I think, therefore I am...

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I think, therefore I am...
« on: February 28, 2006, 01:12:27 PM »
Because I have the ability to think, I have the ability to know that I exist.  But since the earth has no ability to think, it thus has no ability to know that it exists.  And because my senses can fool me, I cannot be sure that the earth exists at all.  And as I can't think for all of you other guys, I only know that I exist.  So, the earth does not exist, nor do any of you.  And that's okay... as long as I can still have Dominos pizza and a bag of chips.
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Erasmus

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Re: I think, therefore I am...
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2006, 03:14:12 PM »
Quote from: "Knight"
But since the earth has no ability to think, it thus has no ability to know that it exists.


How do you know that the Earth doesn't have the ability to think?  I thought the whole point of this sort of argument is that the only system whose ability to think you have any knowledge about is yourself...

-Erasmus
Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?

I think, therefore I am...
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2006, 05:14:45 PM »
Well stated... Actually the whole thing was a bunch of gibberish.  But if you simply exclude that statement it wouldn't make any difference as to the earth's existence.  The earth wouldn't exist because there is no way for me to know that it exists.  Gibberish.
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Erasmus

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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2006, 05:19:59 PM »
Quote from: "Knight"
But if you simply exclude that statement it wouldn't make any difference as to the earth's existence.  The earth wouldn't exist because there is no way for me to know that it exists.


Er, okay.

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Gibberish.


Actually, you had me worried.  I mean, if all I had to look forward to was Domino's pizza, I don't know what I'd have done.  The horror, oh, the horror!

-Erasmus
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6strings

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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2006, 05:40:46 PM »
I think we've gone over Descartes already, at some point, and shown why it's just redundant, but I'm happy to do it again...

See, on a metaphysical level, Descartes may have hit on something relevant, but I have yet to see an argument for anything in which this was applied.

If we leave the philosophical realm, we enter that of the practical, and here, Descartes is just plain useless.  What does it matter if the stove I put my hand on exists in reality on only in my mind?  I still get burned and feel pain.  The problem is that while it's an interesting point to consider, it's not really at all relevant to anything.

Personally though, I think it's pretty arrogant to assume that everything exists only as an extension of you, rather than believing that you exist as part of a reality, and you experience its effects.

I think, therefore I am...
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2006, 06:07:16 PM »
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Personally though, I think it's pretty arrogant to assume that everything exists only as an extension of you, rather than believing that you exist as part of a reality, and you experience its effects.


Arrogant indeed... but equally arrogant to assume that your worldview is the correct worldview.  You cannot escape arrogance; because by calling Descartes' philosophy arrogant, you, yourself become arrogant.
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6strings

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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2006, 06:12:41 PM »
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Arrogant indeed... but equally arrogant to assume that your worldview is the correct worldview.

I don't believe I said that I believed that one of those worldviews was correct, but merely that I thought one was more arrogant than the other, arrogance doesn't cause one of them to be less valid.

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You cannot escape arrogance; because by calling Descartes' philosophy arrogant, you, yourself become arrogant.

...No...I don't think that's how it works, if I can justify why I think it's arrogant (and assuming that everything merely being a product of yourself is arrogant), it's not arrogance.

Also, that's not Descartes' philosophy, all he said was that the only thing one can prove is their own existence (although some contend that even that should have been removed at an earlier stage of doubt).

I think, therefore I am...
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2006, 06:54:41 PM »
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...No...I don't think that's how it works


Yes, that's how it works... trust me.  You're saying: "Descartes' philosophy is arrogant because he could only prove (to himself) his own existence.  He's not taking into account the reality--which is understanding that everything doesn't exist as an extension of yourself."  (yes that's a paraphrase by the way).  Yes, it is arrogant to make that type of assertion.
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Erasmus

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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2006, 07:11:38 PM »
So I think the question is: is it arrogance to say that Descarte was a solipsist?  Well, I don't think it's arrogant to suggest that; I think it's just incorrect.

