Fundamentally significant questions

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James Markham
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Fundamentally significant questions

Post by James Markham »

The reality each of us experiences can be interpreted to support many different beliefs, but there can only be one set of facts that are actually true. Within a correct interpretation of reality each true fact would necessarily coincide, and relate to the next, but the truth of each when considered in isolation, or in relation to statements which are false, may become disputable. So it would seem that the task of any individual who attempts to reveal the truth about reality, would require him to correctly assimilate multiple facts, the truth of which can only be known, when they are contemplated in relation to each other.

So what are these fundamentally significant facts, and how do we know what is or isn't important when considering the nature of reality?

I believe there are some obvious questions with which to start, such as, the nature of physicality, and the nature of mental events, but I think it can be seen that the definitive answer to each of these questions, will in part relate to each other, and therefore could collectively be seen as a version of the hard problem of consciousness.

Another question I think would contribute to a concise understanding of reality, is the existence of positive and negative emotional states. If we can understand firstly how objective and subjective phenomena relate, and secondly why and how that relationship varies, then it may become possible to speculate on why and how the reality of events exists.

These are just two of my own suggestions, I know there are many more possibilities and that others may disagree with me on the above two, so I would like to hear from anyone who has an opinion.

It's not my intention to answer these questions here on this thread, I would simply like to hear any suggestions as to what questions are significant. So for any posts genuinely suggesting a fundamentally significant question, I will start further threads with the purpose of exploring those questions.
jackles
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Re: Fundamentally significant questions

Post by jackles »

question.what is the self in terms of existance beond the identity it takes from the event.james i think this is a fundamental question.
Last edited by jackles on Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
wleg
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Re: Fundamentally significant questions

Post by wleg »

James,

You say: The reality each of us experiences can be interpreted to support many different beliefs, but there can only be one set of facts that are actually true. Within a correct interpretation of reality each true fact would necessarily coincide, and relate to the next, but the truth of each when considered in isolation, or in relation to statements which are false, may become disputable.

I agree, thus, I believe the beginning of knowing what is “true” and what is “reality” is starting with comprehensive definitions of “truth” and “reality” as you have indicated you believe also. The problem demonstrated on this forum; how do we accomplish constructing comprehensive definitions in the hostile environment of a public forum.

My questions:
1- What is a comprehensive definition of “truth”?
2- What is a comprehensive definition of “reality”?

What I mean by comprehensive is a definition that reveals the difference between “truth” and “non-truth”. And the difference between “reality” and “fantasy”.

Wayne Kelly Leggette Sr.
James Markham
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Re: Fundamentally significant questions

Post by James Markham »

Jackles, so are you asking what is the state of being, when it's not restricted by a specific perspective? As in the Buddhist concept of an enlightened soul removed from the ideas of self.
James Markham
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Re: Fundamentally significant questions

Post by James Markham »

Wleg, your first question is no doubt of fundamental importance, but I think we would first need to define what we mean by the word truth when it pertains to an ontological theory.

Your second question is sort of all my questions rolled into one, and it's in recognising and answering the fundamental questions, that we can formulate an answer to this all encompassing question.
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HexHammer
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Re: Fundamentally significant questions

Post by HexHammer »

Imo the topic is irrelevant because it's already answerd by sciencec in various ways, such as geology, astronomy, astrophysics, physics, quantumphysics, psychology, biology, antropology, etc.

Besides it would suggest that there's something "unreal", which in itself is a logical phallacy.
wleg
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Re: Fundamentally significant questions

Post by wleg »

James,

You say: "I think we would first need to define what we mean by the word truth when it pertains to an ontological theory".

I agree and here is a tentative definition: Truth is a propositional statement that identifies a subject and predicate that relate to the existence of each other.

This defines “true” propositional statements as those that illustrate the “reality” of a subject (thing) by identifying attributes that relate/equate to the existence/reality of the subject. A “true” propositional statement is useful when it illustrates the “reality” necessary to create understanding of a thing and or a condition. Example: I am going to the store. The statement identifies a subject (I/me) and two predicates (my going/behavior) and (store). The statement is useful because it constructs understanding/knowledge for anyone interested in my whereabouts and to anyone interested in going with me.

