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Philosophers and rhetoricians, Welcome!

Postby Mongoose42 » Wed May 12, 2004 6:36 pm

Are you blind or have you ever known someone who is blind?
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Postby KohlyKohl » Wed May 12, 2004 7:16 pm

threewood14 wrote:We cannot know with absolute certainty that the earth exists. We can only know with absolute certainty that we can sense something called the earth, but will never be able to prove its existance because we are limited to our interpretation. For example, it is possible that we are sensing something that is not there.

This statement says that we can know many things with asolute certainty, but it does not say that what we do see with absolute certainty is reality. It does not say we can know everything with absolute certainty either. The entire point is reality. I thought we had covered that already and it was implied in my statement.

"Man cannot know anything about reality except for his interpretation of reality."

Reality is referred to physical reality.


Ok time to lay off the drugs man, they are not good for you. Yes you do know the earth exists. Take your foot, raise it up and slam it into the ground. The force exerted will reveal that indead the earth is there. Still don't believe it? Jump on a plane, go to the opposite side of the earth and do it again. Not only do my eyes not decieve me, you can prove it with science. Light bouncing, thus there is a hard object there for it to bounce off of(i hope you comprehend this all so far, since it would seem you have a hard time comprehending things), thus the light you are seeing shows the object. Of course the colors can be interpreted by other devices and such as being different in color but in shape its basically what it appears to be. If you close your eyes and touch something your sight cannot help decieve your touch and one can use that along with sight afterwards to relize hey we really are in reality and all these fruit cakes out there need to get a life. If this were a dream, when i punch a wall its not gonna be solid, no its gonna go right through that wall. Any other crack pot theories really need to be layed to rest. We are here in a universe with matter and whatever is outside this universe matters nothing, at least for now.
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Postby KohlyKohl » Wed May 12, 2004 7:32 pm

Mongoose42 wrote:Try this:

How do I know that you are not a figment of my imagination?


Probley oh I don't know, you do things when i'm not around thus making you a part of everyones reality, not just mine. I think you all here are high on something and i'm missing out on it.

threewood14 wrote:Consider this. I was thinking. If nothing can be proven to be physical reality, then how can we know anything about physical reality? i think that if we cannot prove anything to be physical reality, then we must know nothing about it. I was also thinking that since my statement is about reality, why would it apply to my statement. is my statement matter, or patterns of energy? it does not have anything to do with matter. if you want to talk about electrons in the brain, that is a different story. my statment does not even apply to itself. in other words, it does not say that it cannot be proven. for if this is true, then we can know that we cannot know anything in reality with absolute certainty.


Its one thing to have an Intillectual conversation, and its another to be crazy person and play it off as being someone of intelligence. These retorical questions have no bases except on the premise you are neither here nor there in terms of reallity. Come back to earth and relize, like 99% of the world that we exist and what we see is really and not made up in our heads. Although judging by some of you I wouldn't doubt you do make up things in your head and believe they are real.
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Postby threewood14 » Wed May 12, 2004 9:48 pm

We are all crazy in our own ways, but this is the truth I believe. I cannot prove that the earth exists. Thats a given. How do you know that we are not all dreaming some how in another plane of existance and that when we die, we live on that plane of existance forever? How do you know that this dream isn't all formed from our heads? Our senses are things that are sensed from our brain. Our brain could be sensing the wrong things and thus possibly sensing something that is not even there?

I don't think they had much efficient drugs back in the old Greek times. Socrates had the same idea. I believe him entirely, because I have thought of this on my own. Sense he, and Einstein, have said this, I think they are right.

"We cannot know with absolute certainty anything about physical reality. We can only know our mental reality with absolute certainty."
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Postby primitive » Wed May 12, 2004 9:55 pm

Your point about your statement not being reality is kind of interesting. I'll have to think about that...
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Postby Mongoose42 » Thu May 13, 2004 6:56 pm

KohlyKohl wrote:Ok time to lay off the drugs man, they are not good for you.


