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Thread: How will philosophy survive?

  1. #1 How will philosophy survive? 
    ox
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    Philosophy appears to hold ground somewhere between uncertain religion and certain science, but I'm guessing that these days it sits nearer to science in the form of the philosophy of science. When you look back on the history of philosophy then too many ideas are discarded. Bertrand Russell did a good demolition job in his 'A History of Western Philosophy' of most of the philosophers he discusses. We can assume this trend will continue. All too often philosophy is characterised by long winded assertions. Contrast these with some of the throw away remarks of science. So we have explanations for the nature of life: Design does not need a designer (Darwin); Bodies are built by selfish genes for their own survival and replication (Dawkins); Humans are made of the nuclear waste of atoms produced by ancient stars (Hoyle); Matter, which includes humans, is a distortion of the fabric of spacetime (Einstein). I don't know of any philosophy which comes close to these unsettling truths.Science even seems to do away with the idea of the present. We all think we live in the present, but there is only the time cone of the past and the time cone of the future where apparently all possible histories have and will be played out. You can argue that where they intersect is the present, but the present is always sinking into the past. Because of the finite nature of the speed of light even this computer screen is in the past, while the star you see in the heavens could be from the time of the dinosaurs. Again I don't know of any philosopher who anticipated this.You can still make a living on the back of science. For instance, Daniel Dennett claims that there aren't enough minds to house the population explosion of memes, while it is not certain that memes really exist.Kant believed that all planets were inhabited. Aquinas and Kant gave proofs of God's existence. Surely no philosopher will attempt that again. Nietzsche declared that God was dead. This seems to resonate with Stephen Hawkings claim in 'The Grand Design' that philosophy itself is dead as it has not kept up with modern developments in science. Feynman remarked that the philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds. On the other hand, Dennett maintains that there is no such thing as philosophy free science.I guess that philosophy is still worth studying for what people believed in the past, but is its day now passed?


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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    All too often philosophy is characterised by long winded assertions.
    Yes. Yes, it is.


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    Science is very effective within its chosen sphere of influence, but that sphere is constrained. Philosophy has the potential to address wider and deeper issues, however it is much more difficult to apply effectively since its methdology is currently less well defined.

    Philosopphy will have outlived its usefulness when we no longer have to ask why.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    All too often philosophy is characterised by long winded assertions.
    Yes. Yes, it is.
    At least we know irony will survive.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    On a more serious note, I would say there are two kinds of philosophy. There is the intellectual pursuit where people write books that are studied in University classes, then there is the everyday philosophy that everybody uses without thinking about it. This is how people decide what is moral or immoral, desirable or undesirable, and how they want to live their lives. I would say this kind of philosophy is more important than science. Somebody first has to decide that science is even worth doing or else it would not even be done.
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    There is also aesthetics, that branch of philosophy concerned with beauty. What could be more important than that? The building of an explosive device is a matter of science and technology. The manner in which it is to be employed is a philosophical one, as Harold is kind enough to point out.
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    science is restricted in its remit by 2 constraints :

    (1) methodological naturalism, i.e. it is only allowed explain by assuming that there is only a natural explanation
    (2) use of the scientific method, which is a mixture of observation, induction and deduction

    philosophy is less constrained, allowing it to explore areas that are (at least for the time being, often through lack of knowledge) out of bounds for science
    e.g. the exploration of the human mind has become more of a science now that neuroscience has grown in maturity
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Okay, I'm prepared to believe that amateur philosophy will survive, but I'm not sure about the professional version. I remember when I first picked up books by Daniel Dennett I thought I was reading science. Then I realised that this was a bit of overlap between science and philosophy. This is in contrast with the pure philosophy of the past, which always assumed the cosmos was God's creation. If I suggest that there is a multiverse out there then this is presumably philosophy, but even this lags behind because I believe it was suggested by science. Our minds can't go any further than this, can they?
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    Discussing the bounds of science cannot take place within science, but only within philosophy. Science is a subset of philosophy.
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    As science strictly defined finds it difficult or impossible to create metaphors,

    and as essentially all human understanding is via metaphor,

    if we want to understand our scientific discoveries we will be resorting to philosophy at least - quite possibly poetry and other arts, in the final analysis.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Discussing the bounds of science cannot take place within science, but only within philosophy. Science is a subset of philosophy.
    Well put. Used to be called "natural philosophy", didn't it? Literally, "philosophy" means "love of wisdom", hopefully this will never go out of style.
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    Precious little in philosophy cannot be discredited. Little in science ever is. That's why I don't believe science is a subset of philosophy any more. It might have been in the early days of science. As Hawking says, science has raced too far ahead of philosophy. What would you offer to a sick person? A bit of ancient wisdom or a scientific cure? I don't blame the ancients because they had little choice. Most wisdom is folly anyway. Take the Chinese Book of Changes (I Ching). Throw 6 sticks. See their arrangement and hey presto! you've got the wisdom of a sage, or so they claim. Wisdom comes in realising that is nothing but mumbo jumbo. In eastern philosophy the wise are calm, fearless and laconic, but only if they have meditated on a cold rock for 16 years, or whatever. The wise in Hebrew times considered wisdom to be better than gold or silver. Try me! I think that the values of a sense of right and wrong evolve in populations and it has nothing to do with philosophy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Precious little in philosophy cannot be discredited. Little in science ever is.
    the history of science is littered with hypotheses that have been superseded by later ones
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    Harold, Bingo !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Precious little in philosophy cannot be discredited.
    Really? And you've taken a survey of the history of philosophy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    it has nothing to do with philosophy.
    I think your argument has little to do with philosophy.

    Philosophy is the science of argument. It studies how to ask useful questions, how to analyse answers, the nature of logic, etc. That is why it underpins science: how do we know what a "hypothesis" or a "theory" is, what is valid evidence, etc? Philosophy.

    You seem to be criticizing some metaphysical ideas under the label "philosophy".
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhysBang View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Precious little in philosophy cannot be discredited.
    Really? And you've taken a survey of the history of philosophy?
    Bertrand Russell did in his History of Western Philosophy, and he just about discredits all philosophers. I think Stephen Hawking is right when he says that philosophy is dead. We don't trust philosophers today. We trust scientists and engineers. Philosophy makes a simple idea sound tedious. Science simplifies a difficult idea. Just as classical physics doesn't work at the quantum level, then philosophy fails outside of normal human experience. Most of it is based upon speculation and superstition.
    People in the past had faith in religion and philosophy. These two systems are now being dismantled now that faith itself is shown to no more than superstitious belief.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PhysBang View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Precious little in philosophy cannot be discredited.
    Really? And you've taken a survey of the history of philosophy?
    Bertrand Russell did in his History of Western Philosophy, and he just about discredits all philosophers. I think Stephen Hawking is right when he says that philosophy is dead. We don't trust philosophers today. We trust scientists and engineers. Philosophy makes a simple idea sound tedious. Science simplifies a difficult idea. Just as classical physics doesn't work at the quantum level, then philosophy fails outside of normal human experience. Most of it is based upon speculation and superstition.
    Scientific methodology has been examined and defined by two men: Karl Popper and Thomas Khun. Both of them were philosphers. Daniel Dennet wrote one of the best overviews of evolutionary theory available - Darwin's Dangerous Idea. He is a philosopher. As a condemnation of Creationsim consider the work of philsopher Roger Pennington. Philosophy is assuredly not based on specualtion and it is not based on superstition. Your view of it is based on ignorance.
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    For John Galt. I am a non-university Philosopher. My grandfather on my Fathers side was a '' bush'' Philosopher. adelady will explain what a ""Bush "" Philosopher is and isn't. We in Australia could not have managed without them. Their language probably rose out of the Convict area. Certainly from the harsh Invironment they faced as they battled to establish a Nation. The vast open Country also contributed to Philosophysing. Men were often alone in the countryside, to put a nice description, weeks on end, but there were always books, no matter how well thumbed. Plenty of time for wondering about the Nature of things, plenty of time for observing things, living a rough life with rough companions, seeing more things in the raw so to speak. In their old age they would be recognised as having experience of life, and respected for that. Often they had none or little schooling, and often went hungry, in all sense of the word. The making do with what was at hand, if they were given to dreaming maybe they were Poets as well. Perhaps this form of Philosophy is no longer relevant in todays ""modern fast world with instant communication"" perhaps people no longer enjoy the type of leisure required to spend time, outside Science, that is, for a good old understanding of Philosophy. westwind.
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    Philosophy makes a simple idea sound tedious. Science simplifies a difficult idea. Just as classical physics doesn't work at the quantum level, then philosophy fails outside of normal human experience. Most of it is based upon speculation and superstition.
    Clearly you don't know too many professional philosophers.

    Their whole intention is to use analysis and logic to override superstition and speculation. It's true that much of what used to be in the province only of philosophy has now moved into areas like physics, psychology and sociology. But it's also true that philosophy has specialities like any other discipline - philosophy of science and of education are prime examples where the parallel work of philosophers alongside what we now think of as the core discipline helps the whole process considerably.
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    As for 'bush philosophers'. This is just the Australian version of folk wisdom.

    I suppose they didn't do as much harm as 'bush lawyers'. Now there's a path with many treacherous byways.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Scientific methodology has been examined and defined by two men: Karl Popper and Thomas Khun. Both of them were philosphers. Daniel Dennet wrote one of the best overviews of evolutionary theory available - Darwin's Dangerous Idea. He is a philosopher. As a condemnation of Creationsim consider the work of philsopher Roger Pennington. Philosophy is assuredly not based on specualtion and it is not based on superstition. Your view of it is based on ignorance.
    don't forget Michael Ruse - his "Darwinism and its discontents" is a must-read
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    I found Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea to be a bit of a yawn, in common with the rest of his books, in common with other philosophers. Contrast these guys with the people I really like: Charles Darwin, born 50 miles to the north west of me; Isaac Newton born 60 miles to the north east; Paul Dirac born 80 miles south west; Francis Willughby (pioneer of ornithology) born 20 miles away. Okay, these are my local heroes and you will have yours too. What makes them different is that they underpinned their knowledge with solid observation or mathematics. Philosophy and religion struggles to do this, whatever methodology is applied.
    Quantum physics is the best description we have of the world, but philosophy and religion work off the classical idea, and we lack a quantum theory of the mind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I found Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea to be a bit of a yawn, in common with the rest of his books, in common with other philosophers.
    I think this says more about you than about Dennett.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    a quantum theory of the mind.
    This strikes me as the sort of meaningless speculation that you appear to dislike in (what you label) philosophy.
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    You're all acting like philosophers.

