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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: mirrorsaww]
    #879877 - 09/12/02 07:05 AM (19 years, 12 days ago)

Wisdom is not communicable. Knowledge can be communicated, but not Wisdom
I have come to this truth through experience. -OoD



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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #880479 - 09/12/02 01:38 PM (19 years, 11 days ago)

I'm going to use a slightly different approach to answer a few misconceptions that have arisen in the dialogues between various members and me. Instead of going through each post line by line answering them as if we were in a conversation I am going to just lay out what I think the various problems are and then give answers by explaining what I think the common misconceptions that exist in terms of philosophical thinking.

It is exceedingly important that we try to use language that is precise as possible in order to accurately convey exactly what we mean when we are discussing the finer aspects of philosophical thinking. If we are imprecise in the definitions or meanings of the terms we use our thinking will reflect that. I do not think anyone here wants to be imprecise. We also need to agree on the definitions and/or meanings if wish to discuss something. All of us are aware, or should be aware, of the danger of using different meanings or definitions for the same words in a conversation.

If I say, "Artichoke running diapers flying moonbeams to shine can zipper my cabbage," very few of you, I would venture to say none, would have the slightest idea of what I am talking about. I could then explain what each of the terms means to me but where would that get us? All that would result would be semantic quibbling over the meanings of the words and little or nothing would be accomplished.

In order to prepare myself for this little explanation I decided at the behest of vaporbrains to watch The Matrix again and see if it would jog something loose in my head in order that I might remember it better or at the very least eat some popcorn and a few candy bars.

With all that said, let us begin. The root of the problem; whether sensory perception can lead us to acknowledge existence, began many years ago with the writings of John Locke in a book he wrote entitled, Essay Concerning Human Understanding. In it he explains that ideas are that which we apprehend and not that by which we apprehend. I know that seems a little abstruse so let me explain it in detail taking us through the various steps so that it might become clear.

The ideas in my mind are my ideas and the ideas in your mind are your ideas. That is to say, that each of us has ideas that are not directly experienced by the other person. Even if a person could read your mind, they would be listening to your thoughts but not having them. The various states of telepathy do not negate this. Now the words yours and mine indicate possessiveness, or ownership. That is why they are possessive pronouns. They indicate that those ideas arise within a consciousness and so are what we call subjective. Locke thought that one's own ideas were what each of us are aware of and that no one else can be directly aware of them as each person is of their own ideas. In other words, those ideas are never an object of someone else's consciousness but they are an object of our own.

When we apply the word "object" to an idea that exists in our own mind an apparent contradiction confronts us. We seem to be saying that my ideas while subjective in the sense that they occur in my mind and not yours yet they also retain the attribute of objectivity because they are truly are objects. Let us consider more closely the terms subjective and objective so that we can better understand them. We say that something is objective if it is the same for you, for me, and for anyone else. We say that something is subjective if it differs from one person to another and when it is the possession of one person. Feelings are entirely subjective because we alone own them. I may have feelings like yours but I do not directly have your feelings.

To clear up this confusion I think it is better to use the words public and private in the place of objective and subjective. Any experience is public if two or more people can share it. It may not be common to all people but it must at least be potentially common to all people. An experience is private if it can be had by only one person and cannot possibly be shared directly by anyone else.

Let me provide us with some examples that I think are indisputable and hopefully you will agree with me.

Our bodily feelings which include tactile sensations and the emotions or passions each of us feel are entirely our own. Others may feel the same way but they do not share the feelings directly. I can tell you about how I feel and you may have feelings like mine but each of us is directly experiencing the same type or kind of feeling and not each other's. It is the same way with a toothache. If my wisdom tooth is impacted with a raw nerve exposed and it is giving me such pain that I would sell my mother to the Nazi's for relief, you may have had a similar experience but you are not directly experiencing my pain. You may even empathize to the point where your own tooth aches and yet the pain you feel is your own as mine is my own. There is a type of individual psychology that denies this sort of thing with immeshment dysfunction but we need not go into that here.

In sharp contrast to our bodily feelings, our perceptual experiences are public, not private. If you and I are seated at a table with a candle, two glasses and a bottle of wine we are perceptually apprehending the same objects-not our own ideas. If I pour some wine in your glass and toast you we are sharing the same experience. That is a public experience but the taste of the wine on each of our tongues is not, just like the heartburn the Mad Dog gives me and does not give you. My perceptions, or percepts, are not identical with yours. Each of us has his own, as each of us has our own bodily feelings. Even though my perceptions and yours in this instance are in this sense subjective (belonging exclusively to each of us alone), our having them results in our having a common or public experience.

