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.
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OTavern
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Post by OTavern »

Belinda wrote: I am presuming that OTavern thinks with George Berkeley that even when no mortal creature is there in the forest to hear the tree's crash, God hears it.

And that God is the creator of biology, and everything.


It's impossible to argue against such an elevated position as God.This is why God is not the province of science, since the God hypothesis cannot be falsified
No Belinda, that is not quite my position. My position is that in the absence of any subject at all, how do you know there is no sound or light? Boagle, and apparently you as well, assume that there are no perceptual qualities associated with the physical world unless a subject is involved, but how could that be known for certain? That is only an assumption. What then is the physical world actually like? It would have to have some properties on its own, independent of those humans bring to the experience. It couldn't have no properties whatsoever.

Your problem Belinda is that you want to reduce opposing positions to being indefensible which then allows you to dismiss them easily. At bottom, you have a straw man mentality because you haven't seriously considered opposing views, only the simplistic version you conceive parthenogenically in your brain.
boagie
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Post by boagie »

Belinda,

I am sure your correct about this, my feeling is that the religious at this site or any other should be up front about their bottom line so that the more rationally inclined can chose not to engage in futile dialogue. It is a bit like the issue of creationism in the science classroom, they feel it is their right to be wherever they wish to be, regardless if what they have to offer is in fact relevant to the subject in question. They are indeed the majority here reflecting the national majority leanings. That should not in a place like this mean that fellow associates should have to waste their time, treating of them as if they were serious rationalists. Just indicate up front with possibly a crucifix symbol under the sign in name, whatever symbol might represent your particualr belief about the supernatural, giving the poor rationalist a break.

O'Tavern,

If you understood the topic, in other words come to terms with the fact that ultimate reality is not a place of things, that what is out there is energy vibrations, probability wave functions ect, that there is no way of knowing object as we believe we do, without being informed of it through its effects on the body. You should not be attributing negative definitions to someone else because you cannot get your mind around particular concepts. Apparent reality is a virtual reality, modern science seems to be stating this no? That which is cold is cold relative to your biological temperature--no?
Last edited by boagie on February 18th, 2010, 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nothing in the world in and of itself has meaning, but only in relation to a biological subject. Boagie
OTavern
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Post by OTavern »

boagie wrote:
I am sure you correct about this, my feeling is that the religious at this site or any other should be up front about their bottom line so that the more rationally inclined can chose not to engage in futile dialogue.
Yes I can see that you, the rational being that you are, should rely with certainty on your feelings about an issue. Well argued, oh rationally inclined one.

Funny how when you don't have an answer you try to dismiss the issue by irrelevant innuendo, personal attack and denial of access. What are you afraid of? That your position will be shown up for what it is, empty rhetoric?
boagie
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Post by boagie »

O'Tavern,

Very well then, instead of my desciption of how one comes to have meaning/knowledge of the physcial world lets here your description of the processes involved. If you have another way of coming to an understanding of this that does not involve any supernatural beings, I am all ears!!! It is easy to be negative, let's see your positive input as to how we acquire knowledge and meaning of the physcial world------opportunity is knocking, you have the floor my good man, enlighten us!
Nothing in the world in and of itself has meaning, but only in relation to a biological subject. Boagie
OTavern
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Post by OTavern »

boagie wrote:O'Tavern,

Very well then, instead of my desciption of how one comes to have meaning/knowledge of the physcial world lets here your description of the processes involved. If you have another way of coming to an understanding of this that does not involve any supernatural beings, I am all ears!!! It is easy to be negative, let's see your positive input as to how we acquire knowledge and meaning of the physcial world------opportunity is knocking, you have the floor my good man, enlighten us!
First of all you haven't really explained meaning without bringing in supernatural beings because your explanation assumes their existence - the beings you call the subjects that bring meaning cannot be part of the physical world because then the physical world would be bringing meaning to itself, thus refuting your own premise that meaning is brought to the physical world by the subject.

