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Thread: The Big Picture

  1. #196
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    Okay, explain to me the difference between what you are trying to say here and simply saying that something is what it is regardless of what anyone thinks about it. What's the difference between what you've said in the above paragraph and the Law of Identity?
    Clete, I am having trouble with this. I don't know how to say what I said differently. I have already said it in different ways to Arsenios, to Nihilo, and TIP seems to have grasped it easily enough. Your 'law of identity' is 2-dimensional. You are not seeing what is happening as a process, when you make these kind of assertions. You are not seeing the whole. The whole is this: Reality is autologous. This is a process. It must be. It can't be anything else. I mean, it cannot be static. Your rule is static. Your rule is only concerned with logic, not with reality. Please try to break out and think what happens when everything is defining everything else. Not just one thing being logical in an atomistic way as you seem to be focusing on. I really don't know how to say it differently. Perhaps you would benefit from re-reading what I have written here since page 5. I am talking about reality, not about logic. Sure, logic is a central feature of it, but the whole is about reality. The real universe. The set of all real things. How else can I say it???

    What makes something real? I have already said this. So I repeat myself again and again. Something is real because it constrains all observers. It is not optional. I have already said this. Chaos has not been defined. It's what my daughters' rooms can sometimes look like. (In fact it's what my sons' rooms almost always look like.) It only becomes real when it is ordered. Because the act of ordering (of separating, of distinguishing) allows things that are otherwise meaningless to be given meaning. That meaning is always in relationship to everything else. The room is only an analogy. Don't take it too far.

    Any description of a real thing implies common language. Again, I am just repeating myself. I don't know what is hard about it. Common language is mediated through symbols. Again, I am not stating anything new here. I am only stating what is totally obvious and commonly accepted. Those symbols must be written as orderings of real things, such as ink on paper or electrical charges in synapses, or bases in a dna long-chain molecule. This is nothing new. So please try to get a little beyond
    ''A is x' and 'A is not x' cannot both be true at the same time in the same sense.'
    to
    'someone or something, somewhere, must be manipulating symbols according to a common language in order to make a statement ''A is x' and 'A is not x' cannot both be true at the same time in the same sense'.
    Or, to put it another way, when you say 'This is a chair', look beyond the atomistic statement in terms of its logic to what you yourself are doing when you say it! I call this self-reference. I know a lot of people get hung up on it. I hope you don't think I am being condescending. But I am getting tired of constantly repeating myself. When you say 'This is a chair' you are acknowledging that the chair is real.

    Remember: reality is autologous. If you need me to spell this out (again, yes, I have already said it before...) reality is self-realising.
    The Big Picture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilo View Post
    If a known fibber tells me, "I just saw a flying elephant," I ask myself, "Is the flying elephant real?" and then I say, "Yes, but what's the significance?" to which, I respond, "The significance is that this person's a known fibber, so while I accept the existence and reality of the flying elephant, I also accept the existence and reality that this person's a known fibber."
    Nihilo, I don't accept the reality of the flying elephant.
    Wittgenstein was an ok chappy and did some good work. But he didn't go far enough and if your interpretation of him is that you can say that a flying elephant is real then it shows how actually unrealistic your views are. You are speaking a language that no one else understands.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; March 13th, 2016 at 06:18 AM.
    Total Misanthropy.
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  2. #197
    Journeyman TIPlatypus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    I'm really sorry but I'm just not following this at all.
    Clete
    It doesn't seem too difficult. All he is saying is that everything that is real relates to everything else that is real. You can define something any way you want, as long as your definition means the same to others as it does to you, and that definition actually represents the object in some way. See?

    So anything that is real depends on its relationship with everything else in order to to have a definition and value. If the universe is everything that is real, then everything inside it is defining everything else in some way. So the universe is defining itself.

    That is what autologous means here. That the universe defines itself.

    But if an object is defining another object, then the first object is changing (because it is now defining another object). However, remember that the second object is also defining the first object. As the first object changes, the second object changes, and so on.

    Now this was just an example with two objects. This happens with anything and everything that is real.

    This means that the universe is autologous. It does not need anything outside it to give it a definition.
    But i should probably warn you, that every once in awhile, I actually do speak the Truth! - Arsenios

  3. #198
    TOL Legend Clete's Avatar
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    TIPlatypus and Desert Rain,


    I just went through a re-read every post that DR and I have written in this thread as well as both of the last two posts. I still have every question I had when I posted my first post in response to DR.

