The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

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The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Dan Rowden » Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:55 pm

Discussion of our first edition of the Reasoning Show is welcome: The Nature of Knowledge

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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Faust » Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:28 am

what happened to this show? it seemed like it swerved into something else other than the nature of knowledge. Victor at the end claimed that the unchanging Truth that David wanted to find is 'not really any knowledge at all'. Why would he think this?
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sun Sep 02, 2007 1:30 am

The nature of knowledge can not be just another piece of knowledge itself without falling in all kinds of semantic traps. In the same vein one could assert that an unchanging truth is not a truth at all, when truths are degraded to types of knowledge, descriptions or information. To enter into these metaphysical and meta-logical swamps some language and definitions have to be created, if there's going to be talked about it at all. David goes with the idea of 'absolute truth' to express a deeper truth, one that cannot be formalized into a system, one that cannot be proven like ordinary, relative truths because it's not of the same order.

So Victor is right in his remark but misses the point at the same time. It's all mystical mumbojumbo to him and so he just wasn't able to appreciate any attempt to examine more deeply the root of consciousness from an more existential point of view. Or at least he doesn't like the idea of using any type of formal language for this that could be confused with doing science.

There's more discussion on this show in the top sticky thread of the main forum.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Wonderer » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:57 pm

one side of the argument was that given the provisional nature of science, knowlege based emperically is unfruitful or at minimum, of no philosophical interest.

the counter argument was that even philosophical knowlege is based empirically given that we make our philosophical conjectures based on our total experiences (observation), making philosophy nothing more than a metaphysical science no less subject to success or error than its physically emperical counter part, actual science. though this does not do justice in any way to Victors actual argument it is still a partly appropriate approximation of his views

i was looking foreward to an insightful discussion on the nature of knowlege but they seem to have gotten hung up on the old nature vs nurture debate in the sense that they meerley disagreed about the origins of reason. (does reason come naturally or through trial and error?)

even basley described as a disagreement on the definition of knowlege.

and now to drive a nail in the semantical confusion, it is up to the philosopher to convey his message to the best of his abilities. but often philosophy requires you to manipulate concepts in your head. when a philosopher uses a word to define a concept, the word itself does not have authority on the concept and vice versa. the fact victor said "why don't you just invent new words" was infact the only semantical fallacy i observed. if you have troubel seperating a concept from the name one might provisionally give it then you may yet have much to learn about the nature of philosophy.

an interesting side note: vicktors beliefs justify his objection in the sense that if provisional knowlege is all we have, than the maintenance of definitions of words would be of paramount importance.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Wonderer » Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:43 pm

but don't get me wrong it was still quite an interesting discussion, and i look forward to hearing the rest.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby bert » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:13 am

"I see it as..."
"we are more interested in..."

some dircetions of knowledge should be arrested ,they give little at great cost:Laws of Art and Logic are limited rules of patterning and nothing is deduced, except variations of them: there is no technique of spontaneity and inspiration.

What is Truth?
propositional forms are inferences from an 'as/or' synthetic composibility, inferences of partitive semblances refrangible from both ends and equally correlative from any 'inbetween' ratio to either end.Illustration: an octave spanning all assonances by resonance, therefore any degree of itself is mergable or emergeable within its span (usually, categorically imperfect). irrespective of this, truth always and only equals its ability to be true (from any premise). truth is also ability of transpositions, as from the audile to the prismatic scale - from which primitive pattern we originate our schema.

Science, like Logic is its own bogey and as neurotic as its creed: its fear of deviation from its arbitrary standards and categories confirm all the definitions of the psychophatic.

and, those who would know themselves trhrough their gods as other than themselves, how sadly lost are they in their tautological theories. they too shall wake from their adolescense and realise that the less we know of ourselves in other gods the nearer we are to the vast wisdom of our flesh.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby bert » Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:32 am

an extension of "what is Truth?".
by bert on Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:54 am

on what is truth?

facts are indicating or serving to create partition or division into parts, or correlative of truth,posited by time-place:"it is a fact that it is a butterfly flying";to be true ,it must in any case be a butterfly flying.it may be so,but oftentimes does not - meaning: "I frequently conceive of it as a butterfly flying 'as/or' somewhere,sometime".
and all truths are as such.Truth necessitates all fictions.look upon ego as boostinggodcentricego for you can place into Ego anything you so will and it will give back semblances - other words:truth enough.


a fact is a contrived idea of an obvious truth, therefore all facts are inconclusive.
fictions are devices to explain the undefinables ; our whole systematic coherence is so forged.

any 'thing' is a quantum of everything.

our acceptances are our conclusions.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Fujaro » Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:41 am

First of, I'd like to say that I appreciated the interview very much. It somehow reminded me of the endless discussions I had with my younger brothers in my adolescence. These arguments ad absurdum almost drove my parents, who understood them as quarrel, nuts. That may sound as depreciation of the interview but nothing of the sort is suggested. I think we should challenge as much as possible the arguments of our opponents in the discussion.