The ontological nature of “true” statements is; they illustrate the reality/existence of things and conditions by identifying their attributes.

A tentative definition of “reality”: The existence of things and conditions as a construct of their attributes.

Remember, I said tentative, my explanation is not written in stone, and anyone who reads this is free to improve the logic and the writing.

Wayne Kelly Leggette Sr.
James Markham
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Re: Fundamentally significant questions

Post by James Markham »

Wleg, hexhammer has already proceeded to derail one of our threads, and in order that he doesn't disrupt this one, I say we should just ignore his posts. I will continue to respond in a like for like manner elsewhere, but here we should continue with the topic.

So if we take it one step at a time, I would firstly like to establish what we mean by the term existence. For instance, possibilities exist, and we could define them as being real, but their existence is not akin to the way a chair exists. Likewise, if we take the example of a chair, it can be reasoned that it's existence is by virtue of our interpretation of it as such, it could also at any time be referred to as a collection of molecules, or an energy pattern. So for me the word existent doesn't refer to some obviously unambiguous trait, or characteristic.

So if we say that ideas and concepts have metaphysical existence, and that things which aren't incumbent upon the function of mind have existence as being, then I think it's sensible to say that what exists can be classed as primary, or secondary. That which has existence by virtue of being we can call primary, and things which exist by virtue of a primary, we can call secondary.

What I believe we are concerned with here is that which has primary existence, and if we now explore some examples of this class, we may better define what primary existence is. So the obvious one is the mind, or sentience, but the only other one I can think of is what we collectively term as the objective universe, it may seem like this second candidate pretty much covers everything, but not if we take it in isolation from the mind, it could then be argued that things such as time, space and matter, have a secondary form of existence, and that what can be said about the primary existence of the universe, is as elusive as that which can be said about the mind.

It could also be argued that much of what we experience as real, has only a secondary form of existence, and exists by virtue of the interactions between these two things which have a primary existence.

I don't know if you consider it in this way, but to my mind it is a huge topic to absorb, and I think this helps to understand that when we use the word existence, it has different connotations depending on context.
James Markham
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Re: Fundamentally significant questions

Post by James Markham »

Wleg, truth is one of those concepts that, superficially is very easy to define. If we say that truth is that which conforms to reality, then it's a sufficient enough description with which to explain the difference between true and false to a child. But when we are attempting to determine the truth of an ontological statement, it becomes somewhat more complicated.

Here is a statement which I believe to be true,"time exists subjectively as a conceptual understanding of the changing potential of an objective state." Now if we break this statement down, we can say the first part, "time exists subjectively" is certainly true, and that it's subjective form is, "conceptual understanding", is no doubt true, and that it's focus is of, "the changing potential of an objective state", is also hard to dispute. But when taken as a statement it implies that our sense of an objective time scale is simply a projection, and this is a notion that has divided thought for thousands of years, and although I personally believe objective time is illusionary, I find it hard to prove in any logical format.

So as for "what is truth", being a fundamental question, I believe this is better seen as the goal, and the fundamental questions would be the road that lead to this goal. Only once man has identified and answered the questions correctly, will we know what truth is.
James Markham
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Re: Fundamentally significant questions

Post by James Markham »

Wleg, I've reposted my comment on existence here, as the other thread seems to be getting disrupted by hex. If we try not to respond to his inane rubbish, he will get bored.
wleg
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Re: Fundamentally significant questions

Post by wleg »

James,

I can agree with everything you say in the above post. Your sentence: “Only once man has identified and answered the questions correctly, will we know what truth is.” I believe the questions that must be answered first to know what “truth” is: what is the nature of “existence” and what is the nature of “knowledge”? The first question is answered by the argument: A thing is itself and not some other thing because it has different attributes from the attributes of any other thing. And the answer to the second question: “Knowledge” of a thing is the mental memory state of recognizing which attributes relate/equate to the existence of a thing. And it follows, a propositional statement that identifies the thing (subject) and the related attributes (predicates) is “true”. And, if a propositional statement identifies a thing (subject) and attributes (predicates) that do not relate to the existence of the thing (subject), the statement is “not true”. Really pretty simple, not so simple to those who can’t follow simple logic.