    You guys are talking about the Law of Identity. That is what you are talking about - period.

    No one has yet even attempted to explain HOW value emerges from an object's intrinsic nature (i.e. from it's identity). The claim has been made repeatedly but the claim has not been established nor even well explained as what it even means. Nor has it been explained how such an idea is pertinent to the establishment of an objective morality that would apply as well to God as it does to us.

    Value is a subjective judgment made by a thinking mind - period! That's what it is because of the definition of the word "value" (i.e. this is not my mere opinion). If someone wants to claim it to be something else, it is on them to clearly redefine the term in the context of this discussion and to establish that the new definition is both valid on it's own merits and that the new definition is not identical to another term that could be used in the place of 'value' (a term like 'identity' for example).

    Now, if it sounds like I'm a bit frustrated, its because I am. I ask questions, honest, on topic, pertinent question that HAVE NOT BEEN ANSWERED and what I get in response is irritation because you feel like you'd have to repeat yourself. Well, I feel like I've got a pretty solid grasp on the English language and I'm no slouch when it comes to following linear thought processes and I tell you that you have not answered my questions. There's no need to repeat one single syllable of anything you've said so far because I just spent the last hour re-reading it all and none of it answers any question I've posed up to this point.

    You say that the Law of Identity has to do with logic and not reality and I say there is no difference! Logic is nothing more than the rules that govern the mind that restricts itself to reality. Logic is that which draws the line between what is real and what is only conceptual or even fantasy. Logic is that which divides the truth from falsehood. Is reality autologous? Yes or no? Only logic can answer. In other words, the nature of reality, whether autologous or not is what it is - period. That's what it sounds like you guys are saying and that is nothing at all other than the Law of Identity.

    And can somebody please explain what any of this has to do with morality?

    Resting in Him,
    Clete
    Last edited by Clete; March 13th, 2016 at 10:27 AM.
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

  4. #199
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    Logic is nothing more than the rules that govern the mind the restricts itself to reality. Logic is that which draws the line between what is real and what is only conceptual or even fantasy. Logic is that which divides the truth from falsehood. Is reality autologous? Yes or no? Only logic can answer. In other words, the nature of reality is what it is - period. That's what it sounds like you guys are saying and that is nothing at all other than the Law of Identity.
    Clete, if logic is a set of rules that govern the mind, can you tell me where these rules are written down in words so that anyone can check them out? Plus, of course, explain why the mind needs to follow these rules and how the mind knows that it has to follow them? When you have done that, can you please re-read your answer and tell me what thought processes were involved in formulating that answer, including an explanation of what you mean by 'mind', such as where I can find this 'mind' and what it is made of?

    And can somebody please explain what any of this has to do with morality?
    Obviously we need to take things one step at a time here.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

  5. #200
    TOL Legend Clete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Clete, if logic is a set of rules that govern the mind, can you tell me where these rules are written down in words so that anyone can check them out?
    There are only three....

    The Law of Identity. (A = A).
    All rational thought, including the other rules of logic are corollaries of this single rule. What is is. Reality is absolute and everything that exists has a specific nature (i.e. A chair is not a computer).

    The Law of Excluded Middle. (A does not equal ~A)
    Everything must either be or not be. This law simply states that a truth claim is either true or is it false given a particular context. There is no middle ground.

    The Law of Contradiction. (either A or not A but not both A and ~A)
    Alternatively called the Law of Non-Contradiction. Nothing can both be and not be. Two contradictory truth claims cannot both be true at the same time and in the same context.

    Some say that there is a fourth....

    Law of Rational Inference. (A=B & B=C, Therefore A=C)
    I reject that as a law of reason because it is merely a use of the laws of reason. It's an argument, not a law.

    EVERY single truth conforms to the laws of reason - PERIOD!
    ANY claim that does not conform to these laws if false - PERIOD!
    To conform to these rules is the definition of the word "truth". To be true simply means to be consistent. Consistent with what? The laws of reason! Or put another way, consistent with itself and with reality.