From the start on it is clear that the debaters don't agree on the definition of truth itself. Victor defines truth in terms of predictive power (a pragmatic approach) while Dan keeps insisting on a mysteriously hidden absolute truth that underlies it all. Victor denies the meaning of absolute truth. The stance Victor takes is in essence a Kantian position, rephrasing Kant's argument on the unknowable noumenon.

The problem with Dan's argumentation as I see it, is that it leads to either begging the question or to infinite regress of arguments. His example about bubble universes makes this clear. He argues that the meaning of knowledge of our own universe bubble diminishes when that bubble is only one of many bubbles floating in some kind of super universe. I see many problems with this. First of all, when there is no interaction whatsoever between the bubbles, the knowledge of our universe bubble still is valid knowledge within that bubble. Truth isn't weighed to the number of realms that it isn't applicable to. Furthermore, the viewpoint does count. Knowledge from universe bubble zeta (not being our bubble) isn''t relevant in our universe bubble (again assumed that there is no interaction whatsoever between the bubbles). When Victor remarks this Dan argues that this is antropromorphic reasoning. But is it? Under these circumstances, the knowledge of universe X is relevant only to inhabitants (human or not) of universe X for there is no interaction whatsoever between the bubble universes. You could argue that the knowledge of unviverse X is not complete knowledge and therefore not absolute (the latter being nothing more than a restatement of the former in my opinion). But even when all knowledge of all bubble universes in the super universe is summed, it can not be tested to be complete. For one always can ask the following question: can all this summed knowledge be tested to be whole or is it in principle possible that the super universe itself is only a bubble in a super super universe? This argument can be pursued again and again and will lead to an infinite regression of arguments. It may be clear from this that removing the assumption made about the universe bubbles (no interaction) does not change the argument. When interaction is possible, the existence of other universe bubbles is (at least in principle) detectable and therefore verifiable. This would only postpone the universe within a universe reasoning one level further. Ergo, the completeness of knowledge/truth can not decisively be tested/verified, ever. And therefore absolute truth has no meaning and semantic dissonance is born. In my opinion the only meaningful definition of truth is of the kind Victor defines.

Closely and necessary related to truth is the concept of testability. For what would absolute knowledge mean when there is no way to verify or falsify it? Suppose absolute truth was handed to you on a silver platter. How could you determine if it was absolute or not? The only answer is that there is only one condition under which you could determine this: you already would have to have access to absolute knowledge to verify the holy grail handed to you on a silver platter. In other words, you would need absolute truth to verify absolute truth. A case of begging the question.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Matt Gregory » Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:04 am

But even when all knowledge of all bubble universes in the super universe is summed, it can not be tested to be complete. For one always can ask the following question: can all this summed knowledge be tested to be whole or is it in principle possible that the super universe itself is only a bubble in a super super universe? This argument can be pursued again and again and will lead to an infinite regression of arguments.


Testing isn't applicable because it's not empirical knowledge that's being discussed, but logical knowledge. To put it in terms that you're familiar with, apply your argument to the set of all positive integers. Is the set of all positive integers incomplete because we can't test all of them? No, because it's complete by virtue of the fact that completeness is part of the definition. So, if we're talking about the concept of completeness itself, then how can it be incomplete? It's totally retarded to suggest such a thing.
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Semantic dissonance

Postby Leyla Shen » Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:08 am

And therefore absolute truth has no meaning and semantic dissonance is born. In my opinion the only meaningful definition of truth is of the kind Victor defines.


Well, I dunno, but isn’t this a classic example of an absolute truth (“absolute truth has no meaning”) having meaning? The meaning that the only meaningful definition of truth is that truth is predictive power (in our and similar universes), which would be another absolute truth, no? (That is, a thing is true to the degree that it predicts other things.)

What significance does your calling your view an opinion have?

If there is some universe X in which there is no predictive power, then we can predict that truth (predictive power) necessarily neither exists nor has any meaning in that universe and the statement, “truth has predictive power” would remain absolutely true. No?

Is there some other form of verification possible?
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sat Jul 05, 2008 4:36 am

Fujaro wrote:You could argue that the knowledge of universe X is not complete knowledge and therefore not absolute (the latter being nothing more than a restatement of the former in my opinion). But even when all knowledge of all bubble universes in the super universe is summed, it can not be tested to be complete.


