All existence and non existence as the one Absolute

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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Terrapin Station
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Re: All existence and non existence as the one Absolute

Post by Terrapin Station » May 13th, 2020, 7:36 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 5:49 am
Terrapin Station wrote:What I never get is the attraction to everything being the same, being "one"/"unified" etc.
I suspect that there are a variety of different viewpoints that you're covering with this comment, some of which I personally find more interesting than others. You being a nominalist, who has specifically talked about rejecting "real abstracts", I presume one of your objections to most of them is the old "confusing the map with the territory" objection. i.e. mixing up the way we view the world with the way that it ontologically is; reification of abstracts.

Among these viewpoints, there is the desire for a holistic worldview because it is seen as a simple counterweight to what are perceived to be the flaws in Reductionism; i.e. the analysis of a system by considering its parts individually and assuming that the parts either don't influence each other or have simple, well-defined interfaces to each other. I think this is what creation/evolution is vaguely groping towards when he endlessly insists that he doesn't believe anything and that "thee[sic] truth" is simple and easy and that he alone knows it, and everyone else is blinded by their non-child-like knowledge and education. etc. etc.

There is also the simple observation that lots of the phenomena in Nature have very striking similarities and that those similarities can be expressed mathematically. I see nothing wrong with that observation. But I think you tend to balk at things like that because you immediately assume, as soon as something like mathematics is mentioned, that mathematics is being reified. I guess you assume that because you're always looking out for it, due to your strong rejection of "real abstracts".

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail (my current favourite saying). If you're always on the lookout for people mistakenly reifying abstract concepts, you'll see them doing it everywhere. Clearly, having studied philosophy for a long time, you have a lot more than a "hammer". You have a large and varied toolkit, no doubt. But the "hammer" ( by which I mean the objection to the perceived reification of abstract concepts) seems to be your favourite.
"Parts influence each other and have fuzzy boundaries" doesn't imply anything like "everything is the same thing" or "all is one" etc.

"Things have similarities" doesn't imply that everything is the same thing, either, and neither does the fact that we can formulate abstractions like concepts, mathematical representations, etc.

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Re: All existence and non existence as the one Absolute

Post by Greta » May 13th, 2020, 8:29 pm

Thomyum2 wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 10:34 am
Greta wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 8:06 am
Vision is relatively precise and absolute, an ideal tool of rationalism. Strong focus on the visual tends to result in the dismissal of the nebulous. Yet the finest moments in life are almost always infused with subtleties that resist precise technical analysis - or at least any precise analysis would be so complex that the final explanation would be about as meaningful as forty-two. So there is some resistance to rationalism, and "unity" proponents are an expression of this.
I think you make an interesting point here. I recently came across a passage in Iris Murdoch's book Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals where she brings up a similar idea in the context of discussing Marin Buber's thought:
I quote here a passage where Buber tells us that, influenced by Plato, European philosophy has tended to picture spirituality as a looking upward, rather than as a movement or making of contact here below. 'The Greeks established the hegemony of sight over the other senses, thus making the optical world into the world, into which the data of the other senses are now to be entered.' They also gaven an optical character to philosophy, 'the character of the contemplation of particular objects.... The object of this visual thought is the universal as existence or as a reality higher than existence. Philosophy is grounded on the presupposition that one sees the absolute in universals.'
This really struck me and I haven't had a chance to explore the idea much further, but it makes me consider how much of the way we conceive reality is based on our visual sense, or even how much could the emergence of intelligent life and the development of our thought and way of understanding our universe have depended on the very evolution of the eye. Would we conceive the universe in the same way (or could we conceive it at all) if we had not developed the sense of sight?

