How much evidence does it take to believe or to know?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.

Post Number:#61  Postby NameRemoved » January 22nd, 2010, 11:35 am

Meleagar wrote:
I don't. Is there a reason you keep using the term "we"? Are you attempting to objectify your personal worldview and perspective, whether I agree to it or not?


BRAVO! [wish I had said that :) ] and I agree , it gets a bit much for me when others assume and presume my intent in their assumptions on what I am saying.
It shows the limit of WORDS alone that some deem it fitting to only read into what is written as a way to somehow shore up their OWN objectives.

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Post Number:#62  Postby Santini » January 22nd, 2010, 6:10 pm

Sorry, Meleagar. I assumed you were not a solipsist.

If you say you are not a solipsist, then how does your position differ from that of solipsism.
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Post Number:#63  Postby Meleagar » January 22nd, 2010, 7:09 pm

Santini wrote:Sorry, Meleagar. I assumed you were not a solipsist.

If you say you are not a solipsist, then how does your position differ from that of solipsism.


Just because I don't have a belief that there is an objective reality outside of my experience doesn't mean I believe that no such reality exists. I don't know if one exists or not, and I have no practical reason to establish a belief about it one way or another.

I'm not a solipsist because I don't have a belief that everything occurs only in my mind, nor do I believe that there are no other entities in existence besides myself.
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Post Number:#64  Postby Santini » January 22nd, 2010, 7:42 pm

Meleagar wrote:
Santini wrote:Sorry, Meleagar. I assumed you were not a solipsist.

If you say you are not a solipsist, then how does your position differ from that of solipsism.


Just because I don't have a belief that there is an objective reality outside of my experience doesn't mean I believe that no such reality exists. I don't know if one exists or not, and I have no practical reason to establish a belief about it one way or another.

I'm not a solipsist because I don't have a belief that everything occurs only in my mind, nor do I believe that there are no other entities in existence besides myself.


You don't have a belief that anything exists outside your mind and you don't have the belief that all things exist only in your mind. Hmm . . . what am I missing here?

You do know, don't you, that things which exist must exist either in your mind or not?
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Post Number:#65  Postby Meleagar » January 23rd, 2010, 12:07 am

Santini wrote:You do know, don't you, that things which exist must exist either in your mind or not?


Nope. That's like saying an photon must either be a particle or a wave. It's not necessarily either, but could rather be something that isn't understood, and may not even be understandable. I'm not obligated to believe one or the other; I can simply remain neutrally skeptical about both.
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Post Number:#66  Postby Santini » January 23rd, 2010, 4:06 am

Meleagar wrote:
Santini wrote:You do know, don't you, that things which exist must exist either in your mind or not?


Nope. That's like saying an photon must either be a particle or a wave.


Nope. It's like saying that a photon must be either a wave or not a wave.

It's like saying that a photon must be either a particle or not a particle.

It's the difference between a contradictory and a contrary. If two propositions are contradictory then one is necessarily true and the other necessarily false. If two propositions are merely contrary, then one of them is necessarily false, but neither is necessarily true.

Particles and waves are contraries, not contradictories. "Only in the mind" and "not only in the mind" are contradictory terms, therefore "Anything that exists, exists only in one's mind or not" is absolutely true.

It's not necessarily either, but could rather be something that isn't understood, and may not even be understandable.


No, it actually is necessarily one or the other, as I've shown. Which it is, however, probably cannot be known.

I'm not obligated to believe one or the other; I can simply remain neutrally skeptical about both.


Not only are you not obligated to believe one or the other, you cannot justifiably do so, imo.

The distinction between the "internal world" and the "external world" is nothing more than the distinction that is drawn between dream states, hallucinatory states, imaginative states, etc. and non-dream, non-hallucinatory, non-imaginative, non-etc. states.

It's the difference between a rock that you might imagine lying on the ground in front of you and a rock that you visually see lying on the ground in front of you.

We ("we" here being an abreviated version of "the vast majority of people including me") assume that other people don't see the rock that we might imagine lying on the ground in front of us. But we assume that other normally fuctioning people can see the rock that we visually see lying on the ground in front of us.

We might point to a unusually shaped rock that we assume exists in external reality and say to a friend standing nearby, "Look at that rock!"

We would never point to an only imagined unusually shaped rock that we only imagine to be lying on the ground and say to a friend standing nearby, "Look at that rock!"