    Plus, of course, explain why the mind needs to follow these rules and how the mind knows that it has to follow them?
    Reason is man’s only means of grasping reality and of acquiring knowledge and, therefore, the rejection of reason means that men should act regardless of and/or in contradiction to the facts of reality. Reason, however, is a faculty that man has to exercise by choice. Thinking is not an automatic function. In any hour and issue of his life, man is free to think or to evade that effort. He is not, however, free to evade the consequences of that choice. He is free to make the wrong choice, but not free to succeed with it. He is free to evade reality, he is free to unfocus his mind and stumble blindly down any road he pleases, but not free to avoid the abyss he refuses to see. Knowledge, for any conscious organism, is the means of survival; to a living consciousness, every “is” implies an “ought.” Man is free to choose not to be conscious, but not free to escape the penalty of unconsciousness: destruction. Since reason is man’s basic means of survival, that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; that which negates, opposes or destroys it is the evil. (Rand - Various quotes and paraphrases)

    Proverbs 11:19 As righteousness leads to life, So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.


    When you have done that, can you please re-read your answer and tell me what thought processes were involved in formulating that answer, including an explanation of what you mean by 'mind', such as where I can find this 'mind' and what it is made of?
    I can post you links to the volumes of philosophical treatises that have been written on these issues or you can explain what the relevance would be to doing so.

    Do you deny the existence of your mind? To do so is to deny your own existence.
    Do you deny the veracity of the laws of reason that govern its proper use? To do so is to deny your ability to do so.

    What in the world are you getting at?


    Resting in Him,
    Clete
    Last edited by Clete; March 13th, 2016 at 03:00 PM.
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

  6. #201
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    There are only three....

    EVERY single truth conforms to the laws of reason - PERIOD!
    ANY claim that does not conform to these laws if false - PERIOD!
    Clete, I wasn't asking what the laws are or for a justification of their particular subject matter. I was asking where they are written down. This is only a natural question to ask about a set of laws. The fact that you say that they are laws does not make them laws. You say that 'these laws govern the mind'. I asked you effectively to justify that statement. I know where the laws of my country are written down. I know why I have to obey them. I understand that they have jurisdiction over me. When you speak of laws and of governing, I am expecting to find an authoritative repository of those laws and a context as to why they should be obeyed. I have asked you this question for a specific reason. It is obviously not something you have thought about before, otherwise you would have understood the question. Clearly you don't mean that they are just commonly accepted principles in the way you might speak of say 'Boyle's Law' because if you did, then your argument for their universal applicability would immediately lose its force. Your language was very specific: law and govern. So again, where are these laws written down and by what authority does the mind have to obey them?

    When you have answered this, perhaps we can revisit my other question. I have changed my tack with you because it is clear that we do not yet speak the same language and are talking past each other, and I feel that perhaps a question-answer style might make more progress.
    I can post you links to the volumes of philosophical treatises that have been written on these issues or you can explain what the relevance would be to doing so.
    Remember, it was you who said that these laws govern the mind. I want to unpick exactly what it is you mean by that. I know what the laws are to which you refer, I agree with them as statements of logic but your assertion that they are laws over the mind is more than a statement of your opinion about some logical matter.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

  7. #202
    TOL Legend Clete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Clete, I wasn't asking what the laws are or for a justification of their particular subject matter. I was asking where they are written down. This is only a natural question to ask about a set of laws. The fact that you say that they are laws does not make them laws. You say that 'these laws govern the mind'. I asked you effectively to justify that statement. I know where the laws of my country are written down. I know why I have to obey them. I understand that they have jurisdiction over me. When you speak of laws and of governing, I am expecting to find an authoritative repository of those laws and a context as to why they should be obeyed. I have asked you this question for a specific reason. It is obviously not something you have thought about before, otherwise you would have understood the question. Clearly you don't mean that they are just commonly accepted principles in the way you might speak of say 'Boyle's Law' because if you did, then your argument for their universal applicability would immediately lose its force. Your language was very specific: law and govern. So again, where are these laws written down and by what authority does the mind have to obey them?
    Laws that only exist because they are written down (codified) are a completely different thing than the sort of law I'm talking about. I'm not talking about a set of guidelines or list of best practices, I'm talking about a law. The sort of law that you CANNOT avoid. Where is the law of gravity written down?

