Believing or seeing? | Page 3 | INFJ Forum

Believing or seeing?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Moony, Jan 4, 2019.

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  1. Headstorm

    Headstorm On a mountain path.

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    I used to be a believer. Basically I still am but I don't think we can actually understand or unravel reality, at least not at this point. What does infinity really mean? Can you imagine nothing? No space, no time? String theories, big bangs. It's beautiful, but I really believe the truth is beyond our concepts. I am with Laozi on this one: yes or no, what is the difference?
    'Facts' are useful in everyday life, but let's not pretend it is the absolute truth we are revealing.
    So, I choose both and none :grinning:. Ok, I will randomly pick one then, so I get to see the results.
     
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  2. Ginny

    Ginny Displaced Naiad

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    LOL, and then you were thoroughly disappointed :p
     
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  3. Headstorm

    Headstorm On a mountain path.

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    Yes, at first.
    Then along came...:m181: :m172: :m183:
     
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  4. JennyDaniella

    JennyDaniella Stargazer

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    I love this John! You explained this better than I ever could. :)
     
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  5. Nautilidae

    Nautilidae Community Member

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    Absolutely fair. Apologies concerning my lack of clarity and coherence.

    Here, I'm speaking about how little fruit arguments about epistomology have produced. In my opinion, the best work done in this realm has been related to critque rather than the creation of any convincing model. Theory of knowledge arguments are not affected by our thinking or instruments we create to detect phenomena because the no new discovery diminishes the question. Kant's "a priori" (innate) theory of knowledge is not only boring, but lazy. Believing knowledge to be innate was a road to lgicists later considering mathematics to be reducible or synonymous with logic. This was true because of logic's obviously close relationship with knowledge. It's already seductive enough to believe that mathematics and logic are one in the same. Bertrand Russell and others spent a lot of time trying to prove a something that might not have been so alluring a century after Kant's death if Kant and his laziness weren't so revered.

    Nietzsche and Popper both attacked epistemological claims, albeit from different directions, but they didn't replace those claims with anything compelling. What I meant by utility solving epistemological problems is that, we can (if we chose) view human being's increased capacity to manipulate what we perceive as reality as a proving ground for the salience of knowledge we claim to have. This is essentially, William James' argument. If you have to know something new in order to generate some sort of outcome, use suppositions you gain from empirical observation and test them. The beauty of this is that #1 there is no requirement for this all-encompassing, free-floating "truth" to underpin knowledge because context is respected as a valid element in reality. And #2, if we consider some human inventions as extensions of and perhaps additions to our ability to generate empirical data, we will only continue to make progress in our ability to manipulate reality.

    Arguments about what we can possibly know or if we can prove that we ever know anything seem to produce more edgy nonsense among the public than anything else and it wastes the time of philosophy as a field constantly falling behind its cousins in the sciences that need its scrutiny. What I am proposing is that the major problems that affect mankind are ontological ones. Our attitude about what we call an object or phenomenon, the qualites and processes we consider to be part of them. These are problems that can end us as a species. How? The same progress we make in building instuments to detect and measure reality also holds for our productive capacity. Our ability to affect reality in fundamental ways increases much more quickly than our philosophical sophistication about what is produced can accurately contextualize it. And in this case, I mean accuraccy in terms of utility for survival. Understanding as much about the nature of being both in the contexts we are aware of as well as expanding possible contexts is of greater importance. I absolutely understand that the great epitemological questions are valid. They're just less available.

    These would take longer to cover than I am prepared to do here. The Wikipedia article for Speculative Realism gives somewhat of a good overview. Speculative Realism has its roots in Process Philosophy. The point of these disciplines is to get out of the game of pretending our current way of assessing objects is sufficient or free from bias. It is a philosophy more grounded in considering things in terms of ALL the factors across time, phenomena and thinking put to it. Our handling of objects would look less like nouns and more like a description that more fully explains it with all factors intact. This is a grotesque oversimplification. Gilles Deleuze started to formalize a framework we could use to recontextualize our approach to judging reality. Notice the section on his epistemological stance. Now imagine his level of sobriety about the religious nonsense of Kantians is in the strong minority after centuries of contact with non-linear systems and practically all of quantum physics. Manuel Delanda picked up where Deleuze left off and greatly improved the model. A way to think about this is, we should understand our inherited contexts and how impoverished much of it is. Imagine holding fast to the religious fanatacism of requiring things be more simple than they are even as we increase our capacity to know vastly more that shows the exact opposite is true. Every field that pretends all of its processes are somehow eternally reducible/expandible is doomed to failure. This is key to some complexity scientists' critique of all of neoclassical economics as well as some of the heterodox ideas. Physics at quantum levels does not behave in Newtonian ways. Unfortunately, most laypersons and people firmly entrenched in professional economic norms think that macroeconomics is little more than microeconomics at scale. This kind of thinking isn't thinking at all. It's religious fanatacism. It is addiction to simplicity of perspective even as we produce wider reaching and inherently more complex outcomes. The OP's question is not something that lacks validity, but it is a dichotomy wherein both sides are unified in their preference for linearity.

    Person: Y U no vote?
    Me: It's complicated.

    I wrote this while working a shift after a sleepless day. Apologies again.
     
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  6. Hostarius

    Hostarius Scooby Doo Villain of Fate

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    I'm just flicking through the forum right now, so I don't have the patience to reply, but I just want to say thank you for rhus, there's a lot of fascinating ideas here.

