Integrity in philosophy

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Blaggard
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Integrity in philosophy

Post by Blaggard »

Immanuel Can wrote:Oh hey, lots and lots of ways...

In almost anything non-material, it immediately becomes reductional, tongue-tied and impotent to investigate beyond the material itself. (For those naive souls who cling to the belief that there is nothing but "materials" within the realm of the Real anyway, this doesn't seem a problem; but for most of us, at least those of us who have common sense, we cannot help but realize that Materialism gratuitously excludes huge and important areas of human existence and inquiry.)

Materialism is not only impotent to describe "consciousness," but "selfhood," "human dignity," "rights," "values," "morality," "justice," "meaning," "purpose," "concepts," "experience" and so on. For each of these items I have listed, Materialism is reduced to what you might call "nothing-buttery": as in, "Morals are nothing but phenomena," or "Consciousness is nothing but brain tissue in action," and so on. This is intellectually stultifying. And not only do I think so, but on the other side, staunch atheist Thomas Nagel has come out clearly in favour of this view in his latest book, titled "Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False." For any honest atheist, I would recommend this small but potent book for a read.

But even a little common sense helps us to recognize Materialism's flaws. Do any of us really live as though we have no genuine "self"? Does anyone who does philosophy imagine that they are just "moving materials"? Does anyone actually live as though all morality were nothing but phenomena -- and not care even whether those phenomena favour them or hurt them, or not cry out for justice when someone else behaves immorally toward them? Of course not. And the inability of *any* Materialist *ever* to live as though his worldview were actually true is proof positive of the hypocrisy of those who even profess it.

So I say it's time to drop the delusion and move on.
And my reply:
Of course you are speaking of what materialists know now, which is almost nothing. One could of course make the case that it has to be explored to find out any sort of fact, and where in it fails. Abandoning before it has been fully explored would be naive at best and stupid at worst. It's not that I disagree that materialism per se can know it all, it's just the idea that it should be thrown out with the bath water, despite actually only scratching the surface.

Drop what delusion? The delusion that a subject that knows even less, dualism etc and themes there of will somehow prove more provident, without using our logical arm to find out all we can about one field that seems to have made progress, at least as far as it can with our deficiencies of knowledge? See now that strikes me as ignorant. A god of the gaps argument, and a waste of all true philosophers time. Surely if you are truly open to ideas and not your biases therein, you should let the "baby" have its bottle?


I don't think as a philosopher it is your right to question what areas of thought are right or wrong to investigate, only to question what areas there are and their honesty/veracity in and of themselves. So people saying we should ditch areas of thought leaves me cold. If we did that wouldn't it be a sort of fascism, where we decide what to think about?

I see a lot of people trying to foist their ideas on others which is fine but I don't necessarily think people should act as judge, jury and executioner for the noble truth. Any thoughts? Now I am not saying he was doing that, but it sure sounded that way from what he posted.
jackles
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Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by jackles »

your forgetting blags that some likethere bull for the sake of it being bull.the scarab beetle lives in the stuff.
uwot
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Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by uwot »

How do you do Blaggard?
Frankly, Immanuel Can doesn't know his arse from his elbow. His argument in support of pretty well everything is based on a false dichotomy of theist versus immoral, atheistic materialist. I doubt there is much point pointing out that materialism is an ontological hypothesis that very few philosophers or scientists would commit to.
Blaggard
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Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by Blaggard »

How do you do Blaggard?
Thanks for asking, you know ducking and diving bobbing and weaving through life's maze, yourself. :)

Ah I didn't know the politics, thanks for the heads up. :)

Unlike the hard line materialists I have no real problem with dualism- it has its place, but some people are crazy biased. :)
aiddon
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Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by aiddon »

uwot wrote: I doubt there is much point pointing out that materialism is an ontological hypothesis that very few philosophers or scientists would commit to.
Uwot, I would be interested to know why this is so? As far as I can tell there are some very committed and prominent thinkers (not all necessarily philosophers) who would subscribe to materialism. I'm thinking of Daniel Dennett, perhaps Richard Dawkins. What is the alternative to materialism if one dismisses idealism?
uwot
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Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by uwot »

aiddon wrote:
uwot wrote: I doubt there is much point pointing out that materialism is an ontological hypothesis that very few philosophers or scientists would commit to.
Uwot, I would be interested to know why this is so? As far as I can tell there are some very committed and prominent thinkers (not all necessarily philosophers) who would subscribe to materialism. I'm thinking of Daniel Dennett, perhaps Richard Dawkins. What is the alternative to materialism if one dismisses idealism?
I would recommend ontological agnosticism. Materialism should be distinguished from realism, which holds only that there is some stuff that the universe is made of. By some extraordinary means, that we don't fully understand, it gives rise to all the observable phenomena we experience. As an hypothesis, it is almost certainly true, but Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins are far too sharp to insist that it definitely is the case, without allowing for the possibility of alternatives, even idealism.
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HexHammer
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Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by HexHammer »