    First of all, I'd like to present a quote from a little known film by Guy Ritchie: "If there's one thing I've learned about experts, they're experts on f*** all." -Jake Green [character from the film Revolver]

    This is in reference to people's differentiation of these so called "professional philosophers" from the lay ones. There is no difference except that the so called professional has come to understand that this love, or addiction, to knowledge can be used as a form of income in our modern idea of civilization. Sort of like an alcoholic owning a bar.

    I think it's funny how so many have come to discuss the purpose of philosophy, and thus it's place in our world and it's ability to "survive." Philosophy, like science, is not just some system people have put into place to entertain themselves that may or may not continue to be "useful." It's a natural process. Some people love knowledge and as a result of that indulge in knowledge. Some people are interested in nature and thus find their way into science. Some people move in both directions. Neither of these things have any professed purpose to us humans. Someone may say philosophy has a purpose, and some may say religion is outdated, and if i want I can say that God is in favour of science. However, this is all mere speculation, this is all just philosophizing. And it seems to me that you all are indulging, as you should be.
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    Philosophy is soap for unclean minds reflecting on what God washes.

    I mean, taking that slowly, it can make sense.
    Last edited by perseus; June 16th, 2012 at 09:12 AM.
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    festina lectum, lente intellectum. 好吧?
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I found Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea to be a bit of a yawn, in common with the rest of his books, in common with other philosophers.
    I think this says more about you than about Dennett.
    If the comet Swift-Tuttle really is heading our way in 2126 to deliver the same fate to us as one of its bretheren did for the dinosaurs then Man's delusions will be exposed. Our saviour is less likely to be a Jesus or a Galt than a space scientist who gets his maths right. Man always lives in Last Times. The version today has some scientific backup, but in the past it was based upon the supernatural explanations of human origins and events in the form of what we now call myth. The origin of philosophy lies in the efforts of some to transcend these superstitions.
    So who d'ya trust when the comet is approaching? Do you go to church and pray? Do you reach for the Summa Theologica or perhaps the City of God? Will you still put faith in the mysogynistic rants of Aquinas (women are inferior and have no souls), or Augustine (Eve was responsible for blighting the whole human race with Original Sin).
    Perhaps you might delve into Wittgenstein and his Tractatus for comfort and find that the world is only a divided totality of facts after all? I know I need to brush up on this and I like the implied idea that there is a spacetime worm extending through all time. And I particularly like proposition 2. I almost feel that I can understand 2.014 Objects contain the possibility of all situations and 2.02 Objects are simple. This treatise is so wonderful that it can be started at any point, and no doubt read from any angle and even upside down.
    But will it save us from the comet? Darwin predicted that one day all human knowledge will be lost. Maybe we could put it on a computer and jettison it into space. I doubt if a finder would be interested in our philosophy and religion, but they might be startled by our science.
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    Are you saying that because philosophy will not save us from a comet that it will therefore not survive?

    You're trying to put worth on something that has no innate worth. Just as we human beings have no innate worth. Science has none either. I think what you are looking for is technology. Technology may "save" us from a comet, but religion, philosophy, and science will not.

    Philosophy never was and never will be a "saviour." Same goes for religion and science. Besides, the idea of a saviour is subjective. Someone could actually claim anything to be their saviour, and and set of circumstances to be indicative of being saved. The scientist might consider the use of technology providing a means of escape and thus preserving one's own life in this realm as being saved. The religious person might consider preserving their idea of a soul as being saved. The philosopher might be saved from this meaningless world by the comet itself.

    I don't understand where all this conjecture is going. Though, if it's going nowhere that is of course completely okay, an presents us with a perfect example of philosophy at work. Questions which go nowhere!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    If the comet Swift-Tuttle really is heading our way in 2126 to deliver the same fate to us as one of its bretheren did for the dinosaurs then Man's delusions will be exposed.
    Quote Originally Posted by WP
    there is absolutely no threat over the next two thousand years
    Comet Swift

    <rambling comments deleted>
    What does any of that have to do with philosophy. Perhaps you need to define what you mean by the word.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Princess Bride
    You keep using that word but I do not think it means what you think it means
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    Dear Philosophy. The Chinese are getting on with the construction of their Space Station. Confucius ( at the end of the 6th Century BC ), Philosophied. His teachings were amplified byChu Hsi and later byWang Yang-ming in the 16th Century. The Confucius Philosophy became an official doctrine of China From the First Century AD until 1947 of the present era. This is a form of Philosophy that served a Nation for a long long time, longer then many other Philosophies that have appeared since. Maybe the value of a disciplined Philosophy of this nature prepared China for the Scientific endeavours they are engaged in at the present time. When the Comet comes they will be all up there in their Space Station, safe from harm. and then they will return and colonize the new Earth. westwind.
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    Wrong, though the PRC would probably not admit it, but they more closely follow Lao Zi (Dao De Jing), and only promote Confucian teachings to appear magnanimous. (Do Confucius teachings discuss government? Do they teach to make people satisfied so as not to revolt? Do they teach to suppress creative thinkers who might advocate change? Do they teach secrecy and control? No, but Lao Zi does, as does the Yi Jing, Sun Zi, Sun Bin, and others.) Confucius was a philosopher, but not in the western sense of the word. Really he was more like a teacher, and his teachings were later used in philosophy. The teachings of both Confucius, Lao Zi and many others were all highly influenced by a very obscure work known as the Yi Jing. The Yi Jing and the Lao Zi were the primary influence in the development of Chinese martial thought, martial arts, and governing.

    A better example of Confucian teachings being applied to the governing of a culture or nation is in the Samurai class of Japan, who's ethic known popular as Bushido was highly influenced by Lao Zi, Buddhism, and Confucius (particularly on their concern for family or the clan, their ideas regarding learning, and specifically internalizing one's lessons, learning from friend as well as foe, and much more).

    Yet still, I don't see what any of this has to do with comets. Did Socrates prepare Europeans to develop science and survive comets???!?
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    Dear DaBoB. We finally meet on Space, er;; Imean Science Forum. Have you been avoiding me? I certainly was worried about you. ( chat box ). But I've never pressed the Ignor Button. Now it has become clear to me. You really are an intellectual in the disguise of an ordinary bloke like myself. And you are quite right of course. I wasn't intentionally writing up Confucius as a brilliant Philosopher, only making the point that his presentation of ideas became a guiding Philosophy for the Chinese Nation. Yep, the teachings were certainly corrupted by selective Political corrections to suit and support the ruling Regime. But Confucius surely had all the people in mind when he put down his ideas? The Corruption and Political expediency came later.? Do philosophers worry about Comets? I somehow don't think so. Philosophers only want to drive the bus, they don't take fares or fix flat tyres. I'll still keep my beady eyes on you DaBoB, but if you can get a good referee to speak for you then that will be OK. westwind.
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    To be perfectly honest I'm not too good with Confucius, until I recently began reading classical Chinese and began to discover that many of his ideas were adopted by the Samurai, which I am more familiar with. Obviously I'm more familiar with other Chinese classics as well, but have not begun to tackle them all in their original language just yet.

    I'm sure he did have "all the people" in mind, though he's also known for saying there are those people who cannot learn or are too corrupt. 朽木不可雕也,粪土之墙不可圬也。 Literally means "rotten wood cannot be carved, and a muddy wall cannot be plastered."

    I used to have a low opinion of Confucius, but as I said, I had not read his work myself until recently, and I'm not actually through. I think he was a very smart guy with a lot of great teachings, and I absolutely think that the government and poor education has completely corrupted his teachings, turning him into a sort of mascot. Many other Chinese philosophers where much less virtuous or comprehensive, and in many cases could be perceived as superstitious by a misunderstanding foreigner, so I suspect the PRC chose Confucius to try to look good in the eyes of the foreigners while promoting Chinese nationalism. Do to a couple hundred years of foreigners mistreatment it is my opinion that much of China, including its government (or mostly) is struggling with some insecurities, and publicly choosing to follow the teachings of a more mystical figure like Lao Zi or the Book of Changes could be uncomfortable. Then again there's always Marx.

    I hope no one minds that we've high jacked this thread.

    I come and go. I don't actively ignore people, but I also don't actively pursue people either. Just kind of float around. I don't usually see these topics in the forums, and it's been a while since I've been in the serious scientific studies, so I kinda just poke around making comments these days.

    I wouldn't mind driving a comet. - - = = = ) )

    (that's supposed to be a comet going towards earth)
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    Dear DaBob. Thanks for your perceptive and understanding Poste. Your time is valuable. Your Knowledge is vast. And capable of being Specialized. As for myself my understanding revolves around ordinary surface learning, ( read no depth, here ), a small part, Specialization, mainly Art, History, Geology Nutrition and General Health, but, even fully extended, I could not impress a year 10 Student. So its up to you DaBob, don't give up, you can contribute to Issues and Debate concerning this new developing Philosophy in China, express your studied opinions in the readable Press, Weekend Comment, etc. Stay in there DaBob, give them stick. I;ll be OK DaBob, used to watching out for myself, old enough to know better, but I insist I have the right to be awkward towards pretenctious idiots like myself. I understand them, and give them Stick. Yep, Marx and Lenin were a part of my early education, They put the Frighteners on the Aristocracy and the Captains of Industry, leading to a better Life, Conditions and otherwise, of the Laboring class. Good Luck DaBob, keep up the studying. westwind.
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    First of all, science itself is nothing more than an agreeable energetic convergence within a species, itself, nothing more than a bickering illusion. We repeat words, ideas, and images back to each other using the same physics and energy that has and always will exist—then someone bangs a gavel and suddenly "science" is next to deism? Where are you getting this notion that philosophy is dying?

