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Everything posted by icosahedron

  1. Jacob, I am getting really really tired of your continued context-dropping mis-characterizations of my statements. I have yet to use the word "Naturalism", so I have absolutely no idea where you get this inference. Naturalism means what, in essence, to you? If you are challenging the fact that entities act according to their nature, I disagree; if you are challenging Determinism, I agree. What? I never asserted such. I asserted that logic is not definitive when applied to the (more or less) uncertain, i.e., the future. Logic still applies, but the logic of deduction is not the same as that for induction -- induction must admit the possibility of uncertain futures, and cannot be as definitive therefore. If your point is that deduction is not enough, I agree. And if your further point is that induction implies something immaterial, then I disagree. I think rather than "physical" you ought to use "material" if that is what you mean; and then you will see that there is no contradiction, because my ideas are just as material, if concretized, as anything else. The key is: an idea not concretized, materialized, is merely a fleeting/floating notion at best, not a properly objective concept, and incapable of being validated so not even in the realm of logic. - ico - ico
  2. If a proposition is non-testable, then it cannot be formulated in terms of real observable events and their outcomes. My reason for considering all non-testable propositions as arbitrary is that they do not depend on, and are not related to, anything in my experience. Therefore they are irrelevant to reality, to life, to happiness, and a waste of time to attempt to analyze, because not analytically tractable. How is that self-contradictory, circular, or any of the other non-constructive judgments that you seem to want to apply to my reasoning? Keep going, we're almost to the point where you have to admit that your claim is arbitrary, and then decide whether to keep it as a belief and basis for approach to life, or not. I've already made my choice in this regard, you are the fence sitter. - ico
  3. "From A to B" is not a question of distance, but of travel, i.e., of getting from here to there. Travel has two aspects: displacement and duration. Any path of travel can be broken down into shorter paths that connect end to end. In general, a path of travel consists of a sequence of displacements with associated durations. Distance is not a fundamental observable, only sequences of displacements with associated durations can be observed in fact. Distance is contextual, and must be defined with respect to a measurement framework. And a measurement framework must use sequences of displacement/duration pairs as its basis, even if only implicitly. All we have to work with, in processing the experience of travel, is such sequences. Distance a la Euclid is one metric assumption, relevant to simple macroscopic geometric problems. But to assume that Euclid's notion is generally applicable is to drop context. - ico
  4. You are getting distracted by the possible implementation of volition, and in the process treading dangerously close to the Determinist line. My interpretation of matter exists, and I know that to be rational requires that I assume its existence is primary. My volition works to modify matter. If my volitional choices are deterministically caused by my material state then the future is certain. Which it isn't. Cause and effect governs all that has or can happen; but cause and effect applies to our representations of existence directly, so if our abstractions are insufficient or misapplied, then we can misapprehend the function of cause and effect. Quantum experiments get to the heart of this: you can't phrase a testable hypothesis about electrons in terms of definitive future outcomes, e.g., with regard to spin or momentum. This is not an accident of quantum theory, but a fact of nature: the future is not wholly predicated on the past. It is in my power of induction/action that looks to the future possibilities; and however implemented, the fact is that I have the power to change my environment in ways you cannot predict. While this may be wholly associated with my physical representation, i.e., my mind may not exist without my body, nonetheless the power to choose, however implemented, is REAL. Logical certainty does not apply to the future, i.e., to solving problems and advancing productive leverage. - ico
  5. Evidence is that which tends to prove a testable hypothesis. If a hypothesis is not testable, it's arbitrary and doesn't deserve to be called a hypothesis, nor does evidence apply to it; you can prove objective truth or falsity without a basis in reality, i.e., without being testable. Testable also implies re-testable, i.e., reproducible setup and outcomes. Truth is not idiosyncratic, but can be shared, in the sense that one can communicate the test frame to another, and the other can independently verify the results of the test. My point is this: evidence in the absence of context (the testable hypothesis) is not evidence, because irrelevant to any proof. So, what is your testable hypothesis re GOD, and what evidence do you have for it? Can you offer a proof, or at least, some objective evidence for your hypothesis, rather than an "I wish"? - ico
  6. Okay, let me say it again: statistics do NOT determine the FUTURE odds -- unless you assume that the future is going to be the same as the past. Which is naive at best. - ico
  7. The arbitrary is that for which there is no objective evidence, i.e., that which is NOT WORTH CONTEMPLATING. - ico
  8. I call shenanigans. A is A requires first that A is, so you can't conflate "non A" with "not A" as you are attempting to do. What you can do is say, if A is a proposition, then it exists and the first two laws are satisfied ipso facto. And then, ASSUMING THE PROPOSITION IS CAPABLE OF VERIFICATION, you can ask, "is it true, or false?" as a proposition. And if it is a proposition about the past, the answer is binary, but if about the future, then there is some uncertainty, i.e., in some cases it will end up true, and others false. - ico