    And I answered specifically why these laws must be obeyed. First of all, you cannot deny their veracity without employing the very laws you wish to undermine and they are therefore irrefragable. But secondly, and just as importantly, while you can avoid the act of thinking, you cannot avoid the consequences of that choice. Just as you can choose to walk off a cliff, refusing in your mind to acknowledge the abyss' existence, you CANNOT avoid the very sudden and quite lethal stop that comes when you reach the bottom. So, as I said, reason and the laws that describe its proper use, only conforms your mind to the limitations of reality. It is reality that is the policeman who enforces these laws. Ayn Rand put it more eloquently than I am capable...

    Thinking is man’s only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the willful suspension of one’s consciousness, the refusal to think—not blindness, but the refusal to see; not ignorance, but the refusal to know. It is the act of unfocusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape the responsibility of judgment—on the unstated premise that a thing will not exist if only you refuse to identify it, that A will not be A so long as you do not pronounce the verdict “It is.” Non-thinking is an act of annihilation, a wish to negate existence, an attempt to wipe out reality. But existence exists; reality is not to be wiped out, it will merely wipe out the wiper. By refusing to say “It is,” you are refusing to say “I am.” By suspending your judgment, you are negating your person. When a man declares: “Who am I to know?” he is declaring: “Who am I to live?

    When you have answered this, perhaps we can revisit my other question. I have changed my tack with you because it is clear that we do not yet speak the same language and are talking past each other, and I feel that perhaps a question-answer style might make more progress. Remember, it was you who said that these laws govern the mind. I want to unpick exactly what it is you mean by that. I know what the laws are to which you refer, I agree with them as statements of logic but your assertion that they are laws over the mind is more than a statement of your opinion about some logical matter.
    Excellent plan! I look forward to it!

    Resting in Him,
    Clete
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

  8. #203
    Over 1500 post club Arsenios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    Laws that only exist because they are written down (codified) are a completely different thing than the sort of law I'm talking about. I'm not talking about a set of guidelines or list of best practices, I'm talking about a law. The sort of law that you CANNOT avoid. Where is the law of gravity written down?
    Good point - Natural Law is not legalistic, as he was insisting...

    otoh - People run from reason to fantasy all the time, so that the reasonable laws of logic are not their motivating premise, and indeed, as Ayn Rand observes, they forsake reality for the sake of fantasy, and the expense of a materially relevant existence...

    And I answered specifically why these laws must be obeyed.
    Rand's whole point is that they are NOT being obeyed, but are being forsaken...

    First of all, you cannot deny their veracity without employing the very laws you wish to undermine and they are therefore irrefragable.
    Wesley Mouch sure did - "If I don't FEEL LIKE being reasonable, I DON'T HAVE TO..."

    But secondly, and just as importantly, while you can avoid the act of thinking, you cannot avoid the consequences of that choice.
    True enough, but for ol' Wes, he preferred fantasy, which placed him at odds with OBJECTive reality...

    Just as you can choose to walk off a cliff, refusing in your mind to acknowledge the abyss' existence, you CANNOT avoid the very sudden and quite lethal stop that comes when you reach the bottom.
    Mentally ill people struggle with this all the time...

    So, as I said, reason and the laws that describe its proper use, only conforms your mind to the limitations of reality. It is reality that is the policeman who enforces these laws. Ayn Rand put it more eloquently than I am capable...
    No question:

    Thinking is man’s only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the willful suspension of one’s consciousness, the refusal to think—not blindness, but the refusal to see; not ignorance, but the refusal to know. It is the act of unfocusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape the responsibility of judgment—on the unstated premise that a thing will not exist if only you refuse to identify it, that A will not be A so long as you do not pronounce the verdict “It is.” Non-thinking is an act of annihilation, a wish to negate existence, an attempt to wipe out reality. But existence exists; reality is not to be wiped out, it will merely wipe out the wiper. By refusing to say “It is,” you are refusing to say “I am.” By suspending your judgment, you are negating your person. When a man declares: “Who am I to know?” he is declaring: “Who am I to live?

    She is describing compartmentalization of the mind, where certain areas are "off limits" to outsiders, generally involving some depravity or other, which She refers to as a "FOG"... She did not have a cure for this fog, but only a condemnation of it... Which does not overcome it, but merely buries it further into its compartment, where it gains more power, and is consecrated to the destruction of the soul doing it...