    If anything science is dying—considering the further we delve into it the horse stumbles into her own gallop (due to the nature of it as an evolving, transforming entity—like the human—which builds off its ancient predecessor and only changes, but never settles.) Philosophy is a way of measuring the communicative rants between these creatures. I say this and you say, "Yes! I saw it!" Because our words so often represent a similar internal experience (or perspective, or interpretation), science becomes a human pleasure for progressing technological advancements in an untimely five-sensory world.

    In truth, considering most "living" organisms documented in science cannot even perceive human existence—let alone lightwaves, sounds, and touch—it's next to fully implausible (or, rather, absent-minded) in suggesting our sciences somehow trump and transcend all higher patterns, concepts (including existentialism and reality itself), and contemplation. Science is an evolution of philosophy; it utilizes words, ideas, and definitions which are their selves relative. Science is meant to perpetuate philosophy, for which, as mentioned earlier, it is a subset of.


    To address some of these ridiculous scientific claims you consider to be a podium of death itself:
    Bodies are built by selfish genes for their own survival and replication (Dawkins)
    How does this relate to philosophy fading? Further more, the idea that selfishness plays a part in survival does nothing to address the global or universal connectedness dancing so harmonious apparent among us. Flowers evolving repeatedly—again and again—within completely isolated species. Miraculous healing. Transcendence in physics and technology. If this is not enough for you, I won't even waste my time enlightening on you on further flavors of the splendid world of awakening.

    Science even seems to do away with the idea of the present. We all think we live in the present, but there is only the time cone of the past and the time cone of the future where apparently all possible histories have and will be played out. You can argue that where they intersect is the present, but the present is always sinking into the past. Because of the finite nature of the speed of light even this computer screen is in the past, while the star you see in the heavens could be from the time of the dinosaurs. Again I don't know of any philosopher who anticipated this.
    How old are you? Not only have you neglected to credit any spiritual person or philosopher touching on the nature of time, but you've blatantly asserted it's so mysteriously absent that it warrants supporting your claims. Time, in the philosophical world, is considered relatively nonexistent; science can use "past" and "future" conceptual reference points in their speech and writing to document transformations in energy which have long ended in order to trace the origins and calculate (or, rather, measure) the predictability of the unraveling nature of that same energy in any given moment—but, again, it is always entirely within the moment itself. You can peer upon starlight and verbally barrage anyone with the intellectual understanding that the beam itself traveled billions of miles and countless lightyears before reaching your eye—but that DOES NOT in any way validate the past or future. You are kinetically creating a transfer of verbiage from potential energy inside of you in response to a collective, neurological entwine deeply rooted in evolution and still surviving at the moment that starlight impacts your eye—but no matter how many calculations or reference points within those measurements you apply to that experience, everything is always completely and entirely momentary. Science does not validate the past or future—it only cashes in on the use of physics and the human experience to perpetuate its cause.

    Science, language, and flesh are only fractals in an infinite myriad of mathematical possibilities; they dance, play, and interact with each other—but they will never, EVER change the reality that the present is all that is true in regard to time. Even if the future exists—it is truly in relation to calculations or yet some other energetic pathway in the universe—which, itself, is always present. The open door for philosophy and how it relates to prophecy, life, death, science, myth, art, and existence will always pervade.

    My personal opinion? There is a place for all of it. None of it is dying—it is really only becoming more and more beautiful, although precise.
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  40. #39  
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    antago, welcome to the forums, and not bad for a first post.

    You may or may not be aware of the relevance of what you have just stated. It is thought by some that a major distinction between western and eastern philosophy lies in understanding this concept of the present moment. The Chinese text which I previously only mentioned in passing, known as the Book of Changes, is more or less a living thing which can give a person a way to communicate with the present moment. It is difficult for me to explain in only a few sentences, but more than that and most people here will have lost their attention span. Western thinkers as well as modern eastern philosophers often discard the Book of Changes as an old magic trick, that western science has proved useless, however these people have completely missed the point. While this book could be seen in one sense as a book which "tells the future" it actually is not. Instead it only attempts to capture the present moment, influenced by human thought, and return this moment to the user almost like a discussion. It's an incredible expression of human nature, which humankind at its current stage of evolution is probably incapable of producing ex novo (from new/from scratch). This in my opinion is the result of too much thought, which is likely why the western philosophers never came up with such a work, nor would they have found it useful, or entertaining.

    We can also see a very clear interest in the present moment in the teachings of the Buddha. In Daosim as well.

    I guess I'm not yet saying whether I agree or disagree with your comments, but only pointing out an interesting correlation between what you have said and what was just previously discussed.

    Now I shall say.

    I think you are applying your opinion somewhat arrogantly, though that may be intentional, in that you state it as fact. Yet, for the most part I think we share a similar imagination. Namely this "bickering illusion" and science becoming a "human pleasure" come to mind. As I've probably stated before, philosophy, science, religion and the like should be taken as luxuries (rather austere ones), for it is impossible to place with certainty any kind of objective judgement as to whether or not these things are good/bad, right/wrong, progress/digress, and so on. Is this what is meant by your comments?

    I also usually point out when people bring up the age of the members here. As far as I can tell the only purpose for this action is to demean the questioned person's intelligence. This is inconsiderate. While age may have a considerable relationship to intelligence and wisdom we cannot assume that it always does, and it would be a mistake to do so. I also believe that such an obvious demeaning act can in many cases reveal insecurities in the actor. I can say this from personal experience.

    Enjoy the forum!
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  41. #40  
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    I echo DaBOB's remarks and note that he said them with greater elegance and authority. I especially observe that this was a very interesting first post. However, two things, the aggressive assertions and the verbosity, gave an end product that tended to be little more than ill formed, unsubstantiated opinion. As a critique of philosophy it tended to fall prey to the very weaknesses that ox has claimed and that the post attempted to refute. Nevertheless I loo forward to future contributions.
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    First let me start by reminding you all that the Internet is not a new forum, and whether this is the first post on this particular account for me or not is completely irrelevant. I am glad that your grandeur in pointing that out has elevated itself to some form of authority over whatever it is you think I am allowed or unallowed to say.

    That being said, at no point did I insult this person. I have no further interest in speaking with the two of you.
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  43. #42  
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    Quote Originally Posted by antago View Post
    First let me start by reminding you all that the Internet is not a new forum, and whether this is the first post on this particular account for me or not is completely irrelevant. I am glad that your grandeur in pointing that out has elevated itself to some form of authority over whatever it is you think I am allowed or unallowed to say.

    That being said, at no point did I insult this person. I have no further interest in speaking with the two of you.
    I'm sorry that the well intentioned remarks of DaBOB and myself have caused offence. This is a discussion forum and we were both discussing your views on philosophy, just as you were discussing your thoughts on the posts of another member. You make a number of definitive statements in your that seem to contain flawed thinking. Perhaps you will consider each of these in turn.

    There is considerable relevance as to whether a post is the first or thousand and first made by a member. For one thing, if it is the first then the member should be welcomed. This was done implicitly by both of us. More importantly, interpretation of intent can be difficult until one gets to know a poster's style. One can overlook indiosychracies, recognise when they are being ironic, see how the post fits into their worldview. This is not possible for a first post, which makes 'reading between the lines' more difficult. (I am sure you are well aware that what is said between the lines is often as important as the explicit statements.)

    You imply that we adopted a patronising attitude (reference to the grandeur of our remarks). It can be difficult to prevent praise or mild criticism from sounding patronising. A good example is where you ridicule the poster's ideas - "To address some of these ridiculous scientific claims you consider to be a podium of death itself"; or where you seem to snear at his age.

    Neither DaBOB or myself have placed any restriction on what you can say. We have expressed views on what you have said, rather less robustly than you expressed your own views. We have, indeed, encouraged you to say more. How you can interpret my expression of desire to see more posts from you as an authoritative restriction of what you can say leaves me bewildered.

    DaBOB did not say you insulted the other poster. He said that some aspects of your posts could be interpreted in that light. Do you not wish to be told when your intentions or meaning have been misunderstood? I welcome the opportunity to explain the intention behind my post, given that you have misunderstood that.

    I hope you will be willing to continue discussion in an open manner with both of us and all other members.

    JG
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    Some people do seem overly sensitive: "How dare you talk to me like that!"
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Okay, John, I'll address you once and only once—because I am fully disgusted by the narrow-minded and offensive intentions you have just slurred across the 1s and 0s of the universe. My reply to the "other poster", whom you apparently are disinterested in addressing by name (which is ox), was and is fully relevant. You chose to analyze my personality, insult my freedom of speech, criticize the use of rhetorics, intercept a conversation between two other members, encourage the discrimination of Eastern thought in Western America by belittling my original response, demeaned my existence pointing out my "first-post" in a free and open network, indirectly called me arrogant, and then insinuated to the rest of the community that there is something justified in attacking others by now defending and reiterating yourself.

