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Philosophical Thinking

Posted Oct 28, '13 at 11:46pm

pft

pft

528 posts

We as we progress through life, From our Parents/Carers Learn most things. Subconsciously we can do tasks or we learn to do these things from what we see. Walking, laughter and speech.

We go through school and we learn things as facts. 2+2=4
There is no thinking behind this, it is simply a fact. We learn things or to achieve answers as a process. I won't go too much into this.

But what if we have questions that don't have a simple or even a true answer? This type of thinking alot of us don't often do because it is not the way we normally learn. We like thinks to be facts. Let's get out that way of thinking. We as the creatures we are, do have it in us to think and understand everything around us. Scenarios that are what ifs, Things that aren't true but what would happen if it was?

A few questions i like of these or the most common ones i hear are:-

What if we didn't have a moon? a Sun? Or what is we did and they vanished?
Is what we see really real?
Do we have a soul?
What happens when we die?
Does god exist?

These are all good examples of the type of thinking i like to do. They are mostly no way to prove them, We can use imagination to think of these. Without knowledge of something people come up with alot of different answers.

I have my own answers for these, interested in other peoples with their questions. I will answer what i can.

How do we know what we know to be true?
How do we know our life isn't within a matrix or this is all a dream?

Cogito ergo sum:- I think therefore i am.
Carpe diem- Seize the day
Memento mori- Remember that you will die

 

Posted Oct 29, '13 at 12:16am

MageGrayWolf

MageGrayWolf

9,805 posts

Knight

We can however use facts to help guide our answers so that we aren't just making up whatever we feel is right. For instance with the sun vanishing or never being there. We have facts that we can go on that would allow us to create a reasonable scenario of what would happen in such a case.

How do we know what we know to be true?


Through repeated testing and objective observation has so far been a pretty good model to work from.

How do we know our life isn't within a matrix or this is all a dream?


Ultimately it doesn't matter as this is the reality (matrix, dream or not) that we all share.
 

Posted Oct 29, '13 at 8:59am

Moegreche

Moegreche

3,317 posts

Moderator

How do we know what we know to be true?
How do we know our life isn't within a matrix or this is all a dream?


This is sort of funny - I'm actually working on a long-term project to answer a question that is sort of a combination of these two questions. It runs something like this:

Suppose you have just woken up from a sceptical scenario (e.g. a Matrix scenario). Do you know anything at all? Do you even have any true beliefs?

There seems to be some sense in which our beliefs are tracking the truth - at least with respect to this simulated world. In the same way I could have false or true with respect to a possible world or even a made-up world such as Harry Potter. If I believed that Dumbledore was a giant panda that ate wizards, that would be a false belief with respect to the 'Harry Potter world'. And yet a true belief in that relevant respect wouldn't be tracking any truth that actually obtains.

Any intuitions on this line of thought?
 

Posted Oct 29, '13 at 10:04pm

pft

pft

528 posts

We have logic from maths and physics to explain things. Despite there being an answer for the sun disappearing, which would be if it vanished now we wouldn't actually know for 8 mins. Due to it's distance and how fast light travels. Also gravity travels at that speed aswell. We would either depending where the planets are either orbit the likes of jupiter, smash into the asteroid , belt or simply end up on a random course going practically straight from the point the suns gravity left us.

Despite the fact alot of people will be in panic from when this happens. we wouldn't die instantly or maybe not for awhile. The temperature will drop alot each night eventually the oceans will freeze but not completely. The tops of them for a few mile down will be but because ice floats and is good at insulating heat. There can be water under there. The sky will freeze and turn into liquid air.

Alot more can happen aswell i am just giving a small in-depth on it.


[quote]How do we know what we know to be true?
How do we know our life isn't within a matrix or this is all a dream?

Well i will refer to one of my favorite quotes. "Cogito ergo sum:- I think therefore i am." by Descartes. Which suggests we know we exist in some form, because we're here to think about it. We continue to seek knowledge and understand everything. There was a woman that thought we were in a matrix and concluded that it didn't matter what she did. So she killed someone, when at court she got let off due to reasons of insanity.

Now i will purpose this questions. Say there is a machine that existed, that could create everything you dream off. When you awoke you won't realize you are in this machine so it will be your reality and you can't escape this. In this reality things like being able to fly will be normal and your normal way of thinking if altered to this new reality. Would you go into this machine?

 

Posted Oct 30, '13 at 7:57am

Moegreche

Moegreche

3,317 posts

Moderator

Would you go into this machine?


This is at least superficially similar to Robert Nozick's famous thought experiment - the Experience Machine. Of course, he used this as an argument against hedonism as a value theory so the application is somewhat distinct.

