Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - Ka

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 51
1
Being in temporary non-lurker mode, I might as well give my story. Somewhere around 2005 I was participating in a forum on Robert Pirsig's metaphysics (the Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance guy), and on the forum was an Anglican priest named Sam Norton. I looked at his blog, and he had a a lot to say on Peak Oil, which introduced me to The Oil Drum, and The Automatic Earth. From TAE I followed RE, El Gallinazo and Ashvin to the Diner. Had a lot of fun arguing with Ashvin over Christian theology (to many Diners' disgust, but amazingly it was allowed -- thank you RE).

I gave up on any political hope or change when Obama appointed Tim Geithner as treasury secretary.

2

I wonder how Ka is doing? It's been a long time. Another lost Diner.

I don't blame RE for running everyone off, or take credit myself, beyond one or two (LOL). I think we old doomers are aging out...and collapse is so slow that watching the world end is like watching paint dry. One loses interest in writing about it, or even discussing it.

I hope he is well. He is (was?) a very scholarly man, and I admired him even though I struggled to understand what he had to teach me.

As RE said, I occasionally lurk, but like you say, I have basically lost interest. I think a lot of useful technical info gets presented here, but it is not really useful for me -- when the lights go out I will just go quietly into that last goodnight. I do recall that I basically turned off the diner after the election, and noted some here were actually taking sides in the Trump/Anti-Trump/Russia crap, but it was more just too much of the same old, and I didn't, and don't have anything useful to contribute doom-wise.

It did occur to me though that I might have something to say about Kilauea, so here it is:

It's no big deal. The earthquakes didn't cause any structural damage that I know of. Kilauea has been fairly constantly erupting for decades, and the only new thing here is the outflow coming up in a different place. That there are people living in the new place (Leilani Estates) is also not surprising. Puna, the district in which this is occurring, has far and away the cheapest land prices in Hawaii, and this is why. In the 90's, a couple of subdivisions were cut off entirely by a different flow. By the way, don't think of a "subdivision" as some middle class suburb of a big city. In Puna, a subdivision is where some developer puts a grid of possibly gravel or dirt roads on a few square miles, and sells lots of about a quarter acre to a couple of acres. No piped water or sewers, maybe electricity, and that's it. Lots of opportunities for off-grid life for those interested, and when you buy you are told what the risk level is of being driven out by lava. Leilani Estates is in risk level 1, the highest.

3
I get the problem materialism faces with consciousness, since consciousness is not a material thing.  However, I don't understand what you mean by dualisms interaction problem.  I did some internet research in an attempt to isolate what you are referencing, but I have been unable to figure it out.  Would you please elaborate on the problem of interaction with dualism? 

The interaction problem is: if there is mind and there is body, how does mind interact with body? How does a thought cause muscles to move, or neurochemical activity in the brain affect the mind as mental images?

4
AG,

Yes, I am a monist, in that I think that only mentality exists, no mindless matter. And so, the burden of argumentation is on me to show why it is that it seems to us that there is mindless matter, like rocks. This can be done in various ways, but it will take some time, and some back and forth to clarify things. Here is the beginning of a clarification.

The first thing to note in the passage you quoted from me is that I said it is space that has no independent existence, and that the moon is only located in space when it is looked at. In your comments you indicate that I say it (or concrete, or an appendix) only exists when someone thinks about it. Not the same thing, though as we shall see, it is thought that creates it, just not human thought.

So what is its existence when not being looked at? Well, I can't really say, but there are hints from quantum physics that may apply. All the weirdness of quantum physics (uncertainty, wave/particle duality, superposition of states, non-locality) can be understood if one assumes that quantum reality is not spatial. But quantum reality includes our bodies, with their sensory apparatus, concrete, and the moon. Cause and effect is operating there. So when a non-spatial eye and the non-spatial moon interact, a spatial moon appears in a mind.