Nice Rant, but first of all the arguements that have been made here do not say that nothing exists and that everything is a dream, they say that the possibility of another explanation exists so doubt exists about what is real or absolute. Drugs are not needed to achieve a philosophicle high.

To Threewood:
Both a blind man and you interact and percieve the surrounding reality. You rely on your eyes and use your other senses as suppliments only. A blind person percieves the same reality without the handicap of reliance on eyesight. No matter how humans or individuals define the reality around them, the reality exists in an absolute form.
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Postby threewood14 » Thu May 13, 2004 7:23 pm

No matter how humans or individuals define the reality around them, the reality exists in an absolute form.


Yes I agree.

Nice Rant, but first of all the arguements that have been made here do not say that nothing exists and that everything is a dream, they say that the possibility of another explanation exists so doubt exists about what is real or absolute.


Yes thankyou.
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Postby threewood14 » Wed Jun 09, 2004 10:24 pm

Prove that we do not know there is probability!


That was benissimus a while back in the first thread.

I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to prove anything is physical reality. That is because the only thing humans have to go by is their mental reality. I think that this phrase may be able to stand on its feet until someone can prove something is physical reality. I think that this claim can be proven becasue it is not physical reality. Its all mental. And since we define our world what we want, I think this is no different in a sense.

"I say to you, arise!"
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knowledge, faith, fate

Postby mercutio » Thu Jun 10, 2004 4:16 am

I haven't had time to read all the messages in this topic, so I could be way off here. But I thought I'd try. Knowledge per se is useless. The man in prison who knows who really killed the king can DO nothing with his knowledge. To twist Aristotle, knowledge is only the potential. It becomes useful only when it is actualised.
Knowledge can create actions.
2 + 2 = 4. Why? Because based on that mathematical principle (& what is built upon it) we can put a man on the moon, create computers, build cars, &c. 2 + 2 = 9 will not build a spaceship or a car or create computers.
Someone wrote: "No one can know for certain that a monkey does not live in the earth controlling gravity".
The question is what difference does it make TO ME if there is a monkey or if there is not? Let there be. That's cool. It makes no difference to what my life has meant before nor will it in the future.
Is my girlfriend cheating on me? That is knowledge of fundamental importance? Can I ever truly know the answer? Or can I only ever have a belief? Call it faith. But as Kierkegaard said, the opposite of sin is not good, it is faith.
If you believe/think/know someone is only a figment of your imagination, act like they are. If you believe/think/know someone is real, act like they are. The proof or validity of our beliefs is demonstrated not by semantics, but by our actions.
The value of knowledge is what can be created out of it, what it can do.
If someone believes in God, they can't prove he exists by words, they can prove it by their life to make others start to believe.
If someone doesn't believe in God, they can't prove he doesn't exist by words, they can prove it by their life to make others start not to believe.
To define your own reality is useless, to live it is much better.
Fate is the life you choose.
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Postby threewood14 » Thu Jun 10, 2004 9:49 am

But what knowledge of the physical world do we have?
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Postby Emma_85 » Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:05 am

Well, let's put it this way. If what our senses tell us is totally useless then we'd die within hours. Knowing that the data we receive are just electromagnetic waves and that our brain does a lot of interpreting and turns all these signals into useable information, even though then this information is never an exact replica of reality (if we saw reality as it really is, then we probably wouldn't be able to survive), we can still know certain things. We know that if we pick up a stone and let go, it'll fall down. The probability that suddenly the laws of gravity will no longer exist is very near nil. That is knowledge, even though there is a probability that it may not be so, you don't actually doubt that fact. You know you don't, what ever clever arguments we may come up with, if we aren't mad, we'll never doubt some things, because of the way our brain works.
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playing with fire

Postby mercutio » Thu Jun 10, 2004 1:55 pm

threewood14 wrote:But what knowledge of the physical world do we have?


