What is the point of life?

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The Voice of Time
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Re: What is the point of life?

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Matt24 wrote:Not really. Depends on your definition of “most” and "western". Great Britain doesn’t allow abortion on request (first to come to my mind); most of the USA still doesn’t permit same-sex marriage (neither does Germany or Italy).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Same_ ... tailed.svg

Well in their defence, they are slightly "Eastwards" on the European map x) Maybe that influences it?
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Re: What is the point of life?

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Matt24 wrote:Hahahaha that’s cool! So you basically don’t see anyone begging/sleeping on the streets when you go outside? Woah. It’s almost like a different world.
You do see begggars, it's legal to beg in Norway (I've done so myself, though only briefly, like I once did so to be able to take a ferry and not have to travel a huge distance around the area I was in... I was trying and managed to get into Lofoten, a fantastic nature environment with retro-style fishing villages... PSSST! As a travel advice, the origin of the word "Maelstrom" comes from Lofoten and the original Maelstrom outside of it!). Most of them are "beggar tourists", they tour from Eastern Europe to beg in the streets of Norway. Others are drug addicts that need money for dope. Some may also be illegal immigrants, though police ship them out of the country when they catch those.

But people don't sleep in the streets as far as I know, no. That'd be a really rare sight. I have myself done so, though, but I was travelling about, so my case was special. I was in a way voluntarily homeless, but I don't know anybody who has done the same thing as I have in the same style as I did so, so I might be sort-of unique in that fashion, at least in Norway.
Nikolai
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Nikolai »

Hi matt,
In what sense are memories happening RIGHT NOW? I fail to… understand the argument.
It's hard to grasp, and hard to believe, but once you see what I am saying it will be very hard to dispute.

Imagine you think of a scary monster, the thought is a present moment event and the flavour of the event is, let's say, fear.

Now imagine you think of a little boy playing with a toy. The thought is a present moment event and the flavour of the event is time. We therefore call it a childhood memory. But this 'memory' is of the exact same nature as the thought of the monster. They are both just present moment events.

Time exists nowhere except as in the form of present moment events. Time cannot be seen, heard smelt. Time is merely a kind of theme. A flavour is what I call it. It is like fear of the monster. We can think of monster with fear or without fear. Likewise the imagery of a 'memory' can be thought of with the flavour of time, or without the flavour of time, in the form of a present moment phenomenon.

You notice that I'm not trying to argue time away completely. I am merely saying that time only appears when we take a perspective. And like all perspectives, there are alternative views to take.

The person suffering from meaninglessness is suffering from their tendency to see everything only in terms of the past and future. They are people with great intellectual purity and consistency and they therefore realise that time takes away and annihilates all. The only solution to meaninglessness is to start to analyse the very foundations of their thinking. Time, they will soon see (and space) are at the foundation of everything they think and do. They are so intrinsic to everything that we don't even notice them. But the person in despair is forced, as a matter of life and death to seek solutions to their problem. Before long they will realise that their problem is with the fundamental categories of their thinking. For this stage I do recommend Kant.

You may wonder why I am so confident that the person in despair will realise something so very drastic as the timelessness of time. It is because they have already unconsciously understood they they transcend time. In fact, if they hadn't already unconsciously transcended time then they wouldn't be consciously dissatisfied with their temporal existence.

To be in despair is a great blessing. It is an illness only from the conventional perspective. Actually, it is the painful beginnings of a fuller, richer, happier existence welling up from your unconsciousness. You may not believe this yet, in fact I'm sure you don't, but I'm saying it because it happens to be a fact. There is a deep beauty to despair, and the despairer is in many ways a special individual. Some do actually feel this and it gives them a sense of pride which makes them unpopular, but none of this matters in the long term. On this subject of despair as illness, Kierkegaard is very good, but like Tolstoy his solution is Christian. Kierkegaard actually come to the view that existential despair is actually a blessing, and the real despair is the condition of those who don't or can't despair! Such words are way too paradoxical for most but I think you can understand them.

