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InvisibleRavus
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Truth in Coherentism
    #4175237 - 05/14/05 05:48 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I know one of those really long, useless names could be used for this post, like Truth in Systems: A Nihilistic View of Coherentism and Human Reality in Light of the Paradoxes Encountered by General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, but that's annoying to mostly anyone other than college professors.

Human reality is a perceived as a closed system by many, and within this system, they see truths. They see that 1 + 1 seems to apply universally in this system, and so then take it as an absolute fact- even outside the system itself.

Yet the system of our conceptual reality is just a naturally selected compilation of subjective sensory information, human emotions and empirical logic. Beyond this tiny breadth of reality, everything becomes not only uncertain, but completely unknown. Its very existence is incapable of even being questioned, because we can never escape this sensory human cage.

This limitation has allowed charlatans, religious leaders and authority to control humans who realize they don?t know. The people who don?t know assume those who claim to be enlightened and wise do, but this is an example of one horse marching straight over the edge of the cliff in the darkness of night, and those behind him thinking that because this arrogant beast would do it, everyone else should commit this philosophical suicide. Those who stroll the most confidently off the edge of a cliff will be those that are most followed.

Yet as people have grown wiser, they have given up absolutism for the most part in favor of scientific and societal coherentism. Coherentism states that because our system of reality is coherent, that is, it follows a logical system of laws and fits together, it contains truths.

But how logical is it to use a system to make absolute and true everything in that system? We only have one individual perception, yet we use this perception to make everything absolute- even perception itself.

If you started from scratch, you could create an entire coherent subjective system of reality, following its own logic and laws, that is completely false from our view of reality, yet our view of reality would be completely false according to another system. The way humans perceive reality is completely subjective, so what makes our coherent system of laws true and all other contradictory systems false?

We can even see examples of this in science, as we delve down deeper and find our systems create paradoxes or fail, and new systems need to be created. We started with our theory of general relativity, where everything is smooth, calculated, and predictable. It's all a matter of realizing all the variables, creating equations and plugging the numbers in, and voila! We see the earth rotating the sun in this smooth, calculated manner, and everything was fine in the universe.

Then we slowly realized there was a much more chaotic system not only incomprehensible to general relativity, but one that contradicted it, called quantum mechanics. The founder of general relativity, Albert Einstein, vehemently opposed its contradicting laws, saying, "God does not play dice." But obviously, Einstein was looking at the wrong casino.

Einstein then tried to show the paradoxes created by quantum mechanics, such as in the EPR paradox. He said that if we take a situation in quantum mechanics, the entangelement of two subatomic particles, and conduct an experiment, we get results which completely violate the laws of the system of special relativity. In a situation where two subatomic particles are entangled, one of them follows probability, and the other then has a 100% chance of prediction based on the first particle, no matter the distance between the two.

So let's say Jesus is on one side of the Milky Way, and Jeffrey Dahmer is on the other, and they have two entangled particles. Jesus's electron has a 50% chance of having an up spin, or a 50% chance of a down spin. It follows the probability of quantum mechanics, and Jesus's electron turns out to have an up spin. Mr. Dahmer then looks at his electron, and amazingly, it turns out to be the opposite of Jesus' every time, despite the distance between the two particles. This violates many of the laws of our universe, so what did we do? We created a new system to explain this quantum weirdness.

Yet even after realizing that one coherent system is often false and creating new ones, we still assume there is an absolute truth? How many more times must our system be contradicted, our view of anything being absolute, before we realize that nothing is true? Everything depends on that in which it is contained- beyond that, nothing is known.

Some would say to that we are learning consistently, and that is why our system must be so often overhauled and renewed. But in the desert of the universe, how much of the total information have we uncovered? Assuming that our human perception is correct, which is a leap of faith I would not take, we still have discovered less than a grain of sand in a nearly infinite desert. Our system will have to become constantly overhauled and renewed with added complexities, until our view of anything being absolute and universal is discarded as useless.

After all, in coherentism, it only takes one small flaw to destroy the entire universe of perception, until we are where we started- floating in a sea of dark meaningless, not knowing which system is true and which is false, or if indeed any such notions exist in subjective closed systems.