Furthermore, if colour is not part of the physical world then it must be a supernatural phenomena, just as sound must be if it is not found in the physical world. So how could a physical (natural cause) result in a non-physical (supernatural) effect? What could the causal connection be between a physical cause and non physical effect? Why would there be a connection necessarily between the physical world and the meaning - non-physical that it is - overlayed on it by consciousness?

It is very difficult from an evolutionary position to try to explain colour or sound as mental phenomena completely detached from the physical world. From what source would such non-physical entities arise? To assume they just did does not explain anything. There is much more to be said about this. I just don't have time right now.
Belinda
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Post by Belinda »

OTavern#151
My position is that in the absence of any subject at all, how do you know there is no sound or light? Boagle, and apparently you as well, assume that there are no perceptual qualities associated with the physical world unless a subject is involved, but how could that be known for certain? That is only an assumption. What then is the physical world actually like? It would have to have some properties on its own, independent of those humans bring to the experience. It couldn't have no properties whatsoever.
I don't know that in the absence of any subject there is no sound or light, if by 'sound or light' you intend perceptions of sound or light. (And, of course, by 'subject' you would be including God as a subject of perception).I do however speculate about whether or not there is something 'outside'. I agree that there could be something outside of perceptions.Actually , I prefer to speculate that there is something outside of perceptions. I disagree that it has properties because properties are part of the narratives that humans tell about entities. What the nature of the world 'beyond' perceptions is,if there is such a world, must remain forever closed to us all and utterly ineffable.In other words, there is nothing at all that can be said about the hypothetical world beyond perceptions.

Since you think that this objective reality has properties, how can a person know what the properties are unless the person has some theory about the nature of properties? How are properties discovered without a theory which is itself a function of perception?

If you believe that properties of entities in the putative objective world exist, or even that there are entities at all in the putative objective world, the only possible way in which these could be revealed is the supernatural way.
'Parthenogenically'
OTavern's ideas are not virgins either as his ideas have been fertilised by whoever else has featured in his life as significant others.
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boagie
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Post by boagie »

"First of all you haven't really explained meaning without bringing in supernatural beings because your explanation assumes their existence - the beings you call the subjects that bring meaning cannot be part of the physical world because then the physical world would be bringing meaning to itself, thus refuting your own premise that meaning is brought to the physical world by the subject."


O'Tavern,

I am trying to understand where you are coming from, do you not make any distinction between the living world and that of the inanimate non-living world/physcial world?

"Furthermore, if colour is not part of the physical world then it must be a supernatural phenomena, just as sound must be if it is not found in the physical world. So how could a physical (natural cause) result in a non-physical (supernatural) effect? What could the causal connection be between a physical cause and non physical effect? Why would there be a connection necessarily between the physical world and the meaning - non-physical that it is - overlayed on it by consciousness?" quote

The vibrations as stimulus certainly do belong to the physcial world, sound on the other hand belongs to a living consciousness. Do you believe that all your perceptions are due to a supernatural sources/causes? Colour it is well established is the result of a certain frequency of light waves, these frequencies not only determines what colour we do see, but whether we see colour at all, people do not pick up all frequencies of light, ultra violet frequencies, X ray frequencies are not in the range that our sensory apparatus picks up.

"It is very difficult from an evolutionary position to try to explain colour or sound as mental phenomena completely detached from the physical world. From what source would such non-physical entities arise? To assume they just did does not explain anything. There is much more to be said about this. I just don't have time right now.[/quote]

Bilogy does not explain colour as completely detached from the physcial world, the stimulus source for the effect upon the eyes are of a physcial nature, as the frequencies/vibrations of light. Think of these frequencies as affect and the resultant effect is the perception of colour. Something similar to the lock which presumes its key.
Nothing in the world in and of itself has meaning, but only in relation to a biological subject. Boagie
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Keith Russell
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Post by Keith Russell »

boagie wrote:That should not in a place like this mean that fellow associates should have to waste their time, treating of them as if they were serious rationalists.
I'm not sure what you mean by "serious" rationalists; technically, religious folks are "rationalists" (in the Platonic sense...)