    Sociopaths who commit horrendous and hideous crimes have been taken over by the fog they once condemned in themselves, then embraced when it got too much for them to suppress... In terms of worldly life, focusing on the good and suppressing the evil in one's own soul is a good thing... In terms of a Christian Live, focusing on God and destroying the evil in one's own soul is a much higher calling, for it entails an assault on evil within one's self, and the reward is not a great train crossing the continental divide, but union with the Creator of the Kosmos in which that great train is but a worm, and less than a worm... For it has no life, but only its mechanical devices, however computerized and thermodynamically integrated...

    She had a good grasp of what it took to live nobly and honorably in a physical universe, but she had no cure for the evil in men's souls, but only how to condemn it in personal integrity of soul and self-affirmation... The cure, you see, comes in denial of self, and only for one who comes to the end of the value of materiality...

    At that point, the only direction is inward in stillness of words and of mind, calling on the Name of the Lord, and the knowledge there encountered is antecedent to the creation of concepts in the intellect, and the words which signify these concepts... It is a primordial knowing that is the knowing of God in union with Him which He alone can give to us... And for which His Son died on the Cross that we should inherit with Him Life Eternal...

    Arsenios
    Arsenios

  9. #204
    Over 4000 post club Nihilo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Nihilo, I don't accept the reality of the flying elephant.
    But you do accept its existence.
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Wittgenstein was an ok chappy and did some good work. But he didn't go far enough and if your interpretation of him is that you can say that a flying elephant is real then it shows how actually unrealistic your views are. You are speaking a language that no one else understands.
    But you do accept its existence.

    I'm no fanboi of Wittgenstein, and I think the work he did was foundational. Whereas philosophy historically has been a case of putting the cart before the horse writ large, he put the horse and cart in their proper, logical, linguistic, order.

    Wittgenstein did not believe the Catholic faith as far as I can ascertain. He was baptized Catholic as an infant I believe, but in none of his work that I've read do I see anything resembling overt or even suggestive faith in our Lord. But his work regarding language in my limited estimation is par excellence.

    Also, I wouldn't say that it is due to my interpretation of his work that I hold to my views, just that his work informed my views. My views are first and foremost Catholic.

    BTW, what did you mean in saying that W. "didn't go far enough?" As far as I can tell, he went literally as far as you can go, which is all the way down to the bottom; linguistic and logical bedrock. His Tractatus did this. His subsequent work dealt with the matter I raised earlier in this thread, which I call inadvertent equivocation, and he fashioned the expression "language games" in order to explain this rampant phenomenon.
    THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN. Matthew 28:6 (KJV) Mark 16:6 (KJV) Luke 24:6 (KJV)

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  10. #205
    Over 1500 post club Arsenios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilo View Post
    Wittgenstein ... was foundational.
    He put the horse and cart in their proper, logical, linguistic, order.
    He went literally as far as you can go
    All the way down to the bottom;
    linguistic and logical bedrock.
    He fashioned the expression "language games"
    in order to explain this rampant phenomenon.
    Could I be so bold as to ask which horse and which cart and which order?

    The bottom of linguistics would seem to be epistemological...

    The bottom of epistemology is metaphysics...

    As a Catholic, what is your theory of causation?

    Arsenios
    Arsenios

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    Over 4000 post club Nihilo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios View Post
    Could I be so bold as to ask which horse and which cart and which order?

    The bottom of linguistics would seem to be epistemological...

    The bottom of epistemology is metaphysics...
    Clete calls it the Law of Identity. I call it tautology. This is the bottom; the trivial bottom. Triviality doesn't mean false, nor necessarily insignificant. It's the bottom of math (there called "equation"), and the bottom of logic (tautology or W.'s "logical proposition," if I'm remembering correctly, which I may not be---I need to confirm) and the bottom of language. Maybe other things, but those three anyway, and my opinion is that there is really only language, and maths and logic are contained within and compose language---they just have special vocabularies and symbologies or systems of symbols or signs; and special, as regards what we colloquially know as language. A lexicon or dictionary is a type of straddling between these---in some sense, artificial---divisions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios View Post
    As a Catholic
    Theologically.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios View Post
    what is your theory of causation?
    What do you mean? Do I believe in causation? How do things work? Are you asking about divine providence?
    Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios View Post
    Arsenios
    THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN. Matthew 28:6 (KJV) Mark 16:6 (KJV) Luke 24:6 (KJV)