I think the modern day despairer has to come to terms with religious narratives. The fact is, there are few decent writers on this rare subject and those that exist have come from days where things where instinctively expressed in Christian terms. But these are just words. Because the solutions involve a kind of transcendence above everyday thought things can start to sound very religious, but none of this is contrary to reason or science. i think many westerners find eastern explanatory systems like Buddhism or Taoism helpful because they are atheistic and psychological which seems to be more the way that modern western thinkers express themselves. But ultimately I think you will feel at home in ant of these thought systems.

I hope this makes a difficult subject clearer to you!

Best wishes, Nikolai
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

Matt24 wrote:This question has been on my mind the past few years. I had been capable of ignoring it before, or fooling me with short-term goals that would ultimately leave me feeling empty.

But the issue just keeps coming back to me, and I feel I can't ignore it anymore. Because really, what is the purpose of our lives? Is studying, getting a job, getting married, settling down, having children, spending my money on superflous goods and then dying all there is to life? People I interact with seem to be ok with this; however, I find it to be a miserable prospect. So I shall spend my life working at some job (which I might or might not like) just to be able to satisfy my basic needs and buy stuff I don't even need (because after all, food and bed is all you really instinctively need)? And I shall get married with a person I probably picked as I would pick an apple from the greengrocer's: focusing on the external features, just to be able to have sex and satisfy my sexual needs AND/OR have children? Children who will eventually leave your house and repeat the same steps you did? And so I will age with my wife living every day without an objective, just to later die.. alone? It sounds absolutely deplorable to me.

You could say, hey! What about friends and family? What about true love? Aren't those the things worth living for? Well, in my mind, they're not. First of all, how frequent are those hangouts with friends? Probably like once a month, and even less as everyone ages. It's like everyone's too busy living their own lives. And most of the time it becomes a rather dreadful and superficial thing: "Did I tell you about what my son did yesterday?"; "Would you believe what happened at the workplace yesterday?"; "Have you heard that X (a mutual friend) got divorced?".

The very same thing happens with the family. It gets me sad, for example, that my parents practically don't see their siblings much. When I was growing up, my brother was a big part of my life, and I don't really want to lose that (it looks I eventually will). You could say, "hey, but you will have a wife/husband to take care of you! You will have children to raise!". Indeed, but... How do you know you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody you've known for two/three years (in most cases!)? What if you "lose" your love for that person? Because honestly, even if you say "Well, I don't love him/her just because of his/her beauty... it's his/her heart and personality I love", how can you be so sure you know that person's heart? And what is your purpose to get married? To have children? Well, why exactly would you want to have children in the first place? I sometimes feel like having children basically means "Nothing's interesting with my life, so I guess we'll give ourselves the task to raise kids just to have something to do".

Others find meaning in doing pleasing activities. Partying, getting drunk or taking drugs (because you could argue that since there is no meaning, then there's no point in preserving your health)... yet that's just a way to ignore the suffering and the distress of life, and you'll eventually have to face the "downs" that come with the abuse of these substances/activities.

This whole analysis can basically be summed up as people doing things with others so as not to realize their life is meaningless and they're eventually going to die like everybody else (without being sure if that's the final end to their life).


I'm not sure if I'm strange or normal; smart or dumb for thinking about this. What is it I'm seeing that nobody else does? Or am I wicked/depressed and need psychological help?

Thanks in advance for your contributions, I would really appreciate somebody talking about this with me.
Matt,

This is an answer you've not have encountered before. To make sense of it, first do your best to forget everything you've been taught about the nature of your own self and the origin of your material body. Of course you cannot really forget these ideas, for they are ingrained in human culture. The best you can do is to briefly adopt the hypothesis that they are all wrong, then examine an alternative theory without comparing it to your temporarily-suspended beliefs.

Because the alternative is radically different to those standardized beliefs, it will be extremely difficult to understand. This is not because it is difficult. It is actually simpler than conventional beliefs. But because our brains build knowledge atop other knowledge, your brain will always compare any new ideas to its current beliefs, and filter out those ideas that do not fit into your current belief system.