So it is macrophysical reality that is "just perception". Microphysical (quantum) reality is not perceived, but that is where all the cause and effect takes place. That is where your unobserved, un-thought-about appendix ruptured. But, you may ask, how might one think of microphysical reality as mind, and not mindless matter? To suggest an answer I will borrow the main idea of a materialist physicist -- Max Tegmark (see his Our Mathematical Universe) but give it a twist. Tegmark's thesis is that all there "really is" are mathematical objects, that an electron "just is" its six (or whatever) numerical descriptors existing in a mathematical structure called an atom, etc. But how can a mathematical object move another? Tegmark's answer is that nothing "really moves", that time is just a fourth dimension of what is called the block universe, that is, all we call past, present, and future already exists, while our consciousness is just following a path in this block universe.

Of course, as a materialist, Tegmark cannot explain consciousness. But by dropping the block universe idea and adding a Mathematician, we have something that, to me at least, makes some sense. A mathematical object is a thought, and what we call physical reality is being thought by the Divine Mind (an age-old theistic idea, by the way), or perhaps by a community of supernatural beings, or perhaps the Greater Selves of all of us, plus of animals and plants. As to why it is being thought, and what we are doing within this thought, well, that takes us to the question of purpose, also the Problem of Evil, and other religious questions. But I'm going to stop here, for now at least, as it is plenty to chew on.

All this is speculative, to be sure, but at least it is feasible, and shows that -- unlike dualism with its interaction problem or materialism with its hard problem of consciousness, we can imagine a way that monist idealism can work.

5

Your vocabulary lends itself to some fascinating interpretations of what "IS" is. THAT is why any debate with you ends up in a hair splitting exercise. What you DO with words is, as RE has pointed out repeatedly, move the definition goal posts around so that you can say, uh, NO "I didn't say that" or "No, this thread has no relevance to eXternalism", etc.

Instead of just accusing me of moving the goalposts, show me where I have.


Quote
FOLLOWED by your apparent willingness to discuss an issue, that by your own words, is rather fruitless to discuss (i.e. the interaction).  ::)

It is not fruitless to discuss it, and in fact I welcome discussion of it, since I am pretty sure that the more people think about it, the more people will realize that the interaction problem has no solution, and so take a look at the alternative -- idealism. Of course they might also fall into the error of materialism, in which case I would welcome discussion of the hard problem of consciousness, which they can't solve.

Quote
Here's the deal, Ka. EVERYTHING about your outlook on what you consider WHATEVER is impossible to argue against BECAUSE you DO NOT REALLY BELIEVE (yeah - I know you'll claim that about you is incorrect as well) WE are talking to each other here.

Yup, incorrect. See below.

Quote
Sure, you can come up with all sorts of erudite labels with "justification" for your claim that you believe we do have sensory apparatus and that you do actually engage in debate with other humans and recognize that we talk to each other, but it is NOT SO, according to your concept of reality. 

My concept of reality is that there is nothingness (no-thingness) AND there is thingness, and each depends on the other, making them a unity. So it does not follow from my concept of reality that there is no sensory apparatus, or other humans, or biosphere.

Quote
This then taints absolutely every subject on the issue (i.e. cause and effect related) about integrating, analyzing and taking appropriate action on, INFORMATION about the OUTSIDE world that our sensory apparatus MUST have for us to remain as viable homeostatic biological entities. 

There is just NO WAY for you to look at your belief system and seriously consider the possibility that you are a space cadet living in a totally erroneous private world. The biosphere is NOT accessible through a meditation chamber, and never will be, IMHO. You have provided zero evidence that it is.

?? What does meditation have to do with the existence of anything?

Quote
Furthermore, you may even claim that "looking for evidence" is evidence ;) of an incorrect approach to "perceiving" the biosphere or anything else.  :laugh:

The only (non)-thing for which one cannot look for evidence is no-thingness. The biosphere is a thing, so there is no problem perceiving it, or studying it scientifically.

Quote
It's kind of like saying that jumping out of a window of a multistory building is not dangerous; it's the concrete that kills you. And even that was a mere perception of smacking the concrete.

Ah, now here there is something to say. Yes, smacking the concrete is just perceptions, very painful ones, resulting in death, which is to say the scrunched up body is no longer able to perceive physical reality (its sensory apparatus has been destroyed). After which (I think) one perceives non-physical reality, but I can't prove that. In any case, physical reality continues to exist as long as there are people or bacteria perceiving it. The problem I suspect you have with this is the word "just" as in "just perceptions". My task, if we are to actually debate this, is to show that saying that physical reality is "just perceptions" does not detract an iota from science, or how we should engage with physical reality, for example, it remains the case that jumping out of high windows results in death.