To go back to Locke, both perceptions and bodily feelings are ideas and each of us has his own. But certain subjective ideas, such as bodily feelings, are exclusively subjective. They are objects of consciousness only for the one person that experiences them. They can be called objects for that reason, but they do not have any objectivity. On the other hand, other subjective ideas, like percepts or perceptions, result in public, not private, experience, for their objects can be directly and simultaneously experienced by two or more people.

I know this is overly long. I hate long posts but I know of no other way to convey this. I'll end this section here. I am composing this in word and then copying and pasting it into the thread. There is more to come but I don't want to burden the readers more than I have already. I know if I were reading this I probably would have given up by now. The ones that have the necessary patience and persistence will come away with ideas they have never encountered before and will have a new explanation for the world and this reality which we all experience.

For those who wish to interject something at the point, feel free to do so. However bear in mind that whatever objection you might raise will be covered in short order as I finish this. I will also, at the end of this explanation talk about the Matrix and why I think, in some limited sense, it might be true. I watched the movie at least 4 times and caught a fatal flaw in it which has great bearing on our discussion.

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #880520 - 09/12/02 01:53 PM (19 years, 11 days ago)

^^^^^^^


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Amoeba665]
    #880828 - 09/12/02 05:07 PM (19 years, 11 days ago)

^^^^^^^^

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #881130 - 09/13/02 12:15 AM (19 years, 11 days ago)

^^^^^^

I just wanted to make sure you saw I added something. I'll add more later.

Cheers,


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InvisibleWhiskeyClone
Not here
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #881326 - 09/13/02 02:45 AM (19 years, 11 days ago)

In reply to:

^^^^^^^




I hate your lies.


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Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.  For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.  Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it.

~ R.W. Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

:heartpump:


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Kansas
Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #881335 - 09/13/02 02:50 AM (19 years, 11 days ago)

To clear up this confusion I think it is better to use the words public and private in the place of objective and subjective. Any experience is public if two or more people can share it. It may not be common to all people but it must at least be potentially common to all people. An experience is private if it can be had by only one person and cannot possibly be shared directly by anyone else.

our perceptual experiences are public, not private. If you and I are seated at a table with a candle, two glasses and a bottle of wine we are perceptually apprehending the same objects-not our own ideas.

percepts or perceptions, result in public, not private, experience, for their objects can be directly and simultaneously experienced by two or more people.



My question- Do what we acknowledge as entities (i.e., events, objects, properties, etc) exist outside of our perception?

I do not see how this idea has been rejected. The fact that a perception is common to all people may just as easily point to similarities in the way humans perceive reality (or the Tao). I am not saying that I can totally reject your realism, but I do not see how you can reject this idealism. Please grant me solace and refute this idea. Ending this debate is crucial for any agreement on absolute truth.


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


Edited by buttonion (09/13/02 02:51 AM)


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Offlinevaporbrains
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Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 539
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Re: Truth? [Re: buttonion]
    #881426 - 09/13/02 03:33 AM (19 years, 11 days ago)

In reply to:

In sharp contrast to our bodily feelings, our perceptual experiences are public, not private. If you and I are seated at a table with a candle, two glasses and a bottle of wine we are perceptually apprehending the same objects-not our own ideas.




this is absolutely ridiculous. you need to brush up on your perceptual psychology. if we are both sitting at a table apprehending the same glass of wine we are NOT "seeing" the same thing. of course we both can see the objects on the table and agree on some of thier attributes, but this doesn't mean we can say we see the SAME thing. even in the visual sense we are not neccessarily seeing the same image. it should be recognized that we filter our perceptions THROUGH our ideas, that is, through our subjective consciousness. since everyone's filters/frames/ideas/concepts are different we would be neccessarily percieving different wine glasses and even different experiences of toasting. you might be thinking "oh, he's so cute. this is great." and i might be thinking "oh what a fag." which would color (along with other conceptual/perceptual filters) the entire experience.

a schizophrenic obviously doesn't percieve the same reality as a normal person. and this is analogous to the difference in perception between normal individuals, only it's a smaller difference....this seems obvious?

In reply to:

whether sensory perception can lead us to acknowledge existence




maybe i'm just saying what you've already said. if so, i don't see how this proves the existence of an objective existence. Neo, from the Matrix thought he was experiencing objective reality, as did his companions. He wasn't.


