Philosophy: Assumptions

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Philosophy: Assumptions

Postby ShadeTail » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:24 pm

From the end-notes of the comic on Friday March 14 2014:
While we're throwing caution to the wind, let's also assume that sending signals down the nerves in your arm will cause it to move the pizza to your mouth, and not the fork to your eyeball. Let's assume that the information being delivered via our senses corresponds to reality, and that we can make decisions based on it. Let's assume that our memories of the past five minutes also correspond to reality, and that the next five minutes will proceed logically from events in the present. Let's assume that the universe will continue to exist, rather than spontaneously ceasing.

That's a lot of assumptions.

No, actually, those aren't assumptions at all. Those are deductions based on experience. To say otherwise is solipsism, the philosophy that nothing can be known or verified, which is not and never has been a legitimate world view. Even the man who invented solipsism, Rene Descartes, declared that it was just an interesting intellectual exercise and not a serious idea.

People who claim to believe in solipsism actually don't, because it is not an internally consistent point of view. Any interaction with people or things, including, ironically, a defense of solipsism, is an implicit admission that experience is valid and verifiable.
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Re: Philosophy: Assumptions

Postby RyukaTana » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:51 pm

That really tells me more that you don't understand philosophy or solipsism, than anything else. First, you described it as an intellectual exercise, which is almost undoubtedly the point Tailsteak was making. So, you know, there's that...

Second, no one 'invents' a philosophy. That's sapiocentric bullshit. One might invent a car, which would not exist until someone invented it, but you don't invent gravity. It exists whether or not you understand or accept it. You discover a philosophy. To suggest that solipsism can only exist in a single form is like stating that anarchy is chaos, it simply isn't true, and it's ignorant to suggest otherwise.

I believe that we cannot know anything, because we cannot KNOW anything. Knowing means 100%, you cannot ever possibly deny it. If I a .00000000000000001% unsure, I don't know. I'm sure that my arms will work when my brain sends them signals, but shit, that's not remotely a guarantee even based on the collective human experience. People lose bodily function all the time.

Beyond that, we cannot say an omnipotent otherworldly entity does not exist. We cannot say that everything is consistent simply because it wills it, and in time, will stop willing it because it has decided to do so, for reasons beyond our recognition. Argue all you want that about Occam's Razor and whatever other concepts, you do not know. Philosophically, this is important. That is why what Tailsteak said is worth saying, because it engenders thought.
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Re: Philosophy: Assumptions

Postby crayzz » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:29 am

That's a lot of assumptions.


Compared to what?

'Few' and 'many' (and their synonyms, such as 'lots') are relative terms. Despite 6.02x10^23 being a rather large number (compared to anything most people would see on a day to day basis), that many atoms of hydrogen amounts to barely over a gram; a pittance compared to the mass of hydrogen resting within your body, let alone within your home, let alone within your neighbourhood, etc.

EDIT:

I believe that we cannot know anything, because we cannot KNOW anything. Knowing means 100%, you cannot ever possibly deny it.


Does the irony of this statement escape you?
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Re: Philosophy: Assumptions

Postby GhastmaskZombie » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:34 pm

crayzz wrote:Does the irony of this statement escape you?

It certainly escapes me. I quite clearly see how you would see irony there, but I, myself, do not see it. You seem to be implying that there is irony in somebody saying that they are sure they can be sure of nothing. That, however, was never said at all. The word used was in fact "believe." To believe one can be sure of nothing is something else entirely. Synonyms are approximate, just as translations are. To "believe" is not necessarily to "know."
And I would like to add that I do not, nor will I ever, consider solipsism to be fundamentally absurd. Frankly, I'd never expected somebody narrow-minded enough to say that to be seen reading Tailsteak's work. I won't claim that it's a narrow-minded thing to say, but I'd thought my fellow fans to be an especially open-minded breed. Some might even say that solipsism reaches it's limit at "cogito ergo sum," which many people consider to be fundamentally true and self-evident. Even that, though, I've learned not to take for granted since reading 1/0. I am, however, glad that the general population lacks my open-mindedness. Such a world would be a disturbing thing to see.
And there is just one last thing I'd like to add. I agree, ShadeTail: those aren't assumptions. They are clearly inferences, or something similar.
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Re: Philosophy: Assumptions

Postby RyukaTana » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:08 am

GhastmaskZombie wrote:
crayzz wrote:Does the irony of this statement escape you?

It certainly escapes me. I quite clearly see how you would see irony there, but I, myself, do not see it. You seem to be implying that there is irony in somebody saying that they are sure they can be sure of nothing. That, however, was never said at all. The word used was in fact "believe." To believe one can be sure of nothing is something else entirely. Synonyms are approximate, just as translations are. To "believe" is not necessarily to "know."
And I would like to add that I do not, nor will I ever, consider solipsism to be fundamentally absurd. Frankly, I'd never expected somebody narrow-minded enough to say that to be seen reading Tailsteak's work. I won't claim that it's a narrow-minded thing to say, but I'd thought my fellow fans to be an especially open-minded breed. Some might even say that solipsism reaches it's limit at "cogito ergo sum," which many people consider to be fundamentally true and self-evident. Even that, though, I've learned not to take for granted since reading 1/0. I am, however, glad that the general population lacks my open-mindedness. Such a world would be a disturbing thing to see.
And there is just one last thing I'd like to add. I agree, ShadeTail: those aren't assumptions. They are clearly inferences, or something similar.


I like you already.

Also, I'll note, that my statement intentionally implies an assurance that we cannot be assured. I accept that, and honestly, I've been thinking for a while that I need to add 'there is an except to every rule, even that one' (but with a bit of explanation as to how it applies to pretty much everything I say) into all of my forum signatures.
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Re: Philosophy: Assumptions

Postby crayzz » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:36 am

You seem to be implying that there is irony in somebody saying that they are sure they can be sure of nothing. That, however, was never said at all. The word used was in fact "believe."


:sigh:

This is Ryuka's belief: "I believe that we cannot know anything..."

This is Ryuka's premise: "...because we cannot KNOW anything."

This is Ryuka's clarification: "Knowing means 100%, you cannot ever possibly deny it."

"We cannot know anything" is an absolute clause (i.e. 100%). The formulation of the premise contradicts the premise. Therein lies the irony. Indeed, "I believe I cannot know," is a valid statement.
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Re: Philosophy: Assumptions

Postby crayzz » Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:40 am

Last edited by crayzz on Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Philosophy: Assumptions

Postby snowyowl » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:39 am

Hey! No posting SMBC comics from the future!

*grumble* effing time travellers...
... in bed.
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Re: Philosophy: Assumptions

Postby crayzz » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:12 pm

In my defense, it wasn't quite the future. It was dated for today.
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