Quote
When I question your ability to perceive without accepting the fact that perceiving IS a sensory EVENT that INCLUDES integrating outside information, you DANCE by saying the, uh, "interaction is not explained".

As I said, I accept that perceiving is a sensory event, and have no idea why you think I would think otherwise. And it does integrate outside information, that is, information that was outside my ego consciousness, and moves inside it. However, I would also say that "inside" and "outside" are spatial metaphors, and that space has no independent existence, that we create space, time, and mass in the act of perceiving. And this, of course, is where discussion gets tricky, and calls for "hair-splitting", though I would call it precision. The moon really exists, but only exists located in spacetime when it is looked at.

Quote
I'll tell you what. When you agree that it is possible that you are a space cadet and do not have a clue of what you speak, then I will admit that SAME possibility is present in my worldview as well. But until you, a separate and distinct entity from me, are actually willing to GO THERE, you are fibbin' when you claim you ARE willing to "go there" on the issue of eXternalism.

I agree that it is possible that I am wrong. There is no certainty in metaphysics. All one can do is argue over what is most plausible. But then I have never claimed otherwise, so I really don't understand this talk about being unwilling to "go there". After all, until I was 37 I was just as much an externalist as you are now. So I've been there.

Quote
I challenge your claim that eXternalism is not related to, or relevant to, this thread. It is.

Of course it is highly relevant to this thread, which is why I made my first post in this thread attacking externalism. However, it is not relevant to the debate I had with RE over the usage of 'ad hominem', which is all I claimed.

Quote
People who BELIEVE that there is ZERO meaning in anything and everything they "do" OFTEN end up committing suicide (e.g. Buddhists). THIS SENSELESS ACT is born of nihilism. ANYONE that teaches others that there is NOTHING because there is NO THING is nurturing a potential nihilist who may end up committing suicide.

Then I'm off the hook, because I definitely believe there are things, such as you, me, and the biosphere, and that real people are doing real harm to it. What I do not believe is that there are any mindless things existing on their own.

Quote
DON'T hair split with me about the importance of MEANING and PURPOSE in human lives. Your worldview EXCLUDES BOTH MEANING AND PURPOSE. But of, course, you will claim that you never said any of that or represent any of that. Well, I think you do. And I think you should take responsibility for telling people there is NOTHING to FEAR out there because there is NO THING, or even an "out there".

I am afraid of disease, poisonous critters, of losing my savings to some bankster, etc. etc., since I consider viruses, critters, and banksters to all be real. I also think that MEANING and PURPOSE are names of God, and that things exist to express that Meaning and fulfill divine Purpose.

You say I am moving goalposts. Show me where I have. Show me where I have ever said or implied that "nothing is real" or anything like that. Some Buddhists say that, but I am not one of them.

6

So,
It appears that Ka has attempted to dance around the FACT that it offends him for anyone to NOT question the validity of externalism.  ;D

?? In this thread there has been no debate concerning the validity of externalism. I did state my position on the matter in my first post in this thread, but the only thing objected to in that post was my use of the term "ad hominem". Since then, that is all that RE and I have been debating. So I don't understand how you get to "Ka has attempted to dance around the FACT that it offends him for anyone to NOT question the validity of externalism."

Quote
RE is correct  :o  ;D that questioning Externalism to the point of saying it is totally invalid, useless, counterproductive and possibly destructive to human society (paraphrased  ;)) is certainly NOT Ad Hom to Ka,

I agree. It would not be an ad hom. Only he hasn't said anything of that nature in this thread.

Quote
... just because Ka thinks our plebian perception of reality is some sort of illusion that we cause and effect types are being fooled into believing.

Our perception is not an illusion. It is an inference we make concerning the nature of what we perceive that I consider to be false, namely that what we perceive exists on its own in the way we perceive it. Just clarifying.

Quote
RE gets it about the connection between reality and what is external to us and what ain't.

Then how does he (or you) solve the interaction problem?

Quote
Ka not only doesn't get it, he is pissed at anyone who says Ka doesn't get it.