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All refrences to and statements concerning mushrooms, mushroom cultivation, and mushroom related paraphrenalia refer specifically to the cultivation of legal species.


Edited by vaporbrains (09/13/02 03:50 AM)


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Offlinevaporbrains
Cub Scout

Registered: 09/09/02
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Re: Truth? [Re: Anonymous]
    #883808 - 09/15/02 07:19 PM (19 years, 8 days ago)

what the fuck happened to this thread?


--------------------
All refrences to and statements concerning mushrooms, mushroom cultivation, and mushroom related paraphrenalia refer specifically to the cultivation of legal species.


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: vaporbrains]
    #883837 - 09/15/02 07:29 PM (19 years, 8 days ago)

As in?

I will be adding more shortly answering a few issues you brought forth.

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: vaporbrains]
    #883849 - 09/15/02 07:33 PM (19 years, 8 days ago)

In reply to:

what the fuck happened to this thread?



-You want the truth? - OoD


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #883851 - 09/15/02 07:33 PM (19 years, 8 days ago)

So. Where were we? Ah yes, we were trying to figure out whether we exist or not. I think it is important and so do my loan officers. If we find out that I do not exist, I am going to send a letter to them straight away and tell them to forget about next month's payment or any other payment for that matter. This discussion could really revolutionize my finances. The only problem I can see is that the people that owe me money will not know who to make the check out. Hmmm, Perhaps we should continue.

As I was saying, all ideas are subjective. That means that they all exist in our minds. My ideas exist in my mind and your ideas exist in your mind. They are never identical anymore than the cells of my body are identical to the cells of your body. Some of the ideas result in public experiences and some of them result in private experiences.

Here we need to make a distinction between ideas and bodily feelings, emotions, and sensations. Locke did not observe this distinction and that is why we have a hard time today understanding this. An idea has an object. This means that perceptions, memories, imaginations, and concepts or thoughts are ideas in this sense of the word but bodily feelings, emotions, and sensations are not. We apprehend them directly. They are never the means by which we apprehend anything else. When we are perceiving we are directly conscious of something other than our percepts.

What is the something other? It is the candle, table, wine bottle, and the glasses that we perceive when we are sharing a public experience and result from our perceptual activity. In addition, let us be clear about the meaning of perception. Perception has two distinct meanings. The first and primary meaning is to recognize something. The second means the interpretation of the thing recognized. This is the order in which we perceive something. It is impossible to interpret something until it enters the mind through the senses.

Our experience of the table with its accouterments is a public experience, not a private experience like a toothache.

The table and the things on it, the really existing things, are the objects of our perceptual awareness. They are not the percepts or perceptions that enable us to apprehend them. That is why we can talk about them to one another as things we are experiencing in common. The wine bottle is the perceptual object that we are both apprehending when I pour the wine into your glass.

Here is where Locke made the philosophical mistake that has confused us for years. For him, the awareness we have of our own ideas is entirely a private experience, never public. This holds true for all those who adopt his view of ideas as the objects of our minds when we are conscious. What they think is that all the ideas that an individual has in his mind when he is conscious result in private experiences for him alone. They are experiences no one can share. We all labor under this philosophical mistake.


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #883858 - 09/15/02 07:36 PM (19 years, 8 days ago)

Let us return to Locke's concept that ideas are that which we apprehend and not that by which we apprehend objects in the sensate world and see how our concept leads us inevitably to a conclusion that is counterintuitive. The reason the conclusion is counterintuitive or runs contrary to reason is twofold. One, most of us are unaware of how loose our habits of speech are. If we do not rid ourselves of the bad habit of using imprecise, equivocal terms, we will never be able to accomplish much in the way of philosophical discourse. Moreover, we are used to the concept of idealism because its usage has become pervasive in our culture. It appears as a backdrop in movies, books, and other places where ideological ideas are found. If we take the time to look at these concepts through new eyes we will find that not only do they make sense but they clear up a few mysteries like the ones that prompted this explanation in the first place.


What this means specifically is that while we experience perceived objects in the sensate world, we are never aware of the percepts by which we are made aware of them. While we remember past events we are never aware of the memories whereby we remember them. While we are aware of imagined things or imaginary objects we are never aware of the images by which we imagine them. While we apprehend objects of thought we never apprehend the concepts by which we think of them. What I am saying here is that we cannot directly examine or be consciously aware of the images or memories by which we remember things or have imaginings.

