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A pragmatic approach: What is "real", and when is it actually useful to ask this? Options
 
Entropymancer
#1 Posted : 4/9/2010 8:10:01 PM

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[This thread was somewhat inspired by the "Is hyperspace real?" thread, but is sufficiently tangential that I figured I'd make a new topic instead of derailing the old one. The other inspiration was my musing on solipsism... though it cannot (to the best of my knowledge) be disproved logically, it's clearly not a practical approach to reality. I didn't want to fall into the trend of refuting it through dismissive name-calling (i.e. "It's an ugly philosophy" ), so I explored the nature of my objection to it... and came out with an interesting mode of thinking about what we mean by "real".]



Alright, so let's start with the basics:

What is "real"? Real is anything which has the attribute of "reality". And what is reality? Reality, in everyday usage, means the state of things as they actually exist (according to the Oxford English Dictionary). Of course, "exist" is a slippery term. It refers to things that are "real" regardless of our senses... things that we perceive which continue to be after we stop perceiving them as well as things which we have never perceived (some of which we have indirect knowledge of, and some of which are as-yet totally unknown to us). But of course we've already done ourselves in a loop defining reality in terms of existence, and existence in terms of reality.

Alright, so the question "what is real?" is difficult to pin down semantically. No problem! No matter how carefully we try to pin it down, different people will come away with different understandings of the word anyway, which leads to different criteria for asserting a thing to be real, which leads to disagreement. At this point we'll part ways with any attempt to define the word... whatever intuitive understanding you have of "real" will be sufficient. Instead we'll take a more pragmatic approach that isn't susceptible to those semantic pitfalls. From this perspective, the question becomes: "In what circumstances is it functionally useful to denote a thing as real?"


Taking this pragmatic approach out for a spin, solipsism is as good a place as any to begin. Any question of reality eventually gets mired in the bog of solipsism, so let's just tackle it head-on. Solipsism is the idea that only one's own mind/thoughts can be certain to exist; to claim knowledge of anything external to our thoughts is unjustified. And hey, why don't we kill two birds with one stone and treat Kantian idealism here too. The difference between solipsism and Kant's philosophy of idealism is that Kant acknowledges stimuli coming from an external source, but says that we can never know anything about the nature of that source (the "noumenon", the "thing in itself"/"ding an sich" ), we can only know it through our own experience/mind/thoughts... essentially relegating any autonomous reality to the realm of the unknowable.

And of course taking a fully skeptical approach, you cannot really object to these claims. Our experience is inherently subjective. To know absolutely that "objective reality" or "consensus reality" is a thing with autonomous existence is not technically possible. But from a pragmatic standpoint, that isn't relevant. If I kill someone in front of a police officer, I will go to jail; if I drop a 5 kg sphere and 50 kg sphere from the same height at the same time, they will hit the ground at the same time. I can't simply change physical constant by willing them to change. If I examine the behavior of light and mirrors, it will behave in accordance with quantum electrodynamics (and did so even before I knew what quantum electrodynamics was!). So regardless of whether we can definitively establish there to be an objective reality outside of our subjective experience, it's still pragmatic to regard it as real, because it has predictive value that is valuable to informing our subjective experience.

This should illustrate what I mean by approaching the question pragmatically. Regardless of whether I can establish a thing to be real, there are cases where it is functionally useful to regard it as real, because the subjective consequences are consistent with the "reality" to a high degree of accuracy.


But what about things that we can't prove the reality of which aren't functionally useful. To explore this notion, let's take a look at string theory. String theory is a very elegant field of mathematics that could potentially be the explanation that underlies the behavior of everything. But even though string theory is tremendously elegant, and is consistent with everything we know about the behavior of the universe, it has no practical predictive value. At present, no experiments can be set up to confirm or deny string theory. For this reason, it is not functionally pragmatic to regard string theory as real at present.

