JREF Homepage Swift Blog Events Calendar $1 Million Paranormal Challenge The Amaz!ng Meeting Useful Links Support Us
James Randi Educational Foundation JREF Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   JREF Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
Click Here To Donate

Notices


Welcome to the JREF Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.

Reply
Old 30th October 2012, 10:19 PM   #241
keyfeatures
Critical Thinker
 
keyfeatures's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: My head
Posts: 436
Something to take the edge off

Where do we draw the line; -
At mountain, or river, or lake?
Intelligent Border Design: a misnomer we give to The Take.

Where does a ‘person’ begin; -
With atom, or boson, or quark?
Do edges commence at the skin – or with scent - if we’re lost in the dark?

I learn to divide and to name
Every bit with a badge of its own;
Carving worlds like they’re turkeys. Bred tame
Plucked then sliced. Who will win the wishbone?

Give me something to soften the pain
From this knife made to enter and pare.
Let me blur. Lose distinctions as rain
Falls to ocean. Consumed. Unaware.
keyfeatures is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st October 2012, 12:43 AM   #242
punshhh
Illuminator
 
punshhh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Rural England
Posts: 4,820
Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
Something that is inconceivable exists? You don't see a problem there? That means that one can make up any old crap.
Is realising what we don't know, made up crap?
punshhh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st October 2012, 12:49 AM   #243
punshhh
Illuminator
 
punshhh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Rural England
Posts: 4,820
Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Then how shall we find it out?
I don't know, anyone got any suggestions?

Perhaps we can understand by being told.
punshhh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st October 2012, 01:07 AM   #244
punshhh
Illuminator
 
punshhh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Rural England
Posts: 4,820
Originally Posted by levi View Post
I am pretty sure that the person is saying that mereological nihilism denies that I exist and that emergence is not a good way to prove that I exist. Is there any merit to what he is saying? Here is the quote below

"Response: Keep in mind that mereological nihilism is a thesis concerned with identity, not properties. The mereological nihilist can still recognize the existence of complex interactions between atomic simples that give rise to emergent properties (as is often pointed out, individual water molecules are not wet, while large groups of water molecules are), even if those interactions do not give rise to composite identity.”

Also the fundamental particles must combine in a way to create a brain, specifically thought In other words consciousness. Does this mean that I exist because of how the fundamental particles must combine? Even if we are a bunch of fundamental particles let’s call them “atoms”. The atoms must combine in a way to create consciousness proving that I exist. Is this called emergence? This is not even assuming there is more than one fundamental particle. Is it possible for there to be one fundamental particle? Does this change the answer in anyway?

Is consciousness working and a house computer functioning different than a chair? Or are all of them the same if you look at the fundamental particles? If you look at a computer running and consciousness working it performs a task the fundamental particles must combine in a different way than just a chair? Maybe the wood in the chair is different but the actual shape of the wood is just arranged in a shape of an object making chairs not exist, but people and computers do exist. Is this correct?

If you had the ability to perceive fundamental particles could you say I don’t exist, or would I exist because of what was said above? This is taken into consideration that myriad post about processing power is not taken into account.
You can only say that "something exists" and that what it is is unknown. Or rather human intelligence thus far has not understood or described what exists.

Everything else is only discussions and descriptions of what appears to exist and after all said and done may only be an illusion. Our hands are tied on such issues. We are nothing more than the goldfish peering out from its bowl.
punshhh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st October 2012, 01:11 AM   #245
punshhh
Illuminator
 
punshhh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Rural England
Posts: 4,820
Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
Yes its rather like using the blunt instrument "atheist" to describe the group of folk on this forum who don't think a God exists.
punshhh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st October 2012, 01:14 AM   #246
punshhh
Illuminator
 
punshhh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Rural England
Posts: 4,820
Originally Posted by keyfeatures View Post
Something to take the edge off

Where do we draw the line; -
At mountain, or river, or lake?
Intelligent Border Design: a misnomer we give to The Take.

