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Old 01-04-2010, 09:35 PM   #441 (permalink)
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You don't need to feel the law of identity. The law of identity can only be argued by being presented as itself. How is that not a logical argument. It is the basis of what constitutes logic.

What is outside of logic in rationality is no longer thought. When one decides to make life decisions by rolling the dice, he is not using his consciousness to decide. That is why we say he is not thinking about the decisions, but instead gambling.

Emotions and feelings arise out of the subconscious. They are not conscious decisions. It is still a gamble to choose on feelings because you are negating your consciousness.

The bottom line is, the only way to think consciously is to use reason and logic. The axioms that are established here, such as the law of identity, are established because they yield progress. You can't build a bridge questioning the law of identity. In fact, if you truly question the law of identity then you won't be anything. You will be voluntarilly unconscious.

The plague of post-modern philosophy is that they overcomplicated things. "Overcomplicated" may be a bad word to use, but what I mean is that they propose to be free thinkers, and in doing so they abandon the actual thinking process. They question ideas such as whether consciousness can be proven without using your consciousness. They either ask for this to be proven or they just give up and say that it can't. It can't, and the answer most have is to fall back on abandoning their consciousness in the hopes of some sort of transcendence. However, reverting to the subconscious shows the exact opposite results. If there is any hope of transcendence it must involve the use of rationality and logic, the consciousness.

tl;dr: One can only express A=A in the way it is expressed, but that doesn't make it less true. If anything, the questioning of it only further suggests that we need to have axioms. Otherwise we fall into uselessness.
i understand what you are saying, but i think i agree more with ca. logic does aid us in our day to life and of course in gaining knowledge and experience. however, being thoroughly convinced of a certain belief or religion, it takes a moment of pure unconscious realization. i can only justify this in pointing out many people who consider themselves to be atheists only to be "born again" into christianity.

i feel like on a smaller scale, we all feel this. like a problem you can't solve only to have the solution smack you in the face in a moment of clarity...an epiphany, if you will.
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:21 AM   #442 (permalink)
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You don't need to feel the law of identity. The law of identity can only be argued by being presented as itself. How is that not a logical argument. It is the basis of what constitutes logic.
it's not an argument because "being presented as itself" is the opposite of an argument. when you say something like "god is absolute truth" that is presenting a statement as itself, it's the opposite of an argument, it's faith. my whole point is that the basis of what constitutes logic has to be outside the domain of logic, and this is not an "out there postmodern perspective," it's a basic problem of philosophy. it's something logicians understand. a system can not justify itself, that's completely circular.

Tarski's undefinability theorem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Originally Posted by Inuzuka Skysword View Post
What is outside of logic in rationality is no longer thought. When one decides to make life decisions by rolling the dice, he is not using his consciousness to decide. That is why we say he is not thinking about the decisions, but instead gambling.
you're using your consciousness to decide to roll the dice, right? so you're still using your consciousness. this is completely beside the point.

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Emotions and feelings arise out of the subconscious. They are not conscious decisions. It is still a gamble to choose on feelings because you are negating your consciousness.
here i'll bring in some postmodernism, just because it's fun. you're basically setting up a duality here of feelings being passive (happening to you) and reason being active (your mode of being), which is perhaps the pinnacle of "phallogocentrism." because with your thoughts you "penetrate" the world, whereas through your feelings the world penetrates you, you associate more with your thoughts, since ultimately you associate more with your cock. however, it's a completely ungrounded claim and association on your part. although reason feels active, it always comes in response to some cue from your feelings, a perceived lack or yearning. hence, there is no reason to assume that reason is not just as passive as feelings, and the duality between consciousness/subconsciousness is completely unwarranted. there is no choosing between reason or emotions, one uses reason to judge emotions and emotions to judge reason. you do not choose to use reason, reason is the very mode of choosing, it's just as much something that happens to you as feeling.