Put your hand in a fire & see what knowledge of the physical world you have.
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Re: playing with fire

Postby copain » Thu Jun 10, 2004 2:58 pm

mercutio wrote:
threewood14 wrote:But what knowledge of the physical world do we have?


Put your hand in a fire & see what knowledge of the physical world you have.


    We do not really know how this world exactly looks like - Emma described that well -, but we can describe it in a mathematical or physical way that works good (thanks to mercutio who give´s me with his "2 + 2 = 4" this idea :)
    For example were we able to predict a Venus transit which was seen in the morning at the 8th of June all over Central Europe and so it was. And so many other thinks we can describe in such a way and prove them as true - or better to say- in line with our description. Because whether these world really looks like as we see or perceive it , we will never be known for sure. Every living being perceive this world a bit different, even those monkey living in the earth and controlling gravity will have their own view of this world. :wink:
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Postby mercutio » Thu Jun 10, 2004 3:39 pm

Bob says there's an apple on the table. Mary's says it's a pear. Who's right? Who's wrong? They're standing 30 metres from the table. Who's right? Who's wrong? Bob is short-sighted & not wearing his glasses. Mary has 20-20 vision. Who's right? Who's wrong?
Bob's "mental reality" says it's an apple. Mary's "mental reality" says it's a pear. The "physical reality" is, it's a pear. Why was Mary right & Bob wrong? I think that's obvious.
Our senses are our only access to reality. But make sure you're not the blind Bob. Senses must be refined, polished, improved, sophisticated. Not ignored or mistrusted & - as Plato the plagiarist wanted - beaten into pathetic submission. I'm looking outside my window now & I see a blonde girl sunbathing. Is she pretty? I don't know, I'm not wearing my glasses. My knowledge or lack of knowledge because of my flawed perception in this case is still useless. And if I do discover that she is beautiful yet all my friends disagree, what does that mean? Nothing. It is what I do from the knowledge I possess that validates my knowledge. Do I go & talk to her? Or hide?
I'm not being facetious. Happiness is an activity. Not a state of being. You are in love with your partner or child. But that does not mean you would be happy without them forever. You are still the same. But your activity has changed, changed utterly. Just think of the poor boy in love with the girl who doesn't know he exists.
Of course there's an objective "physical reality" that operates oblivious to the existence of humanity. Again, put your hand in a fire & you'll see what it is. No amount of "mental reality" will stop your hand burning like newspaper.
Of what use is my knowledge that this egg is in fact an egg? Easy. I will cook & eat it.
Of what use is my knowledge that Paris is the capital of France? Easy. I can go there.
Of what use is my knowledge that the fire is hot? I will not put my hand in it & burn myself.
Of what use is my knowledge that the fire is cold? I will put my hand in it & burn myself.
The value of anything - even knowledge - is what it can be used for. The diamond ring must be worn.
Correct perception/incorrect perception; true knowledge/false knowledge. There is only 1 test & that is the action that is created from them.
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Postby threewood14 » Thu Jun 10, 2004 7:02 pm

Very good Emma. I agree. We usually don't doubt things. But my point is that even though the chances of these things happening are so low, they are still there. It just makes you think, "What is real?" I just must say that our mental reality is not useless. But it is not perfect. Its the most realiable thing we have! (And the only thing really...)


Bob says there's an apple on the table. Mary's says it's a pear. Who's right? Who's wrong? They're standing 30 metres from the table. Who's right? Who's wrong? Bob is short-sighted & not wearing his glasses. Mary has 20-20 vision. Who's right? Who's wrong?
Bob's "mental reality" says it's an apple. Mary's "mental reality" says it's a pear. The "physical reality" is, it's a pear. Why was Mary right & Bob wrong? I think that's obvious.


Mary is right. But does Mary know with absolute certainty that she is right? How does MARY know that she is right. How does BOB know that Mary is right? How would the two people say which one is right?