Where does a ‘person’ begin; -
With atom, or boson, or quark?
Do edges commence at the skin – or with scent - if we’re lost in the dark?

I learn to divide and to name
Every bit with a badge of its own;
Carving worlds like they’re turkeys. Bred tame
Plucked then sliced. Who will win the wishbone?

Give me something to soften the pain
From this knife made to enter and pare.
Let me blur. Lose distinctions as rain
Falls to ocean. Consumed. Unaware.
The nature of knowing the unknown, of being the unknown, of knowing the being, of being the nature

I wouldn't have it any other way.
punshhh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st October 2012, 01:39 AM   #247
PixyMisa
Persnickety Insect
 
PixyMisa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Sunny Munuvia
Posts: 15,716
Originally Posted by levi View Post
I am pretty sure that the person is saying that mereological nihilism denies that I exist and that emergence is not a good way to prove that I exist. Is there any merit to what he is saying? Here is the quote below
It's still only about words. You are what you are. Nothing changes that. This guy is just wittering on about what the meaning of "is" is.

Quote:
If you had the ability to perceive fundamental particles could you say I don’t exist, or would I exist because of what was said above? This is taken into consideration that myriad post about processing power is not taken into account.
As I said, take a mereological nihilist and hit him with a baseball bat. Ask him if the bat exists. Case closed.
__________________
Free blogs for skeptics... And everyone else. mee.nu
What, in the Holy Name of Gzortch, are you people doing?!?!!? - TGHO
PixyMisa is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st October 2012, 03:23 AM   #248
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Is realising what we don't know, made up crap?
What don't you know?
dafydd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st October 2012, 05:37 AM   #249
tsig
a carbon based life-form
 
tsig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 33,292
Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
What don't you know?
He doesn't know and he's proud of it.
tsig is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st October 2012, 06:54 PM   #250
levi
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 495
I think it is more than words.


Can someone please answer my questions from my previous post?
levi is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st October 2012, 07:43 PM   #251
PixyMisa
Persnickety Insect
 
PixyMisa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Sunny Munuvia
Posts: 15,716
Originally Posted by levi View Post
I think it is more than words.
You're wrong.

Quote:
Can someone please answer my questions from my previous post?
See above.
__________________
Free blogs for skeptics... And everyone else. mee.nu
What, in the Holy Name of Gzortch, are you people doing?!?!!? - TGHO
PixyMisa is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st November 2012, 02:24 AM   #252
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
The nature of knowing the unknown, of being the unknown, of knowing the being, of being the nature
You added a grin, so you know that was gibberish. Good.
dafydd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd November 2012, 02:23 AM   #253
punshhh
Illuminator
 
punshhh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Rural England
Posts: 4,820
Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
What don't you know?
Thats an infinitely* long list. Or can't your mind stretch that far?
punshhh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd November 2012, 02:26 AM   #254
punshhh
Illuminator
 
punshhh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Rural England
Posts: 4,820
Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
You added a grin, so you know that was gibberish. Good.
Its poetry, the meaning is in the interpretation experienced in the mind of the viewer. What's gibberish to you may well be beautiful to someone else.
punshhh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd November 2012, 02:36 AM   #255
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Its poetry, the meaning is in the interpretation experienced in the mind of the viewer. What's gibberish to you may well be beautiful to someone else.
Take it to the poetry thread.

Last edited by dafydd; 2nd November 2012 at 02:38 AM.
dafydd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd November 2012, 02:37 AM   #256
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Thats an infinitely* long list. Or can't your mind stretch that far?
How do you know that the list is infinite?
dafydd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd November 2012, 03:53 AM   #257
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
I'll have a go at this poetry lark.

The nature of being is unknown
And the being of unknown is nature
Being the knowing is knowing
And the unknown unknowns of being
Are forever being in being....etc

Easy peasy!
dafydd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd November 2012, 08:35 PM   #258
levi
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 495
I know everybody is going to say who cares or something along the lines of my question is just silly word games but can someone answer this new question?