It makes no difference what your current belief system is. Perhaps you believe that God made the universe and mankind. You might have accepted the opinions of scientism, that the universe began with the alleged Big Bang, and life evolved through the random assembly of molecules. You could be a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Mormon, or Christian Scientist. It matters not, because given the level of thought you've put behind your OP, you may have considered all or some of these belief systems, plus others. You will have found them incapable of satisfying your question.

Given that lengthy but necessary introduction, here is the short answer to your query. You will need to read and re-read it several times to get any part of it past the filters already installed in your brain. This will honor your curiosity. Others reading this who lack your curiosity should not even bother reading further, because their brain's filters will prevent them from even comprehending these simple ideas.

Your mind has two distinct but well-integrated components: your brain, and an entity that I call beon in hopes of distinguishing it from religious notions of soul. Beon has these notable properties.
  • It is not a "spirit," not a mysterious, ill-defined entity somehow separate from other components of the universe. Although not material, beon is as physical as are things like light and magnetic fields.
  • Other than existence, beon has only one physical property.
  • That property gives it the potential (only the potential, not its realization) to become sentient and self-aware, i.e. conscious.
  • Unlike the "soul," believed by many religions to have been created by a God, beon has, in effect, always existed.
  • Your body, and the universe that supports its existence were created. Not by an almighty, omniscient God, but by a consortium of beons. Their agenda in doing so has nothing to do with a desire to be worshiped by you or anyone else. Nor do they love you, or particularly care about your activities.
  • The human brain comes with an antenna/tuner system that connects a single beon to it, ideally for life. The circuitry is analogous to that which connects the electromagnetic transmissions of a TV channel to a video screen, but is more complex because it is fully interactive.
  • Through years of interactions with a tiny subsection of the universe via your brain/body system, you, beon, have finally acquired a level of consciousness such that you can wonder about the purpose of your existence.
  • Congratulations! You've reached a level of consciousness such that you might be able to retain it after the demise of the societal and biological mechanisms that got you to this point.
These ideas are excerpted from the book, "Digital Universe -- Analog Soul." I wrote it over the course of a half-century, and despite the time and effort put into it, the book is flawed. Despite its flaws and its author's pissy attitude, DUAS will present answers to your question that you will not find elsewhere. Of course it elaborates upon the notions just presented, and justifies them in the context of logic; and basic, simple physics which it explains in a manner that your grandkids can understand.

Whether the ideas are right or not, they've worked well for those who've chosen to understand them. ("Well" often means life-changing.) Belief or acceptance of these ideas is unnecessary to their usefulness, and because belief in or acceptance of any idea closes the mind to better ideas, I do not recommend it. Nonetheless, to be useful to anyone, the ideas must be well understood. That is difficult only for those who attempt to fit them into current belief systems. I.e. either read with a well-opened mind or do not read at all.
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Arising_uk »

Greylorn Ell wrote:... beon is as physical as are things like light and magnetic fields. ...
Apart from not being observable nor detectable that is.
Greylorn Ell
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

Arising_uk wrote:
Greylorn Ell wrote:... beon is as physical as are things like light and magnetic fields. ...
Apart from not being observable nor detectable that is.
AUK,
Despite some generally unproductive exchanges with you in the past, I'm going to bite on this one. I do not expect it to affet your already made-up brain, but perhaps others will read this.

I'd love to exploit this opportunity to explain "observablity" and "detectability" from the perspective of a physicist, to a philosopher, perhaps an impossible task, but let's try. I'll need your honest cooperation.

Fire up the NASA website that shows beautiful astronomical images of distant galaxies and pick one about 1000 light-years away that engages your fancy. Note that if you go up to the top of a mountain well-situated for astronomical observations, (e.g. Cerro Tololo or Kitt Peak) which you can determine is well-situated by noting the several dozen observatories atop it, you cannot observe that galaxy. Not even with really good binoculars. Not even having its precise hour-angle and declination noted on a handy pad, with a good calculator handy and a Timex on your wrist.

No human eyes have ever seen that galaxy, or any of the millions of others out there. We know that they exist because of little electronic circuits at the focal length of the Hubble telescope that translate photons of light into ones and zeroes, and telemetry circuits that transmit these ones and zeros back to earth, where they are translated into images. Put simply, no humans have observed those galaxies.