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So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Truth in Coherentism [Re: Ravus]
    #4175291 - 05/14/05 06:07 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

And sorry about such a long post, but it's hard to concentrate truth into a 4-line paragraph.

The question of coherent systems does leave you hanging, and it seems to me that there are two interesting answers: Nihilism and Taoism. Both of these beliefs are direct answers to these problems.

Nihilism states that everything is meaningless, subjective and changing. There is no truth and no unity. Nihilism takes no leaps of faith, and is really just a confirmation of the subjectivity of coherent systems.

Taoism states that, like the system of quantum physics was implemented into our system of reality, all the infinite, incomprehensible systems fit into one great Way, one unified System. This system cannot even be given a name or comprehended in our current system, but the unity it creates is the only absolute- other than that, everything is indeed perception and subjectivity.

This is why Taoism states that colors blind the eyes, sounds deafen the ears and thoughts cause ignorance in the mind. We only exist in our tiny subjective system, and if we try to work purely through it, we'll never see the great Way that unites everything beyond us.

Which is true? I am a Nihilist simply by Occam's Razor, because I have seen no evidence for Taoism, but the entire possibility of Taoism isn't to be disputed.


--------------------
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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InvisibleMushmanTheManic
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Re: Truth in Coherentism [Re: Ravus]
    #4175413 - 05/14/05 06:37 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Excellent posts.  :thumbup:


--------------------
PsyPost - Psychedelic Research


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Truth in Coherentism [Re: Ravus]
    #4180096 - 05/15/05 10:57 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Which is true? I am a Nihilist simply by Occam's Razor, because I have seen no evidence for Taoism, but the entire possibility of Taoism isn't to be disputed.

____________________________________________________________________

My girlfriend and I have just been discussing this very thing. We have nothing more to add. :heart: :mushroom2:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Truth in Coherentism [Re: Icelander]
    #4180136 - 05/15/05 11:04 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

What conclusion did you come to?

It's almost inexplainable, but the concepts of Nihilism and Taoism almost have a subconscious similarity to me. It's like they both point in the same direction, of a pure substance in everything, whether that substance is nothingness and life is dissociated and meaningless, or whether that substance is unity and life is just another part of the incomprehensible great unity in everything.


--------------------
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Truth in Coherentism [Re: Ravus]
    #4180276 - 05/15/05 11:38 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Ravus said:
What conclusion did you come to?

It's almost inexplainable, but the concepts of Nihilism and Taoism almost have a subconscious similarity to me. It's like they both point in the same direction, of a pure substance in everything, whether that substance is nothingness and life is dissociated and meaningless, or whether that substance is unity and life is just another part of the incomprehensible great unity in everything.




Ha conclusion, I can't give you no stinking conclusion. :grin:

Well, really, I can't get beyond Nihilism. I had been a Taoist at heart since the 70s, but then came to the conclusions of Nihilism before I knew they had a word for it.

But that is what the mind thinks. The heart is another matter. I let it all flow in and out these days, something different all the time, not attached to knowing. Daydreaming of love and who cares if it's true.

The Tao brings us into being, nurtures and suckels us, and has no concern as to the outcome. A Nihilist understands this. :mushroom2: :heart:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Truth in Coherentism [Re: Icelander]
    #4181470 - 05/16/05 09:54 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

It seems to me that Nihilism and Taoism come from the same understanding. As humans we cannot grasp ultimate truth. It seems good for Nihilism to stop there. Taoism is a path from that point on into phenominon. Now I'm just speculating here based on limited understanding. Veritas should get in on this because she explains/understands it better usually than I do. :laugh:

Taoism deals with what can be noticed by anyone and everyone that takes the time to notice it. For example anyone can notice how the empty space inside a window frame is what is important about the frame. Not everyone could notice or verify for themselves that after you die you go to the Bardo and experience your thought forms as entities in demonic form. So no agreement could be reached on that. It seems that Taoism trys always to remember what it shares with Nihilism. So Taoism is a path springing from Nihilism. It is grasped by a mind that cuts through the superstitions and wishfull thinking, and unexamined speculations, of most humans who want to claim truth.

It embraces Chaos and notices how chaos acts in our material plane and uses that to full advantage. Without claiming it is the ultimate.