And to tie in with the ideas of waves and particles above, I wonder if it is more than just coincidental that it has been in light itself - which as the very thing that our eyes detect to make vision possible - that science has identified this ambivalent nature that has properties of both waves and particles, and that the speed of light also has been identified as a constant and an absolute limit of the speed of motion and of communication, and found to be such a fundamental underlying element in our conception of the material universe.
It seems that sight is needed for technology. All tool-using animals have a good sense of sight. Light provides more precise data about the environment, being based on smaller waves. So, at least parts of the world around us can be observed in finer detail with vision than relatively coarse sound waves, which allows for precision. Our ability to detect gases and slow wave radiation, though, are very limited so, if we can't see or smell it, then we must measure it and create a data-based model that we can inspect visually.

At this stage, the eyes are king as we spend ever more time in front of screens. However, we are butting up against vision's limits. As the natural environment degrades and life becomes more crowded, people will stay in more. They will require more immersive experiences from computers than mere visual and audio stimuli, brain hacks that simulate (or stimulate) sensations and smells. Meanwhile, LIGO has been measuring gravity waves caused by colliding black holes and neutron stars, the first time the cosmos has been measured without measuring photons. Also, seismic data from stars and planets has been converted to sound, which provides a clearer overview of the situation than one would gain from visual inspection in much the same way as a piece of music is more readily grasped by listening than reading the score. So times are changing here.

There is also a political aspect to all this, which leads people to rhapsodise about the ephemeral. The most successful human societies have always been the most controlling. Consider what happened to relatively easygoing indigenous societies when they encountered the tense and aggressive invaders from crowded, dirty, hyper-competitive Europe. Many "underlings" with these crowded societies can feel oppressed by the relentless badgering, cajoling, pushing, prodding, shaming, demanding and bullying they experience at the hands of others.

So they look towards that which their tormentors/controllers cannot control. Hence Heaven. Hence an afterlife that balances the scales of justice. Hence the lionisation of domains that cannot be probed by the oppressors' instruments of control. The New Agers actually make a decent point, just that hurt leads them to overstate its importance, forgetting that matter matters too :)

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Re: All existence and non existence as the one Absolute

Post by Greta » May 13th, 2020, 8:33 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 7:36 pm
Steve3007 wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 5:49 am


I suspect that there are a variety of different viewpoints that you're covering with this comment, some of which I personally find more interesting than others. You being a nominalist, who has specifically talked about rejecting "real abstracts", I presume one of your objections to most of them is the old "confusing the map with the territory" objection. i.e. mixing up the way we view the world with the way that it ontologically is; reification of abstracts.

Among these viewpoints, there is the desire for a holistic worldview because it is seen as a simple counterweight to what are perceived to be the flaws in Reductionism; i.e. the analysis of a system by considering its parts individually and assuming that the parts either don't influence each other or have simple, well-defined interfaces to each other. I think this is what creation/evolution is vaguely groping towards when he endlessly insists that he doesn't believe anything and that "thee[sic] truth" is simple and easy and that he alone knows it, and everyone else is blinded by their non-child-like knowledge and education. etc. etc.

There is also the simple observation that lots of the phenomena in Nature have very striking similarities and that those similarities can be expressed mathematically. I see nothing wrong with that observation. But I think you tend to balk at things like that because you immediately assume, as soon as something like mathematics is mentioned, that mathematics is being reified. I guess you assume that because you're always looking out for it, due to your strong rejection of "real abstracts".

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail (my current favourite saying). If you're always on the lookout for people mistakenly reifying abstract concepts, you'll see them doing it everywhere. Clearly, having studied philosophy for a long time, you have a lot more than a "hammer". You have a large and varied toolkit, no doubt. But the "hammer" ( by which I mean the objection to the perceived reification of abstract concepts) seems to be your favourite.
"Parts influence each other and have fuzzy boundaries" doesn't imply anything like "everything is the same thing" or "all is one" etc.

"Things have similarities" doesn't imply that everything is the same thing, either, and neither does the fact that we can formulate abstractions like concepts, mathematical representations, etc.
Logically, we parse "similar" and "same". They do not mean the same thing. There are obvious relative similarities and differences. No one is going to confuse a river with a flea or a bulldozer. How does your nominalism deal with relative similarities? It would seem all one can do is to keep in mind the obvious fact that individual differences exist between entities that are classed in the same category. Is this just a warning not to mistake the map for the territory? (which Steve mentioned earlier).