    Does this explain it for you? If you cannot accept other individuals and thinkers, I assure you—my beloved, loved fellow human—that you shall always be held accountable. You are responsible for your actions, opinions, and judgements: No one else. Let me end by suggesting that posting "first" on an account in an Internet community does not make anyone a newborn, irrelevant, foolish, arrogant, or any less than righteous and deserving of respect; yet, you seem to encourage this perspective/stereotype. If you can, other than pointing out my use of rhetorics and an intense, fiery personality (which I assure you half the population possess), find any single line or word in my original post that is profane or vulgar—then I'll relent. As it is, you've taken it upon yourself to be the gestapo of conversation, mannerism, and intellect: One of which I'm sure is a deep reflection of your own lack of esteem, but we won't go there.
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    [post deleted] oh never mind ...
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  47. #46  
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    Quote Originally Posted by antago View Post
    How old are you? Not only have you neglected to credit any spiritual person or philosopher touching on the nature of time, but you've blatantly asserted it's so mysteriously absent that it warrants supporting your claims. Time, in the philosophical world, is considered relatively nonexistent; science can use "past" and "future" conceptual reference points in their speech and writing to document transformations in energy which have long ended in order to trace the origins and calculate (or, rather, measure) the predictability of the unraveling nature of that same energy in any given moment—but, again, it is always entirely within the moment itself. You can peer upon starlight and verbally barrage anyone with the intellectual understanding that the beam itself traveled billions of miles and countless lightyears before reaching your eye—but that DOES NOT in any way validate the past or future. You are kinetically creating a transfer of verbiage from potential energy inside of you in response to a collective, neurological entwine deeply rooted in evolution and still surviving at the moment that starlight impacts your eye—but no matter how many calculations or reference points within those measurements you apply to that experience, everything is always completely and entirely momentary. Science does not validate the past or future—it only cashes in on the use of physics and the human experience to perpetuate its cause.
    I'll rise above any personal slur by saying that for me education is all about asking questions and then examining available answers. After 3 years on The Science Forum I feel that I've learned a lot. I only ask questions if I feel that something has surprised and upset me and I want an opinion. In this case it was Stephen Hawking's assertion in his book The Grand Design that philosophy is dead because it can not now keep up with science.
    A priest was fond of saying to me, as some proof of God: 'Why is there something instead of nothing?' Now I think it was Leibniz who first posed this question. I would reply by saying that we may be close to answering this with the Big Bang Theory (creation does not need a creator) and Darwinism (design does not need a designer). This is an example of a question asked by a philosopher and answered by science. The one big question that still eludes us is why the universe bothers to exist in the first place.
    Now as Hawking's pet subject is time and the universe, let's very briefly contrast this topic in philosophy and science.
    According to Wittgenstein in the Tractatus:
    2.0251 Space, time and colour (being coloured) are forms of objects.
    6.4312 The solution of the riddle of life in space and time lies outside space and time.
    He doesn't say much else, though.
    By examining the Bible, Ussher and later Lightfoot in the 17th Century calculated the age of the earth. They found that October 4004 BC was the date of creation.
    I accept that there is no universal agreement among scientists that as to what time really is, and that some have questioned the fusion of space and time, but what science has unearthed is surely an improvement on this. So we have the beginning of time in the BBT. We have the end in a black hole singularity, and we have a reliable age for the earth and the universe.
    I think that's the problem with philosophy. Time itself has proved it to be way off the mark. Theists and philosophers have had their own way for too long. Who can really put faith now in the ramblings of Confucius, the mysticism of Lao Tzu, or the meditations of the Greek philosophers?
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  48. #47  
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    Ha, well then.

    I'll just say this.

    antago, I will be happy to address you more than once... should the opportunity suit my fancy.

    I noted your first post for two reasons. The first being simply to welcome you, and the second because on your first post I felt I already identified with your thoughts.

    I noted the age thing because I've seen it happen before and I know it bothers people, so I pointed it out. If I saw a guy picking on some kid in the street I'd point it out just the same. It's who I am. Sure I could have sent a personal message but I didn't. I think your reaction to my unintentional implication that you are new to forums is a perfect example of how bringing up someone's age can sound demeaning (but as I noted already that is not why I mentioned your post count).

    From what I can tell, no one here, up to a point, has implied any judgement on you and I'm not going to take part in these arguments (they go nowhere). I'm not a moderator or administrator and even if I was I don't really care that much. Say what you want. Ask everyone their age in (what seems to me to be) a rhetoric tone. Whatever.

    Lastly, when you address John I'm not sure who you're talking to as you seem to mention some things in my post, and it just so happens my name is also John... so... No matter, I guess we're both reading it anyway.

    Now, back to the topic.

    ox, I appreciate your staying your ground here, and the way in which you question. If it weren't for your questions and other's this wouldn't be a very interesting science forum, or at least the philosophy section may be bland. It is proof by the number of responses that, regardless of what people think of each other, people do have something to say about this.

    I'll rephrase more concisely what I have said, and I think some may agree on at least a similar fashion. I believe that philosophy never has and never will require faith. Philosophy has no ultimate purpose, though we are free to assign it a purpose. I think philosophy is just indulgence in our own intelligent minds. Food for thought you could say. If it has no use than I do not see how it can become useless or die. Sometimes philosophy goes into the realm of science and, as some have said, science can be considered an evolution or sect of philosophy, but the philosophy itself I suspect will only die along with its creator; which seems more likely (there are at this very moment a bunch of women cheering the drunk guys out my window to continue throwing bottles at each other, and I suspect a bunch of the biggest Chinese guys you have ever seen all dressed in black overseeing them),
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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  49. #48  
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    Sorry for the double post, but I just wanted to take another swing at the question titling the thread: "How will philosophy survive?"

    I already noted my appreciation for questions, but I think I should also point out that this is how philosophy will survive. Ox, you are promoting philosophy's survival as you type, and something tells me you're not the first to ask this question, and not the first to end uncertain.

    A tune comes to mind:

    Code:
    "Questions" by Mind.In.A.Box
    
    when I feel water soaking me through,
    I cannot drown them.
    when I feel fire burning me up,
    I cannot scorch them.
    when I feel the blade digging in,
    I cannot cut them.
    when I feel the rope tightening,
    I cannot choke them.
    
    it's the questions that haunt me.
    it's the questions that drive me.
    it's the questions that mar my sleep.
    
    it's the questions that pain me.
    it's the questions that guide me.
    it's the questions that cut so deep.
    
    it's the questions that burn me.
    it's the questions that need me.
    it's the questions that mark my core.
    
    it's the questions that soil me.
    it's the questions that feed me.
    it's the questions that yearn for more.
    
    I'm watching the rain,
    my mind wants to roam.
    I'm driving along,
    my mind needs to soar.
    
    I'm falling asleep,
    my mind finds no rest.
    I'm drifting away,
    my mind longs for more.
    
    I'm feeling disdain,
    my mind wants to moan.
    I'm crying alone,
    my mind needs to roar.
    
    I'm falling apart,
    my mind finds no nest.
    I'm screaming aloud,
    my mind is no more.
    
    when I feel acid in my sore eyes,
    I cannot rinse them.
    when I feel blisters on my torn skin,
    I cannot heal them.
    when I feel the chains shackling me,
    I cannot shed them.
    when I feel my hands strangling me,
    I cannot sever them.
    
    I'm watching the rain,
    my mind wants to roam.
    I'm driving along,
    my mind needs to soar.
    
    I'm falling asleep,
    my mind finds no rest.
    I'm drifting away,
    my mind longs for more.
    
    I'm humming a tune,
    my heart almost reeling.
    I'm strolling a path,
    my heart is so still.
    
    I'm forgetting myself,
    my heart is not beating.
    I'm feeling nothing,
    my heart is dead still.
    
    my heart is dead still.
    Is not not the perfect illustration of this addiction we are talking about, philo-sophy. Unless something literally separates our minds from us I see no way such an addiction shall ever be cured. And if something did separate our minds from us... what would be left anyhow? Even the Buddhist philosophize, and who better can detach from their thinking minds?
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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  50. #49  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Antago, you have issues. Please don't pollute this forum with them again. Thank you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by antago View Post
    How old are you? Not only have you neglected to credit any spiritual person or philosopher touching on the nature of time, but you've blatantly asserted it's so mysteriously absent that it warrants supporting your claims. Time, in the philosophical world, is considered relatively nonexistent; science can use "past" and "future" conceptual reference points in their speech and writing to document transformations in energy which have long ended in order to trace the origins and calculate (or, rather, measure) the predictability of the unraveling nature of that same energy in any given moment—but, again, it is always entirely within the moment itself. You can peer upon starlight and verbally barrage anyone with the intellectual understanding that the beam itself traveled billions of miles and countless lightyears before reaching your eye—but that DOES NOT in any way validate the past or future. You are kinetically creating a transfer of verbiage from potential energy inside of you in response to a collective, neurological entwine deeply rooted in evolution and still surviving at the moment that starlight impacts your eye—but no matter how many calculations or reference points within those measurements you apply to that experience, everything is always completely and entirely momentary. Science does not validate the past or future—it only cashes in on the use of physics and the human experience to perpetuate its cause.
    I'll rise above any personal slur by saying that for me education is all about asking questions and then examining available answers. After 3 years on The Science Forum I feel that I've learned a lot. I only ask questions if I feel that something has surprised and upset me and I want an opinion. In this case it was Stephen Hawking's assertion in his book The Grand Design that philosophy is dead because it can not now keep up with science.
    A priest was fond of saying to me, as some proof of God: 'Why is there something instead of nothing?' Now I think it was Leibniz who first posed this question. I would reply by saying that we may be close to answering this with the Big Bang Theory (creation does not need a creator) and Darwinism (design does not need a designer). This is an example of a question asked by a philosopher and answered by science. The one big question that still eludes us is why the universe bothers to exist in the first place.
    Now as Hawking's pet subject is time and the universe, let's very briefly contrast this topic in philosophy and science.
    According to Wittgenstein in the Tractatus:
    2.0251 Space, time and colour (being coloured) are forms of objects.
    6.4312 The solution of the riddle of life in space and time lies outside space and time.
    He doesn't say much else, though.
    By examining the Bible, Ussher and later Lightfoot in the 17th Century calculated the age of the earth. They found that October 4004 BC was the date of creation.
    I accept that there is no universal agreement among scientists that as to what time really is, and that some have questioned the fusion of space and time, but what science has unearthed is surely an improvement on this. So we have the beginning of time in the BBT. We have the end in a black hole singularity, and we have a reliable age for the earth and the universe.
    I think that's the problem with philosophy. Time itself has proved it to be way off the mark. Theists and philosophers have had their own way for too long. Who can really put faith now in the ramblings of Confucius, the mysticism of Lao Tzu, or the meditations of the Greek philosophers?
    First of all, the notion of a nonexistence universe is partially accurate—in that if all things exist and all possibilities, then you can equate this with nothing. Does anything exist?
    My personal perspective has come to the conclusion that the universe is a single beam of light (or a single pulse.) Based on the way this pulse changes in each "moment", the universe experiences itself and the passing illusion so incredibly fast and then folds over on its own rhythms to form laws of physics (in other words—based on the pulse of the single electric charge, unfolding steps/rhythms mimic/project what is the illusion of the laws of physics and the interacting of energy, but it is in essence a grand rhythmic illusion.)
    I first came to this idea by really digging deep at the notion of existence; indeed, the notion of "nonexistence" seemed to trump the logic of an existing one—but alas, it was surely my logic which was screwed up. Why continue believing this or upholding this question or idea whatsoever when the only real knowledge is that the universe does exist? Well, then I began unraveling the idea in my own neuropathic enlightenment (which is itself an outplaying of this single pulse and now repeating these grand words to you as if they mean anything) and noticed something: Existence can only ever be itself. How could Existence be multiple things at once? Indeed, if this were true, it would need some form of container—so what created the container? What is the container? Where does it reside? Where did those two objects within it come from? How do they co-exist? Which came first? Is one better than the other?

