new" concept. It would invariably be based on previous experience.

That sounds pretty dismal, to be honest. It's like saying you have finite choices and you can pick between a limited set of pre-fab beliefs. That's not thought, that's following the crowd.
That's only the case if the "number of choices" is "small enough" to be exhausted by the relatively small number of humans that live (lived, will live...) let alone the fact that our own lifetime (and intellect) is limited and therefore not suited for exploring infinite possibilities.
I wasn't trying to state it as hard fact. There are two possibilities however: the choices are infinite, or aren't and even if they aren't, then I think they are numerous enough to be "considered infinite for all practical purposes", as an engineer would say.

vf.nightcore said:
What do the good people of the philosophy thread think of this idea? .....
It's completely and utterly a question of faith, I suppose, much like the next:

sùzù said:
Somebody had to come up with these (religious) ideas at some point. So, I assume it happens at least.
That's specifically the materialist thought, which only became mainstream recently.
Religious people would say that they didn't come up with the idea, "God(s) told them". Whether or not to believe that particular claim, that's where a person's faith comes in.

In my case, I think it would be the ideal scenario for (essentially) God (or, if you want to remove various cultural connotations: an omnipotent, omniscient being, preferably one that created at least our universe. Whether or not it's possible isn't topic of this post) to teach humanity, because, I think, we humans, on our own, can only reach "the great truth" by chance, if at all, and even then, we might not recognise it as such. (again, due to our limited lifespans and intellects)

some quasi-related thoughts
So why did this thread so horribly die? Do you not have any philosophical thoughts or is it just the aspect of TL:DR?
LOL, it was originally an escape thread for SK7000, Mnessie and myself to discuss our thoughts without congesting the friendly topic. Of course even then anybody was free to contribute.

However, now that you mention it....
I once heard somebody question the very need for philosophy itself. I can't remember the exact argument, but I think that person was saying that philosophy defeats its own purpose. There were lots of responses, each of them different, but now that I think about it, it was in itself a great way to start a discussion. *hint hint*
"The best things in life are free.
But nothing in life truly is free."
Gregol said:
LOL, it was originally an escape thread for SK7000, Mnessie and myself to discuss our thoughts without congesting the friendly topic. Of course even then anybody was free to contribute.

However, now that you mention it....
I once heard somebody question the very need for philosophy itself. I can't remember the exact argument, but I think that person was saying that philosophy defeats its own purpose. There were lots of responses, each of them different, but now that I think about it, it was in itself a great way to start a discussion. *hint hint*
I see, and now, you're the only one left?

A world without philosophy... That would be an extremely boring place! It's our very ability to question even the most basal thoughts and ideas, that separate us from other earthly creatures. If someone hadn't stopped and wondered why a bird can fly while humans can't, and how we could eventually achieve that goal, we wouldn't have invented the airplane. A bird doesn't question anything, it's just there.. A simple life perhaps but I would much rather have the power to think big.
I do agree with you. It's simply "in my nature" to question and ponder, even the smallest things.
The very nature of questions is intriguing. A question implies (perceived) lack of information, but how (or why?) are we even capable of comprehending that we lack information? Are we the only ones aware that such a thing as information exists? Or is the perception of "information" as an abstract entity just that: a perception disjoint from reality?
Formulating questions seems to be a trait unique to us, humans. Modern AIs can solve amazingly complicated problems and may even simulate self awareness. They learn how to walk, talk, etc... but only because we ask them to. I don't know of any artificial "contraption" that would solve problems for itself, out of its own initiative. Are we simply unaware of some stimulating purpose that pushes us to invention?
I always thought that what separates a "living" mind from the "material world" is the ability to assign meaning. When the wind howls in a cave, it's just sound, but when we speak, we don't "just make sounds". Our words have meaning. A poet/artist/etc.., might dedicate his/her work to the howling of the wind and give it meaning again. Or is he/she reinventing the wheel, so to speak? Are we simply incapable of understanding the wind?

I now realise that people use a similar argument to justify modern or abstract art and I'm not sure what to make of that. ¬_¬
Huh, you're a very inquisitive person, aren't you? I respect that.

