Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Spellbound, Aug 26, 2014.
Will you ever stop posting unadulterated nonsense?
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Spellbound's last reply to me consisted of this:
"Reality is an SCSPL", and
"reality is refined by telesis".
That looks to me like the cryptic words uttered by an ancient oracle. It certainly isn't philosophy, certainly not any philosophy that interests me.
I've pretty much given up doing that. If it looks like Spellbound's cut-and-pasting something (and most of what he posts is simply lifted from somewhere else), I'm increasingly inclined to just skim over it lightly. As I said, I can't typically understand Langan's peculiarly opaque writing-style (especially when it's being quoted out of context) and I don't want to be drawn into trying to 'interact' with people who aren't even present on Sciforums. (I have plenty of more interesting and comprehensible things to read on my e-reader already.)
Does anyone understand Langan? Does Langan make any attempt to write so as to be understood? (It almost looks like a game to me: He's supposed to be the world's-smartest-man, so if you don't understand him, then that just means that you're stupider than he is.)
Spellbound's seemingly most interested in Langan's "spiritual" conclusions and seems to me to treat Langan's words like Biblical proof-texts. Langan is Spellbound's chosen prophet and the conclusions are something akin to revelation, I guess. The actual reasoning process that might get somebody from initial alpha to the (supposedly) divine omega doesn't seem to really matter a whole lot, so long as the conclusions are suitably cosmic.
So to my eye all that we end up with is a string of oracular assertions, peculiarly impenetrable 'technical' vocabulary, speculations, analogies and non-sequiturs, capped off with amazing metaphysical conclusions produced like an illusionist pulling rabbits from a hat.
I'm certainly not impressed and increasingly I'm not even interested. These incessant threads do raise interesting philosophical issues from time to time, but restricting attention to what Langan says about them drains them of their interest. I rarely think that Langan's approach is the best way to address philosophical problems. (Or I tend to think that on the rare occasions when Langan's approach even makes sense to me.)
The first highlighted sentence says that "SCSPL" is a "meta-mathematical structure" (whatever that means) that's "isomorphic" to the universe. The second highlighted sentence seems to suggest that the "SCSPL" simply is the universe. That ambiguity needs more discussion.
So "SCSPL" being imagined as the perfect language, the language spoken by God when he speaks things into being?
'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.' (John 1:1.)
Is there any reason to imagine that such a divine language actually exists? And if it hypothetically did, wouldn't that language's propositions duplicate reality with a second "SCSPL" linguistic model that's 'identical' (perfectly isomorphic in every possible particular) with the first and more tangible reality? Or is the idea here to collapse the two together ontologically somehow and imagine that they are one and the same?
If we choose the second alternative, then why should we talk about 'isomorphism' and 'SCSPL' at all? Why not just call reality 'reality'? We would seem to have returned to where we began.
Because it makes sense. It is real.
Because calling reality 'reality' doesn't say much about it except as a tautology. It requires an entire logical framework.
This is a non sequitur.
All Queegs are Rox, and all Rox are Baudxs, so all Queegs are Baudxs. This makes sense. But none of what is explained is real.
So why do you think that "it makes sense" leads to "it is real"?
To do what, exactly? To reach the circular conclusion that reality is reality because we have assumed it from the outset?
The people who put up this Wiki supposedly do. By dodging Langan's style, perhaps that's why their search lexicon entries are a little more apprehensible. On one hand CTMU seems to be another information philosophy, like this overview of mainstream material applicable to that corner. But OTOH it clobbers-up its respectability in this day and age with claims of absolute truth, God, etc. Just as George Berkeley sort of planted the Greeks' eternal world of ideas in God, Langan seems to have crouched his own version of an intellectual / abstract level in an ultimate "mind"; with the physical / sensible layer arising macroscopically from such or supervening over that.
CTMU seems to be sported occasionally as bordering on being a philosophy of science, which accordingly dodges having any practical application except in terms of yet another interpretation of the issues / interests therein. From FAQS: "Is the CTMU a scientific theory? It would be better to say that the CTMU is a theory about science. Instead of being a mathematical description of specific observations (like all established scientific theories), it is a "metatheory" about the general relationship between theories and observations…i.e., about science or knowledge itself."