This sounds a lot like Kurt Gödel's incompleteness theorems, which interestingly enough can be used just as well to argue for a Platonic view of some ultimate, more 'objective' reality. The fact that each system has as unprovable axiom or two that need another 'higher' system-universe-theory to establish it, does not dismiss the existence of any such axiom, its undeniable presence and how everything hinges on it in the system at hand.

Around this topic I often like to quote Douglas Hofstadter: Provability is a weaker notion than truth.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Fujaro » Sat Jul 05, 2008 4:50 am

Matt Gregory wrote:Testing isn't applicable because it's not empirical knowledge that's being discussed, but logical knowledge. To put it in terms that you're familiar with, apply your argument to the set of all positive integers. Is the set of all positive integers incomplete because we can't test all of them? No, because it's complete by virtue of the fact that completeness is part of the definition. So, if we're talking about the concept of completeness itself, then how can it be incomplete? It's totally retarded to suggest such a thing.


Hello Matt,

I beg to disagree:

1) Logical knowledge on its own, can never be called complete in the sense that it gives a complete description of the real world, because it fails to contain statements about its applicability to the real world. Logical knowledge is knowledge of logic alone.

2) If, as you argue, completeness is part of the definition then the deduction from the definition that the set of positive integers is complete is circular reasoning. It is simply restating the definition.

3) You use the term 'completeness' in more than one way when you refer (1) to mathematical completeness and (2) to completeness of truth as in true in every possible situation. This is easy to understand when you think of pi. Pi is not a member of N and therefore N is not complete in the sense that N gives a full description of even the logical world.

4) Furthermore, your example with positive integers is faulty for another reason. For the mathematical definition of this set doesn't entail a completeness-clause. In fact there are more then one definitions for N, the set of natural numbers. In the set-theoretic definition N is defined as the smallest set containing 0 and closed under the successor function S defined by S(n) = n ∪ {n}. For the existence of such a set you need the so-called Axiom of Infinity!

5) Kurt Gödel's incompleteness theorem states that in any axiomatization of number theory, there will be true statements of number theory which cannot be proven in that system. So trivially it follows that the above definition or any other formal system cannot capture entirely what a number is.

Of course, this can al be 'totally retarded nonsense' for even the Gödel theorem itself relies on non-discernable statements. Maybe we should test some of this shit to reality?
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Fujaro » Sat Jul 05, 2008 4:54 am

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:This sounds a lot like Kurt Gödel's incompleteness theorems, which interestingly enough can be used just as well to argue for a Platonic view of some ultimate, more 'objective' reality. The fact that each system has as unprovable axiom or two that need another 'higher' system-universe-theory to establish it, does not dismiss the existence of any such axiom, its undeniable presence and how everything hinges on it in the system at hand.

Around this topic I often like to quote Douglas Hofstadter: Provability is a weaker notion than truth.

Indeed Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem is relevant to these notions. See my post to Matt that crossed yours.
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Re: Semantic dissonance

Postby Fujaro » Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:25 am

Leyla Shen wrote:Well, I dunno, but isn’t this a classic example of an absolute truth (“absolute truth has no meaning”) having meaning?

No, all it is saying is that we haven't got a clear view on the concept to build on. There isn't however any certainty that we can never gain such a concept. Maybe you can find a way to debunk the universe in a universe in a universe argument or Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem.

Leyla Shen wrote:The meaning that the only meaningful definition of truth is that truth is predictive power (in our and similar universes), which would be another absolute truth, no? (That is, a thing is true to the degree that it predicts other things.)

It's not an absolute truth but a tentative one! We haven't got anything better at the moment we can speak about than a criterium with which we can discriminate competing models of reality. If you succeeding in finding a way to gain direct access to absolute truth, science will become obsolete.

Leyla Shen wrote:What significance does your calling your view an opinion have?
non comprendo

Leyla Shen wrote:If there is some universe X in which there is no predictive power, then we can predict that truth (predictive power) necessarily neither exists nor has any meaning in that universe and the statement, “truth has predictive power” would remain absolutely true. No?

Is there some other form of verification possible?

The predictive power criterium is not the same as absolute truth, but man's way to incrementally learn usefull things about the real world. When Viktor says that he defines truth in terms of predictive power, I understand it that he means that absolute truth is an empty linguistic construct of the human mind if you drill down to the heart of the matter and that only a pragmatic definition of truth has any epistemic meaning and relevance.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Matt Gregory » Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:55 am

Fujaro,

Your whole methodology for seeking Ultimate Truth is wrong. It's not an object that can sit within consciousness, so it can't be discovered by social means like science or mathematics. It's the foundation of consciousness, so it has to be sought and found through introspecting one's own consciousness.