You're perfectly free to say that this is only a convention that you've consciously adopted so that other people won't assume that you're nuts. You may even convince yourself that this is what you're doing. But I say that it's more likely to be the result of your recognition of the differences in the various subjective experiences that you have.
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Post Number:#67  Postby Meleagar » January 23rd, 2010, 8:28 am

Santini wrote: "Only in the mind" and "not only in the mind" are contradictory terms, therefore "Anything that exists, exists only in one's mind or not" is absolutely true.


It's only contradictory if it is a well-formed statement. One can also look at a photon and say, "it is either a particle or it is not", and then test photons in a way where they are evidenced to be particles and not particles, and thus support the position that it must not be a well-formed statement.

Similarly, "reality either exists only in one's mind or not" might not be a well-formed contradictory statement. Reality might be something besides that which can be categorically committed to one state or not that one state.

You're perfectly free to say that this is only a convention that you've consciously adopted so that other people won't assume that you're nuts. You may even convince yourself that this is what you're doing. But I say that it's more likely to be the result of your recognition of the differences in the various subjective experiences that you have.


Of course, you're free to say whatever you wish (or must) about my views and motivations, and you may even convince yourself that what you've imagined to be my reasons is true, but I say that it is more likely that I'm in a better position to know what I do and why than you.
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Post Number:#68  Postby Santini » January 23rd, 2010, 9:54 am

Meleagar wrote:
Santini wrote: "Only in the mind" and "not only in the mind" are contradictory terms, therefore "Anything that exists, exists only in one's mind or not" is absolutely true.
It's only contradictory if it is a well-formed statement.


Yes, and "Anything that exists either exists only in your mind or not" is a well-formed statement, my friend.

One can also look at a photon and say, "it is either a particle or it is not", and then test photons in a way where they are evidenced to be particles and not particles, and thus support the position that it must not be a well-formed statement.


No, not if you clarify precisely what is and what is not a particle. What you suggest can be done only by being equivocal or ambiguous.

I detect a lack of sincerity in your argument.

Similarly, "reality either exists only in one's mind or not" might not be a well-formed contradictory statement.


Any statement might not be a well-formed statement given your idiosyncratic definition of "well-formed statement."

Reality might be something besides that which can be categorically committed to one state or not that one state.


Anything that exists either exists only in your mind or not. Since there is no other possible place that any existing thing can exist that pretty well exhausts all possibilities.

Meleagar wrote:
Santini wrote:You're perfectly free to say that this is only a convention that you've consciously adopted so that other people won't assume that you're nuts. You may even convince yourself that this is what you're doing. But I say that it's more likely to be the result of your recognition of the differences in the various subjective experiences that you have.
Of course, you're free to say whatever you wish (or must) about my views and motivations, and you may even convince yourself that what you've imagined to be my reasons is true, but I say that it is more likely that I'm in a better position to know what I do and why than you.


Since you pointedly did not disagree with my conclusion and could have, I assume you agree with it. Glad that's settled.
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Post Number:#69  Postby Meleagar » January 23rd, 2010, 11:22 am

Santini wrote:
Yes, and "Anything that exists either exists only in your mind or not" is a well-formed statement, my friend.


Perhaps it is in your existence. In mine, well-formed contradictory statements can only be statements about direct experience, and not of beliefs about experience. Since "Reality only exists in the mind" or "reality is an objective world" are extrapolations and refer to interpretations about the nature of experience, they cannot be part of a well-formed contradictory statement, because they rely on one's imaginative capacity to generate alternatives.

Anything that exists either exists only in your mind or not. Since there is no other possible place that any existing thing can exist that pretty well exhausts all possibilities.


"The mind" is far too vague a commodity to be part of any well-formed contradictory statement. You'd have to know what a "mind" is in order to make well-formed statements about it.

Since you pointedly did not disagree with my conclusion and could have, I assume you agree with it. Glad that's settled.


Your assumption is incorrect.
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Post Number:#70  Postby OTavern » January 23rd, 2010, 4:23 pm

Meleagar wrote:
Santini wrote:
Yes, and "Anything that exists either exists only in your mind or not" is a well-formed statement, my friend.


Perhaps it is in your existence. In mine, well-formed contradictory statements can only be statements about direct experience, and not of beliefs about experience. Since "Reality only exists in the mind" or "reality is an objective world" are extrapolations and refer to interpretations about the nature of experience, they cannot be part of a well-formed contradictory statement, because they rely on one's imaginative capacity to generate alternatives.

Anything that exists either exists only in your mind or not. Since there is no other possible place that any existing thing can exist that pretty well exhausts all possibilities.


"The mind" is far too vague a commodity to be part of any well-formed contradictory statement. You'd have to know what a "mind" is in order to make well-formed statements about it.


