The Reasoning Show - Miscellaneous Discussion

Some partial backups of posts from the past (Feb, 2004)

Postby vicdan » Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:57 am

Unidian wrote:No, he thinks he understands it.
Exactly. He thinks he does -- just as Falwell is sure you and I are satan's pawns who reject the salvation of Jesus out of the wickedness of our hearts, and out of our hatred and fear of god's truth and grace.
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Postby David Quinn » Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:57 am

You're not difficult to understand. You're two guys who escape the larger consciousness of the Infinite by burying your heads in various trivial realms. The only real difference is that you, Victor, don't have any inkling of this larger consciousness - years of being fully immersed in the empirical mindset has washed all possibility of that away - whereas Nat does have an inkling of it, but is afraid of it.

As to precisely what trivial realms you have decided to immerse yourselves in - whether it be 20th century philosophy, postmodernism, mindless Taoism, empirical uncertainties, etc - that is immaterial. I couldn't care less about it.

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Postby vicdan » Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:58 am

hahaha, can I call 'em or what? :D
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Postby David Quinn » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:01 pm

It's the truth.

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Postby Philosophaster » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:07 pm

Hehe.
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Postby Unidian » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:14 pm

David Quinn wrote:You're not difficult to understand. You're two guys who escape the larger consciousness of the Infinite by burying your heads in various trivial realms.


Yeah, but those "various trivial realms" are the very substance of this Infinite you are talking about.

Nagarjuna wrote:Samsara is nirvana, Nirvana is samsara.


The Heart Sutra wrote:Emptiness is form, form is emptiness.


Some Zen guy wrote:Chop wood, carry water.


The only Infinite beyond that comprised by the "various trivial realms" (the "ten thousand things" in Tao-speak) is the conceptual one in your head. The Tao that can be told (the conceptual one) is not the true Tao. Line one, chapter one, Tao Te Ching. Bang. <blows smoke away from gun barrel>

At least regular religious people pay attention to their scriptures, David. You are like Falwell's evil clone who re-writes the Bible as a cookbook.

The only real difference is that you, Victor, don't have any inkling of this larger consciousness - years of being fully immersed in the empirical mindset has washed all possibility of that away - whereas Nat does have an inkling of it, but is afraid of it.


As I said, that's correct. I'm very afraid of becoming a religious person with The One True Pathâ„¢ and all of that. I've explored that avenue at various times in the past and found it got me into trouble. Luckily, I always managed to escape in the nick of time, mostly because people like Victor would kick the shit out of me continually while I was doing it.

As to precisely what trivial realms you have decided to immerse yourselves in - whether it be 20th century philosophy, postmodernism, mindless Taoism, empirical uncertainties, etc - that is immaterial. I couldn't care less about it.


I know. For you, daily life and the human experience are trivial realms. Only the Lofty Truth that exists in your own mind is worthy of your attention. You live in a self-made one man religious world.
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Postby David Quinn » Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:17 pm

Nat,

DQ: You're not difficult to understand. You're two guys who escape the larger consciousness of the Infinite by burying your heads in various trivial realms.

N: Yeah, but those "various trivial realms" are the very substance of this Infinite you are talking about.

So is taking sedatives and counting blades of grass.


I'm very afraid of becoming a religious person with The One True Pathâ„¢ and all of that.

Well, you're already that, as evidenced by your throwing the first line of Tao Te Ching scripture at me as though it was the final word. So that's not the issue. The issue is whether the One True Path you are traveling is in fact the path outlined by the sages, or whether it is the path of common empiricism, postmodernism and mindless living in the now.


I've explored that avenue at various times in the past and found it got me into trouble. Luckily, I always managed to escape in the nick of time, mostly because people like Victor would kick the shit out of me continually while I was doing it.

I would be impressed if it was a Kierkegaard or a Hakuin who succeeded in kicking the shit out of you, but Victor? Come on, he's just a pussy cat. He's basically a public servant, a bureaucrat, for modern academic thinking. The only way someone like that could do any damage is if you don't have a good intellectual understanding of things and a strong connection to the Infinite to begin with. Or if you were already inwardly begging to be kicked in this way.

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Postby Unidian » Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:48 pm

David Quinn wrote:Well, you're already that, as evidenced by your throwing the first line of Tao Te Ching scripture at me as though it was the final word. So that's not the issue. The issue is whether the One True Path you are traveling is in fact the path outlined by the sages, or whether it is the path of common empiricism, postmodernism and mindless living in the now.