If I sit you down in a comfy chair and you cooperate by closing your eyes, I can pass a 50,000 gauss magnet around your head and before your face and you will have no idea where it is, despite the powerful magnetic field surrounding it. You cannot tell how far away from your head the magnet is, despite knowing that the field strength drops off exponentially, with the square of distance. I could substitute it with a weak little refrigerator magnet and you'd not know the difference.

We could put your brain in a C.A.T. scanner where it is subjected to magnetic fields powerful enough to suck a pistol from its holster, and you'd only know when the scanner was on because of the sounds coming from the machinery. Put you in a fake scanner with the same sounds and you would be unable to distinguish the difference.

My point? You cannot even detect magnetic fields. By the way, magnetic fields are "PHYSICAL," just like the photons from those distant galaxies that you cannot detect either.

Suppose that you want to move beyond detection and actually observe a magnetic field. Easy, kind of. Just set the magnet beneath a piece of paper sprinkled with iron filings, or beneath a dish of little ball bearings. They'll align themselves with the field lines. But will you be actually observing the fields? Not a chance! You'll be observing an arrangement of iron-based bits of matter.

I could do the same thing with electric fields, except that to render them undetectable you'd need to be well-shaved. Electric charges can be detected by human, animal, and insect hairs. You probably did not know that if you shaved the whiskers off a cat, it will not land on its feet if dropped from an inverted position. In fact, the poor animal will have trouble even walking.

Nonetheless, if we leave you as hirsute as you came, you'd still have trouble detecting the difference between electrically induced hair movement and light manual disturbances.

You cannot even observe light unless it goes right into your eye. I could pass a 5 kilowatt red laser beam (powerful enough to fry your retinas in a millisecond) past your eyes in a dust-free clean room and you will never detect its existence. You do not even observe the gentler photons that do reach your retina from conventional sources. They are translated into electrochemical signals that are routed through a complex set of optic nerves into your brain, where they trigger neurons. YOU, per se, observe not the photons, not the signals, and not even the triggered neurons.

The evidence about the reality of the physical universe obtained by science is entirely inferential. Without the analytical exertions of mind, evidence is meaningless.

Clearly, the physical observations of physicists are different from the limited observations that can be made or detected by the human body. Perhaps now you understand why I say that philosophers are unqualified to make any statements about physical existence.

Beon will be formally observed with inferential techniques devised by clever experimental physicists.

Of course it has already been informally observed, but not by anyone sufficiently competent to go from observation to theory. Imagine if, instead of a Zippo lighter, you brought a doggy magnet, a piece of paper, and a small bag of iron filings on your trip into the jungle to meet primitive people. Imagine showing them the patterns made by iron filings when the magnet was placed beneath the paper. Imagine asking them to explain this effect.

Perhaps a better example is the formal discovery of x-rays by Roentgen, early 20th century. He'd been experimenting with vacuum tubes on a lab bench with unexposed photographic plates in drawers beneath the bench. Upon developing one plate used for another purpose he found the image of a key that did not belong there. He figured out that the key had been atop the bench, between the vacuum tube and photographic plate, and set about to explain the phenomena.

After he produced a paper explaining how to use certain types of vacuum tubes to create rays that could pass through wood and human flesh, other so-called scientists came forward claiming credit on the stupid grounds that they had made similar observations-- which they'd not bothered to investigate further.

So, why are you so skeptical about a concept that you refuse to take the trouble to understand and are unqualified to investigate? Are you one of the physicists who sees no point in investigating further? Or are you just another simpleminded philosopher who has not the slightest idea what honest scientific investigation is about, and would rather promote his pre-programmed beliefs, dogmas that he'd had to learn to pass school exams, than consider a potentially interesting alternative?
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Arising_uk »