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Re: All existence and non existence as the one Absolute

Post by Steve3007 » May 14th, 2020, 3:36 am

Greta wrote:...Is this just a warning not to mistake the map for the territory? (which Steve mentioned earlier).
One of the things I find interesting about some of the characters we get in this place is "hobby horses" - a central belief or thesis that they return to. I've noted that with NukeBan (formerly Ormond) and Syamsu. One of the effects that these strongly held beliefs appear to have is to cause them to read other people's words non-literally and to see opposition to this central belief where it's not present in the words.

I think Terrapin Station's is his rejection of the reification of abstracts; confusing the map for the territory; treating abstracts as if they were real. It has occurred in lots of his posts since he first came here. It was a major factor in the direction that some early conversations about science went, and ended. Just as NukeBan/Ormond sees "atheist ideology" in every post, regardless of whether it's present, and Syamsu sees "denying the existence of choice" in every post, regardless of whether it's present, I think (to a much less extreme extent than those two extreme examples) TS sees the reifiication of abstract concepts, such as mathematics, in places where it is not necessarily present.

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Re: All existence and non existence as the one Absolute

Post by Terrapin Station » May 14th, 2020, 5:46 am

Greta wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 8:33 pm
How does your nominalism deal with relative similarities?
I'm not sure what that's asking, because I'm not sure what you see as the dilemma there. What do you see as the issue that needs to be dealt with?

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Re: All existence and non existence as the one Absolute

Post by Greta » May 14th, 2020, 6:58 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
May 14th, 2020, 5:46 am
Greta wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 8:33 pm
How does your nominalism deal with relative similarities?
I'm not sure what that's asking, because I'm not sure what you see as the dilemma there. What do you see as the issue that needs to be dealt with?
You seem to dislike the idea of categorisation.

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Re: All existence and non existence as the one Absolute

Post by Terrapin Station » May 14th, 2020, 9:04 am

Greta wrote:
May 14th, 2020, 6:58 am
Terrapin Station wrote:
May 14th, 2020, 5:46 am


I'm not sure what that's asking, because I'm not sure what you see as the dilemma there. What do you see as the issue that needs to be dealt with?
You seem to dislike the idea of categorisation.
No problem with categorization. That's simply an issue of how an individual formulates concepts. It's necessary to do this. What I have an issue with is pretending that the concepts we've formulated are real things (ie, that they exist, as concepts/categories/types extramentally). That's like pretending that Sherlock Holmes is a real person just because we've "thought him up."

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Re: All existence and non existence as the one Absolute

Post by h_k_s » May 14th, 2020, 5:02 pm

I guess the O/P did not want to start over with cogito ergo sum, then.

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Re: All existence and non existence as the one Absolute

Post by Greta » May 14th, 2020, 10:13 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
May 14th, 2020, 9:04 am
Greta wrote:
May 14th, 2020, 6:58 am

You seem to dislike the idea of categorisation.
No problem with categorization. That's simply an issue of how an individual formulates concepts. It's necessary to do this. What I have an issue with is pretending that the concepts we've formulated are real things (ie, that they exist, as concepts/categories/types extramentally). That's like pretending that Sherlock Holmes is a real person just because we've "thought him up."
In other words, you don't think we should take our categories too seriously. I agree, but perhaps for different reasons. I am not convinced that our sensory perceptions are telling us the truth, given that our senses are evolved for thrival rather than veracity, and species with different kinds of senses perceive can a very kind of reality to the one that our brains shape for us. How close our perceptions are to truth is impossible to say. The fact that Ptolomy's geocentric model makes accurate predictions of the positions of the planets in the sky (just in a very roundabout way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpSy0Lkm3zM) makes me wonder about the Standard Model, which seems complex enough to suggest a possible perspective error.