  9. Hmmm, well we'd better settle on an operational definition for the purposes of this discussion, because I was going with: "either it's true, or it's false", which I think is not logically equivalent to yours. - ico
  10. I am saying that in every case, the conceptual structure is (at minimum) that of two aspects a larger whole. If the behavior of the whole is predictable from the behavior of its parts, then you can use LEM; otherwise, you can't. For example, either 1+1=2, or it doesn't -- there is no middle ground here, because the result of counting parts is predictable from considering the parts separately. But in reality, the whole is ALWAYS greater than the sum of its parts; this is the principle of synergy, and the simplest example of it is the function of gravity, which cannot be discerned except BETWEEN entities -- it is behavior of a system of two that cannot be predicted from looking at either of the two individually. So, if you want to analyze past data, from which all validly constructed conceptual sums are valid, then LEM will end up being useful once the problem gets boiled down to a sequence of binary outcomes (it has to be programmable to be deducible, and vice versa). But if you want to do anything that involves prognostication, including physics, then you'll have to live without LEM, because the future is uncertain by definition (if volition is true) (I am assuming you see already that arbitrary claims do not deserve consideration in a logical context, so am dispensing with such as "God exists ... true or false?) - ico
  11. LEM is valid in particular contexts, esp., logical contexts devoid of reference to future experimental outcomes, i.e., stale logical contexts (also otherwise known as purely deductive contexts). In the real world that I live in, there isn't total certainty, so LEM is logically invalid with respect to any proposition involving the outcome of a future experiment. Such as the consequences of my actions. For example, this proposition: "If I measure the spin of an electron, I will obtain +1/2". LEM just can't be used here. - ico
  12. I can tell you from personal experience that your confidence is misplaced; for example, I play chess at a higher level with a little THC in my bloodstream, I have objectively measured this against other players repeatedly. Context cannot be dropped in any context! - ico
  13. No. Statistical measurements are of the past; they don't predict the future. Easy exception in this case: what if someone develops a cure for whatever ailments cigarettes do cause me, and I avail myself of that cure, before chemical process irreversibility has set into my body? This is not so farfetched, is it? I had an ear infection that I might have died from 1000 years ago, but it was easy to deal with today. Otherwise, I might think ear wax was a deadly scourge. Context! - ico
  14. Material objects have a finite lifetime. Concepts are eternal, in the sense that two rational individuals will come to the same concept (operationally, i.e., names aside) given the same evidence and logics. So if the law of Identity (and hence causality) is valid, then concepts are reproducible by disjoint minds, even if those minds are not communicating. In this sense, the concept represented by the word "triangle" is eternal; whereas every experience that corresponds to "triangle" is terminal, begins and ends. This is the essential difference between concepts and experiences: concepts are eternal, reproducible, generic (once discovered); experiences are timely, unique, and specific. But, concepts do not exist in and of themselves. They reside in minds, which reside in bodies. If you want to get technical, all that is required is an unique focal point to which all experiences, however ingested, come to. One can see that such focal points (centers of consciousness) are predicated on the living body, can't exist without it, are irrelevant without it. So you can't separate the focal point and call it a separately existent entity. You are looking at a part that cannot exist except as part of its whole, and attempting to ignore the whole that it belongs to. That is like trying to isolate a quark -- it can't be done. Physical matter, and my ability to process my experience of it, both exist. Matter can exist independent of me, but not vice versa. The implementation is irrelevant (which is why the brain as ultimate driver and seat of volition is a conceptual dead-end -- it is a functioning body, including brain, that is the basis, provides the focus; and a rational mind that coordinates the focus. That this coordination burns calories is known, so it too has a physical aspect; but the process is generic, i.e., eternally regenerative (of itself) in every special case. - ico
  15. Well said. Agreed. I think maybe it is, an implicit one. Having two partners, Existence and Consciousness, even if the latter is defined as "the faculty of observing Existence", does not necessarily imply that the two actually get together and dance. Of course, why else would they exist? But, I think the explicit assertion that experience is a discrete, indivisible, and complementary conjunction of Existence with an individual Consciousness is worth making. The product is greater than the contributors, that's synergy -- like a tetrahedron formed by interconnecting two poles. Yes, it is fractal ... and with a particular "expansion factor" that is constant along the sequence up and down in scale. So can deal with variant frequencies of association, i.e., size is no obstacle to the description or its application. Think about sight, and imagine the ideal of a single photon receptor per eye, to simplify things. Photons originate in the original position of the external entity that ejects/reflects them, take some time to travel to a receptor photon. The photon originator (the entity I see the image of after some time lag) must have material extent, and therefore