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Thread: Philosophy, Language, the Animals and Free Will, People, and Logic; an Essay

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    Philosophy, Language, the Animals and Free Will, People, and Logic; an Essay

    ‘Ceteris paribus,’ we all have the same thoughts and feelings.

    Language is our window to the world. Without language we’re not even observing the world, we are instead of looking through a window, we are looking at a blank wall that completely hides the world from us.

    The lack of language in the animals means that they are looking at a blank wall, compared with us. Without language, they have no consciousness of the world. With language, we have a window through the wall, we can see outside, we can see the world.

    Language is not a perfectly clear pane of glass. There is a dimness to the glass. While this is in effect a defect in the glass, it is inescapable that the dimness is there, it is inherent to the glass. Your choice is between this dim window to the world, and a blank wall that hides the world completely, so the choice is obvious that we’ll take the window, even though it obscures our view of the world, to the blank wall.

    Fortunately, it is not difficult to calibrate our view through the window, to account for and correct the dimness that causes our view of the world to be somewhat distorted. The distortion is particularly that through the window to the world, we appear to be determined, and to not possess free will.

    Language is the first thing we must address when we go about describing the world that we see through the dim glass of language. We must say something about the glass itself, and since we need language to do that, the first thing that we say, establishes language, it is the foundation, the bedrock, of language.

    Once you use language, you have demonstrated that language exists. You have demonstrated it, and the demonstration itself is the definition of language.

    Language is real. There. There’s the foundation of language, which is a logical transformation of the real foundation of language which is just, Language. The word ‘language’ itself demonstrates its own existence and objective reality and physical manifestation in the real world. We do not merely state that the window exists, but we establish that we have a tool to state that the window exists, and that tool is the window itself.

    Because the animals see the world through a blank wall, which is the same as saying that they can’t see the world at all, they also are therefore truly determined, automatic, not free creatures. They because they cannot see the world, behave entirely according to reflexes and hormones and stimulus and such. They do not possess nor demonstrate free will, and it is because they cannot be free, because they cannot see, because they do not have the window of language in the wall, through which to see the world.

    And the dim window obscures our view of the world, such that it appears through this dim glass that we are not free either, and in a way, people who do not acknowledge that we are free, are ignoring the inherent dimness in the window. The dimness makes it look like we are not free.

    There are however, things that people do, that defy the appearance of determinism, even when seen through the dimness of the glass. These things, when put into language skillfully, demand ever more complicated explanations as to why it appears to be that humans Do possess free will, if we insist on believing and accepting that we are Not free.

    If we instead believe that we are free, we not only address specifically the dimness, we also correct the distortion, and we also, obviate the need for overly complicated explanations for why we do sometimes appear to be free, and not mechanically or even logically determined. These occurrences instead of being problematic, are the definitive proof that free will is real, and they also demonstrate what “free will” means, through ostensive definition.

    The foundation of philosophy is Language. The signifier and the signified.

    What do those symbols mean, “Language?”

    We don’t need to express the above query In /With language, mind you, we only have to be curious. We need to just wonder, question, ponder. The answer to our curiosity is the same as what prompted our curiosity: Language.

    This is language. The word language IS language.

    And that proposition, produces for us the foundation of logic. Language is language. That pattern, where there’s a word, and a copula, and the same homograph again, is the foundation or bedrock of logic. It’s a tautology. Logic is valid inference, and what does valid inference mean? We show or demonstrate or illustrate it, by repeating “Language is language.” To be logical, to be a valid inference, whatever it is that we’re investigating must be in that same form or pattern or even trope or parable or equation, as “Language is language.” If you want to substitute other symbols for ‘language’ you can instead say “W is W.” You can substitute a symbol for the copula, so long as it’s different from W. WOW, for example. Anything that is an expression, no matter how complicated, of ‘WOW’ is logical.

    'Ceteris paribus,' we all have the same thoughts and feelings.
    "Those who believe in Christ" are all the Christians, Catholic or not.

    @Nee_Nihilo

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    I'm not sure of your point so I'll just respond to the following.

    Because the animals see the world through a blank wall, which is the same as saying that they can’t see the world at all, they also are therefore truly determined, automatic, not free creatures. They because they cannot see the world, behave entirely according to reflexes and hormones and stimulus and such. They do not possess nor demonstrate free will, and it is because they cannot be free, because they cannot see, because they do not have the window of language in the wall, through which to see the world.
    Every pet I've ever had, including my current little dog has been able to both communicate with me and understand what I'm saying. Not all of it, but enough to understand me. Here's an example from my little dog. This happened about two weeks ago.