Is anybody actually suggesting that?  Maybe; I won't be so arrogant as to say who.

:)
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6strings

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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2006, 12:27:54 PM »
I'm fairly sure that Descartes wasn't a solipsist, however, he did manage to prove one of the fundamental tenants of solipism, or at least give it a leg to stand on.

Knight, I think you're misunderstanding my point.  I'm not saying that Descartes' philosophy is arrogant because he can only prove his own existence to himself, because frankly, that's a fact;  I'm saying that the philosophy that is founded on Descartes' statement (ie: solipism) is arrogant, as it assumes everything to exist only as an extesion of one's self, rather than assuming that you experience reality.

I also don't think I ever made the statement that I believe that the "understanding that everything doesn't exist as an extension of yourself." is "the reality".  In fact, I clearly stated
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I don't believe I said that I believed that one of those worldviews was correct, but merely that I thought one was more arrogant than the other

I think, therefore I am...
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2006, 01:22:01 PM »
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I also don't think I ever made the statement that I believe that the "understanding that everything doesn't exist as an extension of yourself." is "the reality".


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Personally though, I think it's pretty arrogant to assume that everything exists only as an extension of you, rather than believing that you exist as part of a reality, and you experience its effects.
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6strings

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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2006, 02:25:03 PM »
...I'm assuming that you're trying to show me that I'm contradicting myself?

Could you please explain to me where I said here:
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Personally though, I think it's pretty arrogant to assume that everything exists only as an extension of you, rather than believing that you exist as part of a reality, and you experience its effects.

that one of these is "real" and the other isn't?

I think, therefore I am...
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2006, 03:11:21 PM »
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Personally though, I think


Your own personal opinion is that...

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it's pretty arrogant to assume that everything exists only as an extension of you,


Descartes' philosophy was arrogant...

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rather than believing that you exist as part of a reality, and you experience its effects.


because he didn't believe in the "reality" that you stated above.
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6strings

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« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2006, 03:31:55 PM »
Ah, I see where you misunderstood, what I meant was:

Descartes' philosophy (the solipsist philosophy, actually, not Descartes') is arrogant as it assumes reality is dependant on oneself

Rather than assuming that one exists inside a reality (not "reality", but "a reality") and one experiences its effects.

I never contested that one was "true" but rather that one was less arrogant than another.

Are we clear now?

I think, therefore I am...
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2006, 03:49:31 PM »
Gotcha.
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joffenz

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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2006, 10:29:28 AM »
How do you know this philosphy works? It can't think for itself, so you don't know it exists. So you can't apply it.

I think, therefore I am...
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2006, 11:39:09 AM »
Who says the philosophy has to work?  It's a philosophy.  It's only a way of understanding the world.  Lol but I do like your thinking  :D
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Erasmus

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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2006, 12:07:30 PM »
Quote from: "cheesejoff"
How do you know this philosphy works? It can't think for itself, so you don't know it exists. So you can't apply it.


By that reasoning, I don't exist either: the sentence "I think therefore I am" cannot think for itself, so I don't know it exists, so I can't apply it, so I can't think it, which means I can't conclude that I exist.

Poof.

-Erasmus
Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?

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joffenz

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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2006, 12:17:22 PM »
Quote from: "Erasmus"
By that reasoning, I don't exist either: the sentence "I think therefore I am" cannot think for itself, so I don't know it exists, so I can't apply it, so I can't think it, which means I can't conclude that I exist.

Poof.

-Erasmus


Indeed, by the same reasoning Descartes does not exist, his books don't exist, his philosphy does not exist, and indeed anyone who applies it does not exist as the whole argument relies on being able to prove that you are the only one who knows that you can think. However since your thoughts cannot think for themselves, they do not exist.

So basically, we don't exists if Descartes is correct.