I've always wondered about how much of a grasp we have on the concept of intelligence. I'm sorry I don't have a better way to say this right now, but there are way too many people out there who have no grasp on concepts like "common" sense, empathy, and self-monitoring, to name a few ("stupid" people). I mean, I think we're too concerned with the commercial use of our intellect we make problems for ourselves. If I had to point fingers at any group of people it'd have to be (US) politicians and the radical individuals that follow.
I've always thought that we need to learn how to be "smart", before all else.

vf.nightcore said:
So why did this thread so horribly die? Do you not have any philosophical thoughts or is it just the aspect of TL:DR?
I actually don't have too much to talk about aside from thoughts about love and complications that ensue, because I'm sure that that has been talked about plenty already....
Alright, so let's talk about the concept of reality for a second here.

Seeing as you are active on the internet, you've most likely stumbled across this quote; You are the the universe experiencing itself. I very much believe that statement. It makes sense, in a way, that everything originates from the same life force. Everything was created from the same matter.

This pushed me to think up my personal idea of the basic meaning of life. What if we were put into existence solely to figure out the meaning of life, the universe and everything itself? If humans are the only "thing" in existence capable of thinking and questioning, it's entirely possible that everything is a matter of our own imagination. You are because I confirm that you are and vice versa. Maybe, nothing exist at all beyond our perception.

What is blue? Let's say you just bought a brand new car. You go to the store and order it in blue, for whatever reason. Now, when you get a notice that the car has been delivered, you come with a pre-determined idea that your new car is blue, because why wouldn't it be blue? I mean, you ordered it in blue right? You go to the store and pick it up, an my, it is very much blue.

Then I ask you, what if the salesman told you that the factory had colored it red instead of blue? When you see the final car, it's going to be red because now you believe what the salesman told you and changed your idea of it being blue to it being red.

This is actually similar to the Shrødinger's cat paradox. You believe that the car is going to be blue, hence it'll remain blue until someone else tell you otherwise. Even though the original experiment makes sense on a quantum level, it is a paradox indeed. You may see a blue car, but how are you ever going to be sure that it really is blue. The only way for you to confirm that, is to ask someone else. If two people agree that the car is blue, at least now you're sure that one other person perceives it as the same color.

The next step is simply impossible. Do this person see the same blue as I do? Two people have now confirmed that the car is blue, but who is there to tell you that your blue isn't red for the other guy?

If you bring up a child, teaching them that the color red is actually blue, they will believe this idea right until someone tell them that this is not true. Easily solved. But, what if that kid is the only one in the world who sees red as blue. No one would every know, not even the child itself. Now the problem stands that initially you and the kid is seeing two different colors, but you both believe it to be the same color. If this is true, every human being may see different colors yet we all believe them to be identical to the way other people perceive them.

Nothing exits until somebody perceive it, and that somebody subconsciously determines the outcome of said event. Back to Shrødinger's cat; (refined version) you place a cat inside a totally sealed box. You can not hear, feel or see the cat at all. You add a toxin that will eventually (at a totally random point in time) emit a poison that kills the cat. No question, the cat will get killed at some point. What happens next is entirely up to the person controlling the experiment. While the cat sits inside the box, without you knowing, you will automatically subconsciously drift towards the idea of the cat either being alive or dead when you open the box again. This cannot be helped, if everything is created within the mind, the mind simply cannot go without determining the outcome of a given event. For the laws of reality and physics to work, the cat has to be either dead or alive.

The experiment says that, seeing as the toxin will react at a completely random moment, at some point the cat will actually be both dead and alive, and only when you open the box, a final decision is made by the mind. In other words, basically, when you open up the box and find a dead cat, it's because you killed it.

This leads me to conclude that when you sit in front of your computer, reading this comment, only the world within your field of view actually exist. When you look away from the screen, that ceases to exist as well. Only because your mind so strongly believe that the screen will still be there when you turn back, it is. If you were to actually be able to totally and completely forget that you even had a computer, this would probably turn out to be true.

I think we're prisoners of our own limitations. What does it take to build a house? It takes tools, materials, lots of people working for many hours etc. But this is only because we believe it to be so. If you had never been showed or told that it took all of these implications to actually build a house, you could probably just go out in an empty field and just drag the house right out of your imagination and into existence, just like that.