If you want to do science, then do science. If you want to do philosophy, then do philosophy. They're not the same and can't be pursued in the same manner.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Fujaro » Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:44 pm

Matt Gregory wrote:Fujaro,

Your whole methodology for seeking Ultimate Truth is wrong. It's not an object that can sit within consciousness, so it can't be discovered by social means like science or mathematics. It's the foundation of consciousness, so it has to be sought and found through introspecting one's own consciousness.

If you want to do science, then do science. If you want to do philosophy, then do philosophy. They're not the same and can't be pursued in the same manner.


Matt,

There really is no sense in pursuing Ultimate Truth and at the same time arguing for separate truths for philosophy and science, for logical truth and truths about the real world, for truths we think about and truths we can't think about. That really is more like hiding for truth.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Dan Rowden » Sat Jul 05, 2008 6:02 pm

What's your definition of a "truth"?
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Fujaro » Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:34 pm

Dan Rowden wrote:What's your definition of a "truth"?

First of, truth is a rather platonic concept of the human mind. There is only tentative truth we as humans can speak of in my opinion. So, this means that your question is rather tricky. For the word 'truth' itself is a trojan horse in these discussions. Before we know it, Plato creeps in. The tentative truth I speak of in essence has nothing to do with what you call Absolute Truth. I side with Victor Danilchenko that Absolute Truth for now has no meaningful content, which, to be clear about it, doesn't neccesarily mean that Absolute Truth (AT) does not exist. Also, in the discussion of you with Victor I sense that you visualize AT as a complete set of true statements that fully describes the real world. But why should AT be a set of statements (things we can contain in our language)? Maybe AT IS the real world and can our language (by this I mean all kind of languages, logical, mathenatical,..) only be a container for tentative truth such as scientific truths? Not the real thing you might say, and I fully agree, the real thing entails a lot more than what can dbe described with language.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Fujaro » Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:36 pm

Some further notions on what a 'truth' is, since you've asked me to define it.

So 'truth', in my opinion, refers to different meanings of the word:

1) Absolute Truth, the platonic projection of mankind of an ideal (complete, absolute, unchanging) abstraction of all that is. Again, imo it is unclear how to define this kind of truth, and we cannot coherently speak about it other than in terms of a vague concept.

2) Tentative scientific truth which relies on a method of discriminating between competing models of the real world. A scientific truth is a statement of the form 'model A describes the observed phenomena better than model B' which is justified solely on an adopted technical assessment. An example is "Einstein's Theory of General Relativity gives a more accurate description than Newtonian Mechanics". It is a relative truth in the sense that it only gives a judgement on models relative to each other. No bedrock absolute truths are involved, but direct measurement in the real world is. Logical truths may be part of the technical asessment.

3) Logical truth as in mathematics and formal philosophy. All logical truth (with exception of trivial truths) is ultimately based on unproven premisses according to Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem. Also, there is no trivial relation between the real world and logical truth. This is what I call the problem of congruence between logic and reality. Many mathematical theories and constructs at this moment have no use other than a purely mathematical and it may wel be that some mathematical truths never will have a counterpart in the physical reality.

4) Social truth. Statements in the social realm, the realm of interaction between humans. These are based on wide acceptance of validity in social groups. By definition these truths are cultural dependent. In fact most of these statements are validated as true in those communities solely on trhe basis that they are shared. Moral truths imho are a subset of the set of social truths.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Matt Gregory » Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:08 pm

Fujaro wrote:There really is no sense in pursuing Ultimate Truth and at the same time arguing for separate truths for philosophy and science, for logical truth and truths about the real world, for truths we think about and truths we can't think about.

There's only the appearance of two truths for those who haven't clarified what Ultimate Truth is for themselves. There's only one Truth and it can't be found via science because science doesn't impart understanding, only empirical evidence.

That really is more like hiding for truth.

It's going to be tough discussing this with someone who doesn't consider thinking worthwhile.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Fujaro » Sun Jul 06, 2008 5:29 pm

Matt Gregory wrote:
Fujaro wrote:There really is no sense in pursuing Ultimate Truth and at the same time arguing for separate truths for philosophy and science, for logical truth and truths about the real world, for truths we think about and truths we can't think about.

There's only the appearance of two truths for those who haven't clarified what Ultimate Truth is for themselves. There's only one Truth and it can't be found via science because science doesn't impart understanding, only empirical evidence.