Of course we can know some things. And we know many things. But we can never be absolutely certain about our conclusions. Consider this. What if there was nothing on that table. Both would be wrong. They both see something. We can't know anything about the physical world with absolute certainty except for our mental reality or what our brain tells us.



P.S. If I put an ember in my hand I would probably feel something. But that does not mean it is there. It just means my brain senses something. And my brain could be diseased and sensing something that doesn't exist.
even those monkey living in the earth and controlling gravity will have their own view of this world.

even those monkey living in the earth and controlling gravity will have their own view of this world.


...humor
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Postby Apotheosis » Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:11 pm

Where does this uncertainty come from? Why would there be some random uncertainty in out conclusions/observations?
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Postby threewood14 » Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:28 pm

Random it is. But it comes from the fact that our mental reality may not be the same as the physical reality. Why? Becasue you have no way to prove that it is!

P.S. We are going around the circle again. If you want a more detailed answer, go back through the thread.
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Postby Apotheosis » Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:47 pm

Why can you not prove that it is?
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Postby threewood14 » Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:53 pm

Because what we are sensing is not reality. Only a interpretation of reality. And since our brains are relativly complex, there is much room for error...
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Postby Apotheosis » Thu Jun 10, 2004 11:03 pm

Just because something is complex doesn't mean that there is going to be errors left and right. And also, is there any difference between reality and our interpretations? It's the same thing if you ask me... Why would it be any different?
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Postby threewood14 » Thu Jun 10, 2004 11:44 pm

Just because something is complex doesn't mean that there is going to be errors left and right.


I did not say that. I said that there is more room for error. It is possible that there is error. There is probably no error with many of us, but it is quite possible. You cannot deny that.


And also, is there any difference between reality and our interpretations? It's the same thing if you ask me... Why would it be any different?


Yes their is. Reality, according to me, is patterns of energy in time in space. Our mental reality, or interpretations, are what are brain thinks is reality. We decide what is reality. For example, if you have a dream and wake up. Then you have a normal day, your brain would probably think that the wooden turtles in your dream were not reality but images created by your brain.

Another example would be a chemical imbalance. Some people have chemical imbalances and they see and hear things that are not there. Think about A Beautiful Mind. The people he was seeing were not seen by anyone else. I'm not saying that those people are not there, I am saying that there is a good chance that those peoplem are not really there.

1 o clock
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Postby Apotheosis » Thu Jun 10, 2004 11:55 pm

You keep meshing what could be happening and what is happening. They are two completely different concepts. Just because there is a possibility of something doesn't mean it's really happening. Sure this might be happening, but we all know it's not.
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Postby Democritus » Fri Jun 11, 2004 12:23 am

threewood14 wrote:I do not think that we can know anything with absolute certainty still.


OK fair enough. But how about relative certainty?

I mean, if you're not certain that the earth exists, then you're probably not so sure that your teeth exist, either. But you probably still brush them every day.

What are the practical consequences of this lack of absolute certainty? I doubt very much that you are planning to stop brushing your teeth, on the grounds that your teeth aren't there, or to stop eating, on the grounds that your hunger pangs are an illusion.

"I know nothing" might be true, in the strict sense, but how does it help you?

"I'm pretty sure about some things" seems handier, as a starting point.

I mean, I can even predict the future, with some certainty. I predict that the sun will rise over the eastern horizon tomorrow. I don't know it with absolute certainty, but I'm pretty sure about it. I'll even bet money on it! :)
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Postby mingshey » Fri Jun 11, 2004 2:10 am

It is absolutely certain that nothing is absolutely certain. Or is it not?
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Postby mercutio » Fri Jun 11, 2004 1:26 pm

mingshey wrote:It is absolutely certain that nothing is absolutely certain. Or is it not?


