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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Ask me about Philosophy

  1. #51
    Regular certifiedkowaidad's Avatar
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    Aren't science and philosophy simply man's hubris at believing he is capable of knowing anything? We're all just molecules vibrating at different speeds. Our thoughts are just electrical impulses, artefacts from the time when survival meant outrunning a wild puma. The reality is that we, as human beings, can never truly understand anything; we can only guess in varying degrees of certainty, which, by their nature of being vetted by human understanding, are arbitrary.

    Reality is beyond our perception, and our discourse over morality and ethics are so subjective as to appear meaningless. Is there a fundamental purpose behind anything we do other than replicating our DNA? And beyond our basic needs for survival, what objective reasons do we have to advance human thought?

  2. #52
    Retired Staff piņardilla's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by certifiedkowaidad View Post
    Aren't science and philosophy simply man's hubris at believing he is capable of knowing anything? We're all just molecules vibrating at different speeds. Our thoughts are just electrical impulses, artefacts from the time when survival meant outrunning a wild puma. The reality is that we, as human beings, can never truly understand anything; we can only guess in varying degrees of certainty, which, by their nature of being vetted by human understanding, are arbitrary.
    You're being overly reductionist. Everything is "just molecules", yes, but the way they are arranged gives rise to emerging properties such as our consciousness. Objectively demonstrating that we can know things is simple - all the ways we've reshaped the world with technology is a product of our knowledge. Degrees of certainty aren't arbitrary, either; statistics is a rigorous field of study.
         
       
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  3.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by certifiedkowaidad View Post
    Aren't science and philosophy simply man's hubris at believing he is capable of knowing anything? We're all just molecules vibrating at different speeds. Our thoughts are just electrical impulses, artefacts from the time when survival meant outrunning a wild puma. The reality is that we, as human beings, can never truly understand anything; we can only guess in varying degrees of certainty, which, by their nature of being vetted by human understanding, are arbitrary.

    Reality is beyond our perception, and our discourse over morality and ethics are so subjective as to appear meaningless. Is there a fundamental purpose behind anything we do other than replicating our DNA? And beyond our basic needs for survival, what objective reasons do we have to advance human thought?
    Did you actually want to have an epistemology discussion or do you just want to be a fanciful skeptic?

    If you want to be skeptic, have fun, I suggest solipsism.

  4. #54
    Regular certifiedkowaidad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by piņardilla View Post
    You're being overly reductionist. Everything is "just molecules", yes, but the way they are arranged gives rise to emerging properties such as our consciousness. Objectively demonstrating that we can know things is simple - all the ways we've reshaped the world with technology is a product of our knowledge. Degrees of certainty aren't arbitrary, either; statistics is a rigorous field of study.
    I worry that we paint "degrees of certainty" in a false light; we're sure according to ourselves, and our own limited capacity as a species. It seems reasonable to believe we can only comprehend a fraction of what reality exists out there; we're limited by what we observe with our five senses and what, out of all that, we can register with our spongy little brains. Even scientific fields like statistics are only vetted by other humans who observe whether it meets the muster of human knowledge. Are we, as a species, good at it? I don't know. I know groups of people who believe with 100% certainty that aliens made the pyramids. They have charts and graphs. Maybe other forms of intelligence would look at our people charts and people graphs and laugh at how silly they are.

    Maybe a silly argument to make, but our understanding of the universe, its origins, and its nature and purpose are still in their infancy. Our knowledge relies heavily on cause-and-effect as far as we can observe it. My dog does this, as well; she's convinced that my fridge produces delicious frozen treats and that I, as the human, am the only thing that stands between her and a constant lifetime stream of Frosty Paws. This is reasonable considering her point of view and intelligence level. We're not much different, only we're smarter and developed some basic tools to leverage our intellect. But just as dogs will never learn to think like us, I feel it's reasonable to consider we might be the dog-thinkers to some other, more gifted creature. It raises the question to me, "what is it that we don't know that we don't know?" It's not something we can test for. We can't find evidence to support that we don't conceive of entire fields or levels of knowledge. In any discussion of philosophy it always sticks in the back of my mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fay V View Post
    Did you actually want to have an epistemology discussion or do you just want to be a fanciful skeptic?

    If you want to be skeptic, have fun, I suggest solipsism.
    I was being reasonable, there's no need to be rude.

  5. #55
    Retired Staff piņardilla's Avatar

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    Things we can't observe directly can still be observed indirectly through their effects on the things we can observe (easy example: radiation). And if something can't be observed by any of our senses nor produce an effect on anything at all that can be observed either, then in what sense can it really be said to exist?
         
       
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  6.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #56
    Didn't try, Succeeded Fay V's Avatar



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    Quote Originally Posted by certifiedkowaidad View Post

    I was being reasonable, there's no need to be rude.
    sorry, the way your phrased your comment is pretty much the go to for completely disregarding philosophy and discussion for the sake of skepticism, particularly used by those that don't have an understanding of the process but look at the larger outside whole.

    You're basically tackling epistemology, and part of the reason that logic came up is that it is used a lot in epistemology. We base our knowledge and understanding of some things on logical truths. A=A sort of things.
    You seem to be dancing around hte problem of induction, which is a legitimate problem and leads to...well skepticism. Basically most of our knowledge is based in induction, the sun will rise tomorrow because it has risen today, yesterday, the day before that and so on. If I drop a ball it will fall because it did so all these times. naturally the issue here is it's only a degree of certainty, there is no 100% truth to an induction problem. It's really good guesses that got us to the moon, got us to the bottom of the ocean, able to photograph brains in real time...etc.

    The thing is, that isn't all of human knowledge. We also have deduction and deduction does end in a logical truth. It's a one of the other, the statement is true or it is not.

    That's why Descartes did the meditations and starts with idea "I think therefor I am" to base everything on. Now it didn't work, it's not a true tautology, but one still exists, so there is still a place to start from (that something exists).

    If you are defining purpose only in the end goal, and the end goal is to have absolute understanding of the universe...well that's just daft as all hell really. It's losing the forest for the trees and shoving all possible thought into a sigularity. What's the purpose of ethics if things may change? Well practical ethics gives us codes and policies so we don't just murder patients so that seems like a plus, even if it's pointless on the universal scale.

    What's the point in metaphysics or science if we can't fully understand the universe? Because continuing to explore the universe grants us more control, even if it isn't complete control.

  7. #57
    smell-good badger Pine's Avatar
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    Do you ever feel enlightened by your own intelligence?

  8.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #58
    Didn't try, Succeeded Fay V's Avatar



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    Quote Originally Posted by Pine View Post
    Do you ever feel enlightened by your own intelligence?
    not really. The more I learn the dumber I feel.

  9. #59
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    What kinda jobs are out there for your field of expertise that people may not know about?


  10. #60
    Define Lightness and Weight.

 

 

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