Blaggard wrote:I don't think as a philosopher it is your right to question what areas of thought are right or wrong to investigate, only to question what areas there are and their honesty/veracity in and of themselves. So people saying we should ditch areas of thought leaves me cold. If we did that wouldn't it be a sort of fascism, where we decide what to think about?

I see a lot of people trying to foist their ideas on others which is fine but I don't necessarily think people should act as judge, jury and executioner for the noble truth. Any thoughts? Now I am not saying he was doing that, but it sure sounded that way from what he posted.
My good mr Blagg' you speak as if IC is a rational person, it should be quite obvious that he is not, it would be a fool's errand in wasting time having long conversations with such person.
aiddon
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Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by aiddon »

uwot wrote:
aiddon wrote:
uwot wrote: I doubt there is much point pointing out that materialism is an ontological hypothesis that very few philosophers or scientists would commit to.
Uwot, I would be interested to know why this is so? As far as I can tell there are some very committed and prominent thinkers (not all necessarily philosophers) who would subscribe to materialism. I'm thinking of Daniel Dennett, perhaps Richard Dawkins. What is the alternative to materialism if one dismisses idealism?
I would recommend ontological agnosticism. Materialism should be distinguished from realism, which holds only that there is some stuff that the universe is made of. By some extraordinary means, that we don't fully understand, it gives rise to all the observable phenomena we experience. As an hypothesis, it is almost certainly true, but Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins are far too sharp to insist that it definitely is the case, without allowing for the possibility of alternatives, even idealism.
I tried to look up ontological agnosticism but cannot find anything on it. Could you direct me to somewhere that I can read up on it. Or if you like, you could write something yourself. I consider myself a materialist, but I am not so stubborn as to say it's the only game in town. If I can be persuaded otherwise, that is.
Blaggard
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Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by Blaggard »

HexHammer wrote:
Blaggard wrote:I don't think as a philosopher it is your right to question what areas of thought are right or wrong to investigate, only to question what areas there are and their honesty/veracity in and of themselves. So people saying we should ditch areas of thought leaves me cold. If we did that wouldn't it be a sort of fascism, where we decide what to think about?

I see a lot of people trying to foist their ideas on others which is fine but I don't necessarily think people should act as judge, jury and executioner for the noble truth. Any thoughts? Now I am not saying he was doing that, but it sure sounded that way from what he posted.
My good mr Blagg' you speak as if IC is a rational person, it should be quite obvious that he is not, it would be a fool's errand in wasting time having long conversations with such person.
Hehe duly noted although there is always the popcorn factor. :)
aiddon
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Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by aiddon »

My good mr Blagg' you speak as if IC is a rational person, it should be quite obvious that he is not, it would be a fool's errand in wasting time having long conversations with such person.
Ah, HexHammer, the irony is killing me....you've done your fair share of ruining threds...
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HexHammer
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Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by HexHammer »

aiddon wrote:
My good mr Blagg' you speak as if IC is a rational person, it should be quite obvious that he is not, it would be a fool's errand in wasting time having long conversations with such person.
Ah, HexHammer, the irony is killing me....you've done your fair share of ruining threds...
No, those threads had no relevance, just a shame you are too blind to see because you lack cognitive abilities.
Ginkgo
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Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by Ginkgo »

aiddon wrote:
I tried to look up ontological agnosticism but cannot find anything on it. Could you direct me to somewhere that I can read up on it. Or if you like, you could write something yourself. I consider myself a materialist, but I am not so stubborn as to say it's the only game in town. If I can be persuaded otherwise, that is.
I think Uwot is right in his brief explanation. Perhaps another way of saying it would be that we should be very skeptical about the claims of some type of 'reality' (things-in-themselves) that exist behind the world of appearances. In other words, the ontological status of such a reality is dubious because there is no way of arriving at the truth value of such claims.This idea is not actually related directly to supreme beings, but is more of a metaphysical claim to knowledge.

Kant's distinction between,"things-in-themselves" and "things-for-us" is often flatly denied by some people. I would imagine that an ontological agnostic would say there is no way of demonstrating the existence or non-existence of this metaphysical distinction.


