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If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it,

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If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

yes
121
65%
no
64
35%
 
Total votes: 185

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Greta
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Re: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear

Post by Greta » July 20th, 2016, 8:46 am

Dan_1985 wrote:Imagine two cases: 1) I slowly wave my hand; 2) I snap my fingers. Both are equal in that there is no-thing ‘out there’ in the world, yet only the finger-snapping creates a sound.
Each act produces vibrations that can be interpreted as sound by those with sensory organs that interpret vibrations as sound, but only the click creates a vibration that can be heard by humans. However, a tiny wasp may well hear each.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated—Gandhi.

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Re: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear

Post by Prof » July 21st, 2016, 3:20 am

Belinda wrote:Prof wrote:
maybe you were implying that there is the 2% of the human race which constitutes the madmen, and the sociopaths (both men and women) who would hurt the rest of us, and you were asking what should be done about them?

If that is the question, I would reply: Lock them away!
But the madmen are the rulers of many if not most of the rest of us. It would be great to lock them away if that were possible. However many of us are infected with the mad beliefs and practices to greater or lesser degrees. The question is should those of us who are more sane aim for peaceful evolution into sanity for instance via democracy , or should we aim for violent revolution? In some countries I would be liquidated for daring to ask this question. In the West the rulers maintain their power over such as me by the lure of comforts and luxuries.
Hi, Belinda

People need to eat, and people need meaning in their life. Both are basic needs (along with safety, recognition, achievement - and eventually, once these lower needs are satiated, people have a need for beauty, romance, adventure, goodness, truth, and self-actualization.) Having work to do is one way to find meaning; it makes life more meaningful. It can offer dignity. It can be an antidote to boredom. A job may enable one to eat, and it may enable one to exercise his or her gifts and aptitudes, while feeling of some use to society.

The Power Elite,
{that one-tenth of one=tenth of one percent of the population who are multi-billionaires, and who enjoy throwing their power around by buying politicians - the way a commoner may buy toilet tissue - and even doing it quietly behind the scenes, keeping a low profile} now offer jobs.
In the old days such patricians and lords would have owned slaves; and later, serfs that they fed, clothed and housed.

Lately, they made the discovery that they didn't have to do that. Why bother with it?! Just offer them "a job," pay them a mere pittance, sometimes even 'a living wage,' and watch them scramble!! ....and thus the wage-slave was innovated :!: 8) :D

Nowadays, let the slaves feed, clothe and house themselves! Those in the Elite, with REAL money, still have their slaves doing the work for them, but they have dispensed with the trappings of the auction block, etc. and they - the Elite few - still pursue their leisure, and their pet projects, while never having to do any of the drudge work.

Hopefully, if we - who love wisdom, who care about applied ethics as well as epistemology: evidence and truth-seeking - work for it, advocate, organize, promote, and go about it the right way, with the right order of steps, all drudgery, all routine work, all unpleasant, boring, demeaning, dangerous, dirty, or unsafe work [such as mining, for example] will be done by robots, via automation. [Perhaps an exception will be the caring professions of nursing, social-work, teaching, etc.]

:idea: Meanwhile, because we demanded it and worked to make it happen, everyone will be supported by some kind of Basic Income plan, or Zeitgeist type of distribution; or will be paid a salary by the government to clean up a National Park, or something equally-useful, but only if the applicant selects the occupation or career freely from a list because it seems interesting; or justifies being compensated for a personal project and succeeds in getting sponsorship. 8) And then everyone able to work will be free to pursue their own self-selected projects. :)

Readers, what say you?
To learn more on ethical topics, check out these references:onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums/viewtop ... amp;t=6097

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Re: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear

Post by LuckyR » July 22nd, 2016, 11:10 am

Prof wrote:
Belinda wrote:Prof wrote:


(Nested quote removed.)