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Re: All existence and non existence as the one Absolute

Post by Steve3007 » May 15th, 2020, 2:33 am

Greta wrote:I am not convinced that our sensory perceptions are telling us the truth, given that our senses are evolved for thrival rather than veracity, and species with different kinds of senses perceive can a very kind of reality to the one that our brains shape for us.
It's interesting to consider how far this gap between evolved practical utility and representational accuracy could, in principle, be. It's clear that various living things, including humans, have senses that show them only the subset of reality that they need to be able to sense in order to survive in their particular niche. But that is still a subset of reality. It's not something different from reality. It's just not the whole of it.

I wonder if senses that have evolved by survival could, as a result of that, evolve to show something different from reality rather than a subset of it.

(Obviously all of this assumes that it makes sense to consider there to be a reality without considering the way in which that reality is observed. i.e. it assumes that we are some species of philosophical realists.)

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Re: All existence and non existence as the one Absolute

Post by evolution » May 15th, 2020, 3:39 am

Ginkgo wrote:
May 10th, 2020, 12:17 pm
When I started thinking about who I was, I realized I had been wrong all along.
I am not an individual. We actually choose to be individuals when we let our conciousness emulate others', and start regarding things as objects so that we can become the subject. But that doesn't harbor any kind of logic, apart from self-preservation, or the search of selfish happiness.
But think about it. The universe is energy, waves, sines and cosines. Everything is the same, even what it doesn't exist. All is relative when we have to pick a subject. Why then don't we just pick none?
I have understood that I am all the universe. Every corner of it, all the past, all the future. Logic takes us apart from this one and only truth, and logic can take us back to it.
So after embracing this idea, I held the concept of unity.
Unity is the path to enlightenment, in the sense that we can finally see who we really are. It means to let go of the intersubjective world we build. It means to use our individual movement that makes the whole to share and bring light.
Nothing will be won or lost, but the beauty of the only absolute truth of self being able to contemplate itself is what keeps the wall of conciousness spinning.
A journey of Life is to KNOW Thy Self, and it sounds like 'you' have come a fair way along that journey and a fair way ahead of "others".

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Re: All existence and non existence as the one Absolute

Post by evolution » May 15th, 2020, 7:14 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
May 11th, 2020, 1:36 pm
Steve3007 wrote:
May 11th, 2020, 1:24 pm


Why do they always pick waves when they want to say something profound about the Universe? Why not, say, the Heaviside step function? I blame the Beach Boys.
What I never get is the attraction to everything being the same, being "one"/"unified" etc.

My suspicion is that it stems from people who see themselves as outsiders in the outcast sense--maybe bullied, maybe incels, etc.--but who want to fit in, who want to belong, etc.--basically, prime candidates for cult recruitment.

I can't figure out why else people would devolve into nonsense like "everything is the same--existence and non-existence, cats and dogs, socks and shoes" etc.
Why can you not figure these assumptions of yours? Could the assumption itself just be plain wrong?

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Re: All existence and non existence as the one Absolute

Post by evolution » May 15th, 2020, 7:40 am

Steve3007 wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 5:49 am
Terrapin Station wrote:What I never get is the attraction to everything being the same, being "one"/"unified" etc.
I suspect that there are a variety of different viewpoints that you're covering with this comment, some of which I personally find more interesting than others. You being a nominalist, who has specifically talked about rejecting "real abstracts", I presume one of your objections to most of them is the old "confusing the map with the territory" objection. i.e. mixing up the way we view the world with the way that it ontologically is; reification of abstracts.

Among these viewpoints, there is the desire for a holistic worldview because it is seen as a simple counterweight to what are perceived to be the flaws in Reductionism; i.e. the analysis of a system by considering its parts individually and assuming that the parts either don't influence each other or have simple, well-defined interfaces to each other. I think this is what creation/evolution is vaguely groping towards when he endlessly insists that he doesn't believe anything and that "thee[sic] truth" is simple and easy and that he alone knows it, and everyone else is blinded by their non-child-like knowledge and education. etc. etc.
Your two ASSUMPTIONS here are completely and utterly WRONG.