I mention the TTC because I think it is a useful psychological tool, and since you claim to represent Taoism, it's appropriate to refer to Taoist writings. The issue here is whether your religious views are consistent with the sources you claim for them. Given that the Taoism of Lao and Chuang Tzu is relativist and feminist while you are absolutist and anti-feminist (among other glaring differences), I think the issue is all but resolved outside Genius Forum, but hey...

I would be impressed if it was a Kierkegaard or a Hakuin who succeeded in kicking the shit out of you, but Victor? Come on, he's just a pussy cat.


To people with no intellectual conscience, who care only about propping up their existing belief system or self-image, I'd agree he is quite harmless. Neither he or anyone else has anything capable of touching that. But if one is actually concerned with reasoning in a meaningful manner rather than simply proclaiming things at random, he can be a useful critical resource.

He's basically a public servant, a bureaucrat, for modern academic thinking. The only way someone like that could do any damage is if you don't have a good intellectual understanding of things and a strong connection to the Infinite to begin with.


In matters of spirituality, a "strong connection to the Infinite" depends on letting go of "a good intellectual understanding of things," namely these meaningless sticky-buns concepts such as "ultimate reality," "absolute truth," etc. That is the message I see in Taoism and Zen. You see the opposite message. One of us is wrong. I think you know what a poll of experts would say about the matter, but we also know that experts aren't experts in your world. So, just like any other religionist, there's no arguing with you.

Or if you were already inwardly begging to be kicked in this way.


I'm inwardly and outwardly begging to be kicked when I'm getting involved in something stupid, like religious salvationism. And I don't just mean that I'm implicity begging to be kicked, I mean I'm consciously requesting it right here in writing. Criticism can be very unpleasant due to the nature of the ego, but without criticism, we have no means of course correction. When we are sheltered from criticism, all kinds of ugly things can happen. Worse yet, when we become immune to criticism through self-reinforcing beliefs, we turn into you.
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Postby Kevin Solway » Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:28 pm

To me, all the above just looks like a cat-fight - and pointless. There's more name-calling than anything else.
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Postby Unidian » Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:30 pm

Not totally pointless. There's an audience that may get some entertainment or possibly some insight from it. More likely just the former, but there's nothing wrong with that.
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Postby Dan Rowden » Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:53 pm

I think that requires some qualification. Entertainment is not automatically benign.
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Postby Jason » Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:07 pm

Victor, David and others, perhaps it should be noted that "A=A" as QSR imagine it, is just another way to describe "A". It is expanded to this form, as far as I understand, for ease of communication and/or comprehension rather than to comply with formal logic. Or did I get it wrong? Discuss.
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Postby Dan Rowden » Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:13 pm

I think eveyone here knows that A=A is a way to express identity, which could indeed be expressed with just "A" - or any symbol whatever. The real point is that identity is not a stand alone axiom with respect to logical consequence (it's not even really an axiom for God's sake). Identity and non-contradiction are inseperable. The one is not possible without the other as each necessitates the other via the simple fact that no thing exists of itself. Thingness (identity) requires relation and therefore non-contradiction already exists in the recognition of identity.
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Postby Jason » Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:23 pm

Jason wrote:Are you implying that you have somehow calculated/derived the probability that a correct absolute claim could exist?

vicdan wrote:No.

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vicdan to David wrote:I fucking worship truth. I just refuse to delude myself, and so I refuse to believe your delusion that Truth is achievable.

Should I be seeing a contradiction there Victor?
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Postby Unidian » Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:33 pm

No, because one doesn't have to rule out the possibility of absolute truth existing to lack belief in its existence. It's exactly the same deal with atheism - nobody can say for certain that god doesn't exist, because you can't prove the negative. But in the absence of compelling evidence that god exists, the rational thing is to lack belief in it.

In order to be an atheist, one doesn't have to refute every conceivable piece of evidence for god. One just has to refute the ones he is confronted with. I'm sure if Victor ever encounters something he would classify as an absolute truth, he will believe that absolute truth does exist, just as most atheists are perfectly willing to believe in god if presented with sufficient evidence.

Again, as in atheism, the onus is on the one making the assertion. If QRS maintain that absolute truth exists, it is up to them to demonstrate this to the skeptic's satisfaction. It is not up to the skeptic to prove it doesn't exist, which is impossible in any case.