Of course, there are physicists who believe in string theory. This can have two primary valuable consequences as far as I can see. The first value is that they may seek to find testable consequences that would give the theory predictive value. This is a functional benefit to the extent that if predictive value can be established, it becomes functionally pragmatic to regard string theory as real... but it is not necessary to regard string theory as real in order to seek testable hypotheses from it; one can just as well be neutral, or even anti-string theory, to seek to establish its predictive value. So it's not useful to regard this as a valuable consequence of believing in string theory per se. The other valuable consequence is aesthetic. Considering the sheer elegance of the universe in light of string theory can engender the sort of awe and wonder which most of us are familiar with through the psychedelic experience. This sort of aesthetic consequence can have great subjective value to the individual... but it is not necessary to regard string theory as true to appreciate these aesthetic ramifications. Therefore I'd argue that it is not functionally pragmatic to regard string theory as "real" at the present time. Certainly we can regard things as "aesthetically real", but that's equivalent to simply saying that the thing is beautiful. The value of a thing being "aesthetically real" is not predicated on the notion of regarding the thing as explicitly true.


It is in this light that I would consider the "reality" of hyperspace from a pragmatic approach. Is there any functional value in regarding hyperspace as "real"? Is there any benefit from it that is predicated on the notion that it has a true autonomous existence? Certainly it has aesthetic value; regarding it as "aesthetically real" (aka beautiful) can inspire awe and wonder. It has the value of allowing for creative thought and self-examination... but the functional benefits of this (what is frequently regarded as the "healing benefits" of psychedelics) are not necessarily predicated on the notion that there is an autonomous reality to the experience... the functional value comes only through reconciling the thoughts/ideas/reflections with our thoughts, behaviors, and interactions. Put another way, the functional value is the same whether you regard the hyperspace realm as literally real having an existence autonomous of your mind, or whether you regard it as a chemically-induced distortion of perception in your neural circuitry. From a pragmatic perspective, there is no functional benefit to regarding hyperspace as "functionally real" instead of "aesthetically real".

Of course, if hyperspace could be established to have its own autonomous existence, there could be functional benefits... but it isn't necessary to start out regarding hyperspace as functionally real to investigate that hypothesis. So I guess what I'm saying is that I don't feel the need to regard hyperspace as either being functionally real or not being functionally real. It's simply not a useful question to my mind; the answer to the question currently has no practical consequences, therefore it's more useful to regard it in aesthetic terms.

But I do think that if people insist on arguing about whether or not it's real, the conversation/debate really cannot progress beyond a very shallow level unless the meaning of the question is defined.





Just some stray thoughts that have been bouncing around my head.
 

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polytrip
#2 Posted : 4/9/2010 9:59:16 PM
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I completely agree with all of the above. On numerous occasions i've been trying to argue in favor of this pragmatic view, but as always completely in vain once the discussion on 'what's real' has evolved to the level where burnt and his opponents have dug themselves into a verbal trenchwar.

I predict that the same thing will happen here.

There will be those who start to put forth propositions that elves are real and that aliens have created our species as a genetic experiment and that 2012 an evolutionary shift in counsciousnous will occur due our pineal gland starting to do that 'you-know-what' thing and that everybody who refutes the existence of elves will be proven to be shortsighted and of a lower spiritual level and just plainly wrong, etc.

And than burnt, benzyme or somebody likeminded will respond, saying that science is the only true thing.

And that will perpetuate itself untill everybody get's bored of it. And than it will start again in yet another thread.

It's a never ending cycle. Like day and night.

Fortunately 2012 will come quickly, so i'm confident that after that everybody will focus all his hopes on yet another sacred calender, or to quote the great morpheus (the one from the matrix) 'some things change and some things don't'.
 
gibran2
#3 Posted : 4/9/2010 10:00:25 PM

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I’m not sure, but you seem to define “functionally real” as a reality that has “predictive value that is valuable to informing our subjective experience.” You seem to suggest that a reality that has no predictive value may have aesthetic appeal, but little or no other value, and therefore whether or not one believes in this “aesthetic” reality is inconsequential.