What is mereological universalism? I am pretty sure it is a way to refute mereological nihilism. Can someone point out the flaws in mereological universalism?

Here is a link http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mereology/

A quick way to find it on a pc is to push control f and type it and search mereological universalism when you are on the article, but I sure most people know that. I am not sure how this works on macs, cellphones etc.

Last edited by levi; 2nd November 2012 at 08:42 PM.
levi is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd November 2012, 08:50 PM   #259
PixyMisa
Persnickety Insect
 
PixyMisa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Sunny Munuvia
Posts: 15,716
Originally Posted by levi View Post
I know everybody is going to say who cares or something along the lines of my question is just silly word games but can someone answer this new question?

What is mereological universalism? I am pretty sure it is a way to refute mereological nihilism.
Then you're wrong. There's no way to "refute" mereological nihilism, because you can't refute a silly word game. You can only refute factual claims and logical arguments.
__________________
Free blogs for skeptics... And everyone else. mee.nu
What, in the Holy Name of Gzortch, are you people doing?!?!!? - TGHO
PixyMisa is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd November 2012, 09:13 PM   #260
Kid Eager
Illuminator
 
Kid Eager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,536
The boy stood on the burning deck
His pockets full of mereological universalism
A spider saw his uncovered neck
and thought "nah, that can't be real".

This proves that mereological universalism is a crock - you can't even do limericks with it.
__________________
What do Narwhals, Magnets and Apollo 13 have in common? Think about it....
Kid Eager is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 04:14 AM   #261
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
Originally Posted by levi View Post

What is mereological universalism? .
It's the opposite of unmereological universalism.
dafydd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 06:45 AM   #262
JoeBentley
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeBentley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 3,123
Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Is realising what we don't know, made up crap?
No. Making up stuff we don't know and answering it with nonsense in the same breath to effect some sort of pretentious "Wise Old Man On the Mountain" act is made up crap, especially when it becomes a de-facto way to deny things that we do know.

Accepting the reality that our understanding of the universe is incomplete is not a blank check to "What if" everything to death and back.

Stop worshiping at the foot of some idol to the unknowns and learn a little more about the knowns. I'll take the real joy of what I do know over the pretentious joy of wallowing in what I don't any day, and that's even with ignoring the practical applications.

Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
The nature of knowing the unknown, of being the unknown, of knowing the being, of being the nature
So we're back beyond the event horizon of the formless again are we?

Seriously the fact that you so proudly peddle word salad stuff like that as some sort of grand Eureka moment of mental clarity "gotcha" that all of us common people are supposed to stand slack jawed in awe of is just sad. I don't how how insightful all this fortune cookie meets Magnetic Poetry meets Ad Libs crap you spout sounds in your head, but it really isn't.
__________________
- Opinions require evidence and no before you ask defining something as "Something doesn't require evidence" doesn't count.
- In extreme cases continuing to be wrong when you've been repeatedly proven to be wrong is a form of rudeness.
- Major in philosophy. That way you can also ask people "why" they would like fries with that.

Last edited by JoeBentley; 3rd November 2012 at 06:49 AM.
JoeBentley is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 07:26 AM   #263
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post

Seriously the fact that you so proudly peddle word salad stuff like that as some sort of grand Eureka moment of mental clarity "gotcha" that all of us common people are supposed to stand slack jawed in awe of is just sad. I don't how how insightful all this fortune cookie meets Magnetic Poetry meets Ad Libs crap you spout sounds in your head, but it really isn't.
How dare you criticize his meaningless ''poetry''? I'm off to read some Pablo Neruda, a real poet.

Last edited by dafydd; 3rd November 2012 at 07:28 AM.
dafydd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 07:40 AM   #264
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
Some unknowns that were unknown unknowns
Are not to be found in a known zone
They're not really there
And we don't even care
And the mystic's cover is blown.
dafydd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 07:48 AM   #265
scratchy
Muse
 
scratchy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: In the happy state of denial
Posts: 623
I do not know of any existing philosopher that seriously argues that they really do not exist. I conclude therefore that they dont exist, wich means they are right in the assumption that they do not exist.
scratchy is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 08:06 AM   #266
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
Why does this thread remind of this gem?