It appears a lot of people today can’t follow simple logic; what are we going to do? People who can’t follow simple logic can’t think rationally. All we need now is the right technique to solve this problem, or else the future of mankind is bleak.

Wayne Kelly Leggette Sr.
thedoc
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Re: Fundamentally significant questions

Post by thedoc »

wleg wrote:James,
Really pretty simple, not so simple to those who can’t follow simple logic.

It appears a lot of people today can’t follow simple logic; what are we going to do? People who can’t follow simple logic can’t think rationally. All we need now is the right technique to solve this problem, or else the future of mankind is bleak.

Wayne Kelly Leggette Sr.

Part of the problem is that many who use this kind of formal logic dress it up in idiosyncratic terminology that not everyone is familiar with. Myself, I can follow logic in plane English, and I understand that the specific language expedites the discourse. But the use of ,to me, unfamiliar words breaks up the flow of thought and just makes reading more difficult. I have a reasonable vocabulary, but sometimes words are used in specific ways that are unfamiliar to me and others.
wleg
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Re: Fundamentally significant questions

Post by wleg »

Doc,
Part of the problem is that many who use this kind of formal logic dress it up in idiosyncratic terminology that not everyone is familiar with. Myself, I can follow logic in plane English, and I understand that the specific language expedites the discourse. But the use of ,to me, unfamiliar words breaks up the flow of thought and just makes reading more difficult. I have a reasonable vocabulary, but sometimes words are used in specific ways that are unfamiliar to me and others.
I agree, and that is why I believe it important to establish comprehensive definitions of any subject words used in philosophical discourse.

Wayne Kelly Leggette Sr.
thedoc
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Re: Fundamentally significant questions

Post by thedoc »

I would like to make a few comments that may or may not be entirely relevant to Existence/Reality, Time and Truth. It seems that the question of existence can be seen in two lights, or more, one of 'absolute reality' - "does a particular object or idea exist in a physical sense in the real world. And does the object exist as I perceive it. I would like to point out, for what it's worth, that all perception is history. Everything that we perceive of the 'outside' world is of the past, the only thing that is now, for any individual is the current thought in your mind. So the argument comes down to 'did that object or event exist in the past, as we remember it. To support this statement, I would point out that when you stub your toe, it takes a finite amount of time for the nerve signals to reach, and be processed by your brain, so the true statement would be "I just stubbed my toe a fraction of a second ago." The other supporting point is that the speed of light, though very fast, is finite and there is a slight amount of time for the light to travel from the object to your eye and then as a nerve impulse to be processed by your brain. The incredible speed of light has caused no end of confusion where another poster insists that vision is instantaneous. FYI, if you could induce a beam of light to travel in a curved path around the earth, it could make 7 and 3/4 orbits in one second, that's so fast as to seem instantaneous. To illustrate the point further, the light from the Sun takes 8.5 minutes to get to the Earth. The light from the constellation the 'Big Dipper' takes 75 years to get to the Earth. For all we know some or all of those stars could have blown up 50 years ago and they no longer exist in reality. We can't know what is real 'now' we can only assume that reality is what we perceive. I suggest that we make a few assumptions and let different aspects of the discussion go where it will.

Sometimes when I want to make a post like this in response to another post, I need to step away from the computer. In this case it was to the piano and I played 'Clair De Lune', I can play all the notes in the right order, just not as fluently as I would like.
James Markham
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Re: Fundamentally significant questions

Post by James Markham »

I've looked through the replies on this thread, and I think there are three suggestions of significant questions, they are
1. What is the nature of consciousness?

2. What is the nature of knowledge?

3. What is the nature of existence?

So as I said in the original post, it's now my intention to create threads on each of these subjects, along with any other future suggestions that are significantly different to the above three.
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