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    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    Laws that only exist because they are written down (codified) are a completely different thing than the sort of law I'm talking about. I'm not talking about a set of guidelines or list of best practices, I'm talking about a law. The sort of law that you CANNOT avoid. Where is the law of gravity written down?
    But this is the sort of question I was asking you. Here is the full list of meanings given by the Oxford online:

    [mass noun] (often the law) The system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties: shooting the birds is against the law they were taken to court for breaking the law [as modifier]: law enforcement

    1.1 [count noun] An individual rule as part of a system of law: a new law was passed to make divorce easier and simpler
    1.2 Systems of law as a subject of study or as the basis of the legal profession: he was still practising law [as modifier]: a law firm law students
    1.3 Statute law and the common law. Compare with equity.
    1.4 Something regarded as having binding force or effect: he had supreme control—what he said was law
    1.5 (the law) informal The police: he’d never been in trouble with the law in his life
    2 A rule defining correct procedure or behaviour in a sport: the laws of the game
    3 A statement of fact, deduced from observation, to the effect that a particular natural or scientific phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions are present: the second law of thermodynamics
    3.1 A generalization based on a fact or event perceived to be recurrent: the first law of American corporate life is that dead wood floats
    4 [mass noun] The body of divine commandments as expressed in the Bible or other religious texts.
    4.1 (the Law) The Pentateuch as distinct from the other parts of the Hebrew Bible (the Prophets and the Writings).
    4.2 (also the Law of Moses) The precepts of the Pentateuch.
    You can see readily that the 'law of gravity' comes under 3 in the above list. But the 'law of identity' or the 'law of the excluded middle' don't figure in any of the definitions above. You ask me a rhetorical question: 'where is the law of gravity written down?' as if you expect the answer 'The law of gravity is not written down anywhere.' And so your point is that some laws do not have to be written down in order to be valid and that the law of identity is one of them. What you seem to be saying commits the logical fallacy of misuse of analogy. The common feature of all the above definitions is that something is written down. Or spoken. Gravity is unavoidable but clearly the law of identity is not. Many do indeed flout it, as your own favoured philosopher Ayn Rand also says. On our own doorstep, Arsenios flouts it in almost every post.

    And I answered specifically why these laws must be obeyed. First of all, you cannot deny their veracity without employing the very laws you wish to undermine and they are therefore irrefragable.
    You are not mixing like with like here. Lots of things are true without them having to be laws. Denying something's veracity doesn't amount to undermining a law. Arsenios doesn't deny the truth of 'the law of identity' yet he flouts it. He doesn't use logic to flout it. He is simply the antithesis of the concept; all his writings are imbued with illogicality. The fact that this is so does not make identity a law, even though it makes talking to him sensibly difficult.

    But secondly, and just as importantly, while you can avoid the act of thinking, you cannot avoid the consequences of that choice. Just as you can choose to walk off a cliff, refusing in your mind to acknowledge the abyss' existence, you CANNOT avoid the very sudden and quite lethal stop that comes when you reach the bottom. So, as I said, reason and the laws that describe its proper use, only conforms your mind to the limitations of reality. It is reality that is the policeman who enforces these laws.
    As I said above, your use of the 'law of gravity' as an example isn't a valid comparison with 'laws of logic' because clearly many people can and do contravene these laws.

    And the law of gravity is indeed written down. That's why it is called a law. See the definition above. "statement of fact". Of course the law of gravity before Newton was this: 'What goes up must come down.' and that law was written down often or transmitted verbally and stored in people's memories. People accepted it because it related to their shared experiences. But this law was wrong. And when Newton expressed gravity in a more mathematical way, everyone drooled and the law of gravity became a new law: F = (m1 x m2)/r^2. But even though this new law existed, as did the previous law, Newton was wrong and yet a different law has been formulated by Einstein. These laws all differed but they were all testable by observation and they were all written down and they are not absolute in the way you appear to be claiming of the law of identity.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; March 16th, 2016 at 07:21 AM.
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  13. #208
    TOL Legend Clete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    But this is the sort of question I was asking you. Here is the full list of meanings given by the Oxford online:



