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Thread: Does the world still need a moral code?

  1. #101  
    Objectivist Amaroq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Therefor I have without any shadow of a doubt presented solid scientific evidence and indeed PROOF that 'God' is a real tangible thing. A thing that can be defined as an english word. As real as anyother english word.
    The meaning of a concept is not its definition. Its meaning is what it refers to in reality. The definition tells us what the thing in reality is that the concept points to. There's nothing in reality for the concept of God to point to. So the concept of God is a floating abstraction, disconnected from reality.

    How's that? :P
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    I think we'll always need a moral code. In the last 3500 years of civilization, only 230 years have been documented as times of peace. Science leads to many new discoveries and can help make life easier, but in no way it can replace morality. Just as Einstein innocently discovered E equals mc squared, others were able to turn that discovery into something of complete destruction. We shouldn't argue about this, it should be made simple. It isn't a question about science or religion, just about humanity. Don't hurt anyone, don't steal from others, don't purposely deceive others, etc. It's really simple but human greed will obviously take precedence in the minds of some people as opposed to human morality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by manpreet basuita View Post
    I think we'll always need a moral code. In the last 3500 years of civilization, only 230 years have been documented as times of peace. Science leads to many new discoveries and can help make life easier, but in no way it can replace morality. Just as Einstein innocently discovered E equals mc squared, others were able to turn that discovery into something of complete destruction. We shouldn't argue about this, it should be made simple. It isn't a question about science or religion, just about humanity. Don't hurt anyone, don't steal from others, don't purposely deceive others, etc. It's really simple but human greed will obviously take precedence in the minds of some people as opposed to human morality.
    That is what Humanism is about, finding those basic sets of guiding principles. But yes, while science can and should inform morals, it can't readily be used to write them. Our moral systems are a function and product of our cultures and can only be lost if we lose emotion, which would rob us of our humanity.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  4. #104  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by manpreet basuita View Post
    I think we'll always need a moral code. In the last 3500 years of civilization, only 230 years have been documented as times of peace. Science leads to many new discoveries and can help make life easier, but in no way it can replace morality. Just as Einstein innocently discovered E equals mc squared, others were able to turn that discovery into something of complete destruction. We shouldn't argue about this, it should be made simple. It isn't a question about science or religion, just about humanity. Don't hurt anyone, don't steal from others, don't purposely deceive others, etc. It's really simple but human greed will obviously take precedence in the minds of some people as opposed to human morality.
    That is what Humanism is about, finding those basic sets of guiding principles. But yes, while science can and should inform morals, it can't readily be used to write them. Our moral systems are a function and product of our cultures and can only be lost if we lose emotion, which would rob us of our humanity.
    That would be Vulcanity... which is my goal :P
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    Quote Originally Posted by manpreet basuita View Post
    We shouldn't argue about this, it should be made simple. It isn't a question about science or religion, just about humanity.
    Agreed. We shouldn't argue about it. Just do it my way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    In science, our picture of what is really happening is always in flux as new pieces of evidence is uncovered and never set in stone.
    I think that if/when subatomics, how energy 'manifests' and how mind and matter manifest is all fully understood... and once we get to the edge of the known universe and see what lies beyond, then we might get a clearer perspective of what's going on, what is and isn't physically possible. Particularly subatomics and energy/matter manisfestation will give insights I would have thought. What is the science on where the energy and matter comes from? Thats the big bang right? does that theory attempt to explain where energy comes from?
    Mind is a product of our brain hardware. The mind is like an operating system, constantly processing information from a variety of sources and trying to make use of it. That much is clear. We don't yet understand exactly how our brains/DNA goes about doing that, but that it does that fits cleanly within our current sphere of knowledge without needing any extra unknown meta processes. In that way it is exactly like Evolution and a large variety of other phenomena; we know that it works within the boundaries of science, we are just not yet sure exactly how it works.

    There is no edge to the universe.

    Quantum mechanics and how it translates to relativity is the basis of all the rest of science and indeed, the nature of energy etc. is probably the biggest enigma in science.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amaroq View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Therefor I have without any shadow of a doubt presented solid scientific evidence and indeed PROOF that 'God' is a real tangible thing. A thing that can be defined as an english word. As real as anyother english word.
    The meaning of a concept is not its definition. Its meaning is what it refers to in reality. The definition tells us what the thing in reality is that the concept points to. There's nothing in reality for the concept of God to point to. So the concept of God is a floating abstraction, disconnected from reality.

    How's that? :P
    Its good as a first attempt of abstraction.
    But it rests on the idea that god is not inside the reality.
    How do you refute the idea that god is reality? Or that god is the complement of reality?