All that is certain that you say that it is absolutely certain that nothing is absolutely certain. But what you say is not necessarily relevant to, nor does it prove, what is certain or uncertain.
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Postby threewood14 » Fri Jun 11, 2004 6:57 pm

You keep meshing what could be happening and what is happening. They are two completely different concepts. Just because there is a possibility of something doesn't mean it's really happening. Sure this might be happening, but we all know it's not.


If there is a possibility that something is happening, how do we know its not? Your bold text means that we have uncertainty in our conclusions. The Italicized is incorrect. We do not know whether it is or not because the only thing that we can base our beliefs on is our mental picture of reality. Our mental picture of reality is formed by our brain. Our brain gets sources of input. It is possible that our brain is creating its own source of input and what we sense is not a reality source of input. Therefore, it is possible that all these things can happen. Since it is possible, we cannot be absolutely certain that they are not. Why? The answer is obvious. You cannot be absolutely certain about something when there is 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999% chance that something will happen and a .0000000000000000000000000000000001 chance that something will happen. Of course you would pick the 99.99... choice. But does that mean you are absolutely certain that you are right? According to the italicized text in your quote, you are saying that we can be absolutely certain that the 99.999... chacen event will occur as apposed to the .0000...1 event. I am saying that we cannot be absolutely certain that the 99.9999... event will occur because the .00000...1 exists. It cannot be ignored.

OK fair enough. But how about relative certainty?

I mean, if you're not certain that the earth exists, then you're probably not so sure that your teeth exist, either. But you probably still brush them every day.

What are the practical consequences of this lack of absolute certainty? I doubt very much that you are planning to stop brushing your teeth, on the grounds that your teeth aren't there, or to stop eating, on the grounds that your hunger pangs are an illusion.

"I know nothing" might be true, in the strict sense, but how does it help you?

"I'm pretty sure about some things" seems handier, as a starting point.

I mean, I can even predict the future, with some certainty. I predict that the sun will rise over the eastern horizon tomorrow. I don't know it with absolute certainty, but I'm pretty sure about it. I'll even bet money on it!


You are very right. We can be relativly certain about somethings. I can know things, but just not with absolute certainty. I CAN predict the future, just not with absolute certainty. I'd even bet that the Pistons will come out on top! :roll:

It is absolutely certain that nothing is absolutely certain. Or is it not?


I am talking about the physical world. Not ideas. We can be absolutely certain that we do not know anything with absolute certainty about the physical world. Its more of an energy thing.
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Postby Apotheosis » Fri Jun 11, 2004 10:32 pm

I see what you're trying to get at but I still think you're missing the point. Sure, it's possible that all of these bizarre things are happening, but are they really? In my opinion, no, they are not happening. These "other possibilities" have no bearing or effect on anything! They mean nothing. Just because there is a possibility of something does not automatically create uncertainty. Things that might be happening have no effect on me or my certainty about anything and everything in my life. Sure there might be a YF-22 Raptor parked in my garage, but I know for a fact that there is NOT! The point is, possibilities have no bearing on reality nor on anything else that is happening.
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Postby threewood14 » Sat Jun 12, 2004 1:53 am

I see what you're trying to get at but I still think you're missing the point. Sure, it's possible that all of these bizarre things are happening, but are they really? In my opinion, no, they are not happening. These "other possibilities" have no bearing or effect on anything! They mean nothing. Just because there is a possibility of something does not automatically create uncertainty. Things that might be happening have no effect on me or my certainty about anything and everything in my life. Sure there might be a YF-22 Raptor parked in my garage, but I know for a fact that there is NOT! The point is, possibilities have no bearing on reality nor on anything else that is happening.


Not to be rude, but how can you say that?

There is a 99.9999% chance that there is no Raptor in your garage.
There is a .0001% chance that there is one in your garage.

This is our situation. There is a possibility that the Raptor may be there, but the chance is very very small.

I say to you, you cannot be absolutely certain as to whether the Raptor is there or not because the possibility exists. Are you absolutely certain that there is no Raptor in your garage? No. You cannot be. You cannot ignore the possibility that it may be.