    The whole slew of paradox came crashing like waves on a crowded beach ... and the answer is always admittedly a single truth: It's all me. I am Existence. Everything is existence. In fact, in order for me to be conscious, I must simply be whatever the essence of existence is. Everything is really just that single pulse dancing and experiencing itself. There is no such thing as experience or consciousness ... really ... or an experiencer ... or the environment. It's all the same thing. It's a single pulse of existence rendering itself. I myself am nothing more than a complexity of rhythms in the single pulse which changes its state of being on the fly over and over and over again—and so are you. It's almost like binary, which explains why binary works so well—because that is what Existence is. It is only a single state of being at any given time; even your eyesight and sound is really just a rhythmic transformation of that one pulse (which is all of us.) As this pulse renders those sounds/images you "see" and "hear", it goes through the thread again and again, dancing those images (which their selves are nothing more than sensitive/rhythmic pulses mimicking the same energy which enters into your sensory system) and as it travels through over and over, it only paints a picture illusionarily—the objects and the images do not coexist. They are all the same pulse which changes and expresses them in their own incalculable time.

    We are just the same pulse talking to itself. If you could expand the horizon of your sensory system you would begin to become the universe itself—because that is in essence what senses are (a replication of energetic charges from all around us.) It is only the limited perceptions which block out the bigger picture and give the illusion of separation/individuality whenever we (the single existing pulse) moves through.
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    To further elaborate: Existence is both everything and nothing at the same time. It is less than itself and more than itself. The degree to which it is ever less or more is always changing and sporadic, in order to further appease all ranges of "lesses" and "mores". So, Existence is not only "something", but "nothing"—and then transcendent and descendent. It does it in rhythms and plays out in mathematical arrangements.

    So, in other words, one moment Existence may be high and glorious—then in another low and sad. It moves through every single mathematical rhythmic possibility; we are simply existing in a single interpretation of that possibility as it unravels. In order to ensure that it is never "frozen" or "paradoxical" (impossible), it continues changing and playing out infinitely changing possibilities. So, what you end up with in this dance is the beginning of a mathematical equation which renders the illusionary dance of a "big bang" universe (but is nothing more than the fading or illuminating dance of a single pulse); the equation itself is cyclical in a sense as it plays with every single possibility: This is where "time" and "physics" or "life" and "change" come into play. In other words, it goes through the mathematical equation which somehow meets back up where it was before and this time only changing slightly—the patterns of the changes are what we define as the laws of physics, but their selves are simply the illusionary outplaying of the repeating fractals within life itself (repeated in language, neuropathic interpretations/mathematical steps/changes.)

    Your consciousness/perception is simply a single changing dance in this giant universal equation; each moment you are nothing more than a further outplaying of different possibilities. Earth life and death are simply repeating patterns within this giant outplaying of possibilities—and the reason you feel "alive" is because Existence renders you over, and over, and over and changes its rhythm slightly each time and as it passes through you it experiences it. You could define that as you, but in essence it is simply me (and everyone else—or, rather, the universe/Existence) experiencing itself. Lacking the mathematical induction of energetic observations/steps repeating their selves in perfect harmony in your own mind or sensory system only gives Existence/me/others the illusion that we you exist.

    We're all the same pulse ... the same Existence ... the same eternal changing "heartbeat". Somewhere in the outplaying of every single possible rhythm (and remember, Existence never perfectly repeats itself because that too would create a paradox) we are experiencing this grand illusion. It is like a dream when you sleep: Everything in that dream world is still you (it's your mind!), but yet inside of it ... You believe the characters, trees, WHATEVER is real.
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    The reason the universe appears to be "expanding" is simply as I said: It is the range of "greatness" or "lessness" in constant flux to appease all possibilities. In order for each moment to be uniquely different than the last (because if it ever repeats itself then all paradoxes are true), the "beat" of the rhythm of both "nothingness" and "somethingness" change in their timing. Through the conquest of possibilities and changes you end up with a universe which appears to be expanding—but it is an out picturing of the increasing "steps" between beats in order to never ever really fully repeat the same pattern twice. For this to be possible, you must have an expanding horizon of possibilities or patterns/pulses in the ever avoident-paradox (which suits all logic and truth, and thus possibility.)
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    Bollocks.
    Strange and adelady like this.
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    Believe whatever you want; ain't no one ever put a gun to your head before.
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    And second of all?
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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    You're spamming.
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    Aren't we all?

    I am merely attempting to prove my point be promoting the continuation of philosophy, by philosophizing.

    You said "First of all" and I asked for a "second of all."
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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    (double post; see below)
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    A new paragraph denotes a new idea; the "first of all" denoted an initial response before a slew of following paragraphs (save narration.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by antago View Post
    A new paragraph denotes a new idea; the "first of all" denoted an initial response before a slew of following paragraphs (save narration.)
    If the subsequent paragrpahs had contained any discernible ideas then your intent would have been clearer.
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    Oh, well I'm sorry you can't understand English would you like me to point you to some online resources? Want a sucker?
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    This is fun...

    Though what you have pointed out can be philosophized on. Language that is.

    Language is not something you do or do not understand, and its usage not universal. Some of us have very specific meanings associated to certain words which other do not.

    There is a line I like from an episode of X-Files which I believe illustrates my point better than I:

    "By their nature, words are imprecise and layered with meaning; the signs of things, not the things themselves. It's difficult to say who's in charge." -Phillip Padgett [X-Files, Milagro]

    In my experience people manipulate words to mean what they want, rather than try to understand what the person speaking is trying to say. Often, for example, we can learn a lot about someone when they are venting, cursing, or using angry tones and words, but only if we step away from personal involvement and try to understand them without judgement. It's really all very complicated and interesting.

    Some words, like philosophy, religious, discrimination, science, technology, nation, etc. have very specific meanings to me because I have been in numerous situations where the words have been intensely discussed and debated over, but I cannot assume that any other person will share these associations, and to do so would be a mistake on my part, not theirs.

    Many of us have people in our lives that we can talk to individually and if someone else were listening at that time they would not understand the content or the tone. Dialects are almost like huge versions of this same phenomenon. Even when learning a language, we can look up words and memorize them all day long but don't know how to properly use them without experience listening, speaking and reading to reference on. Again in my experience, the more we relax our mind while communicating and the more methods of communication we learn the easier it is to comprehend another, both in literally listening and understanding meaning.

    Example of word association. I write thoroughly, but I strive to write more thoreauly
    westwind likes this.
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    It's about time you were back on deck DaBob. This Science Forum needs this standard of input to threads not readily understood by all Members and Guests. Comprehension of Poste is there. If I can understand what you are saying, then I am a good guide for others to be doing the same. Language is a tool. Hitler. Gobbels. A good Coach of a Competitive team. A good Polititian. All understand the power associated with swaying an Audience. So this ability, is it learnt? passed on through Heredity? a liking of words/, the ability to assemble words to clearly explain the unexplainable? Words and their Assembly are a passion of mine. westwind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by antago View Post
    Oh, well I'm sorry you can't understand English would you like me to point you to some online resources? Want a sucker?
    The primary responsibility of effective written communication rests with the author, not the reader. Rest is likely an inappropriate word, since the responsibility demands considerable action.

    The writer must have a clear message, delivered in a structured way, supported by English appropriate to the task. They need to plan, review and edit their work. There is no evidence in your posts that you understand these needs, or practice these commendable activities. I'm not surprised. The result is to be expected.
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    It's about time you were back on deck DaBob. This Science Forum needs this standard of input to threads not readily understood by all Members and Guests. Comprehension of Poste is there. If I can understand what you are saying, then I am a good guide for others to be doing the same. Language is a tool. Hitler. Gobbels. A good Coach of a Competitive team. A good Polititian. All understand the power associated with swaying an Audience. So this ability, is it learnt? passed on through Heredity? a liking of words/, the ability to assemble words to clearly explain the unexplainable? Words and their Assembly are a passion of mine. westwind.
    An Assembly of Words, what would they have to say about us? I think that they might learn to control us, by pretending to side with us, and then finally when we think they are us, we shall speak them to others and spread their power. Better not let them assemble. Stillness.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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    You have something there DaBob.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaBOB View Post
    An Assembly of Words, what would they have to say about us? I think that they might learn to control us, by pretending to side with us, and then finally when we think they are us, we shall speak them to others and spread their power. Better not let them assemble. Stillness.
    I assume here you are referring to the theory of Memetics and the work of Richard Dawkins and Susan Blackmore.
    I agree that words are unreliable, and if so then philosophy and religion are also unreliable.
    But we still have mathematics and that is not unreliable.
    As an example let's go back to the theory of time. An Eastern philosopher (I can't remember which one) stated that time stands still. This was improved upon slightly by St. Augustine when he asserted that there is only the present. The past exists only in the memory and the future only in expectation. I think this implies that the age of the Earth and the Universe is close to zero.
    It then took until the 17th Century for someone to reach for his Bible and determine the age of the Earth and therefore the Universe at about 6000 years.
    Now science on the other hand ages the Earth at about 5 billion years and Universe at about 14 billion years. Future estimates might vary but this is a huge improvement on philosophy and religion, which are largely based upon thought processes being revealed as words and not numbers.
    So let's play the numbers' game when it comes to to the question of 'how old is time?'

    Philosophers' (as mentioned) age of the Universe based upon the age of time: 10^0 seconds (say).
    Christian age of the Universe : 10^12 seconds.
    Scientific age of the Universe : 10^20 seconds. (That's a mighty difference with the power of exponentiation).