    You will probably retreat into semantics. Refuse to assign meaning to my objections.
    If so I challenge you on the theory of meaning you must have and use to make your refusal valid.

    Example: Is your definition of "definition" its meaning or its definition?
    A popular way of thinking stems from "General Semantics"; An expression coined by Alfred Korzybski.
    And popularized by Hayakawa. Its roughly: The map aint the territory!

    It sounds impressive but it is easy to show that it is false in some cases: "This is not in English."
    (The only known way out of the problem is to redefine "map" and "territory".
    Essentially excluding anything that proves you wrong. (I define it as "The Cowards Way Out".))
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amaroq View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Therefor I have without any shadow of a doubt presented solid scientific evidence and indeed PROOF that 'God' is a real tangible thing. A thing that can be defined as an english word. As real as anyother english word.
    The meaning of a concept is not its definition. Its meaning is what it refers to in reality. The definition tells us what the thing in reality is that the concept points to. There's nothing in reality for the concept of God to point to. So the concept of God is a floating abstraction, disconnected from reality.

    How's that? :P
    Convoluted use of language my dear fellow. The definition and the 'meaning of the concept' are the same thing as far as I can see.

    The word God exists... the definition which is also the concept of the meaning of the word... may or mat not be indicated to be true by our observations of reality. Or as you say, is not indicated by our observations of reality.

    But 'God' still exists and is real, as veryfied by anybody who ever opened a dictionary (or bible) and found 'God'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Mind is a product of our brain hardware. The mind is like an operating system, constantly processing information from a variety of sources and trying to make use of it. That much is clear. We don't yet understand exactly how our brains/DNA goes about doing that, but that it does that fits cleanly within our current sphere of knowledge without needing any extra unknown meta processes. In that way it is exactly like Evolution and a large variety of other phenomena; we know that it works within the boundaries of science, we are just not yet sure exactly how it works.
    You are doing your best to describe 'mind'... But I think what you are describing is 'brain'.

    The brain is like an operating system... the mind is something like a person who owns the computor and uses it to the best of his/her ability.

    The mind might be a product of the brain... the brain might also by a product of the mind.

    The 'mind' and thoughts must be something to do with neurons... something to do with Electric energy which the brain(s) and nervous system contains and uses.

    That flesshy brain and nerve material is perfect for insulating tiny channels which 'energy/mind subsatnce' electrical impulses can be conducted through.

    The 'thought' is contained within the Electrical or neurological energy which our body contain.

    So, how does this 'energy'/force which contains and tranmits thoughts act and function? what are it's capabilities? Is it possible for a unit of this energy to leave our body but maintain it's code or frequency and be transmitted to another brain where it will be translated back into a 'thought'? This seems to an ameture like me, as a distinct possibility of such a thing as 'electrical energy'. If that kind of thing could happen it would validate notions of telepathy.

    The brain as well as us humans and all life boils down to energy, and 'mind substance'... Not brain, not human mind, but mind substance. The energy/substance/material which manisfests thought, both conscious and subconscious.

    Every form of life has either conscious or subconscious thoughts. Everything has senses which cause reactions... this might be completely subconscious. But if a thing reacts to it's environment in a consistent manner, and reacts back again, then it is 'sensing' the environmental change, it can't be disputed imo... it 'knows' that it has come into contact with an environmental factor and it knows it has to react in a certain way.

    In my opinion everything is made from energy, atoms, aminos, cells etc... and that energy is somehow in some way intelligent. It has some kind of code or 'mind' which is dictating it's behaviour.

    I'm not taliking about gravitational energy, or any of the forces that newton worked on... that kinetic energy etc. This is more something like EM energy, like some kind of 'life force' energy which in someway can transmit intelligence. Manisfesting in it's highest form as far as we can concieve, as a conscious human thought in the brain/nervouse system or even conscious mind of a human.

    Once that energy which thoughts and intelligence is contained in, is fully understood, then I think we will have a clearer perspective. As you say, it's all very much an enigma to us at present. I think this is the kind of science which is going to give us some real answers, or at least it will leave us in a temporary state of pure shock and awe.

    If you know about any energy forms that might be along the lines of what i'm talking about, such as the energy used by our brains' and the energy which is found in all life, etc... then I'd apreciate being pointed in the right direction. I'm sure the answers are not out there yet, but I can at least try to get upto date with what is known so far.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I'm not taliking about gravitational energy, or any of the forces that newton worked on... that kinetic energy etc. This is more something like EM energy, like some kind of 'life force' energy which in someway can transmit intelligence. Manisfesting in it's highest form as far as we can concieve, as a conscious human thought in the brain/nervouse system or even conscious mind of a human.
    Pardon me if I'm interpreting this incorrectly, but to me this sounds as if you are essentially envisioning the source of consciousness as ultimately external of the brain? Or, in the very least, independent of the brain?