the photons travel different paths from the parts of the entity to the eyes. At any given moment, there are three cases: 1. Neither eye receives a photon 2. Both eyes receive a photon 3. Only one of the eyes receives a photon (two alternate ways) Let's assume that it's a fairly bright place, so the number of photons is more or less a constant stream to each eye. Then both eyes can be assumed to receive photons at some fixed frequency without loss of generality. By tracing each pair of received photons, at least imaginatively, back to its source, and then flicking the focus from one point to another on an extended body, one obtains a tetrahedron: the pole connecting the eyes interconnected to the two poles of focus creates a tetrahedron. Now do this for all pairs of points that can be identified, and you get a geometric picture of the object of (scanning) focus. This can be programmed into a computer, too. - ico
  16. You are distinguishing two aspects of the same thing. Existence is grasped; Consciousness grasps; but the product of the two, the grasp itself (which is all I have to work with, objectively) is an indivisible whole, of which Existence and Consciousness are the generative (yang/yin) complements. You can separately consider them as predicate, and you can in many cases decide which attributes of your grasp are partitioned to the generators; you cannot, however, explain every aspect of a grasp without both the grasper, and that which is grasped, brought together to produce a unit of experience, some of the properties of which are wholly unpredictable by considering only one part of the grasp. That's called synergy: proclivities of wholes that are unpredictable from any of their parts or sub-aggregations. It is the comprehension bit that can be objective (must be for a rational mind), and objectified. The subjective bits are not sufficient to produce comprehension; the intrinsic bits are also not sufficient. Separating them, except in retrospect of an existing whole, is putting the cart before the horse, experientially and therefore conceptually. Objectivists distinguish between three things: 1. The intrinsic (or given), such as the fact that hydrogen behaves the way it does independent of consciousness; 2. The subjective, such as a quasi-concept that is either yet to be validated (inductive) or more or less invalid (floating -- the extreme of floating is a purely invalid concept); 3. The objective, which is a considerable entity, derived by linking the subjective to the intrinsic, producing a new object with intrinsic existence and value of its own. I am saying that the first two never occur in and of themselves to the mind, and only the third, the product of the first two, is knowledge and therefore persistent and communicable.
  17. Wrong. Past statistics do not determine future probabilities. That is the fallacy you are using: Correlation does not prove causality, and therefore does not imply predictability in any individual case. Actually, smoking does not kill humans per se. And neither is smoking the only means to conditions such as lung cancer and heart attack, which do kill humans, and are statistically correlated to smoking, and are in some cases caused, more or less, by the additional stress of smoking. But in other cases, the stress of smoking on the body does not lead to untimely death. Smoking has an effect on everyone, but that effect is not death in every case. Unlike, e.g., arsenic in sufficient dosage. Also, you conveniently ignore the potential benefits of smoking. If it was just poisonous, with no benefit, no one would ever do it. They are physically harmful, that I do not dispute. But to Man, an integrated whole with both mental and physical aspects, it is possible for the physical detriment to be a fair cost for the psychological benefit. It is always a trade. The question is, is it necessary to physical survival? No, but then, neither is sexual intercourse. You have to consider the whole context before judging bad and good. Otherwise, you are floating. - ico
  18. Mind you, I am not claiming that cigarettes are good for me in a purely physical way; I am saying that, all tolled, I find the experience net beneficial in my current context. I fully expect that calculation to evolve, and the conclusion to change, and me to quit at some point. I can see the evidence building in my mind, and at some point, as with alcohol, I'll just quit without desire or regret. The physical addiction is an excuse for weak minds to justify their indulgence -- it ain't harder to quit than working at an invigorating endeavor, it just takes harmony between conscious and subconscious sums. - ico
  19. This is a perfect example of the fallacy of using statistics in individual cases. The individual is the essential context for any question relating to the health and happiness of the individual. Is it possible that tobacco use is highly correlated with mental stresses? If so, then could it be that the mental stress is the cause of ill health for some, and by reducing it they live better? Can you say that cigarettes are bad in ALL contexts, for ALL people, based on statistics? There was an old Dutch study that found self-described stress as the only significant correlate to cancer. I'll try to dig up the documentation. - ico
  20. And herein lies the fallacy of your argument. You set up a mind-body dichotomy from the get go, and your logic then naturally leads to conclusions consistent with such dichotomy. And since, in fact, such dichotomy is conceptual, not real, your assumption is mistaken, and leads you astray. All I have to work with are the combinations my mind can create based on its content. Existence instigates content, but only if Consciousness is available to receive and rationally order the content. However, neither can be considered without both working together, they are essential complements, like the yin-yang of a tao, and cannot be considered separately. The units of consideration are neither Existence nor Consciousness, but their product, which is indivisible, operationally.