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the JREF. The JREF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
dafydd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 11:27 AM   #267
Twiler
Master Poster
 
Twiler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,491
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
No. Making up stuff we don't know and answering it with nonsense in the same breath to effect some sort of pretentious "Wise Old Man On the Mountain" act is made up crap, especially when it becomes a de-facto way to deny things that we do know.

Accepting the reality that our understanding of the universe is incomplete is not a blank check to "What if" everything to death and back.

Stop worshiping at the foot of some idol to the unknowns and learn a little more about the knowns. I'll take the real joy of what I do know over the pretentious joy of wallowing in what I don't any day, and that's even with ignoring the practical applications.



So we're back beyond the event horizon of the formless again are we?

Seriously the fact that you so proudly peddle word salad stuff like that as some sort of grand Eureka moment of mental clarity "gotcha" that all of us common people are supposed to stand slack jawed in awe of is just sad. I don't how how insightful all this fortune cookie meets Magnetic Poetry meets Ad Libs crap you spout sounds in your head, but it really isn't.
How do you think punshhh is going to react to this?
Twiler is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 11:41 AM   #268
tsig
a carbon based life-form
 
tsig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 33,292
Originally Posted by Twiler View Post
How do you think punshhh is going to react to this?
Ignore it.
tsig is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 12:02 PM   #269
Twiler
Master Poster
 
Twiler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,491
Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
It's still only about words. You are what you are. Nothing changes that. This guy is just wittering on about what the meaning of "is" is.


As I said, take a mereological nihilist and hit him with a baseball bat. Ask him if the bat exists. Case closed.
Strictly speaking, isn't the nihilist's point not 'I don't exist', but rather 'Language implies I don't exist'?

As such, hitting him the bat doesn't refute the point, it just indicates that if he is correct, our language isn't describing reality correctly.
Twiler is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 12:50 PM   #270
JoeBentley
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeBentley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 3,123
Originally Posted by Twiler View Post
How do you think punshhh is going to react to this?
Ignore it and/or word salad.
__________________
- Opinions require evidence and no before you ask defining something as "Something doesn't require evidence" doesn't count.
- In extreme cases continuing to be wrong when you've been repeatedly proven to be wrong is a form of rudeness.
- Major in philosophy. That way you can also ask people "why" they would like fries with that.
JoeBentley is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 12:55 PM   #271
JoeBentley
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeBentley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 3,123
Originally Posted by Twiler View Post
Strictly speaking, isn't the nihilist's point not 'I don't exist', but rather 'Language implies I don't exist'?

As such, hitting him the bat doesn't refute the point, it just indicates that if he is correct, our language isn't describing reality correctly.
Isn't that pretty much admitting that it's silly word games?
__________________
- Opinions require evidence and no before you ask defining something as "Something doesn't require evidence" doesn't count.
- In extreme cases continuing to be wrong when you've been repeatedly proven to be wrong is a form of rudeness.
- Major in philosophy. That way you can also ask people "why" they would like fries with that.
JoeBentley is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 12:59 PM   #272
Twiler
Master Poster
 
Twiler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,491
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Isn't that pretty much admitting that it's silly word games?
No.
Twiler is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 03:51 PM   #273
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
Originally Posted by Twiler View Post
How do you think punshhh is going to react to this?
With more gibberish.
dafydd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 03:53 PM   #274
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
Originally Posted by Twiler View Post
Strictly speaking, isn't the nihilist's point not 'I don't exist', but rather 'Language implies I don't exist'?
If you can use language, then you exist.
dafydd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 04:01 PM   #275
Twiler
Master Poster
 
Twiler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,491
Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
If you can use language, then you exist.
Right. Which means that if the language implies you don't exist, there's something wrong with the language.
Twiler is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 04:13 PM   #276
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
Originally Posted by Twiler View Post
Right. Which means that if the language implies you don't exist, there's something wrong with the language.
Off course. Language is malleable, reality isn't, no matter what the mystics say.
dafydd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd November 2012, 04:44 PM   #277
Myriad
Hyperthetical
Moderator
 
Myriad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,519
Originally Posted by levi View Post
I know everybody is going to say who cares or something along the lines of my question is just silly word games but can someone answer this new question?