But you seem to forget the human part of the equation. Our beliefs affect us. Our beliefs influence how we feel, what we think, how we relate to the world, to ourselves, and to other people. Our beliefs influence our behavior, what we choose to do, how we live our lives.

If you believe that you’re loved, you will feel, think, and act differently than you would otherwise. Yet where is the predictive value in this belief?

Unless hyperspace elves start handing over schematics for inter-galactic rocket ships, or octopoid soothsayers tell you tomorrow’s winning lottery numbers, I agree that belief in the reality of an immaterial realm has no base utilitarian value. But that’s not why I go there, and that’s not why I believe.
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Entropymancer
#4 Posted : 4/9/2010 10:21:51 PM

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gibran2 wrote:
If you believe that you’re loved, you will feel, think, and act differently than you would otherwise. Yet where is the predictive value in this belief?

Unless hyperspace elves start handing over schematics for inter-galactic rocket ships, or octopoid soothsayers tell you tomorrow’s winning lottery numbers, I agree that belief in the reality of an immaterial realm has no base utilitarian value. But that’s not why I go there, and that’s not why I believe.


I tried to cover that in the bits about string theory and hyperspace. Of course the belief that you're loved is beneficial... but the benefits are not predicated on the reality of the notion. If you believe you're loved, you receive the same benefits from this belief regardless of whether anyone actually loves you. That puts it in a different category of reality than a belief with functional utility.

Likewise with hyperspace, I'm with you: I don't go there because of its utilitarian value. I go there because of the personal value and benefits that I get from the experience. These benefits are not contingent upon hyperspace being autonomously existent. Thus it's in a different category of reality, what I termed "aesthetic reality".

I'm not in any way saying that such "aesthetic realities" have no value... quite the opposite! All I'm saying is that trying to categorize them in terms of functional reality is (at least at present) essentially meaningless. We don't currently have the means to investigate the claim, and the value comes irrespective of the answer.

I'm in no way trying to answer the question of hyperspace, merely sharing a different framework for thinking about the idea.
 
headphoneperson
#5 Posted : 4/9/2010 11:17:40 PM

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Very well said, Entropymancer. I have been thinking along these lines myself lately (though perhaps not as eloquently).

In particular...

Entropymancer wrote:
So regardless of whether we can definitively establish there to be an objective reality outside of our subjective experience, it's still pragmatic to regard it as real, because it has predictive value that is valuable to informing our subjective experience.


I once heard Terrence McKenna say something to the effect that "Any self-consistent world-view is just as valid as any other." And this has bothered me ever since because I think it grossly confuses reliability with validity. It is true that a self-consistent world-view is reliable in that it generates consistent (self-consistent) answers. String theory is indeed a good example. It is relatively self-consistent. But this is a far different thing than validity. Validity is the degree to which a world-view or system of thought is in accord with observation -- the degree to which it predicts consequences.

As another example, Ptolemy's system was internally consistent and reliable as world-views go, but its validity, its predictive accuracy, was wildly outstripped by what Keppler (via Copernicus) proposed. Same with the predictive validity of General Relativity when compared to Newtonian Mechanics. The 'reality' of such systems is based entirely upon the degree to which they are in accord with observation. If string theory is ever able to make predictions of observable phenomena with greater accuracy than relativity and quantum mechanics, then the validity of string theory will finally be established and it will become 'real' in a sense. In the same way, General Relativity and quantum mechanics will become less 'real', the way Ptolemy's system ultimately did, having been usurped by a predictive model -- world-view -- that has greater predictive validity.

There is no predictive validity in positing that hyperspace is anywhere but in my head, just as there is no predictive utility in positing that my belief that I am loved is anywhere but in my head. It is real in the sense that it is in my head (it could be correlated with neuronal activity), but that is as far as it goes.

Anyway, appreciate your lucidity on this, and the opportunity to muse.