    If that is the case, how do you account for how thoughts, intentions, emotions, impulses, conclusions and consciousness can all be affected - sometimes quite radically - by enacting changes to the state of the physical brain? If thought is formed externally, should it not also be inviolate?
    Your intuition can deceive you - don't trust it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kompi View Post
    Pardon me if I'm interpreting this incorrectly, but to me this sounds as if you are essentially envisioning the source of consciousness as ultimately external of the brain? Or, in the very least, independent of the brain?
    Well.. it depends what you mean by consciousness. human consciousness is not external of our brains I wouldn't have thought. But perhaps the thing which is inside our brains/nervous system, perhapps the energy and substance which holds a 'code' which ultimately is a thought or a memory... perhaps this energy/substance is a thing which can exist externally of our brains, or can be transfered from one brain to another brain.

    The 'consciousness' of a single celled organism... does it have a brain?

    Where does everything that exhibits an ability to 'sense' and react... come from? not all from our brain. Plants also must have a form of intelligence, they react to the environment and the cycles of light, moisture etc. They have what could be described as 'consciousness' I would have thought, but the don't have brains.

    It seems sensible to me that 'consciousness' if that is the right word, I prefer 'mind' in that it is some form of substance which can hold information or intelligence, might be a tangible physical thing which can be acessed and stored by brains, maybe even created by our brains, but not exclusively as consciousness was around way before the human brain was.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kompi View Post
    If that is the case, how do you account for how thoughts, intentions, emotions, impulses, conclusions and consciousness can all be affected - sometimes quite radically - by enacting changes to the state of the physical brain? If thought is formed externally, should it not also be inviolate?
    Well... if thought or intelligence or consciousness is formed externally or already existing and able to be absorbed by the brain... once it is absorbed internally, it is internal and it can only be used and stored by a healthy and properly functioning brain and nervous system. Which explains how thoughts and states of consciousness can be affected radically if the state of the brain/nervous system is in anyway damaged.

    I'm only speculating to begin with kompi but I think, this answers your questions about how brain damage can affect consciousness regardless of whether it is a purely internal 'manisfestation' or whether it is something that comes before all energy and matter. Either way, brain damage is brain damage and will ofcourse effect the abilility of the brain to process intelligence.

    *P.S I don't know how we got onto this subject and I enjoy thinking about it but we are well off track with regards to the thread.
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    Objectivist Amaroq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    The map aint the territory!
    I immediately roll my eyes whenever anyone says that. I've seen that "The map is not the territory" notion all over LessWrong.com, and I gotta say I have a huge distaste for it now. The name of that website conveys the general idea of that kind of epistemology. The idea that we must have perfect knowledge of the entirety of reality in order to be correct about anything. And anything less, is wrong. And that the human pursuit of knowledge is all an attempt to be less wrong. Omniscience is an irrational standard, because we have a perspective that we have to see reality from. So rather than becoming "less wrong" and getting closer to omniscience, but always failing to meet it, I see the pursuit of knowledge as simply learning more about reality and expanding our knowledge. The difference is the perspective. You take the perspective of the universe somehow as your starting point. And I take my own perspective, which is the only one I can really depend on.

    But anyway. If god is outside of reality or alongside it, then there is still nothing for us humans to connect the concept to because we can only observe what's in reality. If god -is- reality, then what's the difference between god and reality? What's the defining characteristic that sets god apart from reality, conceptually speaking? The idea that god is reality, and its variations, are just religious people coming up with anything they can to try to save their religion from death at the hands of reason. If we argue that he isn't here, they hide him there and hope we can't argue against him being there either.

    Maybe there's a better definition. But I'd say the definition of 'definition' is, "A short description of a concept's referent(s) that includes the defining characteristic." Maybe I'd even say it is there just to describe the defining characteristic. But that's the definition of definition. The things in reality that 'definition' refers to, are the definitions of concepts. Hence when someone says "A dog is a four-legged animal that barks", you can point out that phrase and say "That phrase you just spoke! That's a definition!" Because you identified that it's the definition of 'dog'.

    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Convoluted use of language my dear fellow. The definition and the 'meaning of the concept' are the same thing as far as I can see.