    You can see readily that the 'law of gravity' comes under 3A in the above list. But the 'law of identity' or the 'law of the excluded middle' don't figure in any of the definitions above. You ask me a rhetorical question: 'where is the law of gravity written down?' as if you expect the answer 'The law of gravity is not written down anywhere.' And so your point is that some laws do not have to be written down in order to be valid and that the law of identity is one of them. What you seem to be saying commits the logical fallacy of misuse of analogy. The common feature of all the above definitions is that something is written down. Or spoken. Gravity is unavoidable but clearly the law of identity is not. Many do indeed flout it, as your own favoured philosopher Ayn Rand also says. On our own doorstep, Arsenios flouts it in almost every post.
    As I said, thinking is not automatic. You can choose to blur your mind and refuse to think but you CANNOT choose to avoid the consequences of doing so. The Law of Identity CANNOT be avoided - period! It can be ignored but that isn't the same thing. A thing is what it is whether we focus on it, ignore it, like it or lump it. It makes no difference what we do, think, say, want or wish. A thing is what it is - period. There can be no other law, whether natural or otherwise without the law of identity. No thought is even possible without the law of identity, even if the thinker has no understanding or awareness of the law.

    You are not mixing like with like here. Lots of things are true without them having to be laws. Denying something's veracity doesn't amount to undermining a law. Arsenios doesn't deny the truth of 'the law of identity' yet he flouts it. He doesn't use logic to flout it. He is simply the antithesis of the concept; all his writings are imbued with illogicality. The fact that this is so does not make identity a law, even though it makes talking to him sensibly difficult.
    While it is not a perfect analogy (no analogy ever is), I most certainly am not committing any logical fallacy by comparing the law of identity to the law gravity. You can ignore the law of gravity if you want but you cannot avoid the consequences of doing so. You can refuse to see the abyss but that will not make it go away or prevent you from falling in.

    And in the case of the Laws of Reason, the issue is even more pronounced than ignoring a law of nature because in order to deny the veracity of a law of reason, you MUST use the laws of reason to communicate the denial! You CANNOT deny, flout, ignore nor even object to a law of reason without contradicting yourself. The very first word you utter in any attempt to undermine the laws of reason, uses the laws of reason in order to have meaning. The laws of reason are therefore utterly irrefragable.

    As I said above, your use of the 'law of gravity' as an example isn't a valid comparison with 'laws of logic' because clearly many people can and do contravene these laws.
    No they don't, DR. Not in any valid way they don't.

    Once again, you are free to choose to blur your mind, you are not free to escape the consequences of that choice. Just as you are free to refuse food, you are not free to avoid starvation if you persist in that choice. You can attempt to wipe out reality but reality will only wipe out the wiper.

    And the law of gravity is indeed written down. That's why it is called a law.
    WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG!

    Holy crap! Is that statement false!

    The law of gravity was discovered, not codified! It existed long before written language. If the law of gravity didn't exist before it was written down, Newton most likely would have been floating near the ceiling of his office when he figured it out and then come crashing to the floor once he figured out how to keep his ink from flying out if the ink bottle long enough for him to use his pen to write it down.

    What was written down was not the actual law but was simply the nature of reality put into words. Likewise, when Aristotle wrote down the laws of reason, he was not inventing them, nor did they come into existence with the writing. Aristotle simply put the nature of reality into words.

    See the definition above. "statement of fact". Of course the law of gravity before Newton was this: 'What goes up must come down.' and that law was written down often or transmitted verbally and stored in people's memories. People accepted it because it related to their shared experiences. But this law was wrong. And when Newton expressed gravity in a more mathematical way, everyone drooled and the law of gravity became a new law: F = (m1 x m2)/r^2. But even though this new law existed, as did the previous law, Newton was wrong and yet a different law has been formulated by Einstein. These laws all differed but they were all testable by observation and they were all written down and they are not absolute in the way you appear to be claiming of the law of identity.
    You are only discussing different descriptions of the same law! Gravity didn't change because Newton's description was incomplete (he WAS NOT wrong, by the way), nor did it change when Einstein described it as being a curvature of a non-existent "space-time" which he made up out of whole cloth without observation or experimentation in order to make the math of his thought experiments come out right. I'm not interested in debating the veracity of Relativity with you though. Suffice it to say that regardless of what causes it, IT IS WHAT IT IS. Gravity is gravity, regardless of who's description is most accurate. A is A.

