Trivialism.

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by just me, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. just me Registered Senior Member

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    all statements about non existence are self refuting.
    so everything exists.
    so everything is true and false.
     
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Why/how are they self-refuting?

    How does this follow?

    How does this follow?

    Let's go with an example.

    The Cosmic Unicorn, a swish of whose tail brought the universe into existence.
    Self-refuting?
    Exists?
    True and false?


    Perhaps you are mistaking the concept for the thing.
    The concept of TCU exists, in the minds of every reader here.

    But it does not follow that TCU itself exists. TCU - by definition - actually created the universe. It need not be true to be a concept.

    But concept is not existence. TCU has - as a precondition of its existence - that it actually (not merely conceptually) did create the universe.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    There is difference between the following two statements:
    1. The concept of X does not exist.
    2. X does not exist.

    As soon as you write down statement 1, the concept of X does exist. It exists in statement 1, if nowhere else. So, statement 1 refutes itself. But it does not follow that statement 2 refutes itself.

    Example:

    1. The concept of James R's seventh brother does not exist.
    2. James R's seventh brother does not exist.

    Clearly, as soon as you read statement 1 you form a picture in your mind of what my family would look like if I had a 7th brother, and more specifically what kind of "thing" would fill that "7th brother" slot in the mental image. So, statement 1 refutes itself.

    However, statement 2 does nothing to refute itself. To refute statement 2, you'd need to make a separate argument (perhaps based on evidence you collected) to show that, contrary to what the statement claims, James R does have a 7th brother. That could refute the statement, but the statement clearly does not refute itself. That is, statement 2 is not self-evidently false.

    My disproof is that, in fact, my 7th brother does not exist. The concept of my 7th brother exists (now), but not the actual brother. Therefore, it is not true that everything exists.

    In fact, it is not even true that every concept exists. Statement 1 refutes itself, but it does not refute any similar statements that could be made about other concepts.

    That conclusion does not follow in any logical way from anything that came before.
     
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  7. just me Registered Senior Member

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    they're self refuting because in order for anything to not exist it must be around to do so.
    everything exists follows because if all statements about non existence are self refuting then nothing can not exist so everything must.
    and all statements are true and false follows that because if everything exists,
    there must be a version of everything which exists as the object of every statement, and also a version of everything that does not exist as the object of any statement.

    conclusion 3 isn't really incredibly important though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  8. just me Registered Senior Member

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    300
    you must have a seventh brother, he's just not in this reality with you.
    there must obviously be a reality in which you don't have a seventh brother if everything exists.
    this is it.
    your seventh brother must exist because, no matter what, in order for him not to exist, he must be around to do so.
    if there's no seventh brother in existence to do the non existing, it can't happen.
    basically, non existence is not a state of existence.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I think I'll stick to this reality. You can have your own one if you like.

    That doesn't make any sense. But you already know that, right?
     
  10. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    That's self-contradictory.
     
  11. Halc Registered Senior Member

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    226
    The first statement, if valid, is self-refuted, therefore the next statement does not follow.
     
  12. just me Registered Senior Member

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    300
    all statements that say that something does not exist are self refuting I mean.
    your semantics are annoying.
     
  13. just me Registered Senior Member

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    that's the whole point.
     
  14. Halc Registered Senior Member

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    226
    I happen to hold a belief system that doesn't assign objective meaning to the verb 'to exist', so a given object (rock, unicorn, whatever) doesn't have a property of 'exists' or not.
    Hence, given this belief system, any statement that says X does not exist is meaningless, and not particularly self refuting.
    I'm describing a relational stance, in which 'exists' is meaningful only when expressed as a relation, much like existential quantification, such as A exists in relation to B.

    As for the main argument, DaveC426913 seems to have initially identified the flaw in your assertion: equivocation of concept for the thing, but I am actually pretty open to a stance that denies a difference between the two. Without the concept of apple, and partly without the language that identifies it with "apple", the apple doesn't appear to have a defined 'thingness'. No easy ding an sich so to speak.

    Your stance seems to be an idealistic one: To name the 7th brother (concept, language) necessarily brings about the reality of said brother. There is no distinction between concept and existent. To demonstrate the truth of your OP, you'd need to demonstrate the necessity of such a philosophy.
     
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    14,614
    You have outline only half the argument there.
    The other half of the argument is:

    With the concept of a ... fnord ... that does not mean that a 'fnord' has a defined existence. The concept does; the thing does not.
     
  16. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    2,051
    No restrictions set or standards for precision declared beforehand, so there's no accordingly "crime" committed in not making a distinction between one type of existence and another. Similar to how a bare and ambiguous category like "things that fly" isn't equipped to distinguish between birds and planes and kites.

    Each specific statement of "_X_ does not exist" is exhibiting internal conflict by espousing _X_ or substantiating its be-ing as a word/idea before then proceeding to deny it.

    Again, the proposal has created its own party to enter that's without a gatekeeper: No benchmark provided for cognitively discriminating "exist" into multiple species or different functions/contexts.

    There's potential existence for "everything" effable or representable by symbol existing in that manner, with respect to it entering existence once imagined, spoken, written, signed, etc. Doesn't necessarily apply until then (barring a four-dimensional view of time that renders impotent in status "now" and the latter's embedded conformity to the mere memory of a past and an expectation of a future).

    Not important because it's really just speculation: An add-on rather than something inherently falling out of the proposal.
     
  17. just me Registered Senior Member

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    300

    whether a thing is symbolically representable or not it still must exist in order to not exist.
    and this applies to all time frames also.
     
  18. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    2,051
    An appeal back to this, which acknowledges that your proposal has created its own party without a gatekeeper:

    No restrictions set or standards for precision declared beforehand, so there's no accordingly "crime" committed in not making a distinction between one type of existence and another. Similar to how a bare and ambiguous category like "things that fly" isn't equipped to distinguish between birds and planes and kites.
     
  19. just me Registered Senior Member

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    there are not different types of existence, a thing exists or it doesn't.
     
  20. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    You don't need to keep mentioning that you have set up a situation where existence is treated ambiguously in that manner. I'm not sure how anyone could have stopped you, barring precognitive abilities that foresaw you starting the thread, and thereby preempting such by establishing a standard for analyzing "existence" into subcategories.
     
  21. just me Registered Senior Member

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    300
    existence is not ambiguous, its just a broad term, as it refers to anything that is real in any way.
     

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