*vanishes in a puff of smoke*

*realises that smoke doesn't exist, so just vanishes normally*

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6strings

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« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2006, 02:35:48 PM »
I'm fairly sure, somewhere along the way, we all got horribly lost.  

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So basically, we don't exists if Descartes is correct.


I don't think that's true, "I think, therefore I am", deals with the proof of the existence of the physical world, and things existing in the physical world.  The abstract concept that is "I think, therefore I am" doesn't actually exist in the physical world in the first place, and so it's not being able to think wouldn't cause it to vanish in a puff of...nothingness?

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joffenz

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« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2006, 12:51:35 AM »
Perhaps, but what's to say the Earth isn't an abstract? Since the Earth does not exist physically, why can't it be abstract?

After all, if a philosphy can have an impact on the physical world while being abstract, surely the Earth can too.

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Erasmus

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« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2006, 02:32:42 AM »
Quote from: "cheesejoff"
Perhaps, but what's to say the Earth isn't an abstract? Since the Earth does not exist physically, why can't it be abstract?

After all, if a philosphy can have an impact on the physical world while being abstract, surely the Earth can too.


So what kind of person are you?  I submit that you fit into one of four categories:

1) People who want to cross bridges.

2) People who want to build bridges, and realize that they'll need to do some math to get it done.

3) People who want to do math for its own sake, because it's pretty or fun.

4) People who are very concerned with the realization that the connection between the bridges and the math is not perfect, that there are some serious philosophical errors with trying to treat the universe as an abstract mathematical ideal, and that, in the end, philosophy and mathematics might just be rooted in assumptions that are, as far as anybody can tell, just plain insane.

So, notice how there are connections (and overlap) between groups 1, 2, and 3, but that 4 is kind of on its own.  Nobody in the other groups really cares about what group 4 has to say.  Stuff that group 4 does is only relevant to other people in group 4.  No matter what group 4 does, bridges will not suddenly collapse or cease to exist.  People will go about their lives, crossing bridges, building bridges, and solving mathematical puzzles (about bridges), without giving a hoot about the problems of the philosophical roots of mathematics.

Currently I'm in group 4.

-Erasmus
Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?

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joffenz

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« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2006, 04:13:19 AM »
Quote from: "Erasmus"

1) People who want to cross bridges.

2) People who want to build bridges, and realize that they'll need to do some math to get it done.

3) People who want to do math for its own sake, because it's pretty or fun.

4) People who are very concerned with the realization that the connection between the bridges and the math is not perfect, that there are some serious philosophical errors with trying to treat the universe as an abstract mathematical ideal, and that, in the end, philosophy and mathematics might just be rooted in assumptions that are, as far as anybody can tell, just plain insane.

1) This side of the bridge is good enough for me.

2) Unless there's a reason to cross, don't do the maths.

3) Doing maths for fun? Er...*calls mental institution*

4) Hm...well, it says maths and philosphy may based on insanity, so I'd take that category.

Hold on, only four categories? Maths is insane, right? I'll take category 5 then. :P

Quote from: "cheesejoff"
Perhaps, but what's to say the Earth isn't an abstract? Since the Earth does not exist physically, why can't it be abstract?

After all, if a philosphy can have an impact on the physical world while being abstract, surely the Earth can too.


What I meant is, according to Descartes philosphy, the Earth does not physically exist, neither does his philosphy.

Yet his philosophy, being an abstract, can affect things in the physical world, so why can't the Earth be an abstract that affects the physical?

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Erasmus

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« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2006, 12:37:54 PM »
Quote from: "cheesejoff"
1) This side of the bridge is good enough for me.

2) Unless there's a reason to cross, don't do the maths.


Just to clarify, "building bridges" is my catchall category for math and science with practical goals.  I've just been through too many arguments where somebody said, "Really, math so based on incoherent assumptions," and somebody else (sometimes me) responded, "Yeah, well, people are still building bridges based on it."

