Avoiding the pits of extreme skepticism

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by greenberg, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. Grantywanty Registered Senior Member

    me eliding.

    Do you really reject them on the grounds of utility? Now you have heard the theory, do you reject it because it is not useful - and how did you absolutely determine that, by the way, what if the use only kicks in after a couple of years of experiencing things that way, when suddenly you are joyful, kind and hysterically productive.

    as far as being a part of your mind and don't exist (xternally). Isn't there a thrid option - apologies for the tangent - that I am a part of your mind AND I have independent existence. I am, here, proposing a more intimate and less contingent reality.

    I feel like I don't have to choose between always trusting my sense of 'what is' and deciding all I am in contact with is what seems. I also notice a progression toward where my sense of what is is getting more accurate. (I obviously cannot convince you of this, but I am trying to show how I live and where I differ. I do not hold the idea of tentativeness as a worthy goal or qualification over myself. I used to do this more.

    I think so. And I do not see our positions as so far apart. I greatly appreciate that you are willing to draw a line in the mental sand and say, here I assume - even if you base this on utility, which I don't think I do, but I will have to check. I am trying to make a case for not having a systematically placed line. I am assuming I hit the real and notice it sometimes, even if this does not mean I am always right. I think this is essentially true in any system, even if it tends to be about meta-positions. Still:


    Well, the criteria and ability to notice them seems again to be based on recognizing what is not what seems. I see no reason to hold this certainty back one line in a meta position. I see reasons to be cautious, but I am a pretty cautious person.

    I couldn't understand your paraphrase so I'll try my own. I think that sometimes deciding to shift from trusting the ability to know and act on what is to take a step back - or two - and treat things more tentatively as 'it seems to be' can be the result of being treated cruelly.

    "It only seems like he is treating me like shit, but I maybe I didn't really listen last night when he talked about work." says the battered woman who was abused as a child. And in this extreme example let me point out that her tentativeness about ascribing 'it is' is not quasi in any way. It is an absolute choice with physical consequences. Tentativeness is as hardwired to the world as any other position. And again. I wish some people looked at their 'it is' and tried to see it more as 'it seems' and others I wish would move in the other direction.

    Excellent. I think this is one of the roots of the issue. How can we be certain without being like the assholes? And there they are wandering around 'proving' that certainty is a bad tack. I really think this is a core issue. Of course you called them pricks and not people who seem like pricks and I am damn glad you were not one layer back on that one.

    I think it is important what we do not what we think we ought to do as far as epistemology - here. There is our official epistomology and then there is the rest of us. For me it important to unify - which is different from demanding consistancy. I want these parts to be defragmented.

    You tentatively made your way into is at least twice I can conclude. (I first wrote 'seemed' your way, but that sounded vulgar)

    If one of them were psychic in a lab the scientists would suddenly say that psychics 'are'. They are being influenced by what is. There is a connection. The letter gets though, whatever the storm. Their arm is long enough to reach through the mists of seeming and grasp the real. (and so do you and I every day. I trip about once a week, but otherwise my feet find that ground where it is.

    For them what seems to be true is more likely to be what is. There what seems overlaps and can even be called what is in some cases where the % is high enough for this to be practical - this last word choice propaganda.

    I'm arbritrary in what I respond to after a bit. No criticism intended by what I ommitted or did not respond to.

    I appreciate the dialogue we are having here. It is streamlining and making conscious certain decisions I have made and experiences I've had. This seems to be a good thing.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2007
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  3. Gustav Banned Banned

    i hope reiku and his qm cohorts provide a workable solution

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  5. Reiku Banned Banned

    You're awefully smart all of a sudden. It's very attractive.
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  7. Grantywanty Registered Senior Member

    That's what I'm talking about Wes,
    the gloves of seeming have come off.
    No more Mr. Nice Guy.
  8. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

    I am skeptical about us being fucked either way, thank you very much.

    Is it going to kill me to have some skepticism in my mind now and then? No.

    It's not like skepticism lasts 24/7. It comes and it goes.
  9. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

    I have been swearing throughout this thread like a sailor, but refrained from posting it because it does not, after all, behoove a decent philosopher to swear.
    Alas, all decent philosophers are decently dead, very decently rotting their decent bones away into a most indecent dust.
  10. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    Yes. I've tried to entertain each for the hell of it, and can't find any reason compelling me to adopt them. IMO, they're stupid. Doesn't mean they aren't how it is... just that it seems rather unlikely to the point of stupid to me.

    How could I absolutely determine something? I do so in terms of "what I know", which is far from absolute. Absolute is fairly useless to me.

    Oh, you mean... if I were to adopt one, perhaps I just hadn't done it long enough to find the utility? Oh of course. Well, being an apparently finite being, I only have the time to entertain so many premises. Hmm.. you know really I don't think I could accept one of those premises as I find them retarded. Even if I tried, I'm sure I couldn't as they seem inconsistent with my experience.