As for your post regarding viruses and consciousness, the article you cite discusses the controversy over whether viruses are "alive", but it does not support in any way your claim that "all living things are conscious".

I don't believe that all living things are conscious, and--to the best of my knowledge--you have shown no evidence to the contrary.
boagie
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Post by boagie »

Keith Ressell,

Please expaned on the Platonic sense. My intention was to underline that when agrueing about basic reality if the other chap has a base line that says god did it, further dialogue is futile.

Actually I thought the virus was given as the rebuttal of life is consciousness, consciousness if life. Do you have an example of unconscious life, other than the virus which seems to be up in the air.
Last edited by boagie on February 18th, 2010, 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nothing in the world in and of itself has meaning, but only in relation to a biological subject. Boagie
Santini
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Post by Santini »

Keith Russell wrote:As for your post regarding viruses and consciousness, the article you cite discusses the controversy over whether viruses are "alive", but it does not support in any way your claim that "all living things are conscious".

I don't believe that all living things are conscious, and--to the best of my knowledge--you have shown no evidence to the contrary.
I suppose this would in some sense depend upon the definition that one uses for 'life.'

FWIW, I don't recall seeing a definition for 'life' that uses 'consciousness' as a necessary condition. In my view, such a condition seems overly restrictive.
boagie
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Post by boagie »

"I don't recall seeing a definition for 'life' that uses 'consciousness' as a necessary condition. In my view, such a condition seems overly restrictive.[/quote]


How do you mean restrictive? I would consider any form of life which reacts to its changing environment as conscious. Any life form which can fear for its existence is conscious. Perhaps that is not the excepted defination, I really had not checked it out. Do you have an example of unconscious life?
Last edited by boagie on February 18th, 2010, 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nothing in the world in and of itself has meaning, but only in relation to a biological subject. Boagie
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Keith Russell
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Post by Keith Russell »

boagie wrote:Keith Ressell, [p]lease expaned on the Platonic sense.
Philosphical "rationalism" is the belief that knowledge can be acquired by reasoning alone, as in Kant's "Pure" Reason. "Empricism" is considered the opposite of "rationalism".
My intention was to underline that when agrueing about basic reality if the other chap has a base line that says god did it, further dialogue is futile.
Not sure I agree. Sometimes its useful to force the other person to admit that their claims are not based on evidence, and are thus "irrational". (Convincing them, though, that "irrational" is not a good thing, may not be possible.)
Actually I thought the virus was given as the rebuttal of life is consciousness, consciousness if life. Do you have an example of unconscious life, other than the virus which seems to be up in the air.
boagie
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Post by boagie »

Do any of you disbelieve that there is body consciousness, take as an example digestion in a multicellular organism. If one had to know on what we consider the normal congitive level the formuals for the digestion of any given meal we would starve to death.

As to arguing with the devout, I've done it many times and it is almost always fruitless.
Nothing in the world in and of itself has meaning, but only in relation to a biological subject. Boagie
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Keith Russell
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Post by Keith Russell »

boagie wrote:Do any of you disbelieve that there is body consciousness, take as an example digestion in a multicellular organism. If one had to know on what we consider the normal congitive level the formuals for the digestion of any given meal we would starve to death.
But, why define "physical functioning" as "consciousness"? I think there are valid reasons for differentiating the two. A person in a permanent, vegetative state/brain-death, can have functioning organs and bodily systems, yet (IMO) should not be considered "conscious". The "higher brain functions" have ceased...
boagie
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Post by boagie »

Keith Russell wrote:
boagie wrote:Do any of you d

But, why define "physical functioning" as "consciousness"? I think there are valid reasons for differentiating the two...

Perhaps your right, one could ignore it as a possiablity, but the question has been entertained for a few eons as consciousness. If you limit the idea of consciousness to the brain I think that is a mistake, as a multicellular organism the body built the brain, the brain did not build the body.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKryvqiO ... re=related
Last edited by boagie on February 18th, 2010, 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nothing in the world in and of itself has meaning, but only in relation to a biological subject. Boagie
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