    Not only does the Christian Universe begin in recent times, and actually after the age of agriculture, but it then ends on the 'Day of Judgement', on a date which Christians always believe to be sooner rather than later. This is one of the biggest sources of conflict between Christianity and Science. Ask a Christian about this. They have to give this answer or they are not Christians. Words can be defeated by numbers.
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    These things are only unreliable in the sense that they are being used for a specific purpose and then only if they are used alone. If one uses intuition, history, relationship experience, body language, etc. language becomes much more reliable.

    Mathematics is only reliable in that it is essentially an invention used for a specific purpose. If for example we try to explain God, or space aliens using mathematics it suddenly becomes unreliable (depending on how you look at it).

    True philosophers do not give answers, and religions aren't literal, and so for their purpose they are reliable. If we try to put philosophy and religion to the same purpose as mathematics they become unreliable.

    I am unfamiliar with Memetics, Richard Dawkins, or Susan Blackmore.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Philosophy appears to hold ground somewhere between uncertain religion and certain science, but I'm guessing that these days it sits nearer to science in the form of the philosophy of science. When you look back on the history of philosophy then too many ideas are discarded. Bertrand Russell did a good demolition job in his 'A History of Western Philosophy' of most of the philosophers he discusses. We can assume this trend will continue. All too often philosophy is characterised by long winded assertions. Contrast these with some of the throw away remarks of science.

    So we have explanations for the nature of life: Design does not need a designer (Darwin); Bodies are built by selfish genes for their own survival and replication (Dawkins); Humans are made of the nuclear waste of atoms produced by ancient stars (Hoyle); Matter, which includes humans, is a distortion of the fabric of spacetime (Einstein). I don't know of any philosophy which comes close to these unsettling truths.Science even seems to do away with the idea of the present. We all think we live in the present, but there is only the time cone of the past and the time cone of the future where apparently all possible histories have and will be played out. You can argue that where they intersect is the present, but the present is always sinking into the past. Because of the finite nature of the speed of light even this computer screen is in the past, while the star you see in the heavens could be from the time of the dinosaurs.

    Again I don't know of any philosopher who anticipated this.You can still make a living on the back of science. For instance, Daniel Dennett claims that there aren't enough minds to house the population explosion of memes, while it is not certain that memes really exist.Kant believed that all planets were inhabited. Aquinas and Kant gave proofs of God's existence. Surely no philosopher will attempt that again. Nietzsche declared that God was dead.

    This seems to resonate with Stephen Hawkings claim in 'The Grand Design' that philosophy itself is dead as it has not kept up with modern developments in science. Feynman remarked that the philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds. On the other hand, Dennett maintains that there is no such thing as philosophy free science.I guess that philosophy is still worth studying for what people believed in the past, but is its day now passed?
    This is well written, and a fun read. But at bottom lies a misconception. Ox believes that: No scientist is a philosopher!
    Let us go back in time to the beginnings of philosophy...we might as well use bertrands rather lousy book:
    "A History of Western Philosophy" (I believe he wrote it to earn money.)
    What do we find...A scientist! Named Thales! He is a matematician and he is amazed by nature and wonders how it got the way it is!
    What is reality made of??

    I suggest the early philosophers and scientists could not be distinguished from each other.
    Only later when some philosophical activities (like mathemathics and astronomy) were well defined were the scientists distinguishable from philosophers,
    but mind you: they were still philosophers but specializing in certain areas of knowledge...

    The process still goes on...some of us refuse to specialize...We are problem oriented and recognize no borders!
    When we can define a problem enough (for some lazy characters wanting to be scientists) to leave philosophy proper...then by all means we happily celebrate a new born science!

    But...keep in mind...that to create sciences remains the philosophers main duty and privilege!

    No matter how many sciences are created the question whether a new science is needed remains
    the fundamental philosophical question!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    This is well written, and a fun read. But at bottom lies a misconception. Ox believes that: No scientist is a philosopher!
    Let us go back in time to the beginnings of philosophy...we might as well use bertrands rather lousy book:
    "A History of Western Philosophy" (I believe he wrote it to earn money.)
    What do we find...A scientist! Named Thales! He is a matematician and he is amazed by nature and wonders how it got the way it is!
    What is reality made of??
    No, I don't necessarily believe that no scientist is a philosopher, as both need to ask questions first and then find answers. So there must be a bit of overlap.
    Instead I'm impressed at the way science simplifies the universe, at the expense of philosophy and religion which make it sound either ever more complicated (philosophy) or unchallengeable (religion). Ultimately, science and philosophy or religion cannot be compatible.
    Thales asked the question as to what everything was made of. His conclusion was that as the Earth appeared to float on the sea, then everything was made of water. This was improved upon by Democritus and his idea that everything was made of atoms.
    This was most impressive when you consider that this was barely improved upon for 2500 years. However Democitus' atom was not Rutherford's atom.
    When Darwin set sail on the Beagle in the 19th Century with captain Fitzroy, the latter was looking for evidence of the Christian creation. Not only did he fail to find it but Darwin was able to advance a scientific theory of biological creation. When the Bible declared that God mysteriously made the Earth and Heavens in 6 days, this idea of a physical creation was not improved on much either until the 19th Century. Then, Boltzmann found that the Universe gives off its energy in the form of heat and must be dying. This was the first hint of the Big Bang Theory. Then came Hubble with his discovery that the Universe is expanding, and in the 1970's Hawking and Penrose described its birth in a Singularity. These examples serve to describe the gulf between science and religion, and also help to make philosophy redundant.
    These days we are not likely to hear a philosopher ask what things are made of. We are more likely to hear Is there a God? or Do aliens exist? But only because science cannot provide a definite answer at the moment.
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    Ultimately, science and philosophy or religion cannot be compatible.
    Who says?

    I think it might be you and a couple of others. And you/they think that because 'philosophy' is not exactly the same now as it was 100s or 1000s of years ago. Philosophy's not the same because it's done such a good job.

    The fact that concepts within philosophy a century or more ago, eg optics, sensation, perception have specialised or merged into physics, psychology and neurology and all the rest does not invalidate the questions that remain as ethics, theological enquiry, logic and 'meaning of life' issues. The more we know, the more we organise knowledge into specialties, faculties and sub specialties - look at medicine or physics as examples.

    Philosophy is not 'redundant'. You're quite at liberty to not like the fact, but it's just become more focused and specialised as all areas of intellectual endeavour have done.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    [These days we are not likely to hear a philosopher ask what things are made of. We are more likely to hear Is there a God? or Do aliens exist? But only because science cannot provide a definite answer at the moment.
    Your ignorance on these matters is impressive. I was going to write more, then I realised that was all that needed to be said.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    This is well written, and a fun read. But at bottom lies a misconception. Ox believes that: No scientist is a philosopher!
    Let us go back in time to the beginnings of philosophy...we might as well use bertrands rather lousy book:
    "A History of Western Philosophy" (I believe he wrote it to earn money.)
    What do we find...A scientist! Named Thales! He is a matematician and he is amazed by nature and wonders how it got the way it is!
    What is reality made of??
    No, I don't necessarily believe that no scientist is a philosopher, as both need to ask questions first and then find answers. So there must be a bit of overlap.
    Instead I'm impressed at the way science simplifies the universe, at the expense of philosophy and religion which make it sound either ever more complicated (philosophy) or unchallengeable (religion). Ultimately, science and philosophy or religion cannot be compatible.
    Thales asked the question as to what everything was made of. His conclusion was that as the Earth appeared to float on the sea, then everything was made of water. This was improved upon by Democritus and his idea that everything was made of atoms.
    This was most impressive when you consider that this was barely improved upon for 2500 years. However Democitus' atom was not Rutherford's atom.
    When Darwin set sail on the Beagle in the 19th Century with captain Fitzroy, the latter was looking for evidence of the Christian creation. Not only did he fail to find it but Darwin was able to advance a scientific theory of biological creation. When the Bible declared that God mysteriously made the Earth and Heavens in 6 days, this idea of a physical creation was not improved on much either until the 19th Century. Then, Boltzmann found that the Universe gives off its energy in the form of heat and must be dying. This was the first hint of the Big Bang Theory. Then came Hubble with his discovery that the Universe is expanding, and in the 1970's Hawking and Penrose described its birth in a Singularity.
    As we all know, or should know: Religion is a memetic disease.

    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    These examples serve to describe the gulf between science and religion, and also help to make philosophy redundant.
    These days we are not likely to hear a philosopher ask what things are made of. We are more likely to hear Is there a God? or Do aliens exist? But only because science cannot provide a definite answer at the moment.
    To be honest with you, you show one of the symptoms: Refusal to face the facts!
    If I heard a philosopher ask the questions you expect him to ask...
    I would recommend him to seek psychatric help!

    Now then...Those "philosophers" of yours... Are they bothering you?
    Do you check under your bed before you go to sleep?
    If so then I really do advice you to seek out psychiatric help!

    But I seriously dont think that is necessary in your case:
    You are only Ox-headed and have never communicated with a real philosopher.

    That is why you stick to these delusions of what philosophers ask and do.
    I suggest you do some scientific research on philosophy and philosopers... Good Luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    As we all know, or should know: Religion is a memetic disease.

    Now then...Those "philosophers" of yours... Are they bothering you?
    Do you check under your bed before you go to sleep?
    If so then I really do advise you to seek out psychiatric help!

    But I seriously don't think that is necessary in your case:
    You are only Ox-headed and have never communicated with a real philosopher.