 I'm just waiting to hear of a solution to the interaction problem (not really, since I don't think there is a solution). Anyway, I don't see how that counts as being "pissed" or not "getting it".


Quote
A few years ago I went through excruciating detail explaining the human sensory apparatus. The very ability of Ka to question our assumed cause and effect "externalism" is impossible without that sensory apparatus.

I don't ever recall saying that we don't have a sensory apparatus. Whether it does what you think it does, versus what I think it does, is what we debated. And the answer to that cannot be provided by the sensory apparatus alone, which just gets perceptions. It is the concepts we add to those perceptions that are in dispute.

Quote
But Ka, even though he is a man I respect immensely, just don't wanna go there.

Well, here I am, going there.

7


So "You believe in God, but anyone who believes in God is an idiot" is not an ad hominem.

Correct.  That is a Gross Generalization, not an Ad Hom.

I suggest that we both just use "ad hom", and take it as, for you, being an abbreviation of "ad hominem", while for me it is an abbreviation for either "ad hominem" or "ad homines". Just curious, but would you have objected to my first post if I had said it was an ad homines fallacy?



Quote
Quote

It is true that I have not given every reason to accept Barfield's take on life -- to do so would pretty much require typing in all of Saving the Appearances -- but I have given some of the reasoning. Since no one has rebutted even that some, I think I'm in the clear on this one.

It's been rebutted on many occasions in different ways by different Diners.  You just never listen to the rebuttals.

Ashvin, I recall, did not agree with Barfield's conclusions, but he did not actually rebut the arguments for those conclusions. Nor, that I can recall, has anyone else. There has been rebuttal (and counter-rebuttal) about my arguments for idealism, but that is not directly what Barfield is about -- he's the evolution of consciousness guy, and though evidence for the evolution of consciousness is supportive of idealism, one can argue for one independently of the other.

Quote
Quote


Is so. (argumentum ad obstinatum)

That is a mirror of your ability to ignore anyone who rebuts BARField. :P


And here I thought I was just humorously pointing out that our "debate" has just been of a "'tis/'taint" sort.  Meanwhile, can you give an instance of where I have ignored anyone who rebuts Barfield? Because I am pretty sure I haven't.


8

Once past one, it's no longer Ad Hom because you have a class of 2 people.  It's not the same to question class belief as it is to impugn the motives of an individual in making an argument.

So "You believe in God, but anyone who believes in God is an idiot" is not an ad hominem.



Quote
Some are based on Appeal to Authority, such as making an argument based on BARField's take on life.

It is true that I have not given every reason to accept Barfield's take on life -- to do so would pretty much require typing in all of Saving the Appearances -- but I have given some of the reasoning. Since no one has rebutted even that some, I think I'm in the clear on this one.

Quote
This particular argument is a Straw Man, not an Ad Hom.  It's still not a real good argument of course, but it's not Ad Hom.

Is so. (argumentum ad obstinatum)

9

Yes it would.  If there is only one person around with that set of beliefs, then the attack could be construed as Ad Hom.  But there is not only one eternalist or nihilist walking the earth at the moment, so you can't finger the attack on a specific person.  It's an attack on a set of beliefs a class of people have.

What if there are exactly two eternalists? No longer an ad hominem? To question the character or motivation of a class of people is the same logical fallacy as questioning each of the members of the class one by one.

Quote
No, it doesn't have to be attacking something that sounds like eternalism or nihilism.  It merely has to present another argument that is related, in this case what the motivations are for people who believe in nihilism or eternalism.  Then the argument drifts of onto that subject, if the debater on the other side isn't aware enough to see what is being done and point it out.

That's way too general. If any case of misdirection is a strawman, then what distinguishes strawman arguments from any bad argument?

10

Ok, then if someone says "all doomers who live in Palmer, AK and write blog posts on Endless Salad are doomers because they are social misfits" is not an ad hominem

No, that IS Ad Hom, because all the person is doing there is substituting a detailed descriptor for my name.  There is ONLY ONE Doomer in Palmer, Alaska who writes blog posts on Endless Salads!  :icon_sunny:


Ah, you appear to not be aware of the difference between X and {X} (the set that contains X). What if there were only one eternalist in the world? Would that make a difference as to whether or not

"Eternalism and nihilism exist only out of fear of each other."

is an ad hominem? I don't see how.