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Originally Posted by Inuzuka Skysword View Post
The bottom line is, the only way to think consciously is to use reason and logic. The axioms that are established here, such as the law of identity, are established because they yield progress. You can't build a bridge questioning the law of identity. In fact, if you truly question the law of identity then you won't be anything. You will be voluntarilly unconscious.
this is pretty self-contradictory. how can you be voluntarily unconscious? for something to be voluntary implies consciousness. axioms are not established because they yield progress, axioms are always stumbled upon by reasoning backwards, we start by adding 1 plus 1 without asking what 1 is, and only when we are called upon to rigorously defend the operations that we're doing do we reason back to axioms. these axioms feel self-evident because they feel justified by the operations we've been doing. however, with non-euclidean geometry we find that even the most obvious axiom can be inverted to produce a completely counter-intuitive system which nevertheless is internally consistent. there is no way to choose between two such systems except by asking "which works better as a model?" and what that means is basically "which is better at helping us get what we desire?"

i should point out that "which works better as a model" does not mean "which is closer to reality?" since this again is completely circular, we can not compare a system to reality because we do not know this reality beyond the system we have of understanding it, so ultimately this would just mean comparing the system to itself. we can perfect a system by trying to resolve its internal contradictions, but there is a limit to this as well, which was found by godel. he proved that a system can not be complete and consistent... to remain consistent it must be incomplete (and of course if it loses consistency, it becomes meaningless). so does this mean we should assume that reality itself is incomplete? or that the systems we use to model reality are inherently imperfect?

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The plague of post-modern philosophy is that they overcomplicated things. "Overcomplicated" may be a bad word to use, but what I mean is that they propose to be free thinkers, and in doing so they abandon the actual thinking process. They question ideas such as whether consciousness can be proven without using your consciousness. They either ask for this to be proven or they just give up and say that it can't. It can't, and the answer most have is to fall back on abandoning their consciousness in the hopes of some sort of transcendence. However, reverting to the subconscious shows the exact opposite results. If there is any hope of transcendence it must involve the use of rationality and logic, the consciousness.
and here we go again. i've made this point before: stop using "the postmodernist" as a straw man. if you want to talk about baudrillard, derrida, lyotard, lacan, fine, i'll debate any fine point with you. but you're making generalizations which show that you haven't really read these people or understood the subtlety in their work. they are all responding to (or completing) very long, drawn out philosophical traditions, and if their points seem completely absurd it's because they're also building on hegel, who more or less turned philosophy on its head. your points about transcendence are vague and again, miss the point: transcendence is generally taken as freeing yourself from the confines of the material world, and since our understanding of this material world is based on the systems we use to model it, i don't see how the perfection of these systems could possibly push us outside them, unless their perfection paradoxically means their dissolution, which is an argument a postmodernist might make, although most of them do not believe in the possibility of transcendence.

i'm not questioning the law of identity, because to question the law of identity already presupposes it. you should make your perspective stronger, and instead of saying that "whatever isn't reason isn't thought" simply say that there is no thinking outside reason. because if there is something trans-rational that isn't thought, then there obviously is a mode of transcending reason, which is what i think you're confusedly arguing against. what i am questioning is that you can "prove" the law of identity, you can't you have to assume it. and there is a huge difference between proving and assuming: any proof is always dependent on an assumption, but this assumption can not be dependent on a proof, it has to be dependent on something else. to say that it is dependent on itself is completely circular and meaningless. so it must be dependent on a feeling of how the world is (which is what aristotle was saying when he said they are "self-evident") or it is dependent on nothing, which is to say, arbitrary and artificial. either way, the heart of reason is not rational.

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Old 01-05-2010, 01:40 AM   #443 (permalink)
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my brain just short circuited

arguing casual philosophy with another casual philosopher is always fine...but you obviously know your ****, so to say.

so barring the basic philosophy 101 books (i've covered as much), can you recommend me some stuff to read?
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Old 01-05-2010, 02:01 AM   #444 (permalink)
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i think choosing what philosophy to read is a very personal matter, because if you can't really relate to an author or their perspective you probably won't really get into their work. personally, the first philosopher i read was bertrand russell, who i liked at the time for his attacks on christianity and very reasonable, straight-forward, common sense way of looking at things. at this point, though, i think he glosses over most of the genuine problems philosophy faces, and often makes his arguments by calling names rather than really challenge the foundations of his own thought. in that regard, nietzsche is great, simply because he is so confrontational. he is all about challenging your beliefs, rather than forcing you to accept his as true. for nietzsche, "beyond good and evil" is a pretty good place to start, although he assumes you have already read a fair number of people. for understanding the western tradition, descartes and kant are pretty essential, as is Hume, but all three are sort of a drag to read, so you're probably best off getting some sort of anthology that covers them. one of my personal favorite philosophers is chuang tzu (Zhuangzi), a chinese taoist philosopher from the 4th century bc, he is very readable, poetic, and insightful. i also really enjoy the presocratics, you can find pretty much everything that survives of heraclitus' works as about two pages online, and zeno's paradoxes are still... paradoxical. reading plato is useful, but not essential. reading about plato will probably do the same.