I do trust that you will say that there probably is no Raptor in your garage. We can be fairly, or relativly certain about some things. But we can never be absolutely certain.
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Postby Apotheosis » Sat Jun 12, 2004 2:57 am

Things that may be happening have no effect or influence on things that are happening. Thus, no uncertainty is created.
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Postby threewood14 » Sat Jun 12, 2004 11:06 am

Things that may be happening have no effect or influence on things that are happening. Thus, no uncertainty is created.


I agree. But how do YOU know what is actually happening?My entire thread here says that you cannot. You will find that you cannot know what is ACTUALLY happening becasue there are other possibilities that you must take account for.
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Postby Apotheosis » Sat Jun 12, 2004 12:21 pm

Nope. I only see one reality. I only hear one reality. I only smell one reality. I only touch one reality. I only taste one reality. I only perceive one reality. Also, I am certain this reality is real because others perceive it in the same way as I do. Via communication with others, my perception of reality is confirmed.
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Postby threewood14 » Sat Jun 12, 2004 10:44 pm

Nope. I only see one reality. I only hear one reality. I only smell one reality. I only touch one reality. I only taste one reality. I only perceive one reality. Also, I am certain this reality is real because others perceive it in the same way as I do. Via communication with others, my perception of reality is confirmed.


Nope. Would you say that it is possible that you and everyone that you have communicated to in any way all have chemical imbalances and are all seeing things that are not there? You cannpt exclude this possibility.

You probably are seeing the correct reality and so is everyone else. But the fact of the matter is, it is possible that you are not. Since it is possible, it creates another one of those 99.99999% chance and .000001% chance things. Therefore, you cannot be absolutely certain that the 99.999999% chance event is happening.

Look at it this way. Right now, we have no idea what is happening. None. Nein. Chioces are put before us for what we shall chose is real. One choice is that we live on a green and blue planet called earth. The other is that we live on a space station orbiting Pluto. From using our brains, usually, one would say that we live on earth. However, we can never know that we are right or not because of all of these possiblities that we must take account for.
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Postby Apotheosis » Sun Jun 13, 2004 3:16 pm

Prove it.
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Postby threewood14 » Sun Jun 13, 2004 3:24 pm

In order to be absolutely certain about something, the odds of what they think must be 100%. I can always think of a possibility that works in the same situation. It is possible, but unlikely. Therefore, we must take this possibility into account. It makes the 100% choice, diminish to a 99.999999999% choice. And the other bizarre choice the .0000000001%. Therefore, we cannot be absolutely certain that the 99.99999999999% choice is correct.
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Postby Apotheosis » Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:37 pm

You just repeated what you said above. I'd like you to prove what you said rather than saying it again.
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Postby threewood14 » Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:43 pm

What do I have to prove to you?
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Postby Apotheosis » Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:58 pm

Everything you have claimed to be true.
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Postby threewood14 » Sun Jun 13, 2004 7:24 pm

Like?

Oh, and I think you should be also trying to prove something. Prove to me that you can tell with absoltue certainty what is real. Oh yea. Don't forget to tell me what I need to prove. Be more specific! :!:
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Postby Apotheosis » Sun Jun 13, 2004 8:28 pm

Prove this:

In order to be absolutely certain about something, the odds of what they think must be 100%. I can always think of a possibility that works in the same situation. It is possible, but unlikely. Therefore, we must take this possibility into account. It makes the 100% choice, diminish to a 99.999999999% choice. And the other bizarre choice the .0000000001%. Therefore, we cannot be absolutely certain that the 99.99999999999% choice is correct.
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Postby threewood14 » Sun Jun 13, 2004 8:52 pm

There are 100 jelly beans in a jar. 99 of them are red. the other one is green. can i be absolutely certain that i will pick a red jelly bean if i were to reach into the jar and pick one at random?
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