As to calling it a strawman, if Chapman were attacking a straw man, it would be attacking something that sounds like eternalism (or nihilism), but isn't. Like an atheist attacking theism by treating God as a magnified Zeus. That is not the same as attacking the character or motivation of a theist.

11

So you are saying that if someone says

"RE, you are a doomer because you are a social misfit."

that that is an ad hominem, while saying

"All doomers are motivated by being social misfits."

is not? Seems to me they are equally fallacious with respect to the question of the likelihood of doom.

Yes, that is basically it.

In the first statement, it is directed specifically AT THE MAN (me), aka AD HOM.

The second statement is looking at all Doomers as a class, and making a blanket generalization, which also is a logical fallacy and I would argue with whoever made the statement on that basis.  Then I would go ahead and demonstrate why it was incorrect as a blanket generalization.  Then after that I would go and call whoever made such a ridiculous statement a fucking idiot.  :icon_mrgreen:

RE

Ok, then if someone says "all doomers who live in Palmer, AK and write blog posts on Endless Salad are doomers because they are social misfits" is not an ad hominem, since it is directed at a class, not you specifically. True, there is (I assume) only one individual in that class, but how would that be different if there were two, or a thousand? By attacking the class one is attacking every member of that class. What makes an ad hominem a logical fallacy is not whether it is addressed specifically or generally, but that it attacks the character or motivation of those who hold the position one is arguing against, rather than whether or not what one is arguing about is true. What would you call the fallacy of the second (general) statement, if not ad hominem?

12
Ka,
why do you think being motivated by fear is a negative concept? I agree that being motivated by GROUNDLESS fear is certainly to be disdained, but LOGIC based fear (e.g. some thing, being or event is to be feared because it has been conclusively proven to be deleterious to your continued biochemical activity.), IMHO, is, well, prudent, as well as logical.

Yes, but the question is, is eternalism true or not. To say that eternalists are eternalists only out of fear does not say anything about whether or not eternalism is true. Chapman wouldn't have put that statement in there except to cast doubt on eternalism. just as atheists bring up wish-fulfillment and such to question theism. Even if it were true that all eternalists are fearful of nihilism, that would not in itself make eternalism false. Hence his statement is a logical fallacy. And that kind of fallacy is called an ad hominem, because it refers to the character of the eternalist, and not eternalism itself.

13

Except he's not attacking the person or character of the person making the argument, because there is no person making the argument!  He's not debating with you Ka.  He's just stating his perception.  He hasn't targeted you for attack.  Ad hom is when two (or more) people are debating and then one person call the other person stupid, or some other derogatory adjective rather than address the topic.  The topic here is what moticates eternalists and nihilists, and he posits that the motivator is fear.  That's not ad hom, sorry.

RE

So you are saying that if someone says

"RE, you are a doomer because you are a social misfit."

that that is an ad hominem, while saying

"All doomers are motivated by being social misfits."

is not? Seems to me they are equally fallacious with respect to the question of the likelihood of doom.

14

The hom is whoever holds an eternalist or nihilist point of view. We are being accused of holding the position out of fear, not careful thought. (BTW, this is from someone named David Chapman, not Irv.)

I don't think that counts as Ad Hom.  If he was arguing with you and said you were motivated out of fear, that could be considered Ad Hom.

From wikipedia:

"Ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"[1]), short for argumentum ad hominem, is now usually understood as a logical fallacy in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself."

To say that eternalism and nihilism exist solely out of fear is attacking the motive and character of the eternalist or nihilist, rather than attacking the substance of eternalism or nihilism. Sure looks like an ad hominem to me, that is, is logically fallacious.

15
"Eternalism and nihilism exist only out of fear of each other."

An ad hominem argument. If, instead, one employs reason...

Who's the hom in the argument?

Ad Hom is an argument made to undermine the person you are arguing with rather than addressing the topic.  Irv isn't arguing with anyone here, he's just stating his POV.

RE

The hom is whoever holds an eternalist or nihilist point of view. We are being accused of holding the position out of fear, not careful thought. (BTW, this is from someone named David Chapman, not Irv.)

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 51