I want to continue this but right now my thoughts are tangled so it'll have to wait till I've had a magical wand later... That usually alters my mind to another level.
I don't really have time to reply in full, but here's a poem by Ronald Knox, inspired by Berkeley's "esse est percipi". Anyhow, here's the poem:
There was a young man who said: 'God,
Must find it exceedingly odd
To think that the tree
Should continue to be
When there's no one about in the quad.
To which there was an anonymous (as it so often is) reply:
Dear Sir: Your astonishment's odd;
I am always about in the quad.
And that's why the tree
Will continue to be
Since observed by, Yours faithfully,
God
Anon... I have great respect for that guy. Most of the things I find fascinating come from him. ;-)
About philosophy:
I dont think it's usefull cause it doesnt tell you anything, philosophy is a great word for another one: "questions", since it doesnt tell you how anything works, that's science, philosophy was there when science happened, and recently they both parted different ways, cause now science can do it's thing by itself, cause now it's no philosophy what makes the questions, it's the necessities and the progress.

The colors:
Something isn't blue because two people see it the same way, it's because someone "told" them, where i see blue you could see "my green" and still call it blue, because they told you that color has that name, but when i see blue you will call it blue even if you see a different color, and you or me will make the mistake everytime, but wont matter cause the one that's wrong will have more mistakes that heal themselves

Existence:
If we had a purpose, that would imply an omnipotent being (it doesnt have to be god, not even everlasting) and i belive in evolution as the thing that created the different life forms, and there's no room in that for that being.
The meaning of life is what you want it to be, a ball has no meaning untill you give it to it.
@aradan, btw I somehow thought your name was "anpan"

@anpan and nightcore
aradan said:
The meaning of life is what you want it to be, a ball has no meaning untill you give it to it.
mips

related word: stenography. I mentioned it earlier in my example with the wind, but can we really be sure that simply because there's no meaning in something from our point of view there's absolutely none?
Gregol said:
while talking about philosophy i ment to refer to the present, where it's not usefull cause it's too far behind from what science does. In ancient times, people who could afford to look to the world in a scientific way were called philosophers, and they started science (which was the second of the two), just look at Pitagoras as a great known example.

I said "it doesn't have to be god cause when you talk about a mistical omnipotent being people think about god, and some also think natural selectin in some sort of "being", energy..."The world is not magic, and that's the most magical thing about it".
I see natural selection as i see gravity, some kind of rule/fact that happens cause it's ment to.
Gregol said:
linking back to Descartes: can you trust your own senses, reasoning, intuition, etc... ? We take the issue of putting trust in our own selves as a given in our daily lives, but I'm sure there are countless examples from our own respective experiences every one of us can come up with that led to failure or falsehood.
I consider objectivity an issue of understanding and not really about the senses.

Whether what we interpret as real is reliable and accurate, may be an issue of experience, self-development, etc.

We all have different bodies and experience reality differently, yet no one's perceptions of reality is less real then another's for it.

Between people these differences might be minimal but other animals are an example where their experiences of the world are extremely different yet they're no more or less objective then our own sense-experiences.

Cognition, intuition, isn't always about the world around you. What about creativity & innovation? Explicitly coming up with what's not already in front of you? I'd consider that an aspect of original thought / thinking.

Gregol said:
Is that even possible though?
Well, can you imagine anything you've never seen, heard-of or already experienced?

What I was getting at is that it's worth it to come to your own conclusions about things and to come up with your own ideas, irrelevant to whether it's possible to be completely non-influenced.

Gregol said:
That's only the case if the "number of choices" is "small enough" to be exhausted by the relatively small number of humans that live (lived, will live...) let alone the fact that our own lifetime (and intellect) is limited and therefore not suited for exploring infinite possibilities.
I wasn't trying to state it as hard fact. There are two possibilities however: the choices are infinite, or aren't and even if they aren't, then I think they are numerous enough to be "considered infinite for all practical purposes", as an engineer would say.
Alright. I would argue:
  • Finite is finite.
  • Don't think it's possible to prove the intellect is finite.
  • I get what you're saying but there may be other ways to prove a non-finite situation besides exploring numerous [finite] possibilities one by one. It's also a math question more then a philosophical one.
Gregol said:
That's specifically the materialist thought, which only became mainstream recently.
Religious people would say that they didn't come up with the idea, "God(s) told them". Whether or not to believe that particular claim, that's where a person's faith comes in.
Let's be real, a human put pen-to-paper at some point. I have nothing against devotional temperaments but nobody claims God wrote a gospel. That was done by us (humanity) with the oldest religions beginning with verbal transmission.

Even if these thoughts were divinely inspired - would that change anything?