~ hpp
 
tatt
#6 Posted : 4/10/2010 1:22:14 AM

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polytrip wrote:
I completely agree with all of the above. On numerous occasions i've been trying to argue in favor of this pragmatic view, but as always completely in vain once the discussion on 'what's real' has evolved to the level where burnt and his opponents have dug themselves into a verbal trenchwar.

I predict that the same thing will happen here.

There will be those who start to put forth propositions that elves are real and that aliens have created our species as a genetic experiment and that 2012 an evolutionary shift in counsciousnous will occur due our pineal gland starting to do that 'you-know-what' thing and that everybody who refutes the existence of elves will be proven to be shortsighted and of a lower spiritual level and just plainly wrong, etc.

And than burnt, benzyme or somebody likeminded will respond, saying that science is the only true thing.

And that will perpetuate itself untill everybody get's bored of it. And than it will start again in yet another thread.

It's a never ending cycle. Like day and night.

Fortunately 2012 will come quickly, so i'm confident that after that everybody will focus all his hopes on yet another sacred calender, or to quote the great morpheus (the one from the matrix) 'some things change and some things don't'.


Nicely said polytrip. Laughing


At the same time I understand burnt and several other people on this forum that dedicate their lives to the field of science. And the fact that they want to have organized discussions regarding these entheogens and their applications for the human mind and so on.

But one way or another, things always get "turned up a notch" so to speak hehe.
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azrael
#7 Posted : 4/10/2010 7:15:37 AM
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Utility of any theory may only be verified by exploration of its possibility.

When application is not an immediate option, it does not preclude it from ever being an option. (see: Fission)


1) Assume [ ] is real, then what?

2) Assume [ ] is not real, then what?

Debating 1 vs 2 can be entertaining, but is limiting. The "then what?" of each option is far more interesting.


Why are we here? For another pissing contest?
 
polytrip
#8 Posted : 4/10/2010 8:51:04 AM
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Well...First of all i want to sincerely apologize for the negativity that i poored into this promising thread.

Aparently i've been so frustrated in waiting for words like those of entropymancer that when finally somebody so eloquentely made this in my view innevitable point, all i got to offer was negativity.

The thing is: i just don't see how anybody could not agree with what entropymancer said at the beginning of the thread. I just don't get it..how anybody could reject it without at the same time rejecting this whole life, this whole planet we live on.

There are many ways in wich people can be fundamentalist but i guess that we're all fundamentalists in some way.

The most harmless way of being a fundamentalist, as far as i can see, is by letting the foundations of your views and biasses at least be in thís world we can see, instead of in some eathirical possibility no-one can know of.
Because relying on thís world, even when there's still the option that it's just a dreamt world or worse (the matrix or cartesian demon), at least gives sóme chance of verification, wich especially when you're wrong about something (let's say wheapons of mass destruction in some desertplace or the great jewish conspiracy to rule our world and steal our money) can matter a great deal.

That's what set's the mullah's in iran apart from us: they can never be corrected, they can never be proven wrong, because the whole world they base their views on is by definition beyon our reach.

So in the end daring to be vulnerable to critisism, daring to let the foundations upon wich you might base justifications for even a war in the worst case, or putting people behing bars, daring to let those foundations be visible to anybody's naked eye is also a matter of civilization, of humanity.

And our hyperspace is just as eatherical as the place where marters get paid in 72 virgins or dried grapes after blowing themselves up for no other selfish reason than to be a marter.

So even if i might be just as passionate about our hyperspace as the marters of the one and only true god are about their's.

I still prefer THIS world above it.
 
burnt
#9 Posted : 4/10/2010 1:58:32 PM

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I want just as much as anyone to move past "i say the elves aren't real you say they are real" debates. The inability to get past this has often led me to take breaks from the cite as it got too frustrating and turned into a waste of time.

My problem has been that whenever we try to have a serious discussion about dmt and other psychedelics someone brings up a philosophical argument like solipsism and uses it as an excuse to validate a belief in anything they want. Solipsism is not falsifiable and completely uninteresting when trying to understand the world around you. If its all a dream who cares? Honestly if it has no effect on anything whether or not its true then why even discuss it?