Anyway, I think that is the answer, but others may want to disagree.
Blaggard
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Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by Blaggard »

Well I think my point was made, and thanks for the heads up on the more impenetrable arguments on here. :)

If I might say, the post above was reasoned had an explanation and did not seek to govern reason- as if you could. The operative sentence was however "others may disagree."

Yes they may, if 200,000 or so years on Earth has taught us anything I think it is that it is everyone's right if not duty to disagree with things they do not find logical or at the very least reasoned. :)
uwot
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Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by uwot »

Sorry for the delay aiddon. To be honest, ontological agnosticism isn't an official 'ism', it's just the fact that we don't know what the nature of matter really is. This has been realised since pretty much the beginning of western philosophy. The Milesians were keen to work out what the world was made of, all the Greek elements had their advocates: Water/Thales, Air/Anaximenes, Heraclitus(not strictly a Milesian)/Fire and Xenophanes(nor was he)/Earth. However, another, proper, Milesian, Anaximander, claimed that the universe is made of the apeiron, basically some infinite 'stuff', which we have no direct experience of, but has perceptible qualities of hot or cold, wet or dry. This was taken up by Aristotle; in On Generation and Corruption, Aristotle says, ‘Our own doctrine is that although there is a matter of the perceptible bodies (a matter out of which the so-called 'elements' come-to-be), it has no separate existence, but is always bound up with a contrariety.’ Aristotle noted that there are four ways the contrarieties could intermingle and each of these mixtures defined an element: fire is hot and dry, air is hot and wet, water is cold and wet, leaving earth cold and dry. In effect, Aristotle was pointing out that we only know about matter from sensing it.
Later Descartes argued that the only thing we can be certain of is that we have experiences. Descartes was a dualist and argued that as there is thinking, therefore their is definitely 'mind', in particular his own, but he had a 'clear and distinct idea' of matter, the sort that a good god wouldn't let him be wrong about; therefore reality is made of mind and matter. Pierre Gassendi pointed out that the fact that experience is happening is not enough to conclude that the apparent focus of experience, any particular mind, actually exists. The empiricists ran with that idea, insisting that the only thing we can be certain of is the experiences, and that there is nothing intrinsic in them that demands they correspond to any 'clear and distinct idea' we may have. Berkeley went to the extreme of claiming that there is no such thing as matter. As Ginkgo has mentioned, Kant summed it all up, distinguishing between the phenomena and the ding an sich, the thing in itself.
Today, with space telescopes and atom smashers, we can see a very long way and really deeply, but still the underlying matter, the stuff that fundamental particles are made of, is a mystery. My money is on some unified field theory, but I wouldn't wager very much. Anyone who says they 'know' what the universe is made of is an idiot. If they know because 'god revealed it to them', they are a loony. And Blaggard, if they insist that we all behave according to the whim of their god, they should be told to go fuck themselves.
Advocate
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Re: Integrity in philosophy

Post by Advocate »

>>Materialism gratuitously excludes huge and important areas of human existence and inquiry.

Everything that's not material is metaphorical; it exists as patterns in the mind (which is the overall set of patterns in the brain).

>>Materialism is not only impotent to describe "consciousness," but "selfhood," "human dignity," "rights," "values," "morality," "justice," "meaning," "purpose," "concepts," "experience" and so on.

Yes, and philosophy as a whole was insufficient for most material explanations until it became Natural Philosophy and then Science. Whether those concepts can be adequately described today isn't about the limits of materialism but the limits of our understanding of material correlates and metaphorical patterns. I can answer most of those for you in a materially and/or "spiritually" consistent and coherent way.

>I don't think as a philosopher it is your right to question what areas of thought are right or wrong to investigate, only to question what areas there are and their honesty/veracity in and of themselves. So people saying we should ditch areas of thought leaves me cold. If we did that wouldn't it be a sort of fascism, where we decide what to think about?

To the extent anyone has a right to do anything, certainly a philosopher has the right to question everything. Mere nay-saying is a different animal.

Which should ditch some areas of thought because they are not productive, or because of opportunity cost.

>I see a lot of people trying to foist their ideas on others which is fine but I don't necessarily think people should act as judge, jury and executioner for the noble truth. Any thoughts? Now I am not saying he was doing that, but it sure sounded that way from what he posted.

"People'" shouldn't, of course, because most people don't understand the value of evidence. That doesn't imply no one is capable of recognizing or explaining Truth in the sense of being and knowing they're necessarily right. The Truth, in as logically consistent a way as is possible, is at tiny.cc/TheWholeStory
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