Greylorn Ell wrote:...
Clearly, the physical observations of physicists are different from the limited observations that can be made or detected by the human body. Perhaps now you understand why I say that philosophers are unqualified to make any statements about physical existence. ...
Given everything you say has to be converted back to being detectable by the human body I'd say philosophers are well qualified to make statements about the phenomenological aspects of such an existence.
Beon will be formally observed with inferential techniques devised by clever experimental physicists.
Sounds like wishful thinking to me as you've yet to give them anything to work with.
Of course it has already been informally observed, ...
Whats one of these when its at home?
but not by anyone sufficiently competent to go from observation to theory. ...
Handy for you.
Imagine if, instead of a Zippo lighter, you brought a doggy magnet, a piece of paper, and a small bag of iron filings on your trip into the jungle to meet primitive people. Imagine showing them the patterns made by iron filings when the magnet was placed beneath the paper. Imagine asking them to explain this effect.
Why would you do this? As the example is an explanation for the idea of magnetic fields. Are you saying they wouldn't believe it? Given people had lodestones for a long-time I think the explanation would be understood.
...
So, why are you so skeptical about a concept that you refuse to take the trouble to understand and are unqualified to investigate?
Because you have no lodestone nor prism to show. Because I am a simple-minded philosopher who has read philosophy and recognises a concept made to fit beliefs rather than one formed from evidence. Still, could be wrong, show me your lodestone, prism or magnifying glass?
Are you one of the physicists who sees no point in investigating further? Or are you just another simpleminded philosopher who has not the slightest idea what honest scientific investigation is about, and would rather promote his pre-programmed beliefs, dogmas that he'd had to learn to pass school exams, than consider a potentially interesting alternative?
Just a simple-minded philosopher who understands that you have no 'scientific' investigation to offer and instead are offering a metaphysic to deal with the contradictions you find in your pre-programmed religious beliefs.

Me, I think I have more potentially interesting alternatives from philosophical study for the point of life, the existence of it and the phenomenology of self-consciousness than your pseudo-scientific 'Gods' and 'Beon/Soul', add to that that I'm more interested in constructing a philosophy than a religion means that, so far(apart from perusing whats on the ween), I'll pass upon further investigation of your thoughts other than pointing out upon this forum what I understand to be large flaws in some your claims.
Last edited by Arising_uk on Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
uwot
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by uwot »

Greylorn Ell wrote:The evidence about the reality of the physical universe obtained by science is entirely inferential. Without the analytical exertions of mind, evidence is meaningless.

I think I see where you are going wrong, Greylorn. The evidence about the physical reality of the universe is not inferential; it is demonstrable, or it isn't evidence. If nothing happened that can be seen to happen, then as far as physics is concerned, it didn't happen; frankly, if there is no way of telling that it happened, I'm with physics on that one. Assuming something does happen, what physics then does is measure the evidence, it will be a distortion in a field or displacement of matter, at least, and can therefore be measured. Lots of measurements will be made and the maths spuds will have a go at describing the patterns of behaviour. There can be different mathematical treatments and the one that produces the best results, or, other things being equal, the easiest to use, will become dominant. All sorts of people will try and explain what causes the phenomenon, but unless a story makes a successful prediction about a phenomenon that no other hypothesis anticipated, it remains just a story, something we tell ourselves to make sense of the world.
What you have done is make up an story for a phenomenon that doesn't exist. It has a few hoops to jump through before it is taken seriously. I really would give up trying to pitch it as science and concentrate on peddling it as a story.
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

uwot wrote:
Greylorn Ell wrote:The evidence about the reality of the physical universe obtained by science is entirely inferential. Without the analytical exertions of mind, evidence is meaningless.

I think I see where you are going wrong, Greylorn. The evidence about the physical reality of the universe is not inferential; it is demonstrable, or it isn't evidence. If nothing happened that can be seen to happen, then as far as physics is concerned, it didn't happen; frankly, if there is no way of telling that it happened, I'm with physics on that one. Assuming something does happen, what physics then does is measure the evidence, it will be a distortion in a field or displacement of matter, at least, and can therefore be measured. Lots of measurements will be made and the maths spuds will have a go at describing the patterns of behaviour. There can be different mathematical treatments and the one that produces the best results, or, other things being equal, the easiest to use, will become dominant. All sorts of people will try and explain what causes the phenomenon, but unless a story makes a successful prediction about a phenomenon that no other hypothesis anticipated, it remains just a story, something we tell ourselves to make sense of the world.
What you have done is make up an story for a phenomenon that doesn't exist. It has a few hoops to jump through before it is taken seriously. I really would give up trying to pitch it as science and concentrate on peddling it as a story.
Uwot,

You wrote, "The evidence about the physical reality of the universe is not inferential; it is demonstrable, or it isn't evidence." No one who has a competent mind and owns a dictionary could have made such an incompetent and irrelevant statement.