What is mereological universalism? I am pretty sure it is a way to refute mereological nihilism. Can someone point out the flaws in mereological universalism?

Here is a link http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mereology/

I wouldn't say mereological universalism refutes mereological nihilism. It merely contradicts it. Does a triangle refute a square? The article you linked to explores different postulate systems for talking about parts and collections of parts. One set of postulates, described as nihilism, asserts (basically) that no collection of parts constitutes a whole -- and by whole, we mean a valid thing that can actually be asserted. A different set of postulates, described as universalism, asserts (basically) that any collection of parts constitutes a valid thing that can actually be asserted.

The weakness of that kind of universalism is that it allows for the assertion of things that might not actually be valid to assert, and at the very least do not appear to be at all useful to assert. For instance, there must be a "thing" that consists of the pen on my desk, your nose, all of the carbon atoms that were once parts of Millard Fillmore's left leg, and the Andromeda galaxy. But can we say anything sensible about that thing? Does our assertion or appreciation of that thing have any meaning?

Essentially, the article is talking about different systems for describing things. A system for describing things is a property of the entity doing the describing, not of the thing being described. It's like having different ways of programming a computer to organize categories of data records. Just as with the question of whether or not gliders exist in the Life model universe, different methods of computing (that is, equivalently, different ways of perceiving) the phenomena will yield different answers, without affecting the real phenomena being observed at all.

Respectfully,
Myriad
__________________
Actually, most of my friends are pretty smart. So if they all jumped off a bridge I'd at least try to find out if they had a good reason.
Myriad is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th November 2012, 07:39 AM   #278
JoeBentley
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeBentley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 3,123
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Isn't that pretty much admitting that it's silly word games?
Originally Posted by Twiler View Post
No.
Errr if you say so. I guess I'm not sure what else to call "I know we exist, but I'm gonna make some big show out of nitpicking the language to no end and for no purpose because it makes me feel smart and allows me to shutdown discussions."

If the nature of reality isn't really what's up for debate, I see even less purpose to these constant appeals to solipsistic nonsense.

Originally Posted by Twiler View Post
Right. Which means that if the language implies you don't exist, there's something wrong with the language.
"I feel the need to nitpick the language for no reason" doesn't mean there is something wrong with it. Through some amazing method it seems good enough for most of us.

Yes all languages, and English does tend to be bad about this, are blunt instruments where it can be hard to convey certain esoteric or nuanced concepts.

But deliberately wording things in the most confusing ways and then crowning yourself Mr. Miyagi because no one knows what the hell you are trying to say is pretentious and useless.
__________________
- Opinions require evidence and no before you ask defining something as "Something doesn't require evidence" doesn't count.
- In extreme cases continuing to be wrong when you've been repeatedly proven to be wrong is a form of rudeness.
- Major in philosophy. That way you can also ask people "why" they would like fries with that.
JoeBentley is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th November 2012, 07:53 AM   #279
marplots
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 11,217
What will we sacrifice to obtain clarity?
marplots is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th November 2012, 08:32 AM   #280
JoeBentley
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeBentley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 3,123
"Semantics" and "intentional obtuseness" not quests for clarity.
__________________
- Opinions require evidence and no before you ask defining something as "Something doesn't require evidence" doesn't count.
- In extreme cases continuing to be wrong when you've been repeatedly proven to be wrong is a form of rudeness.
- Major in philosophy. That way you can also ask people "why" they would like fries with that.
JoeBentley is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

JREF Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:16 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2001-2013, James Randi Educational Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.