But the madmen are the rulers of many if not most of the rest of us. It would be great to lock them away if that were possible. However many of us are infected with the mad beliefs and practices to greater or lesser degrees. The question is should those of us who are more sane aim for peaceful evolution into sanity for instance via democracy , or should we aim for violent revolution? In some countries I would be liquidated for daring to ask this question. In the West the rulers maintain their power over such as me by the lure of comforts and luxuries.
Hi, Belinda

People need to eat, and people need meaning in their life. Both are basic needs (along with safety, recognition, achievement - and eventually, once these lower needs are satiated, people have a need for beauty, romance, adventure, goodness, truth, and self-actualization.) Having work to do is one way to find meaning; it makes life more meaningful. It can offer dignity. It can be an antidote to boredom. A job may enable one to eat, and it may enable one to exercise his or her gifts and aptitudes, while feeling of some use to society.

The Power Elite,
{that one-tenth of one=tenth of one percent of the population who are multi-billionaires, and who enjoy throwing their power around by buying politicians - the way a commoner may buy toilet tissue - and even doing it quietly behind the scenes, keeping a low profile} now offer jobs.
In the old days such patricians and lords would have owned slaves; and later, serfs that they fed, clothed and housed.

Lately, they made the discovery that they didn't have to do that. Why bother with it?! Just offer them "a job," pay them a mere pittance, sometimes even 'a living wage,' and watch them scramble!! ....and thus the wage-slave was innovated :!: 8) :D

Nowadays, let the slaves feed, clothe and house themselves! Those in the Elite, with REAL money, still have their slaves doing the work for them, but they have dispensed with the trappings of the auction block, etc. and they - the Elite few - still pursue their leisure, and their pet projects, while never having to do any of the drudge work.

Hopefully, if we - who love wisdom, who care about applied ethics as well as epistemology: evidence and truth-seeking - work for it, advocate, organize, promote, and go about it the right way, with the right order of steps, all drudgery, all routine work, all unpleasant, boring, demeaning, dangerous, dirty, or unsafe work [such as mining, for example] will be done by robots, via automation. [Perhaps an exception will be the caring professions of nursing, social-work, teaching, etc.]

:idea: Meanwhile, because we demanded it and worked to make it happen, everyone will be supported by some kind of Basic Income plan, or Zeitgeist type of distribution; or will be paid a salary by the government to clean up a National Park, or something equally-useful, but only if the applicant selects the occupation or career freely from a list because it seems interesting; or justifies being compensated for a personal project and succeeds in getting sponsorship. 8) And then everyone able to work will be free to pursue their own self-selected projects. :)

Readers, what say you?
Well, I say you are covering a number of quasi related topics under the general heading of "Prof's Vision of the Future". Any of them more important to you that we should zero in on?
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear

Post by Belinda » July 22nd, 2016, 12:41 pm

Prof is right in her assumption that Utopia can be a little nearer if there were not such a large discrepancy in wealth between rich elites and poor workers.

I like the idea of work creation schemes that benefit public interests, such as cleaning up a national park. I wonder how this could be implemented without a despotic government initiative and a strong central government to get it going and keep it going. Could such public spirited employment schemes be devolved upon local authorities?
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Re: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear

Post by Dan_1985 » July 27th, 2016, 5:15 am

Misty wrote: A person born blind does not observe color as those born able to see, but color existed before either was born. Experience is the ability to observe what IS.
Color existed before I was born? You mean that it 'objectively' exists (in-and-of itself as a free-standing reality)?

If color is a perceptual process, how could it exist before the mind that creates it?

People besides ourselves and people throughout history having seemingly to have experienced color does not necessarily entail it being a free-standing, objective phenomenon. All that is shown here is that people throughout history, with similar bodies and minds, have had the same experience. Similar subjective experience is not proof of objective phenomena.