    The word God exists... the definition which is also the concept of the meaning of the word... may or mat not be indicated to be true by our observations of reality. Or as you say, is not indicated by our observations of reality.

    But 'God' still exists and is real, as veryfied by anybody who ever opened a dictionary (or bible) and found 'God'.

    My dear fellow, there is a difference between the definition and the meaning. :P The definition is there to tell us what you mean.

    When you say the word 'dog', you implicitly include "And by dog, I mean those things I call dogs" and the definition is how I know what thing in reality you're talking about. You don't say 'dog' and implicitly include "And by dog, I mean the following block of text. A four legged creature that barks."

    The theory of concepts where the meaning of a concept is its definition gives rise to the analytic-synthetic dichotomy.
    Take two true statements. A: Ice is solid water. And B: Ice floats on water.
    A is an analytic truth, and B is a synthetic truth. A is said to be true but have no bearing on reality, because the truth is contained in the definitions of the words in that phrase. B is considered to pertain to reality, but beyond the current observation, it can't be trusted to be true. Why? Because "Floats on water" is not in the definition of ice.

    If you go by a theory of concepts where the meaning of a concept is its referents (Like Ayn Rand's theory of concepts), then both A and B are equally true and equally pertain to reality, because both being solid water and floating on water are part of the nature of the thing we call ice, thus eliminating the analytic-synthetic dichotomy.

    :P
    Last edited by Amaroq; December 22nd, 2012 at 01:25 PM. Reason: Correcting something about dogs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amaroq View Post
    My dear fellow, there is a difference between the definition and the meaning. :P The definition is there to tell us what you mean.

    When you say the word 'dog', you implicitly include "And by dog, I mean [definition]" and that's how I know what thing in reality you're talking about. You don't say 'dog' and implicitly include "And by dog, I mean the following block of text. A four legged creature that barks."

    The theory of concepts where the meaning of a concept is its definition gives rise to the analytic-synthetic dichotomy.
    Take two true statements. A: Ice is solid water. And B: Ice floats on water.
    A is an analytic truth, and B is a synthetic truth. A is said to be true but have no bearing on reality, because the truth is contained in the definitions of the words in that phrase. B is considered to pertain to reality, but beyond the current observation, it can't be trusted to be true. Why? Because "Floats on water" is not in the definition of ice.

    If you go by a theory of concepts where the meaning of a concept is its referents (Like Ayn Rand's theory of concepts), then both A and B are equally true and equally pertain to reality, because both being solid water and floating on water are part of the nature of the thing we call ice, thus eliminating the analytic-synthetic dichotomy.

    :P
    My dear fellow Amaroq... you use words I do not understand, concepts I have never considered and you have clearly thought about this deeper than I.

    However, in my smartass theory of the existence of 'God'... I do give a definition of what that 'God' is, and where it can be found. I gave a definition of what God actually is, i.e, it is three letters in a certain order.

    You seem to be saying that my theory doesn't hold water, as I have not identified the 'meaning of the concept' to be a part of reality... is that right?

    I have presented evidence as to the existence of God, I have defined what God is... A three letter word. The meaning of the concept of that word has not been indicated to be a part of reality, so far.

    So, god exists, it's definition is a three letter word spelt G.o.d in that sequence. Now it's the meaning of the concept of the word which has been defined, whcih has not been identified to be part of reality, right?

    I'm not even going to think about identifying the meaning of the concept of the word in reality, as yet.

    But I see it like this... the meaning of the concept of God is not complete, it is thought to be beyond the comprehension of human intellect. Therefore we would need to identify God in reality before we could properly identify the full concept of God in reality.

    The meaning of the concept includes... omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient... I can identify power in everything I can indentify as real. I can identify intelligence in everything that I can identify as real. I can identify the presence of power and intelligence everywhere in reality. But I still connot comprehend nor identify the full meaning of the concept in reality.

    All I can do with my limited intelligence is identify the three letter word 'God' to be real and define it for what it is, a word describing a concept. A concept of the source of life as we know it, so great as to be beyond comprehension.

    It is impossible to identify in reality that which is conceptually, beyond total identification through limited sensory perception.

    But if you paste the 'meaning of the concept' of God, then I will play along and see if we can identify it in reality... just for laughs.

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    I think the best evidence for the mind being separate from the brain is the shear number of mindless idiots that exist in the world, and the fact that losing one's mind is quite easy. Not to mention how often some people keep their minds in the gutter.
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    As well as a great many people that let their minds wander - but their minds don't come back.
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    question for you, Oh! I think I see what you're getting at now, hahaha!