There are plenty of far more interesting things to discuss. I honestly think people are afraid of where the evidence may lead them and thus react negatively towards anyone with a "materialistic" "western" "scientific" world view.



 
gibran2
#10 Posted : 4/10/2010 3:03:40 PM

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I enjoy these discussions for the most part, but they do get tiresome. I try to always keep in mind the difference between the pragmatic factual world that we are in right now and the speculative, sometimes imaginative worlds that we discuss. I try to remain clear about what I know to be true about consensus reality and what I believe to be true about the “immaterial realm”.

I find statements such as “I believe that hyperspace is a real place” or “I strongly believe that hyperspace is a product of the mind” to be perfectly reasonable and rational. But “I know that hyperspace is realer than this reality” or “I’m certain and can prove that hyperspace is a fantasy” are statements that are neither reasonable nor rational.

If we’re looking for proof to show the truth of either belief, we’re not going to find it. At least not yet. Here’s a nice quote:
Stanislav Grof, M.D. wrote:
According to Western neuroscience, consciousness is an epiphenomenon of matter, a product of the physiological processes in the brain, and thus critically dependent on the body. The death of the body, particularly of the brain, is then seen as the absolute end of any form of conscious activity. Belief in the posthumous journey of the soul, afterlife, or reincarnation is usually ridiculed as a product of wishful thinking of people who are unable to accept the obvious biological imperative of death, the absolute nature of which has been scientifically proven beyond any reasonable doubt. Very few people, including most scientists, realize that we have absolutely no proof that consciousness is actually produced by the brain and not even a remote notion how something like that could possibly happen. In spite of it, this basic metaphysical assumption remains one of the leading myths of Western materialistic science and has profound influence on our entire society.


polytrip wrote:
…And our hyperspace is just as eatherical as the place where marters get paid in 72 virgins or dried grapes after blowing themselves up for no other selfish reason than to be a marter.

Not true at all! Martyrs belief in a heaven with 72 virgins is based on what they are told by others and what they want to believe to justify their immoral actions. Many who believe in the immaterial realm presented to them during a DMT experience base their beliefs on direct experience.

burnt wrote:
…My problem has been that whenever we try to have a serious discussion about dmt and other psychedelics someone brings up a philosophical argument like solipsism and uses it as an excuse to validate a belief in anything they want. Solipsism is not falsifiable and completely uninteresting when trying to understand the world around you. If its all a dream who cares? Honestly if it has no effect on anything whether or not its true then why even discuss it?

There are plenty of far more interesting things to discuss. I honestly think people are afraid of where the evidence may lead them and thus react negatively towards anyone with a "materialistic" "western" "scientific" world view.

Beliefs don’t require validation. People are free to believe whatever they want. We may not share their beliefs, but as long as their beliefs are harmless, how do their beliefs affect us?

Do you ever read science fiction or any fiction? If so, I assume you find it interesting and entertaining. The content is obviously not real, yet it is still interesting and still capable of telling us something about the human condition. That’s why discussing the reality vs. non-reality of DMT experiences can have value. The value isn’t in the ultimate answer, but rather in what we can learn about others and ourselves.
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burnt
#11 Posted : 4/10/2010 3:31:15 PM

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False beliefs plague our world cause violence hatred and division among peoples. So it does matter what people believe. People are free to believe whatever they want. But once they open their mouths they are just as free to be critisized for it.

Grof has nothing of value to add to these matters.

 
gibran2
#12 Posted : 4/10/2010 4:51:06 PM

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burnt dismissively wrote:
False beliefs plague our world cause violence hatred and division among peoples. So it does matter what people believe. People are free to believe whatever they want. But once they open their mouths they are just as free to be critisized for it.

Grof has nothing of value to add to these matters.


Most human action begins as a belief, an idea. So yes, violence, hatred, and division are often borne of beliefs. But so are love, compassion, and union. In this sense, beliefs are neutral, neither good nor evil. Beliefs have no direct effect on the world. Behavior and actions have direct effects, but beliefs do not.