getting into more modern stuff, Camus is probably the most accessible existentialist (put off reading Sartre as long as possible) but he's not exactly the most logically rigorous. i personally love Hegel but most people find him incomprehensible and I think you really need to follow Kant through to the end to see where Hegel is coming from. Kierkegaard is a great writer, very poetic, but again hard to relate to for a lot of people. i love Baudrillard, Derrida and Zizek, but they're all operating in their own self-enclosed bubbles high up in the clouds, in a sense responding to the death of philosophy. for a good modern recapitulation of "common sense" philosophy, i would recommend the pragmatists, william james is a pretty good writer, for instance.

some people find bertrand russell's "history of western philosophy" to be a good place to start, but it's huge, and some people will find it incredibly boring. you could always try to look into an issue you're interested in, find a modern philosopher who deals a lot with it, and try to get their most accessible work, since they'll probably deal with the historical-philosophical progression of that idea. i hope you find this useful, good luck!
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Old 01-05-2010, 02:16 AM   #445 (permalink)
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Me I like to pair a little Tillich with Russel's Why I am Not a Christian. Keeps things nice and balanced.
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:57 AM   #446 (permalink)
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The Courage to Be is on my reading list

I must say though, the Milbank section of Monstrosity of Christ is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Zizek is difficult, but Milbank at times just seems to be spewing gibberish. I'm having a hard time relating to his perspective.
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Old 01-05-2010, 04:17 AM   #447 (permalink)
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The Courage to Be is on my reading list

I must say though, the Milbank section of Monstrosity of Christ is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Zizek is difficult, but Milbank at times just seems to be spewing gibberish. I'm having a hard time relating to his perspective.
My brain just goes into seizures at the mere thought of formalized philosophy. Russell can be at the lay end of the scale, but i'm sure Monstrosity... would make my head spin.
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:39 PM   #448 (permalink)
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The Courage to Be is on my reading list

I must say though, the Milbank section of Monstrosity of Christ is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Zizek is difficult, but Milbank at times just seems to be spewing gibberish. I'm having a hard time relating to his perspective.
understatement of the century.
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:13 PM   #449 (permalink)
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there just is, i didn't decide anything. it's not something that can be explained. an explanation is a series of logical steps from the statement in question back to an axiom, which is ultimately unexplainable. why does x=x? why is a point indivisible? what is a point? if you define a point in terms of something else, you then have to ask, well what is that? ultimately you hit a zero-level where the mode of rational explanations no longer works, and it simply is what it is. and since reason breaks down at this point, if there is any way of "knowing" what that thing is, it has to be by "feeling" it.

i will admit that there is a positivist way out of this paradox--which is by saying a point is that which can make a line, and a line is that which can make a square, and so on and so on, so that it doesn't really matter what a point is, you come to understand that by the things it does. what this way of reasoning actually does though, is take that bottom-level ambiguity and spread it all over the entire system. although a line might be that which allows you to make a square, you have to realize that when you refuse to say what a line is in itself you also can't say what a square is in itself. it's just a clever mode of deferring the paradox.

when euclid started axiomatizing mathematics, he actually did something very clever. he said a point is "that which has no parts." that's another clever way of avoiding the paradox--give the simplest elements in your system an entirely negative definition. however, i would suggest that that mode of dealing with the paradox implies that your entire system is built out of... nothing. which hegel fully embraces, by the way

maybe one of the most obvious places where the difference between "feeling" and "knowing" breaks down is in trying to answer the question: "what is existence?"
a point does not make a line, a point is only a point, two points are a line segment. Only an infinite amount of points could be called a line, if one side of a so-called line is finite then it is called a ray. A line does not make a square, a better definition of four lines is polygon comprised of four equal line segaments and eqaul angles. you are very philosphical but not so geometrical.

The mind contains knowledge, and the heart experiences feelings, it is no wonder the question of existence breaks down where the mind and heart meet, in the human soul. A human soul reflective of it's Creator, Who is All Loving and All Knowing.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:09 PM   #450 (permalink)
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do creationists realize how dreadfully boring their dogmas are?
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