    That is why you stick to these delusions of what philosophers ask and do.
    I suggest you do some scientific research on philosophy and philosophers... Good Luck!
    Keep it coming sigurdW. You are rivaling the incomparable Ophiolite for rudeness. I think you are about the same age. No, can't be.
    I do tend to agree that religion is a 'memetic disease'. Except that any understanding of religion as a memetic disease is a meme also. I wonder what Russell would have made of it?
    Yes indeed. Religious memes need protection, otherwise they will not survive. The mechanism for their protection is faith. It is also the publishers who churn out bibles and korans. It is also the ignorant authoritarians who fool the public.
    In a similar way, UFO memes are protected by faith and conspiracy theory.
    In a similar way, even philosophical memes are protected by publishers and certain intellectuals who would have you believe that they are right. (I once took an exam in existentialism. I left the answers blank and got 100%).
    At about the same time that philosophy was bogged down in existentialism, scientists were doing wonderful things in quantum physics and relativity. Philosophy is memetic and hence like religion. Science is not because it can be underpinned with mathematics.
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    You claim to have studied philosophy somewhat, yet your posts belie this claim. You ignore every contrary piece of evidence placed before you. Your rigid intransigence in the face of such evidence reflects badly on you. Your position is equivalent to those who might criticise science because at one time scientists promoted the phlogiston theory and later some scientists claimed to have initiated cold fusion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Keep it coming sigurdW. You are rivaling the incomparable Ophiolite for rudeness. I think you are about the same age. No, can't be.
    I do tend to agree that religion is a 'memetic disease'. Except that any understanding of religion as a memetic disease is a meme also. I wonder what Russell would have made of it?
    Yes indeed. Religious memes need protection, otherwise they will not survive. The mechanism for their protection is faith. It is also the publishers who churn out bibles and korans. It is also the ignorant authoritarians who fool the public.
    In a similar way, UFO memes are protected by faith and conspiracy theory.
    In a similar way, even philosophical memes are protected by publishers and certain intellectuals who would have you believe that they are right. (I once took an exam in existentialism. I left the answers blank and got 100%).
    At about the same time that philosophy was bogged down in existentialism, scientists were doing wonderful things in quantum physics and relativity. Philosophy is memetic and hence like religion. Science is not because it can be underpinned with mathematics.
    I admit that I perhaps was "slightly rude" but I felt you needed to face the facts
    And you are,as can be seen from your post, definitely now on your way to memetic recovery.
    These existential philosophers really worry me, I never go to sleep without checking for them under my bed!
    (Just kidding of course.) I go as far as accusing them of being not philosophers but charlatans of psycho terapy.

    After Cartesius and Hume "continental" philosophers are in my view not recognized as such: Poincare, to name one example, Cantor for another. I draw a line most easily seen in the truth about truth. Eastern philosophers (and religious ppl) discuss how truth APPEARS to them, but Western philosophers instead define the truth! Recognizing the unique quality of truth: "x" is true if and only if x. My own philosophical interest, as you now probably can guess, is almost exclusively the Philosophy of truth and reality...The philosophy of mind (Modal Matters) has always been at the far back of my mind. Still there are good philosophers working on such mind bending things. I prefer easy questions like:

    How come Special Relativity is founded on a circular definition of simultaneity? What are we doing when we in free fall adds a drop of water to another and realises the result of the "addition" is still a drop of water ,with larger mass of course, but if only shape matters then undeniably: 1+1=1 ... The equation x+x=x has only zero as a solution so maths seem unapplicable here. Is Mathemathics dependent on what objects we count? If we could add everything to everything would we end up with the "same" everything having twice the mass? Shouldnt the Banach Tarski theorem better be published in a comic book...and so on.

    Early philosophers had to choose between two evils: Either like Aristotle join company with Kings, or like Pythagoras become a Priest/Prophet and found a religion. Conditions are better today, work is no longer slavery, most philosophers make their money by scientific activity...The professors and teachers of philosophy are nothing but philosophy students...as the eminent social Philosopher Stephen Potter used to say:
    Everyone reaches his level of incompetence...

    To sum up: Your statement in blue is off the mark, it really should read:
    Science is not "memetic" because it can be underpinned with Western philosophy.

    Your arrogant opponent sigurdV
    Last edited by sigurdW; July 3rd, 2012 at 09:58 AM.
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    I think this question is stupid.
    With bravery and recognition that we are harbingers of our destiny and with a paragon of virtue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japith View Post
    I think this question is stupid.
    I agree and whats worse:"I think this question is stupid." is not really a question it is a statement!
    Its always fascinating when deep thinkers tells the world how it appears to them...
    So:What makes you think so?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Japith View Post
    I think this question is stupid.
    I agree and whats worse:"I think this question is stupid." is not really a question it is a statement!
    Its always fascinating when deep thinkers tells the world how it appears to them...
    So:What makes you think so?
    philosophy
    official definition: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/philosophy
    Urban populace definitions: Urban Dictionary: philosophy
    your question: "how will philosophy survive?"
    I think it's a silly question to ask, isn't it?
    With bravery and recognition that we are harbingers of our destiny and with a paragon of virtue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaBOB View Post
    This is fun...


    "By their nature, words are imprecise and layered with meaning; the signs of things, not the things themselves. It's difficult to say who's in charge." -Phillip Padgett [X-Files, Milagro]


    Example of word association. I write thoroughly, but I strive to write more thoreauly
    1 Yes! Fun it is.

    2 But the word "this" in absence of other things means ""this"" so the map sometimes IS the territory.

    3 But I advice against overuse of word association: Who the #### was Thoreau? See?
    So I dont understand all what you actually meant.
    Successful communication needs a shared Manner, a shared Logic and a shared Media.
    (An over simplification perhaps but communication must begin somewhere.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japith View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Japith View Post
    I think this question is stupid.
    I agree and whats worse:"I think this question is stupid." is not really a question it is a statement!
    Its always fascinating when deep thinkers tells the world how it appears to them...
    So:What makes you think so?
    philosophy
    official definition: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/philosophy
    Urban populace definitions: Urban Dictionary: philosophy
    your question: "how will philosophy survive?"
    I think it's a silly question to ask, isn't it?
    I think all philosophical questions are silly, but they still manage at least 80 responses, and thus must be worth discussion.

    You could call it mind-full entertainment.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DaBOB View Post
    This is fun...


    "By their nature, words are imprecise and layered with meaning; the signs of things, not the things themselves. It's difficult to say who's in charge." -Phillip Padgett [X-Files, Milagro]


    Example of word association. I write thoroughly, but I strive to write more thoreauly

    1 Yes! Fun it is.

    2 But the word "this" in absence of other things means ""this"" so the map sometimes IS the territory.

    3 But I advice against overuse of word association: Who the #### was Thoreau? See?
    So I dont understand all what you actually meant.
    Successful communication needs a shared Manner, a shared Logic and a shared Media.
    (An over simplification perhaps but communication must begin somewhere.)
    Well, in fact, the sentence wasn't meant for you. And who said thoreau was a who?
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japith View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Japith View Post
    I think this question is stupid.
    I agree and whats worse:"I think this question is stupid." is not really a question it is a statement!
    Its always fascinating when deep thinkers tells the world how it appears to them...
    So:What makes you think so?
    philosophy
    official definition: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/philosophy
    Urban populace definitions: Urban Dictionary: philosophy
    your question: "how will philosophy survive?"
    I think it's a silly question to ask, isn't it?
    Er... its not MY question.
    But Im not so sure... will philosophy survive in comfort or in poverty?
    And even if a question is silly, an answer need not necessarily be so
    .
    What do you think of the topic essay of Ox?
    Did he really make philosophy justice?
    Aint he claiming that philosophy is already dead?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaBOB View Post
    Well, in fact, the sentence wasn't meant for you. And who said thoreau was a who?
    So dont publish if you dont want to be quoted!
    Are you saying thoreau is/was/will be... a what?
    And that was exactly what I warned you against, in case you didnt get it:
    Open communication should not contain hidden meanings! (Sarcasm.)
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    Did DaBob object to being quoted? I think not, so why bring it up?

    Many members post items that contain hidden gems targeted at individuals or groups. You have presumed that the forum only contains open communication and that cryptic comments are verboten. Even if they are (were) that would not prevent them being transmitted, since they are er... cryptic.
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    Originally Posted by John Galt
    Did DaBob object to being quoted? I think not, so why bring it up?

    He said his post was not meant to be read by me...didnt he? Its no business of his what open communication I care to read and/or quote.


    Originally Posted by John Galt
    Many members post items that contain hidden gems targeted at individuals or groups. You have presumed that the forum only contains open communication and that cryptic comments are verboten.

    Nah! That is presuming too much John. I only presumed that this forum believes in Science, scientific rigour and the freedom to read what you want and write what you want in any way you want. (Within the guide lines of the forum that is.)
    Also I was hinting at a friendly advice from an author to another: The readability of a text is inversely proportional to the amount of hidden "gems" in it.

    Originally Posted by John Galt
    Even if they are (were) that would not prevent them being transmitted, since they are er... cryptic.


    Lol! Still I would prefere if participators not only informed us about their feelings,
    and played witty (?) word games: A scientific remark a day keeps Nostradamus away.
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    My perception was that DaBob was trying to explain why you may have found his post difficult to interpret. Perhaps he will clarify for us.

    As to your second point DaBob appears to have gone with the freedom to write what he wants and what he wanted to write was something targeted at another, but that I found amusing and you found senseless(?). It seems he was exercising a right you are defending. No?
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    My perception was that DaBob was trying to explain why you may have found his post difficult to interpret. Perhaps he will clarify for us.

    As to your second point DaBob appears to have gone with the freedom to write what he wants and what he wanted to write was something targeted at another, but that I found amusing and you found senseless(?). It seems he was exercising a right you are defending. No?
    Trying to trap me with my own words are you? Please go on with that. It is refreshing. And you have first to interprete in order to execute a successful attack! The truth is that what I quoted contained interesting remarks (at least interesting to me). There was first this Philip Badget quote reminding me of Korzybskis dictum that "the map is not the territory".

    This is a wide spread view, but nonetheless WRONG in some cases: Example: "This sentence contains five words" is at the same time both "map" and "territory"in some sense. Then there was the hidden word of "Thoreau" which in general dont mean much to us non Americans...(Wasnt he some kind of nature loving author?)...So I ...well...You know the rest. So NO! I didnt find him senseless, I found him (or Philip Badget) wrong on a rather minor point.

    And yes. (Grudge grudge.) I may have taken the remark that the post wasnt meant for me somewhat too personally...
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    I just read the thread and enjoyed the read. (Quite intelligent, I thought.) Philosophy was my "minor" and existentialism was my passion, so I was especially interested in these comments by OX:

    ("I once took an exam in existentialism. I left the answers blank and got 100%").

    Good one. The Zen of the empty background, as I see it. Freedom is being open... not already full.
    Also:
    "At about the same time that philosophy was bogged down in existentialism,..."