    Maybe there's nothing in reality for the concept of god to point to. But the word 'god' is real. Therefore god is real? :P I suspect you were being silly and I took you too serious, hahaha.

    Also, sorry for all that extra stuff. I started going on a tangent. I thought basically that you were saying "The concept of God has a definition. Therefore there is a God, and it means whatever that definition is." And I immediately saw a chance to differentiate between the theory of concepts where their meaning is their definition, and the theory of concepts where their meaning is what they refer to, and the definition simply tells us what they refer to. And when I get into things like that, I start giving examples and stuff too. xD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amaroq View Post
    question for you, Oh! I think I see what you're getting at now, hahaha!

    Maybe there's nothing in reality for the concept of god to point to. But the word 'god' is real. Therefore god is real? :P I suspect you were being silly and I took you too serious, hahaha.
    You've got it, thats exactly the silly point I was making. Was just giving a smartass and silly example to Harold of evidence that he cannot 'take exception to'.
    I was a little worried about it being misread...


    Quote Originally Posted by Amaroq View Post
    Also, sorry for all that extra stuff. I started going on a tangent. I thought basically that you were saying "The concept of God has a definition. Therefore there is a God, and it means whatever that definition is." And I immediately saw a chance to differentiate between the theory of concepts where their meaning is their definition, and the theory of concepts where their meaning is what they refer to, and the definition simply tells us what they refer to. And when I get into things like that, I start giving examples and stuff too. xD
    Haha, well I found all that stuff about 'meaning of concept' and 'meaning of definition' quite interesting. Where did you learn all that stuff? What subject would you call it? logics of language?

    Anyway... i'm glad we are now reading from the same page.
    Last edited by question for you; December 24th, 2012 at 12:38 PM.
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    I actually got all that from Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. The title is pretty self-explanatory. But it's basically Ayn Rand presenting her theory of concepts. The whole book focuses on her presenting her theory of concepts, what they are, how we form them, etc. But at the end of the book, Leonard Peikoff includes an essay called "The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy" where he presents the whole, "Rand's theory of concepts vs the theory of concepts where the meaning is the definition" thing, how the latter gives rise to the analytic-synthetic dichotomy, and how the former undermines it. I'd say the subject is simply Epistemology. xD But I entered the world of philosophy through Ayn Rand's philosophy, so I don't know what the rest of the philosophical world thinks of when they say that word.

    It might seem like some abstract thing that nobody will ever have to worry about. But it is easy for it to influence peoples' thinking about things. Like for example. A friend of mine who has been studying Objectivism for, probably ten years. He had a problem with Ayn Rand's definition of values, as it pertains to the sun. "Value is that which we act to gain and/or keep" is her definition. But how is the sun a value, if we don't have to act to gain and/or keep it? It's just always there, making our life possible. It seemed to be a value that we don't have to act to gain and/or keep, which seemed to be a contradiction to him. He was falling into the trap of the meaning of the concept being the definition. Once he realized that he should be thinking about what 'value' refers to, there was no more contradiction about the sun being a value.

    I'm trying to think of a better example that the average person might be affected by, but I'm having a hard time. xD But it can definitely affect intellectual types like us without us even knowing it. Maybe you tell your neighbor one day that you have a three-legged dog that is mute. And he says "But dogs are four-legged animals that bark. Therefore what you have isn't a dog." And you think you're stuck with a contradiction. Something's wrong because your dog doesn't fit that definition. But it's surely a dog. xD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amaroq View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    The map aint the territory!
    I immediately roll my eyes whenever anyone says that. ...

    Maybe there's a better definition. But I'd say the definition of 'definition' is,

    "A short description of a concept's referent(s) that includes the defining

    My dear fellow, there is a difference between the definition and the meaning. :P

    The definition is there to tell us what you mean.

    The theory of concepts where the meaning of a concept is its definition gives rise to the analytic-synthetic dichotomy.
    :P
    Hi Amarogue! Ive been reading up a little on you and I wont believe you are not aware

    of the use/mention distinction, so why didnt you observe it while quoting?

    (sorry for me slaughtering the quotes ... I just wanted to isolate parts of interest)

    sigurdV hereby aggressively welcomes a self categorising object into the forum: An Objectivist!

    And it tells me that it is brought up under the protection of some Objectivist Saint called Ayn Rand.

    I never, almost ever, rely on categories Sir ,I prefere looking you straight in your eyes as you answer:

    Post Scriptum: What the world needs is better categories?
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    I've actually never heard of the use/mention distinction. I googled it up just now. That is a useful concept. When I was writing about the definition of 'definition', I was worried that I might not be clear enough on the difference between the word and what it refers to.