That's in essence a religious statement. You claim to have access to Absolute Truth, top down by some sky hook procedure of introspection, but you provide zero evidence for the claim. You're in denial for the value of the scientific method, at the same time you're using a computer in which the circuits are based on some of the best of scientific knowledge. Your tone is full of contempt for my view on the matter.

Matt Gregory wrote:
That really is more like hiding for truth.

It's going to be tough discussing this with someone who doesn't consider thinking worthwhile.
The discussion already has ended. It ended at the same moment that you decided that your dogma on Absolute Truth by introspection needed no further critical investigation.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Matt Gregory » Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:09 am

Fujaro wrote:
Matt Gregory wrote:
Fujaro wrote:There really is no sense in pursuing Ultimate Truth and at the same time arguing for separate truths for philosophy and science, for logical truth and truths about the real world, for truths we think about and truths we can't think about.

There's only the appearance of two truths for those who haven't clarified what Ultimate Truth is for themselves. There's only one Truth and it can't be found via science because science doesn't impart understanding, only empirical evidence.

That's in essence a religious statement.

It's a philosophical statement. Religion takes philosophical concepts and distorts them for its own ends, but that doesn't have anything to do with their original intention.


You claim to have access to Absolute Truth, top down by some sky hook procedure of introspection, but you provide zero evidence for the claim.

The first thing you need to do is eliminate trivialities and positively identify what is being discussed. If you're not willing to do that then you're right, this conversation isn't going to go anywhere.


You're in denial for the value of the scientific method, at the same time you're using a computer in which the circuits are based on some of the best of scientific knowledge.

I've never denied the value of science for making circuits, but circuits are not Absolute Truth. They are two completely different things. For one, Absolute Truth cannot be manufactured.


Your tone is full of contempt for my view on the matter.

And yours is full of contempt for mine.


Matt Gregory wrote:
That really is more like hiding for truth.

It's going to be tough discussing this with someone who doesn't consider thinking worthwhile.
The discussion already has ended. It ended at the same moment that you decided that your dogma on Absolute Truth by introspection needed no further critical investigation.

No, it ended when you mistook Absolute Truth for a circuit.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Dave Toast » Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:21 am

Fujaro wrote:There really is no sense in pursuing Ultimate Truth and at the same time arguing for separate truths for philosophy and science

They're not separate truths. They're merely on different rungs of a hierarchy, distinguished by merit of contingency.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Matt Gregory » Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:28 am

I think it needs to be considered on an even more fundamental level than that. It pervades all hierarchies and systems rather than being merely the root of them.
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Postby Fujaro » Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:57 am

Matt Gregory wrote:
Fujaro wrote:That's in essence a religious statement.

It's a philosophical statement. Religion takes philosophical concepts and distorts them for its own ends, but that doesn't have anything to do with their original intention.

Modern philosophy seeks coherence with science (what else would philosophy of science be about?), seeks for patterns on a higher level then the specialised scientific fields, and is a driving force in providing new hypotheses that can be tested in science, whereas just stating a claim without evidence to support it, is truly a religious trait or just plain bad reasoning.

Matt Gregory wrote:
You claim to have access to Absolute Truth, top down by some sky hook procedure of introspection, but you provide zero evidence for the claim.

The first thing you need to do is eliminate trivialities and positively identify what is being discussed. If you're not willing to do that then you're right, this conversation isn't going to go anywhere.

All you've done so far is evading the discussion. I have presented numerous arguments here. Your only reaction so far has been that it is all retarded nonsense. That just doesn't seem very enlightened or even balanced to me. You not only claim to have absolute answers but also claim the right to state the absolute question. Please grow up.

Matt Gregory wrote:
You're in denial for the value of the scientific method, at the same time you're using a computer in which the circuits are based on some of the best of scientific knowledge.

I've never denied the value of science for making circuits, but circuits are not Absolute Truth. They are two completely different things. For one, Absolute Truth cannot be manufactured.
Please define Absolute Truth. My circuits are running haywire trying to grasp it without the Plato demon pulling the rabbit from the hat. If AT cannot be manufactured, then why claiming that you can 'decode' it by introspection? Isn't introspection some kind of manufucturing process?

Matt Gregory wrote:
Your tone is full of contempt for my view on the matter.
And yours is full of contempt for mine.

Just read back the postings in this thread and be a fair judge of where the retarded nonsense bit slipped in. If you further refrain from these remarks, I will gladly discuss any arguments you present.

Matt Gregory wrote:
Fujaro wrote:The discussion already has ended. It ended at the same moment that you decided that your dogma on Absolute Truth by introspection needed no further critical investigation.

No, it ended when you mistook Absolute Truth for a circuit.

The straw man chasing red herrings has entered the building.
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