The words inferential and demonstrable are not related, and are certainly not mutually exclusive. You are not only an incompetent linguist, you are an incompetent philosopher who has no business pretending to even dabble in the field. What are you, maybe 12 years old? I cannot even consider the possibility that you've obtained a C in high school physics, if you even took a course in it. You write like a simpleminded philosopher wannabe and TV science camp follower who learned logic from Nancy Pelosi.

"Inferential" describes how we obtain information.

"Demonstrable" implies that we can repeat whatever process gave us that information, with similar components, obtaining results that are the same (or within limits of observation).

If a flying saucer lands in your yard and a dozen little green men come out and take you and your family captive, and perform nasty experiments involving you and your pets, you will have obtained direct evidence of the existence of aliens.

Before replying to any of my posts in the future, do us the favor of perusing it carefully, at least twice, while looking up the meaning of words containing more than three syllables. I'm getting tired of responding to opinionated, ignorant people who insist upon remaining ignorant.

That category of information is termed, "direct observation," or an eye-witness report. However, so far as your mind is concerned, what have YOU actually observed? Photons bounced off the hides of the LGM into your eyes, but they did not make it into your brain. The brain receives only electrochemical bits of information generated by receptors in your retina. The photons themselves did not pass your retina. Therefore the information transmitted from your retina to your brain is inferential. Yet, that level of information is commonly treated as a direct observation.

I'll regard it as the first level of inferential observation.

You'll have a little trouble convincing anyone of your direct observation, of course, because its not something that they have experienced or want to. They might ask you to invite your LGM friends back for a weekend barbecue. You probably will not be able to arrange that; therefore your observation will be dismissed as non-demonstrable.

Now suppose that you publicize your experience widely enough so that some men in black suits show up with little meters and other instruments to scan your backyard where the spacecraft landed. Suppose that the meters pin out with radiation readings, and biological cold spots are found in your lawn. These are inferential bits of information, a marginal kind of verification that you were not simply drunk and passed out in your backyard imagining things. But are they proof of your personal observations? No.

All observations made by humans, whether they be common men or astronomers, are inferential. The only difference is the level of inference. Direct observations are the first level of inference. The second level might be observing the needle movement of an ordinary analog voltmeter, inferentially measuring an electrical potential that your body cannot. Etc, etc, as science and its supporting technologies become more complex.

You can measure the voltage of a battery and the luminosity of a given star a thousand times, and if you obtain consistent results you will have demonstrated their validity. Nonetheless, such measurements are entirely inferential.

Whatever level of inference an observation might be made at has NOTHING to do with its reproducibility. Suppose that you get a simple voltmeter and check the charge level of a new battery that does not seem to be working well, getting a reading of 1.2 volts instead of the anticipated 1.5 (You have made an inferential measurement, BTW.) You go to the hardware store and demand a new battery. The store manager says, ok, but first let ME check the battery. You left it at home. So you return home to retrieve the faulty battery only to find that your wife threw it in the garbage, and your kid took the garbage out to the street, and it has already been collected and on its way to the dump.

Being a dogmatist who is unwilling to be proven wrong, you get into your car and chase the garbage truck, intending to recover your garbage and the deficient battery. You are arrested for speeding, and sent to jail overnight for rudeness to a police officer, than kept in jail another week for contempt of court when you cussed out the judge next morning.

Back on the track of your deficient battery, you go to the county landfill and try to figure out where a particular garbage truck, whose number you do not know, dumped your garbage over a week ago. The supervisor points to a huge mound of trash, easily 50 tons worth, currently being processed by a giant trash shredder/compactor.