  21. Exactly. Just because I retroactively identify the concept doesn't mean it's not in implicit use from the get-go. The order of genesis is: Existence first, then the first awareness of Existence, which is the predicate of Consciousness. But it is the SECOND experience, i.e., the reflective experience of identifying SELF, that births Consciousness. At this level, the words "concept" and "experience" may be more or less equivalent, but I think they focus on different aspects: concepts are the mental aspects, sensations are the material aspects, and experience is the product/process of joining them together to make percepts, which are, properly seen, the means by which concepts and sensations are connected together. Experience resolves to percepts by the time we are able to consider it, but the transition from sensory awareness to percepts is not deterministic and can be done in many ways ... which are informed by the conceptual context of the perceiver. Perception requires Existence AND Consciousness to exist, and percepts are the product of experience, i.e., of Consciousness addressing Existence in discretely considerable units. That these units are discrete and considerable, i.e., conceptual, is true; but the units are interesting because we can identify and reproduce them. For example, photon patterns in the eye recognized as a chair is one unit of experience -- the percept is "chair", but the unit of experience is "chair concept" conjoined with "whatever it is out there that gave rise to the sensations consistent with my chair concept". Good and important stuff. I think in terms of the minimum volumetric container, conceptually: tetrahedron. The minimum interaction domain between extended bodies must be a tetrahedron, because at minimum an extended body has extent and is idealized by a pole, and two poles conjoined bound a tetrahedron. So, volumetrically speaking, experience is packaged in units of tetrahedra and each sense requires TWO distinct receptors separate in space, to form the observer's pole. Then, by comparing pairwise the features of entities observed, one gets the other pole. Perception becomes a matter of accounting a high frequency stream of tetrahedra coming in multiple sensory threads that can be correlated. Sorry if that sounds like "word salad", but I can't write the book here. It does make some sense, though: percepts are "tetrahedral" at minimum.
  22. I don't disagree with your way of saying it; and I don't think we are saying things too far off now. But I am suggesting that experience is discrete, i.e., that the product of consciousness addressing existence is actually an integrated, hierarchical sum of separately conceived products that each have a beginning and an end, i.e., are each a separately identifiable, objective ex-peri-ence. My interaction with Existence comes into my mind in discrete packages based on my sensation of external events. A unit of experience, i.e., an experience, is such an interaction package. I am saying something so simple at this point that I doubt you'd have disagreed if I had just summed it up in the first place: One only has a set of discrete experiences to work with in forming concepts. Percepts are the conceptual aspect of experience; the signals from which percepts are woven are the existential aspect. Both are required to have experience. Experience is the instantiation of a concept with specific measurements. Experience is to concept like an object is to a class in Java. And, each specific concept held in mind is at least the experience of an object of the class Concept.
  23. While you are at it, check into the gamut of ailments for which marijuana is useful in treating: glaucoma, chemo-therapy side effects are the ones I KNOW to be admitted by the established medical agencies (I haven't kept up to date, so I guess there are a few more discovered in the past 10 years.)
  24. "Drugs" in this context is a human-invented categorization of foreign chemicals (foreign to the body as born) which act to noticeably alter the mental state of the user. In many cases, the alteration, if repeatedly induced by the user, causes a re-balancing of body chemistry away from what it would be in the absence of the repeated alteration. Now, about the morality of mind-altering drugs: that requires context. It is always a trade off; it is not always true that mind-alteration is always bad, or might not even be good for some, depending on the scope and cost of the alteration. For example, smoking tobacco and drinking coffee can have a positive effect by increasing one's ability to focus in the face of mental stress, at the expense of physical health. The trade may go in favor of reducing mental stress for some. Personally, I find that smoking cigarettes helps me calmly focus when I have tough decisions to make, and I make fewer decisive mistakes in life choices as a result. I find that more valuable than 5-10 years at the back end of my life, because I'd rather live 25 more good years than 35 more mediocre ones, and on the margin the cigarettes assist me in making productive choices. If that equation changes, I'll quit. Drinking alcohol to any significant degree is often deleterious, but is net beneficial in some very rare contexts. But I don't drink, and don't care to, because I am certain that it reduces mental clarity in the moment, and degrades mental alacrity over prolonged use. Marijuana is not so clear cut: it is certainly less socially deleterious than alcohol (bar fights, car crashes, rapes, and other alcohol-induced stupidities are much much rarer with just pot); but it is certainly not as easy to embrace, morally, as cigarettes or coffee. For some people, it does seem to make them overall happier and more productive -- yes, I said it. I think that one must keep context of the individual user, and let each potential user decide for themselves the cost/benefit to their happiness. - ico
  25. Exactly. Or, more pointedly: all of your arguments will rest upon what you take as experience of God; no experience == no verification == arbitrary. Existence is sufficient, conceptually, to encompass all the facts of experience across all individuals, so God is irrelevant and arbitrary as "conceived", i.e., as a first mover. - ico
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