    "Bogged down," was it?
    My thesis was on radical existential freedom as a philosophical basis for psychological counseling. The premise is based on individual aspirations rather than social conformity as a goal of counseling. ("Harm none" being the obvious restraint.)

    I don't understand your harsh opinion of existentialism, OX. Sartre's "Nausea" and all that nihilism does not define existentialism either. It's primarily about individual freedom.
    Just my $.02 on the subject.

    Edit; as to the title question:
    Philosophy will survive (if it survives) by staying relevant to both social and physical science.
    Footnote:
    In physical science, philosophy must explain how relativity makes reality morph ( physical things change shape, distances 'contract') to fit all varieties of observational frames of reference. (Just a 'cryptic' plug.)
    Last edited by mikiel; July 3rd, 2012 at 10:22 PM.
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    Whatever man. People get way too worked up.

    And yeah, Thoreau was an American nature writer... or something like that. He liked to play with words. You probably would have no interest in that, I mean, since he's American and all.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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    There is no doubt about it: philosophy no longer plays as significant role as before in our pursuit of knowledge and the world is better for it. Moreover, philosophy's failure to adapt its content to an increasingly detailed scientific worldview has kept it from advancing. In the sense that it is stagnant, philosophy certainly is dead. But philosophy's role is not and never will be obsolete. It simply is in a lull right now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    [ There was first this Philip Badget quote reminding me of Korzybskis dictum that "the map is not the territory".

    This is a wide spread view, but nonetheless WRONG in some cases: Example: "This sentence contains five words" is at the same time both "map" and "territory"in some sense...
    In some sense? Not in any obviously useful sense. Five, for exampl, is an abstract reperesentation, a lexical icon, of an absolute abstract of quantity. Thereofre five and the number represented by 5 are not the same and therefore, in your example, the map is assuredly not the territory.

    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    Then there was the hidden word of "Thoreau" which in general dont mean much to us non Americans...(Wasnt he some kind of nature loving author...
    Re Thoreau. I am non-American, but that doesn't mean I am walled in some isolationist Little Britain from a literary standpoint, nor would I abolish cryptic remarks by members. I suppose that's life. In the woulds and would nots of what is permissible I go for the woulds.

    Note: I don't agree with you that the word was hidden. It leap out of the page at me. The three Thoreau references in my own remarks above are hidden.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Re Thoreau. I am non-American, but that doesn't mean I am walled in some isolationist Little Britain from a literary standpoint, nor would I abolish cryptic remarks by members. I suppose that's life. In the woulds and would nots of what is permissible I go for the woulds.

    Note: I don't agree with you that the word was hidden. It leap out of the page at me. The three Thoreau references in my own remarks above are hidden.
    I'm thinking Thoreau may have been more walled in than sigurdW here. But maybe that was your point? And yes, would nots are not always favourable.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    [ There was first this Philip Badget quote reminding me of Korzybskis dictum that "the map is not the territory".

    This is a wide spread view, but nonetheless WRONG in some cases: Example: "This sentence contains five words" is at the same time both "map" and "territory"in some sense...
    In some sense? Not in any obviously useful sense. Five, for exampl, is an abstract reperesentation, a lexical icon, of an absolute abstract of quantity. Thereofre five and the number represented by 5 are not the same and therefore, in your example, the map is assuredly not the territory. .
    Suppose you want to know how the sentence "It is raining" corresponds to Reality, then you go out and check if you get wet. The sentence is the map and the rain outside your door is the reality the map corresponds to. So the map and the reality is not the same thing in this case.

    Now we check the sentence: "This sentence contains five words." The sentence is the map so now we must look for the reality it is a map of...Where do we find that reality? Outside our door? No! -We must look at the map itself and count the words in it!
    Clearly the Map IS the reality in this case.

    The proof is that, unlike with the rain, you can put the mapped reality INTO the sentence.
    Here is the map:"This sentence contains five words."
    And here the reality is put into the sentence:"
    "This sentence contains five words." contains five words."

    The reason I added the words "
    in some sense"
    was to provoke the unwary reader
    Into denying the obvious fact of semantics that:
    Any self referential sentence is a "map" identical to the "reality" it is a map of!

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    Sentence is not the equivalent of the assembly of words that constitute the sentence. It is a map of the sentence. Your thesis is thus shown to be faulty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    Philosophy is memetic and hence like religion. Science is not because it can be underpinned with mathematics.
    To sum up: Your statement in blue is off the mark, it really should read:
    Science is not "memetic" because it can be underpinned with Western philosophy.
    It might have been up until the age of Newton and beyond, when science was called Natural Philosophy.
    Newton was arguably the beginning of the long goodbye when science was able to split from philosophy. The problem with Newtonian mechanics was eventually unearthed by quantum theory. This led to the revelation that Newtonian causality is now dead. It still works at the classical level, but not at the quantum level. This is mostly thanks to the Uncertainty Principle. The point is that philosophy onlyworks at the classical level. As for what it ever made of the material world, that is now dead, and only from yesterday when the apparent discovery of the Higg's Boson was made. Wow!
    I think we have every reason now to scrap philosophy. At worst it is just shallow thinking. At best it is a series of logical deductions which only serve to illustrate the limits of the human mind. And these get proved wrong sooner or later. I would argue that if religion is a 'memetic disease', like you say, then philosophy is a memetic illness. Both can be cured. I think that in some countries religion is struggling to survive, and philosophy is giving way to science. What cures them is the knowledge of science being spread in books, the internet and the media. If you take England as an example - in the 19th Century, just about everyone attended church. Today about 1 in 20 go on a 'regular' basis. This turns out to be only something like 10 times a year.
    Yesterday I got talking to a complete stranger while out walking. He was about 20 and he said his interest was philosophy. We could see the giant radio telescope at Jodrell Bank a few miles away. He described his theory of the birth of the universe as some sort of collision between universes. I pointed out that sounded a bit like M Theory to me.
    Yeah, times are changing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Sentence is not the equivalent of the assembly of words that constitute the sentence. It is a map of the sentence. Your thesis is thus shown to be faulty.
    Isnt a word missing in the first sentence? Also dont you mean that the STATEMENT expressed by the sentence is not constituted by the words contained within the sentence? I suppose Matematicians and Formal Logicians will be surprised to learn that their sentences are not constituded by the assembly of words constituting their sentences.

    To understand a sentence is to understand what is the case if it is true,
    and in the case of the sentence "This sentence contains five words"
    what must be the case is that the sentence itself contains five words.
    You seem to be somewhat new to self reference, are you?
    Can you tell. what is the negation of: "This sentence contains only six words."?
    Is it: "This sentence does not contain only six words."?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    Isnt a word missing in the first sentence?
    Not a word, but clarifying formatting and punctuation. It would better have read - "Sentence" is not the equivalent of the assembly of words that constitute the sentence.

    Words are abstract representations of concepts that may themselves be abstract or very solid. The word "sentence" is very different in character from an actual sentence. A sentence would still be sentence if we agreed to call it a chorzwoggle. The map would have changed, but the territory would be the same.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    Philosophy is memetic and hence like religion. Science is not because it can be underpinned with mathematics.
    To sum up: Your statement in blue is off the mark, it really should read:
    Science is not "memetic" because it can be underpinned with Western philosophy.
    It might have been up until the age of Newton and beyond, when science was called Natural Philosophy.
    Newton was arguably the beginning of the long goodbye when science was able to split from philosophy. The problem with Newtonian mechanics was eventually unearthed by quantum theory. This led to the revelation that Newtonian causality is now dead. It still works at the classical level, but not at the quantum level. This is mostly thanks to the Uncertainty Principle. The point is that philosophy onlyworks at the classical level. As for what it ever made of the material world, that is now dead, and only from yesterday when the apparent discovery of the Higg's Boson was made. Wow!
    Yes!

    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I think we have every reason now to scrap philosophy. At worst it is just shallow thinking. At best it is a series of logical deductions which only serve to illustrate the limits of the human mind. And these get proved wrong sooner or later. I would argue that if religion is a 'memetic disease', like you say, then philosophy is a memetic illness. Both can be cured. I think that in some countries religion is struggling to survive, and philosophy is giving way to science.
    Well I think I've said this several times, but you've yet to comment... so maybe you have already read it. I'll restate briefly.

    Philosophy was not something that humankind chose to do and it is not something humankind can chose to not do. You can't just discard it. That's like saying I think poetry is of no use and humans should discard it. I think sex is a waste of time and we should discard it. Alcohol is bad for human health, we should discard it. Philosophy undermines all of this.

    A single person trapped in a jail cell with no materials or friends cannot through experiment test their hypotheses, they have no one to prove them to, they cannot write poetry, they cannot have sex, and they can not enjoy a bottle of sake while watching Kill Bill. They can however, philosophize, and if they are the sort to end up in a jail cell they probably will, not because they choose to, but because it is in their nature.

    I think religion is dying, but only because people are adopting celebrities and science as their new gods for which they come to common judgements. People are so ignorant of what science actually is that it is horrifying. Even governments use science to arouse people, let alone product advertising. Screw the church, we have SCIENCE!

    I think science is wonderful, and I think without all the distraction in life many people would naturally incline towards being scientists in their own lives. Science, however, is not god, science is not government, science is not technology, science is discovery, a way of thinking, brought about and perpetuated by, what I believe to be, an innate drive of humankind towards discovery, knowing thy self. I think it is arrogant to believe other forms of discovery are useless or being discarded. I think this philosophizing we are engaged in right now is a product of that same drive, which expressed itself through the originator, ox.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I think we have every reason now to scrap philosophy.
    Can you see the irony in the fact that you are posting on the philosophy subforum, the philosophical notion that we do not need philosophy?
    One is reminded of a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
    Rocky: SHUT UP!
    Bugs Bunny: Shut u-up? Why certainly! You don’t think I’m the type that would keep on blabbin’? Some people never know when to stop. When I’m told to shut up, I shut up…
    Rocky: [sticks gun in Bugs's face] Shut UP shut-in’ up!
    Last edited by Harold14370; July 5th, 2012 at 02:13 PM.
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