Note that this is just a simplification intended to address your question. The real issue goes deeper, of course. Before we can even talk about "absolute truth" in any productive manner, its proponents have to show that the concept is even meaningful and not simply a case of semantic smoke and mirrors.
Last edited by Unidian on Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jason » Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:35 pm

David,
Jason: Reality is right here, right now, everywhere, everything. Isn't it obvious? How could you ever avoid it? Is there anything more that needs to be said or done?

David Quinn: Plenty.


So now reality should include plenty more saying and doing. More reality just as it is.

DQ: What you're describing, while important and true, is only one aspect of Truth.


I'm actually not describing "one aspect ", I'm pointing to all aspects.

What I wrote, the writing itself, is one aspect of reality, but what the writing refers to is all aspects.
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Postby Jason » Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:39 pm

Kevin Solway wrote:To me, all the above just looks like a cat-fight - and pointless. There's more name-calling than anything else.


Me too, but perhaps that's just because of the way it appears to us.
Last edited by Jason on Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Sapius » Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:12 pm

Kevin Solway wrote:To me, all the above just looks like a cat-fight - and pointless. There's more name-calling than anything else.


I agree.

But his is too damned interesting to go on with my trip without saying a few words before I leave.

Essentially, the core issues is; what Truth IS, is irrelevant of someone else defining it for the individual who indulges in it him self, for the other can never ever get into his head and comprehend his totality. Agreements can ever arise only partially, not in its totality, for then, that would nullify the utter uniqueness of any individual thing, and the fact remains that there can be no two things exactly and absolutely the same as another.

If, Victor, truly has come to a conclusion, that Absolute Truth in and of its self cannot exist, then that exactly IS an absolute truth for HIM, but not necessarily ABSOLUTE, because that itself depends on what he is not, which includes all Absolute Truth’s claimed by multitude of others.

Truth cannot be devoid of Duality, nor can Duality be devoid of Truth, which essentially cancels out both of them. So the question is, not what WE are left with, but what exactly is THERE to begin with? And since duality itself is questionable, in the sense that it creates a Logical Sense of an individual, who although logically deduces duality, cannot ever PROVE it as being there, for that would be a circular reasoning.

Hence, totality cannot be an existence devoid of an individual logical sense of being, and the fact that an individual is absolutely nothing without which that he is not, hence that which is not is permanently creating just a SENSE of being, which each and every individual thing feels, but in actuality, there is absolutely nothing really there, just a sense of being, which simply IS.

To contrast this sense of being, so that one may understand that such a sense in not actually nothing whatsoever, some sensible teaches have pointed to what they call “emptiness”, but essentially, what is, IS, and there is absolutely nothing beyond that that such a sense may be contrasted against, ITSELF. There is no such thing as unconsciousness, for consciousness is all that there is, which simply IS.

At the core of it all, The “I”, Self, who hangs on to HIS particular Truth, is at no fault at all, since the Self is no more than what it is not; and what it is, is merely the reflection of the rest of the totality that depends on HIS sense (logical of course) of view, which does not exist inherently, nor all that IT concludes.

Self comes and goes, and along with it Absolute Truths; No-thing ever remains, for there is absolutely nothing really there, not even Truth, or Un-Truth, right or wrong, good or bad, existence or non-existence…. so on and so forth; all the way down to duality and merely a Sense of IT being there, that’s all, and just IS.

In reference to beyond of this sense of IS, there is no room for absolutely anything at all; and if you still ask me; say…. but… however… does that mean…. Or whatever you can counter argue with; the only response then I am left with is… 

Otherwise, I’m all open to logically discussing any thing at all, absolutely, within the realm of IS-ING, which itself isn’t really actually there, but that’s different story all together…

All the best to all.

If one things that I am contradicting myself… sue me! I am all ready to face final judgment… Let it come with all its fury!

Until then, then :)
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Postby Katy » Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:04 pm

Sapius wrote:If, Victor, truly has come to a conclusion, that Absolute Truth in and of its self cannot exist, then that exactly IS an absolute truth for HIM, but not necessarily ABSOLUTE, because that itself depends on what he is not, which includes all Absolute Truth’s claimed by multitude of others.


lol. Did you even listen to the show?
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Postby Blair » Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:12 pm

Victor and Nat, they are both twits. They just don't know it yet. It's a little cruel to make a spectacle of these idiots, but there is a higher purpose.
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Postby Kelly Jones » Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:33 pm

Yes, I apologise for writing "dingbats". I think that's what Nat meant by degrading people by pushing them down. Better just to describe the logical error since if it's correct, it automatically implies the label.
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Postby Kelly Jones » Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:24 pm

Victor,

I missed three things you said in the first podcast. Can you please clarify them?

