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starchild
Member
since 10-22-1999
Posts 60
manchester, england


0 posted 10-27-1999 08:29 AM       View Profile for starchild   Email starchild   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for starchild

what can i know. what can i understand.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


1 posted 10-27-1999 09:21 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Well, that's up to you. Are you arguing what you can know or how do you know what you know? Two different questions.

By 'know' do you mean feel? "I know this to be true"

By 'understand' do you mean only on an intellectual level? I understand Korean culture but I don't feel it.

Don't suppose you might clarify.
starchild
Member
since 10-22-1999
Posts 60
manchester, england


2 posted 10-28-1999 06:15 AM       View Profile for starchild   Email starchild   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for starchild

this is what i mean. when i close my fridge the light is supposed to go out. i understand this. but how do i know that it does? even if i had the cahnce to witness it happen, would it happen ever time? can i be sure it would beyond all doubt? i think not. if this is so, how can i possibly understand it as i know it to be neither true nor false, and very fact of wether something is or isn't surely is one of the foundatins of the thing. how then can i understand it? i do not think i can. i think that i understands the scenario of which i have been informed.this i think can be applied to anything i nmy life, for instance how do i know that america exists? even if i visit, it might dissapear when i leave. i think we leave in a world similar to the scenario plato describe, sitting in the cave only seeing the shadows of the things. how then can i ever understand myself and how can i truly claim to be self aware rather than self supposing?
Marilyn
Member Elite
since 09-26-1999
Posts 2646
Ontario, Canada


3 posted 10-29-1999 11:49 PM       View Profile for Marilyn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Marilyn

ahh but you are still sitting in your cave. Have you explored, felt, experimented? How can you know anything is true if you do not test. Basic Physics, you have a theory of say gravity. ok...we walk on the earth, not float nor bounce we walk. We are held down by something. Correct? Well what is this thing that holds us in place? Why is it that the apple falls down from the tree and not up? We know this is true because it happens everyday.

Clucky ducky (or Ducky Wucky, my memory of this nursery rhyme fails me at the moment) panicked because he thought the sky was falling. A great thinker sought the answer. He called it gravity. He did experients to prove what he thought he knew and he earned the right to name this phenomina.

If you want to know the answer to your question don't be afraid to experiment with it. Prove that your theory does or does not hold water. Be a great thinker of our time. There are many sceintific theories that are just theories. How can we prove threories of black holes until we have the resources to examine one up close and personal. If you want these answers you have to be willing to do the leg work. The proof is in the doing my friend.



[This message has been edited by Marilyn (edited 10-29-1999).]
Angel Rand
Member
since 09-04-99
Posts 140
London UK, and Zurich Switzerl


4 posted 10-31-1999 03:57 AM       View Profile for Angel Rand   Email Angel Rand   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Angel Rand

"Are you in a universe which is ruled by natural laws and, therefore, is stable, firm absolute- and knowable? Or are you in an incomprehensible chaos, a realm of inexplicable miracles, an unpredictable, unknowable flux, which your mind is unable to grasp? Are the things around you real or are they an illusion? Do they exist independent of any observer or are they created by the observer? Are they the object or the subject of man's consciousness? Are they what they ARE or can they be changed by a mere act of consciousness, such as a wish?
The nature of your actions- and your ambition- will be different, according to which set of answers you come to accept."
Ayn Rand, Philosophy: Who needs it.

I myself think the answer is kinda self-evident. For the light in the fridge to NOT go out when you close the door (provided the wiring isn't broken or some such earthly reason), or for the thrown stone to NOT fall to the ground, the laws that hold this Universe together would have to change. You don't need to be able prove that the stone will always fall by eternally throwing it. You need only understand WHY it falls. Gravity. As long as there is gravity the stone will fall. As long as the Earth will move around the sun there will be gravity. And so forth...
Proof is often gained by repetitious tests, yes. But it isn't just proof cause the stone falls; proof is the understanding WHY it falls. The understanding of what other laws an occurrence is based upon. Proof is in fact the reverse of creation: You have the finished product and you break it up into its fragments to understand its makeup.
from Angel

handbagsatfiftypaces
Junior Member
since 11-02-1999
Posts 12


5 posted 11-02-1999 07:16 AM       View Profile for handbagsatfiftypaces   Email handbagsatfiftypaces   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for handbagsatfiftypaces