Yow! Most of what I just said is probably wrong or not completely thought out. I am aware. :grin: I am laying it out as a stone and want to see if we can build on it. I would be happy to replace it with something else but I hope some folks chime in here. I want to understand this better. :mushroom2:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: Truth in Coherentism [Re: Icelander]
    #4181945 - 05/16/05 01:36 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Stirring post. :grin: :thumbup:

The only thing I feel I can add right now is that I will definitely support the concept of sound deafening one's ears, etc. etc. etc., in that aspects of our experience of reality serve as boundaries on understanding anything existing beyond those boundaries, simply because we do not experience anything beyond those boundaries. We do not intuitively and naturally understand what being subjected to multiple time dimensions would consist of, but yet the possibillity of multiple time dimensions is there, according to string theory (in as much as I've read of it, anyways :grin:).

Of course, that doesn't mean that we do not have the capabilities of building understanding of reality beyond those boundaries, time and time again we have advanced and transcended them. This has resulted from an outlook of potential and possibillities. To envision something is to make it a possibillity, to make it real.

At the same time, we are limited by anything that we identify with. The more awareness we consciously direct into itself, the more awareness that is aware of awareness (:grin:), the easier it is to naturally transcend limiting boundaries resulting from our simple experiences. Understanding and wisdom come hand-in-hand with awareness.

The prospect of a reality we are within, the very fact that such a prospect is subjective and of perception is because that reality is awareness itself. Awareness of awareness.

It is impossible to "know" reality, it is impossible to find "truth" in reality. The mind is an aspect of reality and is bound by its relative position within reality, the role that it plays out. Awareness, however, is reality. There is nothing else, it is nothing itself. All phenomenon, all states of being, its awareness. Awareness is the Way (just not the eternal Way :smirk:).

:nut:

:headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :satansmoking:
Peace. :mushroom2:


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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InvisibleVeritas
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Re: Truth in Coherentism (?) [Re: Ravus]
    #4181951 - 05/16/05 01:38 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Ravus said:
Human reality is perceived as a closed system by many, and within this system, they see truths. They see that 1 + 1 seems to apply universally in this system, and so then take it as an absolute fact- even outside the system itself.

Coherentism states that because our system of reality is coherent, that is, it follows a logical system of laws and fits together, it contains truths.

After all, in coherentism, it only takes one small flaw to destroy the entire universe of perception, until we are where we started- floating in a sea of dark meaningless, not knowing which system is true and which is false, or if indeed any such notions exist in subjective closed systems.




After 30+ years of careful study, I came to the conclusion (for now) that all systems of perceiving truth are flawed by nature.  Perception is not a tool for measuring meaning or truth; it is a faulty filter employed to make our experience of the material plane more manageable.  Systems are the hobgoblin of mediocre minds  :wink:  The most we can hope to do with our limited perspective is attempt our "best guess" at what life is about, and then attempt to live by that guess.  If we are flexible enough in spirit and mind to continually revise our guess based on new experiences, then it might begin to move closer to the Truth.  By contrast, the belief that something is permanently True because we cannot perceive any contradictions in it is circular reasoning.  We create the limitation to our perceptive abilities by locking in an idea, a guess, as a FACT. IMO even the idea that we can arrive at "true" or "false" is limiting.


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Re: Truth in Coherentism (?) [Re: Veritas]
    #4182325 - 05/16/05 03:13 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Perhaps colours blind the eye and sounds deafen the ear if perceived superficially. After all, everything points back to the same thing, right? That is at the heart of this thread. And is this 'something' actually something or nothing, well that is a good question. I believe something *is* nothing, and thus I do not subscribe to nihilism which acknowledges, and by accordance perceives, only the nothingness, for to consider nothing void of something is incomplete and innaccurate.

On one end of the spectrum there is something, and on the other end there is nothing. The linear spectrum bends around backwards into a circle and the two ends meet, as something is nothing. On one end there is absolute fundamentality/Yin and on the other there is absolute conventionality/Yang. Non-existence vs. existence. Degrees of subtlety of existence. So subtle on one end that it can barely be perceived; so impermanent on the other end that, in the great scheme of things, it exists for but a fraction of duration, and looking at the whole it, too, can barely be perceived. We are left, in both cases, with an infinitely tiny something?two infinitely tiny somethings?the two respectively black and white balls in the Yin/Yang symbol.