    Well of course there are tons of options, I was trying to pull out exceedingly stupid examples to make a point. I don't doubt in the slightest that you exist. I just can't PROVE it (absolutely), which is fine to me. You still exist just the same as far as I can tell. Hell even if you tried to convince me you didn't you almost surely couldn't change my mind on it.

    No I don't think you have to choose either. In fact, you'll likely continue to refine all that I'd guess. What I'm saying though is that regardless of what you think "is", that's "what is" TO YOU, existing independently in your mind. Same here.

    I think you've already done it. Get me? In fact that's what you just did I'd swear.

    If you don't place it systematically, your mind places it for you... perhaps somewhat randomly.

    Well I'd guess we "hit the real" quite a bit. I'm damned sure I have two adorable daughters and a wife that I adore, that I'm sitting right here typing right now, etc. You'd have to extinguish me or them to convince me otherwise, but IF we discuss the nature of knowing in their regard... it seems to me that all this bullshit I'm spewing is quite "on the money" and real. E.G: If pressed I'll readily admit the possibility that their existence is part of my mind and I can't say anything objective about it, while noting that I don't care if it's just in my mind as it seems real enough to me.

    If we deconstruct it, I think so yeah.

    But as far as I can tell, you have to determine what is based on what seems eh? That whole "perception thing".

    Then in doing so, you productively abandon skepticism to indulge your presumption. It's only in retrospect really that I think all this other stuff comes up. If you bothered to think it through at the time you could totally lose confidence in what you're doing and thusly, be wholly inneffective at it. You don't have to justify shit "in the now", it's only upon analysis that all this becomes relevant. I would contend however, that "how it seems" to you was effective enough however, to navigate whatever in a manner that satisfied your internal model, thusly strengthening the model and your sense of "is" perhaps.

    I should have put quotes around "the observer", meaning the internal third person thingy.

    I think that's what I understood and saw it as "that third person observer type in one's mind" beign diminished, such that the person in question becomes more animalistic if you will.

    The choice is only locally absolute, as choice is necessarily subjective. It has an absolute effect on how things seem to her. It probably has an absolute effect on everyone involved, and "butterfly effect" type stuff too - presuming we all actually exist and such, which of course I do.


    Of course, but I told you in one of our first few exchanges here that everything I say or do, "seems" is implicit. I really do think I think that.

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    But then again let us consider what pricks are, how much we really know of each of them as actual humans... blah blah blah. If I had to stake my life on it, I wouldn't make the call of their "prickness" with certainty in my current affiliation with them, as I've never met them and have no idea what could be going on in their minds in doing what they do. Perhaps for instance, one of them is really in contact with the absolute god. Perhaps one of them is just like me except with more ballz. Lots of possibilities. *shrug*

    This all leads me to leak one more interation of my thinking about all this to you. It's about function. Bah I can't find the words and I'm leaving this here as a note to myself for later, to see if I can reboard that train.

    Interesting stuff. Funny that in saying so, it clicked something in my mind related to the function thing above that I currently have blocked in my mind because I'm almost late for picking up the kids maybe.

    Ha! True dat. Loves me some family.

    Want to post, have to leave, will get the rest this evening.


    Hehe. Good choice, as to me I suspect that is "what is", as we are all really function and all we say is a gigantic bullshit rationalization of our function. It's beautiful though. I see it as part of what I consider "the cosmic joke". Which I guess is that whole "can't be 'not me' to validate me" thing, leaving one of course with basically "WTF?" and a choice to cry or laugh. Obviously I generally choose the laugh.

    I'd only bring it up if I suspected evasion of some sort, which I don't at the moment so... no problem.

    I always like a seemingly meaningful conversation. I appreciate it too.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
  11. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    Oh? Matter of opinion I suspect. You value form over meaning?

    Bullshit. You seem decent, a philosopher, and rather alive... though perhaps rotting.

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    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
  12. Gustav Banned Banned

    i say
    who here denies the matrix?
    i say
  13. Gustav Banned Banned

    green is a softie
    granty thinks he is a badass
  14. Gustav Banned Banned



    do you read this guy?
  15. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

    No. It's that some meanings don't seem (sic!!!!!!) to contribute anything worthwhile to the conversation.

  16. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

    Awwww. Thanks.

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  17. Grantywanty Registered Senior Member

    No, under Wes' tutoring I now think I seem like a badass. This leaves more room for me to accept how sad and hurt reading your assessment of me made me feel.:bawl:
  18. Gustav Banned Banned

    /cries in empathy
  19. Grantywanty Registered Senior Member

    It was my guess that an assessment of unlikliness was at root, which to me is different from utility. It implies that you have a solid sense of what is likely. The shift from saying this is what is to this is what is likely still is a claim to contact with the real. The 'silly' idea does not fit what you think is. Or?