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Re: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear

Post by Belinda » July 29th, 2016, 2:19 pm

Dan_1985 wrote:
People besides ourselves and people throughout history having seemingly to have experienced color does not necessarily entail it being a free-standing, objective phenomenon. All that is shown here is that people throughout history, with similar bodies and minds, have had the same experience. Similar subjective experience is not proof of objective phenomena.
True. However it doesn't follow that colour is mind dependent without material correlate. Apart from the fact that it's hard to maintain the belief that there is nothing 'out there' idealism is no more probable than materialism.
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Re: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear

Post by Dan_1985 » July 31st, 2016, 3:53 am

Belinda wrote:Dan_1985 wrote:
People besides ourselves and people throughout history having seemingly to have experienced color does not necessarily entail it being a free-standing, objective phenomenon. All that is shown here is that people throughout history, with similar bodies and minds, have had the same experience. Similar subjective experience is not proof of objective phenomena.
True. However it doesn't follow that colour is mind dependent without material correlate. Apart from the fact that it's hard to maintain the belief that there is nothing 'out there' idealism is no more probable than materialism.
Purposing that color is a mental phenomenon, as opposed to being material and mind-independent, does not necessarily suppose that it is also materially-independent.

It could be that color can exist only when consciousness is a part of the equation while also needing to be affected by material, among other, causes.

Where is the contradiction?

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Re: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear

Post by Wanderer101 » August 4th, 2016, 4:26 pm

I love this question! I would like to try and see if this can be resolved with a logical proof.

1. Defining existence and applying it to the components in the question.
2. Breaking the question apart into components of reality.
3. Assemble the proof with conclusion.


Existence
Existence of physical objects requires that objects have physical properties that can be detected and perceived by conscious beings. Existence of objects does not require conscious beings to exist. Physical objects can exist with or without conscious beings to observe their existence.

If we accept this definition that all objects can exist independently of observers then we can proceed.

Applying the definition to the components to see if they pass the test.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Does the object tree exist according to the definition above? Yes it does. Trees exist in forests all over the world even if I have not personally seen them with my own 2 eyes.

Do trees fall? Yes trees fall. No one doubts that trees can and do fall every day all over the world.

no one around = human being. Yes, Human beings exist.

Hearing it. Hearing something is not an object, it is method that conscious humans use to perceive objects. If a human can hear something then it is evidence that, that something does exist.

All of the above support the existence of the tree and the sound that the tree makes when falling. The tree and the sound it makes can be heard by conscious humans. So this also supports existence of the tree and the sounds it makes when falling.

So far everything in the question supports the idea of the existence of a tree and the sound that it makes as something that exists.

The question is then broken down with the inquiry into whether there is a requirement for a human to hear the sound. If there is no human around does it make a sound?

By the definition stated above, existence of an independent object does not require a human consciousness to perceive it in order for that object to exist. Therefore since the tree exists independent of human consciousness and the sound it makes when falling exists independent of a human consciousness the only reasonable conclusion is that yes the tree makes a sound even if there is no one there to hear it.

If one were to attempt to say that human consciousness is a requirement of existence of all other objects in the universe then we would have logical inconsistencies in nature. Examples of such inconsistencies are if I cover my ears and close my eyes does the Universe cease to exist. No, of course not. If I turn my back to the moon in the sky does it cease to exist. No of course not as everyone else who looks up at night will still see the moon there. If all the people on the earth suddenly were to vanish would the sun still exist? Yes, of course it would as it existed millions of years before man arrived on the planet earth and it will still exist long after we are all gone.

So the answer must be Yes, it makes a sound.

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Re: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear

Post by Burning ghost » August 4th, 2016, 11:33 pm

Wanderer it is much more obvious than that. The air moves when the tree falls. Sound is only sound if heard.

I hear what someone says to me because I hear them. I don't say I cannot hear them over the loud noise a plane is making on the otherside of the world.

So no, a tree doesn't make a sound if no one hears it. That doesn't mean the air doesn't move or that the tree doesn't fall. Sound is a subjective experience of physical phenomenon.
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Re: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear

Post by Belinda » August 5th, 2016, 4:45 am

Dan_1985 wrote:
It could be that color can exist only when consciousness is a part of the equation while also needing to be affected by material, among other, causes.

Where is the contradiction?
There's no contradiction. Both are real.

1. The chemical stuff that inheres in the red flower is real, as are the eyes' retinas and nervous pathways to the brain, and the brain itself. All those are real.

2.The mind that perceives the colour and attaches the red attribute to the red flower is also real.