Any system of perception may be flawed in that it cannot accurately represent the Ineffable on a tangible level. Similarly, they may all be true if regarded as symbolic of the Ineffable to varying degrees. They can be properly used by being regarded not as the Ineffable, but as a framework in which the Ineffable may be manifest. If we settle for nothing less than the Ineffable itself, ignorantly incapable of profound symbolic consideration, then we nihilistically seek self-destruction and death. Such is the improper way of rejoining the Ineffable, the way of giving up, the way of undoing creation and finding It before, as opposed to finding It through active creation.

Things are not only true or false. If we do not know truth?the Ineffable?fully, we may still know it to a degree on a more conventional level. Some people know it only in the conventional world they live in, while others see deeper to varying degrees. Some see too deep for comfort and fall back on nihilism that affirms a conventional individual identity that can never fully capture or understand the Ineffable. I maintain that we are essentially not these individual conventions but, rather, we *are* the Ineffable. We are a drop of water different from the ocean quantitatively, but not qualitatively.

Upon consideration of one's previous models of coherentism of varyingly (and hopefully increasingly) vast contexts, flaws in the models are found to possess common natures?needs for definition, attempts to tangibly grasp the Ineffable. As these needs become better understood as hollow, as conventional bodies to be filled with the Ineffable, as mediums for the Ineffable to manifest through, then the Ineffable is found not in the outside world considered through a model of coherentism. It is rather found within, inside the self-aware creator of such models, shining clearly in a subtle definition of self or distorted through the shadows of ego. Nihilism is forever searching for what Taoism has found through consideration of the seeker and their obscurring compulsion to seek.

When consideration is directed inwards through the Now, then universal truth can be grasped. It is self-authenticating like anything else and describes the relative backbone of the universe. It considers the fundamentals of a fractal universe without which individual systems of coherentism could not so conveniently remain coherent. As old models are understood in their respective places, they help form a hierarchy throughout the infinite of relative levels accross the spherical spectrum, and serve as proof of the spectrum's accuracy.

By hierarchy I mean they are the the definition of this universal system. Past systems are conventional and themselves constitute the more conventional aspects of the universal system, while newer systems are progressively more fundamental as the system creator evolves spiritually towards the Ineffable. From more fundamental perspectives, conventional systems are understood with conventionally and tangibly appropriate certitude, and fundamental systems are understood through the present experience of their self-assured and self-aware creator. Here direction of evolution is set towards perfection?absolute subtlety?the Ineffable, whereas for the nihilist direction is chaotic.

We all will end up back where we started, floating in a sea of nothingness. The question is, will we simply *be* in this state, content to exist so subtly? Or will we foolishly worry that we may all-of-a-sudden cease to exist completely, and manifest ourselves into conventional form? I say both will happen, simultaneously. :smile:


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Truth in Coherentism (?) [Re: the_phoenix]
    #4183632 - 05/16/05 08:50 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Very interesting post! I'm trying to wrap my head around it. I looked up the defination of nihilism. " A doctrine that all values are baseless and that nothing is knowable or can be communicated."

This is also my understanding of the idea. To me this idea sets one free to explore their own ideas without having to defend them. For me it includes the possibility of everything and nothing. I am alive. I can choose to think for myself, anything my heart desires, I don't have to defend its rightness because thats impossible. So I get to choose. I choose a path with heart. :heart: It goes against what everyone and the culture are telling me is moral right or true. Not everything of course but you get the picture. I choose for myself and take responsibility for the outcome.

By the way many of these ideas were developed in myself reading the first four Castanada books. I always saw a thread of Taoism and Nihilism in them. That was the amazing attraction for me.

To me nihilism does not seek "self destruction and death". It seeks what ever a person wants but doesnt't worry about the rightness or wrongness of it.  To me it's an invitation to follow ones heart unencumbered.