    Note: If the above dictionary list is incomplete because it is an online extract from a longer list, then it still seems unlikely to me that any more complete list would contain items which do not conform to the general principle I have outlined, namely that the law must be written down. In any case, your own chosen example, the law of gravity, certainly does not support your case at all.
    You need to try again. A "law", in this context, is an aspect of reality. It's not any more complicated than that.

    More importantly, no law, of any sort, nor even any claim, idea or concept of any kind whatsoever can have any meaning or application without the use of the laws of reason.

    Resting in Him,
    Clete
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

  14. #209
    Over 1500 post club Arsenios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilo View Post
    Clete calls it the Law of Identity. I call it tautology. This is the bottom; the trivial bottom. Triviality doesn't mean false, nor necessarily insignificant. It's the bottom of math (there called "equation"), and the bottom of logic (tautology or W.'s "logical proposition," if I'm remembering correctly, which I may not be---I need to confirm) and the bottom of language. Maybe other things, but those three anyway, and my opinion is that there is really only language, and maths and logic are contained within and compose language---they just have special vocabularies and symbologies or systems of symbols or signs; and special, as regards what we colloquially know as language. A lexicon or dictionary is a type of straddling between these---in some sense, artificial---divisions.
    Forgive my denseness - I kinda fixated on cart and horse - The tautology is the horse and the sciences in which it functions are the carts?

    Theologically.
    What do you mean? Do I believe in causation? How do things work? Are you asking about divine providence?
    Christian etiology...

    In Orthodoxy, it is ongoing creation by God, and hence is entirely mysterious, however mathematically predictable...
    And it proceeds according to the Providence of God...
    Every detail...
    Of all Creation...
    Nanosecond to nanosecond...

    A RADICALLY Christian understanding of causation within creation...

    And outside this, the Uncreated Creator of Creation, we cannot apprehend...

    We KNOW God only as Creator of creation... [in His Creative Energies]

    We do NOT know Him in Himself at all [eg according to His Essence]

    This knowledge is identity - eg Union with God according to His Creative Energies...

    And according to our purity of heart...

    Arsenios
    Arsenios

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    Over 4000 post club Nihilo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios View Post
    Forgive my denseness - I kinda fixated on cart and horse - The tautology is the horse and the sciences in which it functions are the carts?
    Simpler. Language rests upon and in fact works at all, because of tautology, the Law of Identity, or equation. Words or units of meaning, mean something, and at their most basic, they mean at the very least themselves. In math any number n is equal to itself. n=n, whatever n may be.

    In language (colloquially) words mean themselves, and we also define words, so we construct a linguistic equation, where a single word (or phrase) is equal to a set of words (the definition).

    In the beginning, Adam gave names to the animals, thus one of the very first things that Adam did was to "define by pointing," or "ostensive" definition. He pointed to a tiger and said, "Tiger." A tiger is a tiger. Tautology.

    Without recognizing tautology, we risk talking endlessly about words that may refer to nothing more than themselves, and this is what W. accused philosophy, as a methodology or practice, of doing for centuries, and that is what I meant by putting the cart before the horse. The horse is tautology, and everything else that we say is the cart. Philosophers and other thinkers have been talking and talking without acknowledging how language works, what supports it, what gives it its unique ability to be useful in not only communication but in thought itself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios View Post
    Christian etiology...

    In Orthodoxy, it is ongoing creation by God, and hence is entirely mysterious, however mathematically predictable...
    And it proceeds according to the Providence of God...
    Every detail...
    Of all Creation...
    Nanosecond to nanosecond...

    A RADICALLY Christian understanding of causation within creation...

    And outside this, the Uncreated Creator of Creation, we cannot apprehend...

    We KNOW God only as Creator of creation... [in His Creative Energies]

    We do NOT know Him in Himself at all [eg according to His Essence]

    This knowledge is identity - eg Union with God according to His Creative Energies...

    And according to our purity of heart...

    Arsenios
    My first thought is that when Moses asked our Maker Whom he should say sent him, our Maker replied Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh. A tautology. We cannot say anything without invoking Him.
    THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN. Matthew 28:6 (KJV) Mark 16:6 (KJV) Luke 24:6 (KJV)

    Romans 10:9 (KJV) 1st Corinthians 15:14 (KJV)

    Trevor: "I know how to drive, man."
    Ricky: "You also know how to be stupid."

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