ok, you beleive in the whole gravity thing then? i must admit it sound pretty convincing but, how long have we existed? how long has the universe existed? the amount of times we have seen gravity happen is insignificant in comparison to the amount of times it must have happened to be more than a flux. so scientists say that there must have been gravity, the srong force the weak force and the other one which i forget, for the universe to form this way. heap of poo. what about the epicurean hypothesis, what abouththe fact that every time scientists learn something new they change their story to accomodate it. if they hadn't yet labled gravity and weer still unsure in that whole area (i know but just imagine) then they would have come up with some other equally as plausible explination which you or i would have swallowed readily. science really could tell you that potatoes once ruled the earth ( which they soon may going by the chips, french fries, crisps, vodka, puchine etc) and if they backed it up with enough conclusive proof it would be beleived. you may laugh and call no way pal. but what if i told you that beings that were as big as a football pitch with brains the size of a peanut once uled the earth, why then you would beleive me because you were told when you were young they existed. and you have been shown models and pictures of bones and maybe even bones and so you assume they are right. now, i am not claiming dinosaurs didn't exist, but do i know they did? no, i think they did. do i know gravity exists as a natural force omnipresent in the stable universe? no, i think it does.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


6 posted 11-03-1999 05:35 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Scientists guess but they're pretty good guessers. Again, I think your discussing epistemoligical questions about gravity and so forth. Bertrand Russel does the same thing -- the five minute universe example.

My point would be so what? Is it going to change your whole life? I detect a certain hostility toward science hand--. Am I mistaken? I think the problem with scientists is that they prefer to represent their discoveries as TRUTH to the public but when cornered find it difficult to use that term among themselves.

Or is it the public that demands a firm foundation? A public that must have answers.
I don't know. I don't see anything wrong in not believing in TRUTH -- life's too interesting to pin it down with facts.
JP
Senior Member
since 05-25-99
Posts 1391
Loomis, CA


7 posted 11-04-1999 01:47 PM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

Thanks to Brad for bringing up Bertrand Russell - the idea that the universe as it appears to me is not the same universe that appears to you is key in understanding your own grasp on your reality.

The only truth there is, is the truth that you and I agree on - we do that through language. This inadequate, insufficient, yet glorious gift of language, allows us to agree on common ground. That we communicate is the only real truth. That we can conceive of our existence and communicate that conception via the use of language - that is truth.

Descartes said it best: Cogito, ergo sum.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


8 posted 11-05-1999 05:20 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

JP (and anybody else listening)
If you have time, can you check out my Adam naming the animals thread. It's starting to feel lonely. ):
fatwah
Junior Member
since 11-04-1999
Posts 16


9 posted 11-05-1999 10:55 AM       View Profile for fatwah   Email fatwah   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fatwah

ahh, buy did descartes really say it or is it the work of the machines?
you guys should check out some stuff on cosmology, ontology, teleology,freudiologiaon patheritc terminus and the epicurean hypothesis as well as st. tommo aquinas
JP
Senior Member
since 05-25-99
Posts 1391
Loomis, CA


10 posted 11-05-1999 04:06 PM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

While those psuedosciences may have meaning to offer - it remains a dubious proposition.

Descartes pronounced the impossibility of achieving a machine which had more than a body and hence was a true subject. Bodies are mechanical, so animals, which do things only by instinct, could be successfully imitated by machines; your Virtual Dog is in the works. But no machine can be conscious as people are because no machine can speak natural language.

Natural language is the discourse that eminates from deep structure - consciousness. Machines may imitate, but they could never replicate human awareness.

Brad - I read your Adam discourse and had to stop a couple of times for a drink, I will finish digesting it and get back to you.

------------------
Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
JP


fatwah
Junior Member
since 11-04-1999
Posts 16


11 posted 11-08-1999 05:41 AM       View Profile for fatwah   Email fatwah   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fatwah

jp, not so about the animals. virtual dog maybe, actual animal robot dog, no way. reproduction, science hasn't found a machine, even a metaphysical machine that can self replicate infinitely. there is one thing, a game called life which may be able to do so but it obviously can't be tracked infinetly so we don't know for sure. you may want to read a book called the recursive universe, i forget who wrote it, it's really good
 
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