Maybe I don't understand the word well enough. But to me nihilism is the idea and Taoism is a very nice path with heart. Just one of a million paths, leading into the bush and out again, and in the end they all meet. :mushroom2:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Truth in Coherentism (?) [Re: Icelander]
    #4183938 - 05/16/05 09:45 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I think the reason traditional Nihilism and Taoism cannot co-exist without contradictions is because Nihilism would state that nothing is absolute, nothing is true and nothing is unifying all these dissociated perceptions. Everything is subjective and cannot be communicated, nor can the truth be known.

The other implications of Nihilism, such as that there are therefore no morals, values, good or evil, right or wrong other than those that we create for ourselves naturally follows this belief.

But the entire idea of the Tao is that there is something incomprehensible that is true, that is unifying all realities. So if you held both Nihilist and Taoist beliefs, you'd be stating, "Nothing is true, nothing is absolute, but the Way is the truth that unifies all subjective realities."

Of course, this contradiction isn't necessarily the end of the issue. If you follow Nihilism and come to the conclusion that everything is subjective, and therefore we are creating everything in this illusion of a reality, then why does it matter if we continue to hold this belief? If we create our own reality, then we can create any truths we want to, we can switch beliefs and religions like we switch clothing and continuously explore all these different possible ways of living. Chaos Magic follows this exact line of reasoning.

You're right when you say that Nihilism doesn't necessarily seek destruction and death, because from a Nihilistic perspective what's the difference between destruction and death to creation and life? None of it is absolute, but the search for destruction seems to come from those who once held absolute morals and orthodox beliefs, and now that they've discovered meaningless are trying to seek out chaos to destroy all old useless attachments they created for their reality.

Intriguing posts.  :thumbup:


--------------------
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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Re: Truth in Coherentism (?) [Re: Ravus]
    #4184115 - 05/16/05 10:26 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Chaos Magicians wield their own consciousness effectively. A person unaware of the nature of this flow of consciousness is subject to its rule. So chaos magicians have something the nihilist lacks: belief in the fractal nature of the universe coalescing into the Way of oneness. Through this Way many 'magical' things are possible, but it isn't necessary to look into it, exemplified for example by the unattached Zen lifestyle.

Everything is partly subjective but not one hundred percent so; everything is also partly fundamentally tied into fractal oneness. Present experience of the Now, the nature of the state of observer of merely subjective perceptions, is a common source of oneness among us all. It isn't necessary to look into this, either, exemplified by your average citizen, but it is highly recommended.

Some people naturally cannot help but to see straight into it, but fear rules the day and in every distraction the same terrible truth of individual death and universal oneness is still found, and this leads to mental illnesses. Other people find it more convenient to deny the present state of affairs and cling to a comforting?or, if they can't lie to themselves, then distressing?state of nihilistic awareness. Others live physically ascetically but mentally they are quite spiritually attached to universal oneness.

As such, the possible distress should be accepted, chaos embraced and order found. There is a hierarchy, a destination for one's direction: order among chaos.

Icelander, I like how you put that. I've been meaning to read Castanada's works, hopefully they're in the same vein. So I would call nihilism justifiable like that, but I would also add that a person can have their fun in the chaos for a while but eventually should begin cultivating order. I guess I was wrong about the definition of nihilism though, or adding my slant/bias.


Edited by the_phoenix (05/16/05 10:33 PM)


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Truth in Coherentism (?) [Re: Ravus]
    #4184145 - 05/16/05 10:35 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Of course, this contradiction isn't necessarily the end of the issue. If you follow Nihilism and come to the conclusion that everything is subjective, and therefore we are creating everything in this illusion of a reality, then why does it matter if we continue to hold this belief? If we create our own reality, then we can create any truths we want to, we can switch beliefs and religions like we switch clothing and continuously explore all these different possible ways of living. Chaos Magic follows this exact line of reasoning.
______________________________________________________________________

That's kind of how I have been running my program. Funny you mention Chaos Magick. I became very interested in it a while ago.

In the end I always come back to the fact that I can't know anything for sure. That used to be such a horrible feeling. My ego wanted the saftey of certain truths. Power plants showed me something else. My brain is filtering out most of what is comming in right this moment. I only seed a narrow bandwidth of experience.

Yeah it's very interesting thinking about this. I am more interested in living it to test it out for myself. I will draw whatever conclusions I draw. For you it will be different. Snowflake to snowflake. Nothingness seems to not be empty. :mushroom2:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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