Your inferential information has become non-reproducible.

I predict that when an insightful individual actually studies Beon Theory and evaluates its awesome potential for mankind, he (maybe even she, but not likely) will find a way to detect the existence of beons. This method will be inferential, just like the way that we detect battery voltages.

Whatever method he devises will prove to be reproducible. There are lots of beons around. Perhaps 80% of human brain/body systems have one attached, although beons are functionally active in less than half the population. Although like yourself they mostly go along for the ride, they can still be physically detected by an instrument other than the brain.
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

Arising_uk wrote:
Greylorn Ell wrote:...
Clearly, the physical observations of physicists are different from the limited observations that can be made or detected by the human body. Perhaps now you understand why I say that philosophers are unqualified to make any statements about physical existence. ...
Given everything you say has to be converted back to being detectable by the human body I'd say philosophers are well qualified to make statements about the phenomenological aspects of such an existence.
Beon will be formally observed with inferential techniques devised by clever experimental physicists.
Sounds like wishful thinking to me as you've yet to give them anything to work with.
Of course it has already been informally observed, ...
Whats one of these when its at home?
but not by anyone sufficiently competent to go from observation to theory. ...
Handy for you.
Imagine if, instead of a Zippo lighter, you brought a doggy magnet, a piece of paper, and a small bag of iron filings on your trip into the jungle to meet primitive people. Imagine showing them the patterns made by iron filings when the magnet was placed beneath the paper. Imagine asking them to explain this effect.
Why would you do this? As the example is an explanation for the idea of magnetic fields. Are you saying they wouldn't believe it? Give people had lodestones for a long-time I think the explanation would be understood.
...
So, why are you so skeptical about a concept that you refuse to take the trouble to understand and are unqualified to investigate?
Because you have no lodestone nor prism to show. Because I am a simple-minded philosopher who has read philosophy and recognises a concept made to fit beliefs rather than one formed from evidence. Still, could be wrong, show me your lodestone, prism or magnifying glass?
Are you one of the physicists who sees no point in investigating further? Or are you just another simpleminded philosopher who has not the slightest idea what honest scientific investigation is about, and would rather promote his pre-programmed beliefs, dogmas that he'd had to learn to pass school exams, than consider a potentially interesting alternative?
Just a simple-minded philosopher who understands that you have no 'scientific' investigation to offer and instead are offering a metaphysic to deal with the contradictions you find in your pre-programmed religious beliefs.

Me, I think I have more potentially interesting alternatives from philosophical study for the point of life, the existence of it and the phenomenology of self-consciousness than your pseudo-scientific 'Gods' and 'Beon/Soul', add to that that I'm more interested in constructing a philosophy than a religion means that, so far(apart from perusing whats on the ween), I'll pass upon further investigation of your thoughts other than pointing out upon this forum what I understand to be large flaws in some your claims.
Perhaps you've read some philosophy, but you've not studied the particular philosophy that you've judged yourself competent enough to criticize.

Nonetheless you are a credit to your field of alleged study. At least you got the "simple minded philosopher" part right.
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Arising_uk »

Greylorn Ell wrote:... Although like yourself they mostly go along for the ride, they can still be physically detected by an instrument other than the brain.
Such as?
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Arising_uk
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Arising_uk »

Greylorn Ell wrote:...
Perhaps you've read some philosophy, but you've not studied the particular philosophy that you've judged yourself competent enough to criticize.
Not some but pretty much the canon. I've also read around enough to compare it to the many other half-arsed religious metaphysics that have been produced by pseudo-physicists such as you since the 50's and its much of a much, long on polemic and wishful thinking and short on demonstrable evidence. You want to create a religion? Then you ought to learn from L. Ron as he's about the only westerner in recent times who has successfully done so.
Nonetheless you are a credit to your field of alleged study. At least you got the "simple minded philosopher" part right.
At least I bothered to complete my studies so can say that others agree that I know somewhat of what I'm talking about.
p.s.
Like much of your ilk you have a nifty selective reading ability.
uwot
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by uwot »