    I... might be onto something. Some connection between something in my philosophy and this use-mention distinction. Would you say the difference between use and mention is the same difference as between a concept's referents and the concept itself? Or the difference between meaning the concept's referents and meaning its definition... Or no... the mention part of the distinction is when you're only talking about the word, right? And a word is simply a label for a concept. So it might not be the same distinction as the distinction between a concept's meaning being its referents and its meaning being its definition.

    I can't place the connection right now, but I'll be thinking about it.

    You don't rely on categories for people, or for anything? I suppose I can appreciate someone thinking of people as individuals rather than as members of collectives. Though grouping someone up doesn't necessarily imply seeing them as part of a collective. It can, but it doesn't have to I think.

    Are you speaking like that because you don't categorize? I read through your words a few times trying to figure out if that's what it is, but I'm not sure. You do kind of seem to prefer using more words than needed to convey meaning, more elaborately than it needs to be conveyed. So maybe I'm correct in thinking that you try not to speak in sweeping generalizations, but instead you try to remain as particular as possible. That's gotta create a lot of unnecessary mental labor though. The human ability to categorize is very useful. For the same reason that the ability to conceptualize is very useful. If done correctly, the human mind can work on an infinite number of particulars simply by dealing with the concepts that subsume those particulars. We can state a truth about, say, swans, and if we've conceptualized swans correctly and that truth is necessary to the concept of swans, then we've worked out a truth on an infinite number of swans that have existed, do exist, and will exist. So the usage of groupings and categories and stuff like that can be important to human cognition I think.
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  21. #121  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amaroq View Post
    I've actually never heard of the use/mention distinction. I googled it up just now. That is a useful concept. When I was writing about the definition of 'definition', I was worried that I might not be clear enough on the difference between the word and what it refers to.

    I... might be onto something. Some connection between something in my philosophy and this use-mention distinction. Would you say the difference between use and mention is the same difference as between a concept's referents and the concept itself? Or the difference between meaning the concept's referents and meaning its definition... Or no... the mention part of the distinction is when you're only talking about the word, right? And a word is simply a label for a concept. So it might not be the same distinction as the distinction between a concept's meaning being its referents and its meaning being its definition.

    I can't place the connection right now, but I'll be thinking about it.

    You don't rely on categories for people, or for anything? I suppose I can appreciate someone thinking of people as individuals rather than as members of collectives. Though grouping someone up doesn't necessarily imply seeing them as part of a collective. It can, but it doesn't have to I think.

    Are you speaking like that because you don't categorize? I read through your words a few times trying to figure out if that's what it is, but I'm not sure. You do kind of seem to prefer using more words than needed to convey meaning, more elaborately than it needs to be conveyed. So maybe I'm correct in thinking that you try not to speak in sweeping generalizations, but instead you try to remain as particular as possible. That's gotta create a lot of unnecessary mental labor though. The human ability to categorize is very useful. For the same reason that the ability to conceptualize is very useful. If done correctly, the human mind can work on an infinite number of particulars simply by dealing with the concepts that subsume those particulars. We can state a truth about, say, swans, and if we've conceptualized swans correctly and that truth is necessary to the concept of swans, then we've worked out a truth on an infinite number of swans that have existed, do exist, and will exist. So the usage of groupings and categories and stuff like that can be important to human cognition I think.
    I believe you. You are competent enough to distinguish the concepts in actual use. I notice.
    There is nothing in real need of commenting in your answer: its honest and rather complete.
    To be sure: In practise we only consider sentences : "Do you think im only showing you this gun without the intention to use it?) we either USE them as they are intended to be used: to convey a thought/statement. Or we inspect them to see how they are constructed ... or for some other observational purpose.

    I really wasnt much miffed about you seeming to claim that I without reservations belive in the statement "The map aint the territory." I just felt Id check your stability and coherence and you passed the test with flying colors. Merry x-mas!

    NEXT:I have no time for idle chat at the moment: IBB!
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  22. #122  
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    Ohhh, you gave me the impression you believed in the statement 'the map is not the territory'. But I admit that your statement was a bit complex and I might have concluded that while trying to grasp the essence of it.

    Merry Christmas! I say this as an atheist. :P It's just a secular holiday to me that happens to be called Christmas.
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  23. #123  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amaroq View Post
    Ohhh, you gave me the impression you believed in the statement 'the map is not the territory'. But I admit that your statement was a bit complex and I might have concluded that while trying to grasp the essence of it.