To the average person, much of scientific nomenclature (in the raw) also looks like techno-babble or a relative of legalese. And not every practioner is an obliging Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson type willing to provide mediation or encouragement. Academic-wise, in earlier decades there was an indolent preference to just tell a black kid or a female student that the physical sciences were over their head (something Tyson has brought-up many a time during interviews when asked about his younger days).
But what redeems the esoteric systems of signs and terminologies of science disciplines as representing truly legitimate circumstances is the results. The generalized affairs of philosophy, however, don't translate to technological achievements and cataloged data about the natural world (though its influences on and changes in society seem more palpable).
- - - footnotes - - -
 "Matter can be reduced to atoms, atoms can be reduced to subatomic particles, etc, etc. Eventually, if we keep reducing in this matter, we get to the most fundamental constituents of reality: information. The universe can be conceived as a vast arrangement of information: ones and zeros and the mathematical relationships between them. Since this is basically analogous to "content" and "grammar," the universe is thus conceived as a language. The thing about this particular language is that it is so tautological that it contains all of the conditions necessary for its own existence. The mere possibility of this language is enough to ensure that it generates itself. It is sort of like a self-executing algorithm that generates the mind in which the algorithm itself is known.
"Although this mind (God's mind) sits in knowledge of itself in an unchanging, eternal way, it contains within it all of the processes required for it to refine itself into existence out of nothingness. As such, consciousness is stratified: the bottom stratum is the all-knowing mind of God, and within this all-knowing mind of God is contained all of the more superficial strata of consciousness that are inherent in the creation process. In other words, God is aware of all the steps in its own creation. However, from the vantage point of these more superficial strata, the universe appears as a physical entity unfolding in physical space. Our human minds are pieces of these more superficial strata. To us, things look like they are still unfolding...." http://ctmucommunity.org/wiki/Beginner's_introduction
 George Berkeley:
The Three Dialogues -- "It must be owned that I entirely agree with what the holy Scripture saith, 'That in God we live and move and have our being.' But that we see things in His essence, after the manner above set forth, I am far from believing. Take here in brief my meaning: -- It is evident that the things I perceive are my own ideas, and that no idea can exist unless it be in a mind: nor is it less plain that these ideas or things by me perceived, either themselves or their archetypes, exist independently of my mind, since I know myself not to be their author, it being out of my power to determine at pleasure what particular ideas I shall be affected with upon opening my eyes or ears: they must therefore exist in some other Mind, whose Will it is they should be exhibited to me. [...] Mark it well; I do not say, I see things by perceiving that which represents them in the intelligible Substance of God. This I do not understand; but I say, the things by me perceived are known by the understanding, and produced by the will of an infinite Spirit"
Siris -- "But to conceive God to be the sentient Soul, of an animal, is altogether unworthy and absurd. There is no sense, nor sensory, nor any thing like a sense or sensory in God. Sense implies an impression from some other being, and denotes a dependence in the Soul which hath it. Sense is a passion, and passions imply imperfection. God knoweth all things, as pure mind or intellect, but nothing by sense, nor in nor through a sensory. Therefore to suppose a sensory of any kind, whether space or any other in God would be very wrong, and lead us into false conceptions of his nature. The presuming there was such a thing as real absolute uncreated space, seems to have occasioned that modern mistake. But this presumption was, without grounds.
"[...] The Pythagoreans and Platonians had a notion of the true system of the world. They allowed of mechanical principles, but actuated by soul or mind. They distinguished the primary qualities in bodies from the secondary, making the former to be physical causes, and they understood physical causes in a right sense. They saw that a mind infinite in power, unextended, indivisible, immortal, governed, connected and contained all things. They saw there was no such thing as real, absolute space. That mind, soul or spirit, truly and really exists. That bodies exist only in a secondary and dependent sense. That the soul is the place of forms; that the sensible qualities are to be regarded as acts only in the cause, and as passions in us. They accurately considered the differences of intellect, rational soul, and sensitive soul with their distinct acts of intellection, reasoning, and sensation; points wherein the Cartesians and their followers, who confider sensation as a mode of thinking, seem to have failed. They knew there was a subtle aether pervading the whole mass of corporeal beings, and which was itself actually moved and directed by a mind; and that physical causes were only instruments, or rather marks and signs."