I have been thinking about this very issue recently in terms of how "knowing" or conceptualizing cannot be how we know other selves. There must be a different kind of knowing involved - a kind of direct communion or "apprehending" of other selves directly within one's larger "Self." If this is not possible then love in the full sense of the word cannot be possible either.

We know objects in the world by abstraction. That is, there are certain shared properties that we apply to specific objects and classify them as objects of a certain kind. Thus a tree has a trunk, leaves of some kind and roots, etc.

However, as a "self" I am unique since I am not an abstraction from multiple selves in my experiences but as a direct object of immediate experience. I do not conceptualize my "self," I am myself. If the commandment is to love others as my "self," then I cannot love them as conceptualizations because then they are mere objects of my knowledge, not subjects in themselves as I am to myself. To really know others must mean to know them in much the same way as I know myself because that is the only way I could possibly love them as I love myself.

I would venture to claim that Meleagar you must be correct that
to view the mind in some limited way as simply a means to conceptualize objects will mean knowing others would be limited to the same kind of knowing. We could then only know others as conceptual objects, not through, as you say, direct experience as "subjects" who are as individual and unique as I am myself.
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Post Number:#71  Postby Juice » January 23rd, 2010, 5:09 pm

Although I agree with the "vagueness of the mind" concept I believe the more accurate descriptive of "self" incorporates the concepts of both mind and body in this perceived reality and the responsive's attributable to each.

If I may offer that when the mind separates from its confines within this reality the self transcends into "knowing". The existence in this reality is just a preparation for knowing, leaving behind the logical necessity for "faith".

Knowing other selves. Knowing the realities of the universe. And knowing the creator.

I believe that this can be a consideration through several philosophical studies including ontology. Consider the statements, "In Gods Image" and "I am, I think". A knowing creator and knowing the creator.
When everyone looks to better their own future then the future will be better for everyone.

An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.
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Post Number:#72  Postby NameRemoved » January 23rd, 2010, 5:28 pm

Knowing me knowing you knowing others like self all mixed in with biblically Know thyself the first lesson of the 12 disciples, Love thyself and love thy Maker/s above all.

Wisdom is a SHE ..you guys know this right?:wink:
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Post Number:#73  Postby Juice » January 23rd, 2010, 6:20 pm

Very good 'Izzy'! :wink:

Now what is it about the metaphorical nature of "words" and "The Word" that would suggest truth in the wisdom of "she", female, woman, mother?
When everyone looks to better their own future then the future will be better for everyone.

An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.
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Post Number:#74  Postby NameRemoved » January 23rd, 2010, 7:09 pm

Very good 'Izzy'!

Now what is it about the metaphorical nature of "words" and "The Word" that would suggest truth in the wisdom of "she", female, woman, mother?
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GOd i kept losing connection with this site today?

anyway Wisdom IS[is] a SHE how many GODS in the mainsteam religions were not born from woman? SHe is the MYSTERY yet to be unveiled..King solomon knew her well check out My re edit in Brigit Jones diary thread in General for further evidence :lol:
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Re: How much evidence does it take to believe or to know?

Post Number:#75  Postby Santini » January 25th, 2010, 4:44 am

Scott wrote:How much evidence does it take for you to believe something as opposed to just thinking it is possible? (e.g. "I believe the sky is blue" as opposed to "The sky may be blue or not; there is not enough evidence for me to believe one way or the other.")


I try to believe a claim if the preponderance of the available evidence points to its being true. In practice, this sometimes can be difficult to do for a number of reasons.

Generally, however, this is the reason that I don't believe in alien visitations that have been claimed, paranormal claims that I've heard about, or any of the gods that I'm familiar with.

How much evidence does it take for you to say that you know something? (e.g. "I know the sky is blue," or "I know the sky is not blue.")


I know something when the available evidence is so overwhelmingly stacked in favor of its being true that it would be silly to disbelieve it.

How much evidence is required against something for you to not believe it is possible? Do you just have to believe the opposite? (e.g. "I believe the sky is blue, so I think it is not possible that the sky is not blue.")


No amount of evidence can convince me that something possible is impossible. Only contradictions are impossible.

It is possible that the sky is not blue even if I am staring at the sky while my perceptual faculties are functioning normally and am completely convinced that I am looking at a blue sky.

It's impossible for me to believe that the sky is not blue if I sincerely believe that it is blue, but it can never be impossible for the sky to actually be not blue just because I sincerely believe that it is blue. Things are the way they are no matter how strongly my hopes or wishes or even beliefs might argue otherwise.

It would be wonderful if things were true just because they benefitted me by being true. Unfortunately for me, that doesn't seem to be the way that it works.
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