Some of us choose to criticize others for the beliefs they hold. Personally, I try not to.

In order to become a physician, Stanislav Grof was required to study chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, psychology, etc. etc. It’s quite likely that his scientific training exceeds that of most if not all members of this forum. And his professional research work with psychedelics, combined with his training as a scientist, puts him in a rather unique position. So if he has nothing of value to add to our discussion, then who does?
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burnt
#13 Posted : 4/10/2010 5:06:14 PM

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Quote:
In order to become a physician, Stanislav Grof was required to study chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, psychology, etc. etc. It’s quite likely that his scientific training exceeds that of most if not all members of this forum. And his professional research work with psychedelics, combined with his training as a scientist, puts him in a rather unique position. So if he has nothing of value to add to our discussion, then who does?


Yes and he also fully believes in this 2012 nonsense. Sorry I just can't take him seriously. I've seen him talk and he was really not interesting. He droned on about how he thought birth "trama" was responsible for human violence and the way to overcome it is to meditate or take psychedelics. His theories border on rediculuous sometimes. I expected him to be smarter I guess but now I see him more as someone who did some interesting work in the past but then got lost in too much mystical nonsense.

Anyway on topic..

Quote:
Most human action begins as a belief, an idea. So yes, violence, hatred, and division are often borne of beliefs. But so are love, compassion, and union. In this sense, beliefs are neutral, neither good nor evil. Beliefs have no direct effect on the world. Behavior and actions have direct effects, but beliefs do not.


Violence is an action. Love and hate are emotions. They happen to use regardless of what we believes. Although our beliefs can lead to more or less of any particular emotion.

Quote:
Some of us choose to criticize others for the beliefs they hold. Personally, I try not to.


People should be criticized and questioned when their beliefs are dangerous or nonsensical. If no one criticized others and their beliefs the world would be a much shittier place. I am used to being criticized and having others criticise me and thats fine I think it helps us learn. Being mean for no reason is not what I am advocating. Rather reason in the face of absurdity.

 
gibran2
#14 Posted : 4/10/2010 5:31:05 PM

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burnt contradictorily wrote:
Violence is an action. Love and hate are emotions. They happen to use regardless of what we believes. Although our beliefs can lead to more or less of any particular emotion

I used the example of “hate” from your prior statement, but to be more clear:
Providing food for the hungry is an action, marching in a civil rights protest is an action, organizing a labor union is an action, providing medical treatment for the sick and injured is an action, building homes for the homeless is an action. I could go on, but the point is that beliefs can lead people to do good in the world.

burnt angrily wrote:
People should be criticized and questioned when their beliefs are dangerous or nonsensical. If no one criticized others and their beliefs the world would be a much shittier place. I am used to being criticized and having others criticise me and thats fine I think it helps us learn. Being mean for no reason is not what I am advocating. Rather reason in the face of absurdity.

As you should know, people seldom change their beliefs in response to criticism of them. In fact, many people become defensive and irrationally cling to their beliefs when attacked. If criticism is as effective as you seem to think it is, wouldn’t your beliefs have changed by now?
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polytrip
#15 Posted : 4/10/2010 7:16:51 PM
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Entropymancer wrote:
[This thread was somewhat inspired by the "Is hyperspace real?" thread, but is sufficiently tangential that I figured I'd make a new topic instead of derailing the old one. The other inspiration was my musing on solipsism... though it cannot (to the best of my knowledge) be disproved logically, it's clearly not a practical approach to reality. I didn't want to fall into the trend of refuting it through dismissive name-calling (i.e. "It's an ugly philosophy" ), so I explored the nature of my objection to it... and came out with an interesting mode of thinking about what we mean by "real".]

You say that solipsism can't be disproved logically. But considering what 'logic' is, or rather, that there is no single logic system, there are logic's or meta-logical systems possible in wich it could be disproven, you just more or less laid the foundation here for disproving it by refering to the scope of the word 'real' wich is also the key to the scope of the meta-logical system wich disproves solipsism.