Here is why. If we go back to the table with the wine and glasses we noted that we shared a public but not a private experience. It could not have been a public experience if all we were aware of was our own perceptual ideas, our own sense perceptions. A cognitive idea, including percepts, memories, images, and concepts, cannot, at one and the same time be that which we directly apprehend and that by which we apprehend something else-some object that is not an idea in our minds, but unlike subjective ideas is rather something that can be an object of consideration or of conversation for two or more individuals. Its being a communal experience for both of us, one that we shared, depended on our both apprehending the same perceptual objects, not our own quite private perceptions of them.

That is important, let me repeat it.

Its being a communal experience for both of us, one that we shared, depended on our both apprehending the same perceptual objects, not our own quite private perceptions of them.

I do not know how to make that any clearer.



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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #883860 - 09/15/02 07:38 PM (19 years, 8 days ago)

Now this is not to say that we do not have perceptual differences when we perceive objects of the sensate world. However, these differences are not difficult to account for. For example, I might mention that the wine appears to be burgundy and you say it looks like claret. After realizing that I am sitting with the light source to my back and you are sitting where the light travels through it we quickly clear the matter up. Most perceptual differences can be accounted for in this manner. On the other hand if I say that the bottle is corked and you say it is not we might come to the conclusion that I am corked and the bottle is not.

The conclusion of the foregoing is that a misunderstanding of ideas leads us inexorably to either total skepticism; the philosophical stance that we can never know the external world even though it might exist, and solipsism; the assertion that everything that I am conscious of is a figment of my imagination. Common sense compels us to reject each of those conclusions as absurd.

Yet, we do wonder about these things and I think I know why.

The Matrix.

For most of us, there is an intuitive sense that there is something more to our existence that our interaction with the sensate world. In fact, I think that there are clues found in various branches of knowledge that lend themselves to the possibility that the Matrix does indeed exist. Those clues are in themselves abstruse concepts that are not easily explained in the context of the medium that we enjoy on the Shroomery. At some time I might type them up and try to explain them in the simplest terms. For now let me make a few comments on the movie, The Matrix, and then we can continue with the discussion of whether we exist or if there are any overarching universal truths.

There is a fatal flaw of reasoning in the movie and it is this:

In the movie, Neo is led down a rabbit hole to discover that this reality is just a construct, a computer program fed into our minds by machines. How do we know that is not the case? The answer is found in the movie itself. When Morpheus was explaining how he knew about the matrix, he told Neo, "There are fields, endless fields Neo, where humans are no longer born, we are grown. For the longest time, I wouldn't believe it and then I saw the fields with my own eyes, watch them liquefy the dead so they could be fed intravenously to the living and standing there facing the pure horrifying precision I came to realize the obviousness of the truth."

So what did Morpheus use to reach this startling conclusion? He saw the fields with his own eyes. He used his senses. Just like we do when we look at the world. That's how he knew and that's how we know. We know that the world is real because we have seen it.


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OfflineAdamist
ℚṲℰϟ✞ЇѺℵ ℛ∃Åʟḯ†У
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #883872 - 09/15/02 07:43 PM (19 years, 8 days ago)

I agree that all ideas are subjective. Would all individual existence and therfore perception not be subjective also? And if every perception was different, how can a person say they know an absolute truth?

I still think that "existence" is the only absolute truth, because that is the one common thing that every individual suspects. But how can you absolutely KNOW this to be true, unless you are looking at it from the perspective of all existence?


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Anonymous]
    #883873 - 09/15/02 07:44 PM (19 years, 8 days ago)

Oh, and I havent forgotten your "The Matrix"  Secrets Revealed Part 4 . Post either"
Can I refresh anyones drink?
:grin:-OoD 


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #883881 - 09/15/02 07:46 PM (19 years, 8 days ago)

We know that the world is real because we have seen it.

Does that mean my dreams are real as well?


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Anonymous]
    #883895 - 09/15/02 07:56 PM (19 years, 8 days ago)

I'll have the same thing I drank while I was composing this, a chilled glass of pouilly-fuiss? and a glass of Mad Dog to chase it with. :wink:

Cheers! 


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Anonymous

Re: Truth? [Re: Adamist]
    #883904 - 09/15/02 07:59 PM (19 years, 8 days ago)

The answers to your questions are contained in the posts I created. Read them carefully and use precise terms. That should clear it up.

Nice to see you.

Cheers,


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Truth? [Re: ]
    #883907 - 09/15/02 08:03 PM (19 years, 8 days ago)

*Takes out his pick-axe*


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