    As above. I think you rejected it because it did not fit what is.

    I find it hard to mesh Einstein's relativity with my experience.

    It's a humourous thought. I think the best approach would be to study you for a long time and then mimic your grammar and diction, and always make sure my ideas, humor, metaphors fit with yours. I might never fully convince you, but perhaps there would be a creepy feeling. To take you straight on with intellectual force - making no claims here - would be even funnier.


    Then my utility assessments are emotional. By the way, your wording hear was frighteningly like mine - seriously - now I'm getting weirded out.

    How about intuitively?
    Also, 'your mind'....? When you do it systematically, that wasn't 'your mind'?

    To me I read this as saying 'I can manage to think for a moment that it merely seems that way, but I sure as hell think 'it is'. As someone in communication with you which position should I take as yours? The one that thinks seems should qualify everything or the other one?

    I see a split between official policy and reality in relation to your position. Why should I listen to the part of you that thinks it is better to view things a certain way, when I find us in practical agreement about the use of is?

    Maybe there is a dirty window, sometimes, a rained on window, sometimes, very clean glass sometimes, no window at all sometimes and we are just looking at the yard. This fits my experience - and has more utility for me, though this is secondary, utitilty coming in in post mortems - much better than this uniform contact with seeming. I also have the ability to determine when I should stray towards seem constructions and when I can less caution fly and take it as 'is'.

    I think post-mortems and the unconscious knowledge they are coming can also undermine. It is certainly true when I face this on the outside. If my 'performance' is going to be under review in any of a number of contexts.

    And you have raised and issue and put it in your terms of effectiveness. Perhaps the degree of checking everything in your system is not as effectively placed as it could be. Perhaps you turn to many is's into seems and this is reducing your effectiveness. As far as I can tell there is nothing tentative about how you evaluate your system. When looking as the system you seem to know you can evaluate it correctly. When it comes to perceiving the world, then seems comes into play more, at least officially.
    Well as long as that isn't pejorative. I actually find that the observer is immersed and present - and I am so tired of these transcendant gods, even the ones I've made in my own head. Time for them to see what it's like on the front lines.

    It is an absolute lifestyle choice. It is an absolute mode of being in the world. Agnostism of any kind is as absolute a choice as belief or disbelief because it is a way of being. This may not be in disagreement with what you said, but I wanted to stress it. Her unsureness is part and parcel with a certain kind of life. When it shifts, so may her life - not that I am blaming her for his actions.

    Sure but I could probably set up a graph with levels of certainty related to your language use. You make some assessment of when you think you are more in contact with is and when it is more likely you are in contact with seems. These guys are far away, so you can jump to reasons - postmortem- for stating it in seems. As far a participation in the world, to simply call them pricks on the internet is an act - even if you have an automatic 'seems' light in your viewfinder. Which Wes should I believe?

    The philosophers' bane: reality. All philosophers should have children. Try 'it only seems like his nappies need changing' on a wife and 'is' will rear its medusa head.

    That is lucky. I feel like immersing myself in as if for long periods of time has taught me that I believe in some 'is'es I never suspected I would. The experiences involved all had to be appealing/interesting, but man where I have got me. That there were underlying 'disbeliefs' that I did not question with the same thoroughness as certain beliefs.

    The funny thing is that despite now believing in things not accepted by most people I am able to function quite easily. I just stay in the subset when necessary. The idea that I must disconnect permanently somehow has turned out to be wrong. In fact there is no disconnection. The breadth of my field of experience is greater now, but it has not eliminated what was experienced before. Sometimes it has shifted the meaning or context of that earlier smaller subset, but that is all.


    I think despite our appreciation I am going to take a little break. I just get the feeling that in the next round I will be stiff. If I come back later I will be able to respond more flexibly and in a way that focuses on my own understanding rather than on swaying you. And this is not out of moral concerns. Here I am choosing based on utility, though I'd be more likely to call it an evaluation of potential pleasure - more likely? I've never said such a thing in my life. OK. Not call it, but evaluate it that way. If you do respond soon I will scroll back in the thread and find it.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
  20. Gustav Banned Banned


    consciousness rests on the assumption that there is something to be conscious of. there is something that exists independent of this consciousness
  21. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

    Not necessarily. You noted you're in for semantics - so here we go:

    The above could also be:

    "The notion or concept of consciousness rests on the assumption that there is something to be conscious of.
    There is the notion or concept of the independent existence of this consciousness."
  22. Gustav Banned Banned

    notion/concept presupposes a consciousness. that we are; is irreducible. a fundamental axiom incapable of refutation
  23. Gustav Banned Banned

    time for a squeak


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