    Merry Christmas! I say this as an atheist. :P It's just a secular holiday to me that happens to be called Christmas.
    Thank you! I find you refreshing to read.
    I started out as a radical pantheist then (while trying to make a joke)
    I proved there is a god and started the only scientific religion there is.
    Murphys Law you know...
    And the sV Lemma: It can always get worse.

    EDIT: Proof?
    Assume Murphys law to hold in all cases!
    Then by the sV Lemma it will have this case as an exception...

    Post Scriptum: If you really are an atheist we should cheat a little:
    Replace "pantheist" with "atheist" in order to appreciate the strength of the argument.

    Post Post Scriptum: Murphys law:In case things can go wrong they will.
    The sV Lemma assures us things may go wrong even if they cant!

    A true story: I happened to state the sV Lemma at my breakfast table.
    My son explained: When your dead its not so dad.
    Then I told him about the unluckiest man in the world:
    After a life showing Voltaires Candide to be a story of glorious successes
    he died and came to paradise and said: Gee! How unlucky can a man be? I wanted Nirvana.

    (To my fans: See! I resisted r(e)placing the "w" in "showing".)
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/103782929/IMG_1084.MOV
    Last edited by sigurdV; December 25th, 2012 at 06:13 AM.
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  24. #124  
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    I don't know what sV Lemma means, but in your text you say "It can always get worse." I googled up that phrase, sV Lemma. The only thing I found is that Lemma is a german word for premise or something.

    I thought Murphey's Law was "If it can happen, it will." But I just googled it up and you're right. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

    ...
    Oh. I just realized sV probably stands for sigurdV. So you named a premise after yourself?

    So are you saying that you proved God by using Murphey's Law? And did you mean, in seriousness, that even if things can't get worse, they still can? In the sense of violating causality?
    sigurdV likes this.
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  25. #125  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amaroq View Post
    I don't know what sV Lemma means, but in your text you say "It can always get worse." I googled up that phrase, sV Lemma. The only thing I found is thatLemma is a german word for premise or something. ((((((Its typical of Wiki: They are consistently wrong sometimeS: "Lemma", I assure you is NOT a german word for "something". They are mistaken.)))))

    I thought Murphey's Law was "If it can happen, it will." But I just googled it up and you're right. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. ((((( and you wanna make mE believe you dont intended to spell it incorrectlY?)) Hi all! Will MrA google it up and tell me Im right AGAIN!)What will THAT do to my non predictability?))

    ...
    Oh. I just realized sV probably stands for sigurdV. So you named a premise after yourself?

    So are you saying that you proved God by using Murphey's Law? And did you mean, in seriousness, that even if things can't get worse, they still can? In the sense of violating causality?
    Ma! He trapped me! Tell him hes is a good boy! Wah! Boooh Sob... Hmmm... Things dont feel quiet the same anymore in this forum...

    I happened to pass by the charming bastard John Galt on my way in here and didnt he practice sarcasms? And on HIMSELF didnt he? Something fishy is going on in The Science forum... Insults are loosing their effect? Ill check:
    Hi sig: Your Mama!
    Im charmed friend and your Ma as well!...
    See!? I cant insult myself no matter how I try.
    Let this be the week of sarcasm...and it will be the most boring weak (you wimp!) you ever yawned yourself through?
    Im SERIOUS FOLKS (Tee Hee) Im afraid if my manner is adopted and understood The consequences are unpredictable....(!?)... The Master of Sarcasm: sigurD W vojnoV will be forced out of his style?

    Trolls all over the internet will pilgrimage in here and test their style on us...
    (Ma what did I do? Did I really deserve this?)
    I assure you the day wont come! (Stay calm now.)
    when the Pope says: Sure! Im NOT Christian! This is ALL just for show!
    I love Money and Whores! Sorry folks! I mean horses.

    Lovely day to you too DEAR amaroq. Yes its actually true. I do name my discoveries after my self in my
    unimitable manner. Try naming one of your "discoveries" after me and youll see the difference!

    The Science of Sarcasm is hereby aborted! Get it?

    And yes...I have to admit it: I seriously suggested things might get worse even when they cant?
    But WHO ON EARTH will believe me?...

    Next: An unbelievably boring story by yours Faithless sigurdV:
    Last edited by sigurdV; December 25th, 2012 at 10:41 PM.
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  26. #126  
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    sigurdV. I haven't read this last comment of yours, so I can't comment on the worth or otherwise of whatever you want to say.

    I'm now here as a moderator.