I have NEVER even thought, let alone suggested, i alone know thee Truth.

I am NOT "vaguely groping towards" any thing at all.

I really do suggest that you STOP assuming, and START clarifying.

How many times will you be WRONG before you learn to start clarifying first?

Instead of making all these assumptions about what I COULD BE saying and meaning, and instead if you just asked me Truly OPEN clarifying questions, then you would just, very simply and very easily,] learn and thus know thee actual Truth.
Steve3007 wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 5:49 am
There is also the simple observation that lots of the phenomena in Nature have very striking similarities and that those similarities can be expressed mathematically. I see nothing wrong with that observation. But I think you tend to balk at things like that because you immediately assume, as soon as something like mathematics is mentioned, that mathematics is being reified. I guess you assume that because you're always looking out for it, due to your strong rejection of "real abstracts".

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail (my current favourite saying). If you're always on the lookout for people mistakenly reifying abstract concepts, you'll see them doing it everywhere. Clearly, having studied philosophy for a long time, you have a lot more than a "hammer". You have a large and varied toolkit, no doubt. But the "hammer" ( by which I mean the objection to the perceived reification of abstract concepts) seems to be your favourite.

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Re: All existence and non existence as the one Absolute

Post by evolution » May 15th, 2020, 7:55 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 7:36 pm
Steve3007 wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 5:49 am


I suspect that there are a variety of different viewpoints that you're covering with this comment, some of which I personally find more interesting than others. You being a nominalist, who has specifically talked about rejecting "real abstracts", I presume one of your objections to most of them is the old "confusing the map with the territory" objection. i.e. mixing up the way we view the world with the way that it ontologically is; reification of abstracts.

Among these viewpoints, there is the desire for a holistic worldview because it is seen as a simple counterweight to what are perceived to be the flaws in Reductionism; i.e. the analysis of a system by considering its parts individually and assuming that the parts either don't influence each other or have simple, well-defined interfaces to each other. I think this is what creation/evolution is vaguely groping towards when he endlessly insists that he doesn't believe anything and that "thee[sic] truth" is simple and easy and that he alone knows it, and everyone else is blinded by their non-child-like knowledge and education. etc. etc.

There is also the simple observation that lots of the phenomena in Nature have very striking similarities and that those similarities can be expressed mathematically. I see nothing wrong with that observation. But I think you tend to balk at things like that because you immediately assume, as soon as something like mathematics is mentioned, that mathematics is being reified. I guess you assume that because you're always looking out for it, due to your strong rejection of "real abstracts".

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail (my current favourite saying). If you're always on the lookout for people mistakenly reifying abstract concepts, you'll see them doing it everywhere. Clearly, having studied philosophy for a long time, you have a lot more than a "hammer". You have a large and varied toolkit, no doubt. But the "hammer" ( by which I mean the objection to the perceived reification of abstract concepts) seems to be your favourite.
"Parts influence each other and have fuzzy boundaries" doesn't imply anything like "everything is the same thing" or "all is one" etc.
Has anyone actually said "everything is the same thing"?

If yes, then who?

"Things have similarities" doesn't imply that everything is the same thing, either, and neither does the fact that we can formulate abstractions like concepts, mathematical representations, etc.
[/quote]

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Re: All existence and non existence as the one Absolute

Post by evolution » May 15th, 2020, 8:14 am

h_k_s wrote:
May 14th, 2020, 5:02 pm
I guess the O/P did not want to start over with cogito ergo sum, then.
But who thinks, and therefore they are?

Answer the question, 'Who am I?' properly and correctly, then what was said in the opening post will be better understood.

The Universe is evolving, and so to is the Awareness of Thy Self.

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