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Quote from: "cheesejoff"
Perhaps, but what's to say the Earth isn't an abstract? Since the Earth does not exist physically, why can't it be abstract?

After all, if a philosphy can have an impact on the physical world while being abstract, surely the Earth can too.


...

Yet his philosophy, being an abstract, can affect things in the physical world, so why can't the Earth be an abstract that affects the physical?


How does a philosophy affect the physical world?  I thought we agreed that all it "does" is guide the actions of agents who are aware of the philosophy.  It seems that language is purely descriptive, and so any object which exists only in the form of linguistic entities can only be descriptive.  I.e., it can't cause events in the world.  The state of my brain can cause events in the world, but that's different; some parts of my brain merely interpret those other parts as being representations of the philosophy.

I guess if you want to identify ideas with brain states, then a philosophy can affect the world directly.  But it seems to me we're thinking of a philosophy as a Platonic ideal here.

-Erasmus
Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?

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joffenz

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« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2006, 03:57:27 AM »
Quote from: "Erasmus"
Just to clarify, "building bridges" is my catchall category for math and science with practical goals.  I've just been through too many arguments where somebody said, "Really, math so based on incoherent assumptions," and somebody else (sometimes me) responded, "Yeah, well, people are still building bridges based on it."


Oh, I thought you meant formulating theories. If we're talking practical goals, I'm not sure which. Definately not 3) though.

Quote from: "Erasmus"

How does a philosophy affect the physical world?  I thought we agreed that all it "does" is guide the actions of agents who are aware of the philosophy.  It seems that language is purely descriptive, and so any object which exists only in the form of linguistic entities can only be descriptive.  I.e., it can't cause events in the world.  The state of my brain can cause events in the world, but that's different; some parts of my brain merely interpret those other parts as being representations of the philosophy.

I guess if you want to identify ideas with brain states, then a philosophy can affect the world directly.  But it seems to me we're thinking of a philosophy as a Platonic ideal here.

-Erasmus


What I mean is, a philosphy can guide the actions of people, yes. The Earth, despite being abstract can also guide you downwards at 1g.

After all if the Earth is not real, gravity is not real as there are no masses. So gravity must be an abstract that affects the physical world. I realise this sounds quite bizarre, but we're assuming that the Earth is not realy here.

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Erasmus

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« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2006, 12:30:15 PM »
Quote from: "cheesejoff"
Oh, I thought you meant formulating theories. If we're talking practical goals, I'm not sure which. Definately not 3) though.


Yeah, basically, I'm describing people's attitude in re. mathematics by assigning them to a "goal category".  Some people's goals are practical, some utilitarian, some artistic, and some critical.  My point is that work in the last category is for the most part useless to anybody in the other three, and since I believe the categories to be exhaustive, it means it's basically useless to the rest of the world.

-Erasmus
Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?

I think, therefore I am...
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2006, 08:03:21 AM »
I'm going to have to disagree with the first post, because I could think that life was suddenly a dream or nghtmare if something horrible happened to me, but that doesn't mean I'm asleep now does it?
arth=flat
Got that?
yeah right......

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joffenz

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« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2006, 10:17:00 AM »
Quote from: "davydudeman"
I'm going to have to disagree with the first post, because I could think that life was suddenly a dream or nghtmare if something horrible happened to me, but that doesn't mean I'm asleep now does it?


Or does it?

I think, therefore I am...
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2006, 11:43:59 AM »
Descartes was misquoted.

He actually said "I'm pink, therefore I'm Spam"

He would have caused a lot less trouble had he just said "I think, therefore I think."
t's flat, and that's that......

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Proof Bringer

I think, therefore I am...
« Reply #29 on: May 02, 2006, 08:38:26 PM »
this stuff creeps me out>>> What if I exist but you Dont and i dont know and your just a thought in my head therefore i control you because only i exist and not you so therefore im the only one here... or am i?