    This is a science forum. We want everyone to read what's here and to join as forum members if they feel inclined. We do not want this forum to look like an extract from the multi-colour, ridiculous format, ludicrous content Time Cube site.
    (See Wiki Time Cube - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    "The site has been criticized for the centered 24-to-30-point font of its design and the "endless blather" of its content")

    If you want to emphasise portions of your comments, use the normal conventions that other participants use, not the hysterical, highly coloured, randomly sized font approach. Note also that moderators use colour to distinguish our moderator comments from 'ordinary' comments.

    Be warned. None of the moderators will bother with reformatting your comments for you. If you continue with this approach, you may find further such contributions deleted with no further warning or explanation.
    "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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  27. #127  
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    You lost me completely sigurdV. I don't know if you're trying to say I was being sarcastic, or that you were being sarcastic. I was being serious though. :P So if you thought I was being sarcastic, you misinterpreted me.

    Or are you on a mission to not be understood and you're afraid that I understood you? :P

    I guess the reason I wanted to know about Murphey's Law is because it's just describing bad luck and saying you should take steps to avoid bad luck or something. It's not a law of the universe that bad things must happen if they are possible. And it contradicts the law of identity/causality to say that a thing can happen when it can't. :P

    How did we get from morality to this? Haha.
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  28. #128  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amaroq View Post
    You lost me completely sigurdV. I don't know if you're trying to say I was being sarcastic, or that you were being sarcastic. I was being serious though. :P So if you thought I was being sarcastic, you misinterpreted me.

    Or are you on a mission to not be understood and you're afraid that I understood you? :P

    I guess the reason I wanted to know about Murphey's Law is because it's just describing bad luck and saying you should take steps to avoid bad luck or something. It's not a law of the universe that bad things must happen if they are possible. And it contradicts the law of identity/causality to say that a thing can happen when it can't. :P

    How did we get from morality to this? Haha.
    I pointed out that the world needs moral examples not more written instructions.
    Then I tried to show the world how to behave morally and ...eh...predictably?... FAILED.
    Im not kidding. I think you show....eh...whatever it is you show (ha ha)

    Im used to be misunderstood... or simply not understood...I dont mind much. As long as I dont get banned.
    I can inform you that I think the Mods in here are doing a lousy job but I find them to be PATIENT & HONEST with an exception or two... Dont worry about them.

    I on the other hand live in constant fear of punishment of all kinds
    and I am surprised everytime I succeed in entering.
    But Im not paralyzed by me emotions,,,Yťah! Im a very emotionaL kind of intellect. I easily get enemies.
    (Being Scientific is NOT being not emotional.) Sometimes to my surprise I get friends...

    My interest vary but its basically Logics and Semantics. (Perhaps you noticed that already?)
    (I think you mis-spell "Murphy"... check.)

    "Law" is not a single well defined concept it should really be restricted:
    In science "invariance" is better used, in logic its "presupposition" ...and elsewhere I dont bother to check.

    Sometimes I have fun in overstressing my natural style of writing and I dont expect anyone reading me for the first time to understand much. But I like them to try, and to ask me what I mean... youll notice that I then "try" to conform to the style of the questioner and lots of funny situations might occur.

    Actually I entered internet in the hope I could find logicians and semanticians
    to discuss some discoveries I made in the Area but®...eh... frankly:
    The incompetence I found in here is astounding!
    I notice you are not a novice in the subject of semantics so I now seek common ground:

    Classic Logic contains three ,so called: Laws of Logic.
    1 Law of identity
    2 Law of contradiction
    3 Law of the excluded third

    Were you aware of this? Do you understand the semantic content of them "laws"?
    Next: Logic is restricted to declarative sentences... or rather a restricted such set.
    I dont personally accept that but I respect anybodys right of opinion.

    Also: There are Preliminaries to Logic...Basically Semantics.
    The problems of consistence make logicians exclude semantics from logic studies and Im in opposition.

    To understand me, if you feel like a guided tour, we start with the Theory of Truth
    but I suggest I/we open a thread if you are interested...this thread is cluttered up already...
    But Ox is a nice guy. (Unless youre a religious nut or a philosopher.)
    Last edited by sigurdV; December 26th, 2012 at 02:20 AM.
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  29. #129  
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    monotheism is necessary because if one is found guilty doing something wrong then he will be judged by the whole society on the basis of the very morals which are obligatory on the society to follow. In India though the society as a whole has different set of rules for itself and its heroes and different set of rules for the individual.
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  30. #130  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japith View Post
    No it needs to be educated, understanding and knowledgeable. Not incompetence following a code of social standards.
    Sounds good! Any ideas how and where to start?
    Suppose we start in here...what is to be done?
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