But I would have to answer this question with another question. Is there any prima facie reason for me (or anyone else) to enter this machine? Are you trying to advance a particular argument or is this just something you're thinking about? I could see myself going in the machine for maybe a day because it would be fun. But if you're asking if I would replace my veridical experiences, accomplishments, and the like with some artificial world the straightforward answer would be a simple 'no'.
 

Posted Oct 30, '13 at 10:00am

pft

pft

528 posts

This is at least superficially similar to Robert Nozick's famous thought experiment - the Experience Machine. Of course, he used this as an argument against hedonism as a value theory so the application is somewhat distinct.

But I would have to answer this question with another question. Is there any prima facie reason for me (or anyone else) to enter this machine? Are you trying to advance a particular argument or is this just something you're thinking about?


Yes i got my ideas from simply seeking knowledge myself and come across alot of things. I have asked others i meet about these things as a way to see how other people think and perceive this world.

No real reason to enter it but alot of people do complain about their lives and say they could have alot better. The purpose of this question was to see if people are truly happy with their lives. Now having a life with everything you always wanted may sound good but it seems we need the bad things aswell to really appreciate the good or not bad things we have.

It was also to conclude if you were offered to go in a matrix with this perfect life i wonder how many actually would.

Myself to answer this i wouldn't. My current life i am happy with and even the bad things that happen doesn't really bother me. I learned not to care and to appreciate the value of what i have.
 

Posted Oct 30, '13 at 10:22am

Moegreche

Moegreche

3,317 posts

Moderator

One general response to this sort of scenario is that we don't actually acquire things that we value when 'plugged in' to such a machine. Presumably there are things we want to achieve, for example - writing a great novel or getting such-and-such a job. Since we wouldn't actually be achieving anything in the machine (only have the relevant non-veridical experiences) the intuition is that we wouldn't plug in.
But this response seems to ignore circumstantial factors that might make the machine preferable to the actual world. If I'm in prison, for example, I wouldn't hesitate to plug in. A life with very little welfare to begin with would have very little to lose by doing so.

 

Posted Oct 30, '13 at 1:03pm

pft

pft

528 posts

But this response seems to ignore circumstantial factors that might make the machine preferable to the actual world. If I'm in prison, for example, I wouldn't hesitate to plug in.


So i suppose it all depends on what you have to lose. If your living a "normal" life and are content with what you have there is no need. Only then in a scenario when everything is taken away from you. Although people who might do crime and have a long time in prison might feel they aren't getting the deserved punishment. With guilt grasping them they may or may not choose to go in. Also it is unlikely people would offer this to prisoners aswell.

A life with very little welfare to begin with would have very little to lose by doing so.


I might disagree with this. By being let's say "low" on the money making. Money is not everything. It is generally those who have less in terms of monetary value who can appreciate family. Since your are not working you can spend alot of time with them.

What does one define happiness as? Does more money equal more happiness? Or does it only up to a certain amount.
 

Posted Oct 30, '13 at 4:40pm

EmperorPalpatine

EmperorPalpatine

9,475 posts

Does more money equal more happiness?

Usually it's about the same 'amount' of happiness as long as people have what they really need (enough food, shelter, clean running water). I guess it's because "better" becomes "normal/boring" after a while. There does tend to be a bigger spike of happiness when someone with little gets an income boost of the same percentage as someone with a lot. That might be due to flat costs (gas is $X/gal no matter how rich or poor you are).
 

Posted Oct 30, '13 at 9:20pm

Riptizoid101

Riptizoid101

6,334 posts

What does one define happiness as?


Happiness is a psychological state where a person possesses positive emotions. Most actions people make are decided on gaining more happiness, long term or short term. Positive emotions are brought about by hormones interacting with the body that compels an urge for a person to do that action again to replicate the same feeling. It is a state of mind that most people strive to achieve and maintain.


Does more money equal more happiness? Or does it only up to a certain amount.


I can't operationally define this as I did with the previous question, but I believe wealth is usually associated with happiness, which is why many people strive for it. It provides luxury, opportunity, and power in this day and age. However, money does not always equal happiness to an individual. People can value money different than the person next to them, so I say that it's all subjective.

Bringing up your example with a person with not much wealth appreciates their family better, most of the time, they would much rather have money so that they can provide for their family or offer them opportunities (such as good schooling) so that they can be happy, which in turn, makes themselves happy. I'm not saying that with greater wealth and a stable job that you must work 8 hours per day would guarantee you a higher amount of happiness than if you were to spend time with your family, but it goes to show how simple currency can affect your way of thinking.

How much happiness that wealth can affect is different for each individual, bringing back the subjective view that each person can have.
 
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