    My wife and I have a standing joke about how Bear tells us this and Bear tells us that. Well, one morning as I was putting my shoes to take Bear for his morning jaunt I was telling my wife, because she had insisted I take Bear for a walk about 2 am, that Bear had told me that he was really torqued that momma had made me take him for his walk instead of doing it herself because he liked walking with her much better than he liked walking with me. That he considered himself to be stuck with me for his walk.

    As I'm telling her this she's standing in front of me and starts laughing. I look at her and she's motioning towards Bear who is sitting behind me and to my left. I look back at Bear and he is staring at me with his ears in his "listen" mode and he's curling his lips in a snarl. I reach back to pet him and he snaps at me. I try petting him again and he snaps at me again. He continued doing that until I told him I was sorry for lying about him and that I wouldn't do it again. As soon as I did that his attitude changed completely and he came over to me to sit on my lap and get petted.

    This isn't the first time he has displayed an intimate knowledge of human language. Five years ago I was sitting watching TV and happened to glance over at him. He was standing in front of his food dish eating. His dog food at that time had multiple different shapes and colors of kibbles. What he was doing was eating only one shape and color of kibble. The rest of the colors and shapes he was picking out of the dish with his mouth and dropping on the floor in front of his dish. I just couldn't believe how picky he was being so I told him that. As soon as I had said that his head spun like it was on a swivel so he could look at me. I told him that he was unbelievably picky and to look at what he was dropping on the floor. He turned back to his dish and looked at all the kibble on the floor. He looked back at me and I said, see how picky you are. He looked back at all the kibble he had dropped on the floor, looked back at me once more, and then started eating the kibble he had been dropping on the floor. He had understood exactly what I had said to him.

    Those are just two instances of his understanding of human speech. He demonstrates daily that he understands what is said to him. And, he is very capable of communicating with us. My wife was gone for the weekend this week and when she got home he was all wound up and excited. My wife petted him a little when she first came in the door and he was showing great excitement and happiness. She went to do something else and he started running around in circles and then came running to me and jumped into my lap. This is something he does all the time when my wife comes home from work or from having been somewhere. His excitement at seeing her always leads him to jump in my lap. He sits there then in a state of great excitement. It's like he comes to share his happiness with me. He also communicates his displeasure with both my wife and I when we make him do something he doesn't want to do. The curling of his lips and the snarling he does communicates his displeasure very well.

    He also communicates his dislike of certain people very well. He's a fine judge of character and a great reader of body language. He knows who may be a threat and who willl not be a threat. He's good natured overall and likes people, yet I have seen him go nuts at some people from the moment he sees them. I've never seen him wrong in his instant dislike either.

    He does not see a blank wall. He sees the world exactly as it is. All of my dogs have been like that. I could tell you story after story of how well they communicated an expressed their emotions.
    “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”
    ― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    “One and God make a majority.”
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    When we write, when we speak, we express to the best of our ability, when we’re honest and open and authentic, what our feelings and thoughts are.

    When we express that our thoughts and feelings are illegitimate, then we know that we’re not very good at expressing our thoughts and feelings, which is a deficiency in our linguistic and philosophical abilities, and, which is why philosophers have always been so crucial to the positive development of the species. Philosophers and philosophy are why the long-term trend overall for humanity is upward.

    One of the most famous philosophical theses is the philosopher Descartes,’ who said after a vigorous logical examination of the world, “I think---therefore I am.” He was attempting to find a bedrock of certainty, by forcing himself artificially to doubt every indicative proposition, and seeing to where this chosen path of inquiry led him. Descartes during his investigation imagined that all indicative and imperative propositions are null, substituting for all of them, that the only true imperative proposition, is that we cannot know anything or that we know nothing.

    In the face of this proposition, he found that since he was thinking, therefore, he himself must exist and be real, because who else would be thinking the thoughts that he perceived himself to be thinking? He had even doubted the indicative proposition that, “I am real; I exist,” and to his mind, he had denied this proposition, so therefore, since he thought; he was.

    Descartes skipped right past language in declaring the conclusion of his philosophical investigation, “I think therefore I am.” What is “I think therefore I am?” What does that “mean?” What does anything mean? What are those symbols? Why are they clustered like that, with spaces, instead of all in one string? We have no idea what this is, they could be obscure cave paintings for all we know.

    Because Descartes skipped past language in proclaiming “I think therefore I am,” his, for example, is not the end of philosophy. Descartes in order to fulfill his investigation, needed to acknowledge the window through which he was peering, and he did not. He just presumed that the glass was clear, and it is not. Many giants of philosophy have done the same thing and skipped language itself and just started in using language, without ever mentioning language itself and what it is.

    We all have the same thoughts and feelings.
    "Those who believe in Christ" are all the Christians, Catholic or not.