The first two blanks are in your very first reply, after your greeting:

Dan: Is physicalism an updated, modernised, more sophisticated version of materialism, or is it something else entirely?

Victor: Well, it really depends on how you look. In most common usage, it is indeed a more updated version of materialism, in that it includes, as physical things, entities which aren't "physical" in the common parlance, like for example, "force-fields" or "mathematical structures". But for me, what is interesting is the methodology, which underlies the physical, both epistemic and rational methodology. The idea here being that physicalism, if you dig down deep enough, you find as physical those things which interact with other physical entities. And ultimately, the atomic, physical entity is the self. So, basically, physicalism is defining the physical - the world and the physical phenomena - in terms of the relationship between those phenomena and the self. As such, you could actually draw a parallel between physicalism and idealism as well. Physicalism really transcends idealism and materialism, in that it does not take an ontological stance per se. Physicalism discards some of those ontological superficialities that both materialism and idealism ------------------- have been burdened with. When I say "pragmatic physicalism", what I mean is basically pragmatism in the --------------- philosophical sense. That is, the position that truth is defined not as some sort of ontic veracity, but simply "usefulness". Usefulness in making predictions. So, we can speak about truth theories in science, for example, in terms of those theories having predictive power, in as much as, if a theory delivers the goods, [then] it's true, and when it fails to deliver the goods, it's false.



The next is a your reply to David a few replies later:

David: I'm just talking about reasoning outside of the scientific endeavour, altogether. Do you acknowledge that type of activity, and participate in it?

Victor: I'm not sure that there is such a thing. If you're talking about what I think you're talking about, then I'm assuming you're talking about analytic a priori? Willard van Orman Quine has demonstrated that, basically, there is no such thing, that everything is experiential ------------ and interpreted, that there is no such thing as purely analytic reasoning.



That's all for now.

Thanks.

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Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:23 pm


Victor's fault: he believes in the notion of the last 150 years or so that the axioms of logic don't have any meaning to it themselves. They are turned into a pure abstraction without relevance beyond the system they are asserted for. That's why he can safely point to people who talk about 'A=A' being out of date on more modern philosophy and logical discourse. They are still stuck in Aristotelian times!

With that he ignores any real philosophy, from Nietzsche to Jean Baudrillard who have described with much psychological detail exactly this last period of 150 years as an age of nihilism, which means a removal and destruction of meaning itself. An age were truth becomes a commodity, an effect, and as such disappeared not only from science, but also from religion or spiritual practises.

Real philosophy attempt to stand outside his age, time and language to see a glimpse of the timeless and as such can judge over what it sees as 'religious' foundations of any 'modern' time, including the sciences.

Does a BOFH like Victor really believe he's talking only to misinformed nitwits who haven't researched and explored a multiple of what he believes to have done? And he would call the people here arrogant and fundamentalist, badly educated and missing insight of 'how it really is'. My god what a projection. Give him another twenty years and perhaps he'll start getting the basics of identity.

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Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:35 pm

Unidian wrote:The Tao that can be told (the conceptual one) is not the true Tao. Line one, chapter one, Tao Te Ching.


A popular mistake but that's not what is written if you'd study the text in depth. It says that the 'temporary' or 'changing' Tao doesn't equal the 'eternal' or 'constant' Tao. There's a big difference and way more tricky to wrap your head around. The Tao Te Ching explains this duality later on in more detail.

Most translations show the lack or disregard of truth, which is common for this age. Interpretation always show ones true religion. We don't want our words and names to be Tao, because it leaves less room to weasel. Truth is essentially singular, in every context, including every day language.

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Postby Ryan Rudolph » Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:12 pm

Dan wrote:

Identity and non-contradiction are inseperable.


All you guys are saying is that a ‘thing’ cannot both appear as it is, while appearing as something else at the same time right? Isn’t this just common sense? What dispute does Victor have with this?

Even most mediocre folk have some sort of rudimentary understanding of this concept. I am reminded of some wise words an elder once shared with me, he said, “Well boy, if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck.”

That’s right old man. It must be a duck, and not a postmodern professor.
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