"Anyway, having said all that, one problem I’ve noticed with extremely smart people is that they begin thinking that their one brain is actually more powerful than all the other brains around them combined. And Chris falls into this trap during the final video when he begins espousing the virtues of placing genetic controls on “human breeding”.
"People who wanted to have children would apply to make sure they have no diseases. Why do we have to do it through genetic engineering? Well, we have to let only the fit breed…. Freedom is not necessarily a right. It is a privilege that you have to earn. A lot of people abuse their freedom and that is something that people have to be trained not to do."
But who? Who does this training?
"Well, I’d be perfectly willing to do it myself. Just put me in charge.”
Yikes! Pretty scary stuff. Sounds like the precursor to Nazi Germany, or something from a Borg episode of Star Trek."===http://onemansblog.com/2007/11/06/smartest-man-in-the-world-has-diarrhea-of-the-mouth/
Langan, as well as the fanatical purveyors of Langanian metaphysics, should remember what Einstein said:
"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother."
Attributed to Einstein in Robyn Williams's Monsters and Bright Ideas (2000), anyway. The internet has since kept repeating it without an original citation. No source for the one he attributed to Feynman, either: "Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it." It's occasionally attributed to the book Mad About Physics, but that was published a year later.
If a statement about some x expressed in the supposedly-perfect and seemingly-divine 'SCSPL' language of creation ceases to merely be a linguistic representation of x and quite literally is x itself, then what sense remains in all the talk about linguistic 'isomorphism'? What is isomorphic to what?
We seem to be left saying that x is isomorphic to itself. There's your tautology. The whole idea of the 'SCSPL' language kind of evaporates in a puff of smoke and all we are left with is the x that we originally had before we even started thinking about linguistic representations of it.
(For any x, x = x.)
The whole 'SCSPL' idea kind of looks like slight-of-hand to me, a way to move the idea of linguistic representation into and then back out of the discussion, leaving the idea that reality is a language as the philosophical equivalent of the Cheshire-cat's grin from 'Alice'.
No. But, if there were one, it wouldn't be English Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
We do have a predilection for certain sounds. For example, which of the two words 'sounds' hard: (a) kiki or (b) boulba?
Most people pick (a). This suggests certain sounds became words because they 'feel' right. Evolution is interesting like that.
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Yes. It is real. It makes sense.
Not shown to be true.
Already shown to be untrue.
I see you're still reduced to parroting and repetition.
Are you suggesting you have empirical evidence for a "divine" language? Given there's no good evidence the divine is real, then no, it actually doesn't 'make sense'.
There's evidence our languages are partially 'hardwired'. Which is itself interesting. That's an evolutionary process though and has nothing at all to do with divinity. Many people who have never heard Japanese, as an example, will correctly 'guess' the meaning of a word they've never heard better than 50% of the time when given two options. But, the effect isn't as much as the kiki -vs- boulba example.
Which is man and which is woman?
Otoko -vs- On'na
Anyway, language is important, it does shape the way we perceive the world around us, we do have evolutionary evolved areas of the brain to deal with it (so natural selection has worked on it for awhile) and there's no good evidence it's divine.
Of course. There has been many accounts of people having had spiritual experiences.
Anecdotes are not evidence.
"Spiritual experiences" are not evidence of a "divine language".
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This is a fascinating read of Langan (by Richard Norman) for those of you who are curious. I have read some of it but in no particular order.
You're still using someone else's words/
Who is "Richard Norman" [sup]1[/sup]? Why should we take his opinion into account [sup]3[/sup]?
1 He's JAUNC [sup]2[/sup] (and surprisingly deficient in literacy for a published author [sup]4[/sup]).
2 Just Another Unscientific NutCase.
3 We shouldn't.
4 Presumably one more example of self-publishing and the "everyone's opinion is valid" crap so prevalent today.
Edit: Decided to re-post.
Separate names with a comma.