    @Nee_Nihilo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Idolater View Post
    ‘Ceteris paribus,’ we all have the same thoughts and feelings.

    Language is our window to the world. Without language we’re not even observing the world, we are instead of looking through a window, we are looking at a blank wall that completely hides the world from us.
    Interesting topic Idolater.

    Language is not our window to the world, perception is. Language is the way we express our understanding of things. Did you know that much of our language is non-verbal? I forget the percent but if memory serves....I think it's something like 55% of our communication is nonverbal. Dogs are really good at understanding non-verbal communication as are chimps and other apes.

    Ffreeloader is correct about dogs being able to understand and communicate with humans. They just can't use words as we can. They are intelligent, like many animals....crows, dolphins, whales, to name a few.

    I have observed crows communicate with their own language....it is rather interesting, yet annoying because they make such obnoxious sounds.

    Even insects communicate with each other. Some use chemicals interestingly enough. I believe that there is scientific evidence that even bacteria can communicate on some level, if memory serves.

    Anyway.....I think you have some interesting thoughts....they just need a bit more study and development. I hope to respond more when time permits.

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    PS. Did you know that some apes can communicate with humans? Search - Koko the Talking Gorilla.

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    I stand by my thoughts regarding animals and their perception of the world, but it's really not the thrust of this OP, so I'm going to pare down on the animal references:

    Language is our window to the world. Without language we’re not even observing the world, we are instead of looking through a window, we are looking at a blank wall that completely hides the world from us.

    With language, we have a window through the wall, we can see outside, we can see the world.

    Language is not a perfectly clear pane of glass. There is a dimness to the glass. While this is in effect a defect in the glass, it is inescapable that the dimness is there, it is inherent to the glass. Your choice is between this dim window to the world, and a blank wall that hides the world completely, so the choice is obvious that we’ll take the window, even though it obscures our view of the world, to the blank wall.

    Fortunately, it is not difficult to calibrate our view through the window, to account for and correct the dimness that causes our view of the world to be somewhat distorted. The distortion is particularly that through the window to the world, we appear to be determined, and to not possess free will.

    Language is the first thing we must address when we go about describing the world that we see through the dim glass of language. We must say something about the glass itself, and since we need language to do that, the first thing that we say, establishes language, it is the foundation, the bedrock, of language.

    Once you use language, you have demonstrated that language exists. You have demonstrated it, and the demonstration itself is the definition of language.

    Language is real. There. There’s the foundation of language, which is a logical transformation of the real foundation of language which is just, Language. The word ‘language’ itself demonstrates its own existence and objective reality and physical manifestation in the real world. We do not merely state that the window exists, but we establish that we have a tool to state that the window exists, and that tool is the window itself.

    And the dim window obscures our view of the world, such that it appears through this dim glass that we are not free, and in a way, people who do not acknowledge that we are free, are ignoring the inherent dimness in the window. The dimness makes it look like we are not free.

    There are however, things that people do, that defy the appearance of determinism, even when seen through the dimness of the glass. These things, when put into language skillfully, demand ever more complicated explanations as to why it appears to be that humans Do possess free will, if we insist on believing and accepting that we are Not free.

    If we instead believe that we are free, we not only address specifically the dimness, we also correct the distortion, and we also, obviate the need for overly complicated explanations for why we do sometimes appear to be free, and not mechanically or even logically determined. These occurrences instead of being problematic, are the definitive proof that free will is real, and they also demonstrate what “free will” means, through ostensive definition.

    The foundation of philosophy is Language. The signifier and the signified.

    What do those symbols mean, “Language?”

    We don’t need to express the above query In /With language, mind you, we only have to be curious. We need to just wonder, question, ponder. The answer to our curiosity is the same as what prompted our curiosity: Language.

    This is language. The word language IS language.

    And that proposition, produces for us the foundation of logic. Language is language. That pattern, where there’s a word, and a copula, and the same homograph again, is the foundation or bedrock of logic. It’s a tautology. Logic is valid inference, and what does valid inference mean? We show or demonstrate or illustrate it, by repeating “Language is language.” To be logical, to be a valid inference, whatever it is that we’re investigating must be in that same form or pattern or even trope or parable or equation, as “Language is language.” If you want to substitute other symbols for ‘language’ you can instead say “W is W.” You can substitute a symbol for the copula, so long as it’s different from W. WOW, for example. Anything that is an expression, no matter how complicated, of ‘WOW’ is logical.

    There.
    "Those who believe in Christ" are all the Christians, Catholic or not.

    @Nee_Nihilo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
    PS. Did you know that some apes can communicate with humans? Search - Koko the Talking Gorilla.


    "Those who believe in Christ" are all the Christians, Catholic or not.

    @Nee_Nihilo

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