Gregol said:
Whether or not it's possible isn't topic of this post) to teach humanity, because, I think, we humans, on our own, can only reach "the great truth" by chance, if at all, and even then, we might not recognise it as such.
"The Great Truth"? ... what :P

Gregol said:
some quasi-related thoughts
For people that don't wish to investigate it, maybe science is similar to a faith. But whatever change it produces in the world is very visible, life-changing and irrefutable such that it's not a completely blind faith.

I think people's views of science would be more realistic if they understood the scientific method and the fact that most of our models start with an idea or a hypothesis that comes from us.

To that last part, the way I see it names, labels, descriptive references, are more about communication (as in, the transmission of an idea between human beings) then thought itself. In my experience, people also rarely confuse reality, thought, language with each other.

vf.nightcore said:
Everything was created from the same matter.
Tangent to topic but I consider the philosophy of matter to be a theory both coined by us and disproven on the most fundamental level.

mmmmuffin
How do you guys feel about the theory that everything that is happening now or will happen in the future has ALREADY happened and our world has already ended, and we're basically playing out existence as if it were a VHS tape?

It blew my fucking mind when I heard about it.
@sùzù

@sùzù and nighty
  • Humans aren't the only thing in existence capable of thinking and reasoning. (Other) Animals show evidence of this all the time.
conflict of definitions, I believe. I know it's not related to anything I said, but my personal definition of "reasoning" is one that automatically excludes animals. I suspect it might also be the case with nighty.

@emmy
snip

Anyway, this is a good place to link back to the "scientific zealots" @sùzù:example
Ignoring the possible correctness of everyone's individual beliefs, humans remain humans, no matter the "era", level of advancement or average level of education.
Einstein said:
Weisheit ist nicht das Ergebnis von Schulbildung, sondern des lebenslangen Versuchs, sie zu erwerben.
Also, I'm confident that if you were to look away from a muffin on the table and I were to take it and gobble it, it will definitely be gone by the time you look back to recreate the world in the moment, muffin and all.

(* We can probably experiment to that affect if you want. ;o )
It would take for both of us to completely forget about the muffin for it to dissapear. It's not enough that I just look away since you ate it, now you know about the muffin and you also know that you took it from me.

According to my theory at least.

If practical reality without a high dose of LSD actually worked that way then expectation, phobia and paranoia would run and dominate a lot of people's lives on a daily basis. I don't mean to say you suffer from these ailments but what if the person next to you did? Even for a minute? Ignorance and superstition would never actually be identified for what they were (ie. not-truth by definition) in your description of the world because by believing in ignorant ideas or superstitions, they would also therefor be making them true. Life experience strongly suggests the world does not work that way and people have suffered for their convictions in incorrect beliefs in the past simply because that's what they are.
I do "suffer" from a little paranoia, but that's only because I do whatever I can to stay out of trouble. I'm never afraid what could happen, yet I want to be able to live a peaceful life without the worries that something bad (whatever it might be) could happen or that I would have to do or talk to someone I don't like.

No phobias though. I've tried, but I simple cannot think of one single thing that scares me. If anything, I don't like the thought of my family or friends getting hurt but that only pushed me to start working out and training fighting techniques, so that I can protect them.

I just can't think of anything. I guess I was a tiny bit afraid of spiders once, but after I got my disease and started hallucinating (sometimes pretty bad) I'm just not scared of real things anymore. I have heard and seen wicked things and creatures through hallucination, it fucks you up a little...
otaku_emmy said:
How do you guys feel about the theory that everything that is happening now or will happen in the future has ALREADY happened and our world has already ended, and we're basically playing out existence as if it were a VHS tape?
  • Time isn't linear.
  • How would you know? sùzù xplains!
  • Fatalism/determinism/end-times are popular beliefs and repeatedly recreated the world over and throughout human history. (I can't get behind that myself.)
  • Ground Hog's Day + Angel Beats! used that as a plot device. ;p
The first bullet above is the best sticking point...

Time Theory

Not a spoiler.

On that note. I really have to stop getting roped into philosophy threads like this one. hahah
I'm really starting to wonder, what is reality even?

I mean, I am me and you are you, but it's all in our minds. The body is just a device designed to carry us around. So in theory, can't we just change reality to fit our needs? Or is it a mix of reality and fantasy, if so it must be possible to travel to other dimensions.

I feel like I'm closing in on the answer.