Both of those aspects are natural. Sometimes we talk about minds and percepts and sometimes we talk about chemicals, flowers, and nervous tissues. There's no contradiction.
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Re: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear

Post by Wanderer101 » August 5th, 2016, 8:03 am

Burning Ghost

I think that your explanation is the reason why 35 percent of the people believe as you do. Some people believe that a sound must be heard by a human consciousness to qualify as a sound. If no one is there to hear it then it does not make a sound. So in this case your rule system has defined a requirement that a human must hear a sound otherwise the sound does not exist. This logic is not consistent with reality. Your rule system is based entirely as a personal opinion. Physical reality does not conform to personal opinions. For example I could take a video camera into the forest and record the falling tree event and not tell you about it. Then I can ask you the question did the falling tree make a sound. You would say no because no one heard it. I could then bring out the recording of the falling tree with the recorded sound as recorded by the video recorder. Then I play the recording for you and ask you again did the tree make a sound? Are you still going to reply that it did not make a sound? A recording device which is not human consciousness recorded the sound that the falling tree made and now you heard the sound recording which is evidence that the tree made a sound. Do you still think the falling tree did not make a sound? If you answer no you would be rendering a belief that is not consistent with the actual facts.

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Re: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear

Post by Burning ghost » August 5th, 2016, 8:45 am

How about asking this:

If nobody hears the tree fall over does anybody hear the tree fall over?

I think it is pretty obvious what the answer is.

This old question is simply posing the question of a possible difference between subjective and objective experience relative to what knowledge of these differences are.

Some scientists will say a sound wave is formed so the sound exists and others will say an ear is required to hear a sound for it to be a sound. Both of these answers show difference is language use and avoid the philosophical question posed by hiding within the language of science rather than approaching the basis of science itself as a method of understanding purely through an idealised objective reality that is forever stretching toward an unobtainable goal.
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Re: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear

Post by Dan_1985 » August 5th, 2016, 8:59 pm

Wanderer101 wrote:I could then bring out the recording of the falling tree with the recorded sound as recorded by the video recorder. Then I play the recording for you and ask you again did the tree make a sound?
The question already assumes the existence of the tree but asks whether it made a sound or not, not a vibration or not. So, based on the wording of the question, the answer should be "no". If you ask, "Did the tree fall?" then the answer is "yes".

Trees don't make sounds. The mind is the creator of sound. Now, if you extend this to all senses, then what - if any - of our subjective experiences are created by external phenomena?

That's the question.

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"Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind. One said, "The flag moves." The other said, "The wind moves." They argued back and forth but could not agree. The Sixth Ancestor said, "Gentlemen! It is not the wind that moves; it is not the flag that moves; it is your mind that moves." The two monks were struck with awe." - The Mumonkan Case 29, translation by Robert Aitken

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Re: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear

Post by Wanderer101 » August 8th, 2016, 9:01 am

My goal for this discussion is not to see who is right or who is wrong. My goal is to see if there is an ultimate truth and then see if we can all agree on what that truth is. Is there one single absolutely correct answer for this question? There are usually 3 possibilities that can be true in any disagreement like this.
Argument A (objective reality) is true the tree falls and makes a sound.
Argument B (the tree falls and makes a sound that no one hears therefore there is no sound) subjective reality.
Argument C. Neither argument is true, neither case is true therefore reality is something else. That something else no matter how strange is ultimately the one single absolute truth.

Hopefully can we agree with those statements. There is only one, true, real and correct reality.
So Dan_1985, Burning ghost Do you agree with this? This is really a discussion about whether objective reality exists independently of subjective reality. I will make my responses after your reply to my question.

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Re: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear

Post by Logic_ill » August 8th, 2016, 10:14 am

Because humans and other organisms hear or detect molecules moving in yhe air in their own way, the tree doesn't make a sound because there's nothing there to detect it, but it falls, etc. The same physics and chemistry applies, so that if someone or some thing able to detect the sound of the tree would assume that if there was something similar to it, it would have detected it's sound. This is due to the memory of out ecperiences. It is subjective though (the idea that if somone else was there, there would be sound) because there's got to be something there able to pick up that sound. It could be a recorder, later played.

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