Dig that ditch

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by stock777, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. I hate to get all philosophical here, but much of your existence is based on perception.

    Example: Most of you would be doing something useful like farming or ditch digging if not for the great illusion. I suspect 99% of you perform no useful function other than to consume.

    So don't dismiss so fast the effect of all these rumors and manipulations.
  2. In philosophy - there are no absolutes, because we can not prove anything to be absolute because of the vastness of knowledge and the universe - save one thing - the concept of "nothingness".

    The concept of nothingness is one of the toughest topics in philosophy, because it's extremely elusive. At the moment you try to label it or describe it - it's no longer "nothing". Nevertheless we all have a notion what nothingness is.

    According to Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem, we can't create a system or model that engulfs "everything" - since there would always be something "outside" - per definition, when trying to limit something.

    Logics - like the most simplistic two-value propositional logic used by most people - is only capable of reasoning about the most simple facts and phrases. Even then there are many situations where the simple logic does not resolve to something that seems "intelligent" or "reasonable". There are first-order logics, second-order, modal logics, paraconsistent logics, dialethism etc. But none of these systems are sufficient for all kinds of reasoning - because they are based on formal languages that limit their system to what can be expressed.

    So, no matter how we try to conform, are followers/sheep of some system or try using philosophical means - we all interpret things slightly different.
  3. stu


    I don't agree.
    Unlike the concept of "nothingness" or the topic "nothing", existence exists is an axiom. It is an irreducible primary, and as such, a foundation of that philisophical all knowledge you mention .
    In philosiphy - it is a statement to which no more of a basic premise can be brought. It cannot be refuted without the refutation contradicting itself.

    Besides, I am not convinced it is necessarily the vastness of the Universe which would be the arbiter in making a declared absolute provable or umprovable.
  4. stu,

    axioms exists within systems/models - which are all relative. "Existense exists" is a reification, or tautology at best.

    You can find no absolutes in the universe - neither the universe itself, as it's growing and expanding - except the concept of "nothingness". This does not mean that "nothingness" is the opposite of "everything" - because "everything" includes "nothingness".
  5. "You can find no absolutes in the universe..."

    Sure sounds like an absolute statement to me...

    and the statement is occurring within the universe.

  6. ZZZzzzzzzz,
    yes, and the absolute expressed is the one about "nothingness" - the only concept that comes close to something absolute.
  7. stu


    With respect Gringinho, I am not sure you have thought this through.
    When you say "axioms exists within systems/models" did it not occur to you that the first two words of that statement confirmed the point I was trying to make in my previous post?

    It is also therefore the case that "nothingness" would have to exist to have the quality of "nothing". Nothing too (as well as axioms and systems and models and everything else - including "nothing") is contingent on existence and therefore not absolute.
    Therefore "nothing" can be no more an absolute that anything else in the Universe (including the Universe), except for existence, which has no contingencies.

    Existence exists, is more than just a truism. Unlike "nothing" it is irreducible. By the attribute of existence and your description for absolute, it is more absolute than "nothingness" ever is.
  8. stu,
    I think what you are trying to explain is that you are adhering to existensialism.

    The concept of nothingness trancends existence, since you can't find "nothingness" anywhere. In my opinion "nothingness" is part of reality - as a concept and notion that we always carry with us, as well as that which is "unknown" - but when we happen to interact with it turns from "nothingness" into "knowledge". The future does not exist - yet, and does not form any part of reality. Reality is that which you can interact with. Nothingness is real, but does not exist - it escapes you in the moment you interact with it. Existence embraces the present and the past - as in exists and existed. You can't say that something will exist in the future, and the future is always created in the instant where it becomes part of reality. That's how far it goes.

    In epistemological terms, I would say that nothingness is the trigger for our knowledge as we stand and observe to learn, or for later reflection when we observe the "nothingness" within our knowledge. Curiosity, creativity and necessity for self-preservation is the central nature of any concept on any level, with integrity as the force to maintain it as a structure and allowing it to grow. Intelligence is an adaptation for this self-preserving nature.

    Well, some of my central epistemological and fenomenological views anyways. Philosophy is quite fun as long as you can keep an open mind.

    Hehehe, in the US they established "the Church of Free-thinkers" - now there is an oxymoron if there ever was one ...
  9. Vista


    I think most humans perceive themselves or our species, as much more important than they really are. Certainly the most intelligent, but in many categories way behind.
  10. It's really cool when you start looking into systems theory, complex adapting systems, decision theory and how intelligence is composed of various aspects (fluid and crystal intelligence, lateral thinking, swarm intelligence and the DNA encoded skills) ...

    It really gives a whole new meaning to Abiogenesis, and it will be interesting to see if they can take the recent strides they've made by creating the basic materials for cells by chemical processes and actually be able to create a primitive cell one day ...

    Of course that won't change anything in the minds of religious people, but they wouldn't change their minds if little green humanoids even landed in their back yard.

    #10     Jul 14, 2008