What you say is more or less that solipsism isn't logically valid HERE, if you consider everything HERE. And with that you disproven it since anything not-here cannot have any truth-value here, wich is where we cannot do without.

That leaves the consequences of anything falling under the scope of 'real' as in HERE to be logically equivalent to an axiom in the here and now.

This might seem circular, but the point is that one starting point of the 'circle' is simple constitutive of our reality here, so it cannot ever be justified, but it cannot ever be an objection that it can't be justified either, since 'justification' itself emerges out of the constitutive element.

The reason that it is an axiom instead of just another dogma, is it's very pragmatic value. An axiom is a dogma that is from within a system from wich we cannot escape, innevitable.
 
polytrip
#16 Posted : 4/10/2010 7:31:18 PM
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eventually we're getting somewhere. Just the muddy roads leading to it can be a bit tiresome occasionally.
 
Saidin
#17 Posted : 4/10/2010 8:50:15 PM

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burnt wrote:
I honestly think people are afraid of where the evidence may lead them and thus react negatively towards anyone with a "materialistic" "western" "scientific" world view.


Ahh, the classic materialist death anxiety argument. It must be true because people are afraid of its implications...please. People react to the classic sicentific worldview negatively for a variety of different reasons, some based on fear, some based on evidence, some based on lack of evidence.

If one worldview were the undenyable truth, we wouldn't be having these conversations.
What, you ask, was the beginning of it all?
And it is this...

Existence that multiplied itself
For sheer delight of being
And plunged into numberless trillions of forms
So that it might
Find
Itself
Innumerably.
-Sri Aubobindo

Saidin is a fictional character, and only exists in the collective unconscious. Therefore, we both do and do not exist. Everything is made up as we go along, and none of it is real.
 
cellux
#18 Posted : 4/10/2010 8:54:22 PM

DMT-Nexus member


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Entropymancer, you are an incredible mind-cleaner. Grats.
 
gibran2
#19 Posted : 4/10/2010 8:58:30 PM

Being

Salvia divinorum expertSenior Member

Posts: 3332
Joined: 04-Mar-2010
Last visit: 09-Nov-2019
Fiashly wrote:
…So the question is, does affording a view that hyperspace is literally real, benefit the believer and society (in other words does it have functional benefit) or does it harm the believer and society? And the unsatisfactory but nevertheless true answer to that question is that it depends on which individual you are talking about.

Finally, someone has gotten to the heart of the matter! I’d also add the converse: “Does affording a view that hyperspace is NOT real, benefit the believer and society (in other words does it have functional benefit) or does it harm the believer and society?”

The answer is the same, and I don’t find it to be unsatisfactory at all.


Edit:
For anyone interested in a philosophically rigorous description of the term “belief”, take a look at this: Belief (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
gibran2 is a fictional character. Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental.
 
Saidin
#20 Posted : 4/11/2010 12:39:55 AM

Sun Dragon

Senior Member | Skills: Aquaponics, Channeling, Spirituality, Past Life Regression Hypnosis

Posts: 1320
Joined: 30-Jan-2008
Last visit: 13-May-2019
Location: In between my thoughts
Who has not been changed after a psychedelic experience?

Whether it is functionally real or asethetically real is irrelevant because in the end both have functionally real consequences. Our reactions and emotions related to any state of being have just as much validity to the self as any outside stimulii. Our perceptions are forever changing, we look at the world in a slightly different way after each teaching.

What about abstract concepts such as time? Is that functionally or asethetically real? Or neither since it is relative?
Interesting discussion...
What, you ask, was the beginning of it all?
And it is this...

Existence that multiplied itself
For sheer delight of being
And plunged into numberless trillions of forms
So that it might
Find
Itself
Innumerably.
-Sri Aubobindo

Saidin is a fictional character, and only exists in the collective unconscious. Therefore, we both do and do not exist. Everything is made up as we go along, and none of it is real.
 
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