    I have practically the opposite regard for epistemology as you, however: for the work I do it is absolutely foundational.

    But what you said about speculative realism gels with a lot of my own thinking on theory and objects - to treat objects more as the outcome of 'dynamics' (the interaction of many factors), and limit theories to function more as bounded 'models' rather than 'laws'. So thanks for introducing me to those ideas.
     
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  7. Nautilidae

    Nautilidae Community Member

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    Thanks. Hopefully, I can get some sleep before comment again.
     
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  8. QuickTwist

    QuickTwist Regular Poster

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    There is a right answer. If you know what Jung, Nietzsche, Einstein, Kant have to say about this, it's a pretty trivial understanding that our perception is what provides the basis for what we see. Neuropsychology is just figuring this out now, what Plato knew thousands of years ago.
     
  9. QuickTwist

    QuickTwist Regular Poster

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  10. Headstorm

    Headstorm On a mountain path.

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    math is a religion.jpg
     
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  11. Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    This sounds like an argument from authority (fallacy). Also, what of the fact that our perception provides the basis for what we see? This does not mean that we ought to trust it a priori.

    I would be partial to this approach as well. Process philosophy tends to see its claims as always tentative, as a consequence of its anti-essentialism.
     
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  12. QuickTwist

    QuickTwist Regular Poster

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    It probably is a fallacy - I make a lot of them. But what can ya do, I'm human, not a robot.
     
  13. Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Me too, don't worry... And that, despite being a robot :sweatsmile:
     
  14. Zola

    Zola Regular Poster

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    I wish I were an S type. So:::much:::less:::brain strain.

    I tested at 91% N type, so there's no hope of me seeing before believing. Everything goes straight to my perception filter, which I cannot turn off unless I consciously try. Hard. Continually. And usually without success.

    Even if it makes no sense to others, even if it doesn't "come true" immediately. My perception of what might happen, of what could happen -- is still a possibility. The influences are ALWAYS there. I can feel the influences: They line up and point in a direction. They change direction. But they are always humming beneath the surface. Nothing is just what it is.

    Especially with humans, it's all about influence, having the power, the resources, and the alliances to make things happen. All starting with ideas that were invisible to others. Can you imagine all the things that never would have happened without ideas? Nothing. We would still be in the Stone Age.

    To me, this question deals with the difference between concrete reality and abstract thought. Seeing or believing. And, like it or not, I know which one had the biggest impact. * sigh* goes to meditate and TURN IT OFF.
     
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  15. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    I need evidence before I believe anything consequential or outlandish. "Seeing" is not enough. I think Nietzsche had metaphysics right. I trust my senses enough to navigate through the world but I recognize their limitations with respect to our evolutionary interests as human-beings. That said, there's some exceptional people out there, people with very refined senses. It would be very useful to have eyes like a hawk.
     
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  16. Headstorm

    Headstorm On a mountain path.

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    Bees can see in the ultraviolet spectrum. What would their world look like?
    Certain snakes 'see' infrared, heat. What would their world look like?
    Flies ...
    Nobody can sense, see or experience all this universe has to offer. Let alone that we would be able to comprehend all that information.
     
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  17. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    I suspect that we will be able to see and experience more of what the universe has to offer in the future. Technological advancement will end our woes.
     
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  18. Ginny

    Ginny Displaced Naiad

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    Still it will only be what the technology will see, not what we will see. We have to believe what the technology sees and make our interpretation of what it saw. It is having faith in technology, which is almost the same as not having seen it, because in fact we didn't. It still relies on the same illusions that we are exposed to every day, even if we ended up in a technologically augmented reality.
     
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  19. Headstorm

    Headstorm On a mountain path.

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    What if I would add another element: that there is always the possibility that we missed something, that there is another way of seeing, another quantity to measure...would we not always need a certain belief?
     
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  20. Nautilidae

    Nautilidae Community Member

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    One thing I notice about common expectations for scientific advancement. It's almost always an expectation that we will simply scale our current or even known senses. This kind of thinking is understandable, given the fact that we most commonly venerate scientific rhetoricians and "experts" more than we seek the thinking and output of geniuses or people actively working on bleeding edges. Sam Harris is a great example of this cultural habit. Experts are people invested in current state because it is what butters their bread. In truth, there are people out there working on adding potentials to the nature of human experience itself. We aren't simply breaking things down into smaller parts anymore. That version of science is about to die. Some of the best researchers are increasingly respectful of categories we previously didn't understand nor cared to view as valid. Damasio's Strange Order of Things and most of what David Krakauer talks about are great examples of that.

    This fetish about "objective reality" as even being possible in real terms is not very helpful. The potential for progess in our understanding is likely limitless because, what would it even mean to be able to stand on some boundary and "see" everything? Things aren't necessarily illusions because we can't view or experience it yet in every possible way. It's merely an incomplete experience with no reasonable guarantee that we won't manufacture it at a later date. A better way to utilize our reflexive preference for perfection is to allow it to inform our inductive exercises. For instance, there is a concept in electromagnetic wave propagation theory called the isotropic antenna. Its value is that it is an ideal antenna that radiates its power uniformly in all directions even if everything about that ideal is technically impossible. We create completely ficticious reference points and from them, gain very rich perspectives. If we continue to do this with regard to the nature of our senses, we could go very far.
     
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