Greylorn Ell wrote:Uwot,

You wrote, "The evidence about the physical reality of the universe is not inferential; it is demonstrable, or it isn't evidence." No one who has a competent mind and owns a dictionary could have made such an incompetent and irrelevant statement.
You may be right, but you have inferred from a very limited sample, rather than demonstrated your conclusion. Do you have any other examples of people without competent minds and dictionaries making such statements?
Greylorn Ell wrote:The words inferential and demonstrable are not related, and are certainly not mutually exclusive.
This is gibberish.
Greylorn Ell wrote:You are not only an incompetent linguist, you are an incompetent philosopher who has no business pretending to even dabble in the field. What are you, maybe 12 years old? I cannot even consider the possibility that you've obtained a C in high school physics, if you even took a course in it.
I don't think that says much for your powers of inference. Some of the stuff I write could be attributed to an incompetent twelve year old in want of a dictionary, but I flatter myself to think you would need to be very selective, as ArisingUK has suggested, to persuade many people that all of it could be.
Greylorn Ell wrote:You write like a simpleminded philosopher wannabe and TV science camp follower who learned logic from Nancy Pelosi.

Do you have any examples of people that you know to fit that profile on which to model your analysis?
Greylorn Ell wrote:"Inferential" describes how we obtain information.
No it doesn't. I haven't bothered looking it up, I have inferred my use of the term is accurate from the many examples, none of which I specifically remember to be fair, of infer being used in the way I have used it. Can you refer me to any dictionary that contradicts it?
Greylorn Ell wrote:"Demonstrable" implies that we can repeat whatever process gave us that information, with similar components, obtaining results that are the same (or within limits of observation).
Yes it does, and the more examples of the same phenomenon being observed, the greater the likelihood of any inference that is consistent with the observations being true. However, Bertrand Russell gives the example of a chicken who learns to associated the appearance of the farmer with feeding time; every time the farmer appears he throws the chicken a handful of grain. The chicken infers that the farmer always does this. Then one day, the farmer breaks the chickens neck. It's the problem of induction.
Greylorn Ell wrote:If a flying saucer lands in your yard
It's a big if, Greylorn.
Greylorn Ell wrote:and a dozen little green men come out and take you and your family captive, and perform nasty experiments involving you and your pets, you will have obtained direct evidence of the existence of aliens.

Before replying to any of my posts in the future, do us the favor of perusing it carefully, at least twice, while looking up the meaning of words containing more than three syllables. I'm getting tired of responding to opinionated, ignorant people who insist upon remaining ignorant.


You're probably right; Blaggard told me off for pretty much the same thing yesterday, but then you don't have to eat the whole apple to know it's rotten. (Can't remember who said that; I do like to cite my references.)
Greylorn Ell wrote:That category of information is termed, "direct observation," or an eye-witness report. However, so far as your mind is concerned, what have YOU actually observed? Photons bounced off the hides of the LGM into your eyes, but they did not make it into your brain. The brain receives only electrochemical bits of information generated by receptors in your retina. The photons themselves did not pass your retina. Therefore the information transmitted from your retina to your brain is inferential.
The phenomenon is the sensation, I agree. Everything else is theory dependent, photons, electrons even eyes. It's all a product of what Felasco calls the crispy bit.
Greylorn Ell wrote:Yet, that level of information is commonly treated as a direct observation.
Maybe by 12 year old incompetents with no dictionaries.
Greylorn Ell wrote:I'll regard it as the first level of inferential observation.
Do as you please, I can't see it catching on.
The rest of your post is a splendid story, mixed up with some quack science. The central character has Basil Fawltyesque qualities, a John Cleese creation, so you're in good company. I think the difference is that Cleese based his Fawlty on someone he met, rather than himself. You can write, Greylorn, the trick is not to fooled by your own creativity.
Ginkgo
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Ginkgo »

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Last edited by Ginkgo on Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
uwot
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by uwot »

Hi Ginkgo.
Either you've got the hump or it's a wind up. If the former: sorry. If the latter: ha ha.
My regards
Uwot
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