If you are not able to live it I feel there is something wrong

7 years 1 month ago - 7 years 1 month ago #253446 by Zenchi

MadHatter wrote: There are methods of philosophy that state it is all an illusion or that we cannot know anything with surety. This is a mindset that has at best always been one I thought was wrong and at worse one that has annoyed me. Now I am getting better at trying to set aside my own admited bias but I still do not see this as a sensible outlook. To give an example of this mindset. I will use a quote from another thread

TheDude wrote: Atheism is a belief.
For example, it is a fact that something exists (cogito ergo sum) but almost everything else is a belief. I believe that there is a lamp in this room with me, since I see it and have interacted with it, but I may be subject to an illusion or some other deception, and so the existence of the lamp is not absolutely certain. As a result, I can only say that I believe the lamp is there or that I believe there is no lamp there.

Now TheDude I am not knocking you simply the philosophical outlook expressed by this statement so I truely hope I come off as respectful and not as attacking. If I come off as offensive in any way I will preemptively apologize as this is not my intent at all.

In this statement we say that we cannot know that a lamp exists at all. Yet others can see it and interact with it so is this mass delusion? But more importantly we act as if the lamp is real. We turn it on if we need light. We catch it if it falls to avoid it breaking. We replace the bulb if that part wears out. If someone were to toss it at our head we duck.

In short we live in every manner as if that lamp is real and would think someone crazy if they did not. We would think something wrong with a person if they refused to duck as lamps were tossed at them while they claimed the lamps do not exist even as we would see the bruises on their skin from the impacts.

So if we cannot live the philosophy that something does not exist does it matter if it is true or not? What benefit do people find from the philosophy if they cannot apply it or live by it? If people that understand this mindset better then me could enlighten or inform me I would be grateful.

Does the Force exist? Many would argue it simply does not. Granted there are legitimate arguements on both sides of that discussion, one more philosophy driven, as to whether it does exist. In the grand scheme of things, does it matter? Is whether you can apply the philosophy or not, entirely based upon an individual conception as to "what's real" vs what is "not real." That seems to be how your pointing things, I apologize if that particular assessment is incorrect. Ironically enough, a man you brought up in our recent discussion, Mr. Nemo from the COS and the TOV, (the latter to which I used to be a member for rouphly ten years,) explained this very problem many seem to have had difficulty within their lives...

"Knowledge requires agreement, validation between conscious entities. Experience does not. Examine the vital importance of the difference between these two items.

If you treat simple experience as knowledge, how do you know you are right? how do you know whether your experience is a distortion of reality, as when a person is trying to drive a car while drunk? How do you know if your experience isn't a complete hallucinations, as with the psychotic locked in his padded cell? How do you know that your experience isn't being interpreted according to an error in your perception, as when a cardboard box first appears to be a dead animal on the road as you approach it while driving a car?

Knowledge requires not more experience but validation that does not contradict the facts of reality. Noncontradiction is an explicit part of reason and that reason is the noncontradictory identification of The Facts of reality.

What does "noncontradictory" mean? It simply means that we exist in a universe composed of experiences that can be identified. It means that a tree is a tree and is not a playground or a human being or an asteroid. Identification is necessary or there is no possibility for other reasons or knowledge.

Notice I did not say that experience was impossible without identity. However it is totally impossible to know what you are experiencing unless you can identify it! Perhaps I might be driving along at night and it's foggy and raining and I have difficulty seeing where I am driving. Up ahead I perceive something bright. I can't make out its shape. I can see that it is a white light. Therefore, I had already identified a "white light lacking a definitive shape." I am perceiving something that has identified.

Mystics commonly talk about the ineffability of their "higher knowledge." this simply means that they say their experience is something that cannot be put into words. They do not say that they hope someday to be able to describe this experience. No, they simply say it can't be described although they claim to know what it is.

To which I asked, "how?"

How do you know that you have had an experience if you can't even begin to describe it?

At which point the mystical commonly try to explain that some things simply can't be put into words. They will poetically compared their mystical insight to describing a rainbow to a blind man.

However we can describe a rainbow to a blind man. It's easy. All we need is to explain the idea of physics of refracted sunlight. If the blind man does not understand what sunlight is, we need to go to a more fundamental level to describe the nature of radiation. Eventually, if any communication is possible with our hypothetical blind man, we will find the necessary elements of his experience that will enable him to build up an understanding and therefore a knowledge of rainbows.

You see, the Mystic does not mean that you can't explain what a rainbow is to a blind man. The Mystic is trying to say that you can have knowledge of something only if you directly experience it! In other words, if you don't see the rainbow yourself, you cannot have knowledge of it.

To which I smile and say, "Oh Really?"

For the Mystic to be correct, you would be unable to know about anything you haven't personally and directly experience yourself. That would mean you wouldn't know about Paris unless you went there. You couldn't know about death unless you had already died. Yet, you couldn't even know about knowledge itself unless you already knew it!

Obviously this is ridiculous and demonstrates the intellectual bankruptcy of the mystical position..."

Last edit: 7 years 1 month ago by Zenchi.

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7 years 1 month ago #253482 by
I often explore the 'knowledge vs experience' argument when trying to understand what is 'real'. We've already invoked The Matrix spoon bending trick as an example in this discussion, but when we look at the entire plot and the experience of all of the characters and not just Neo, you can see they have had various levels of experience in and out of the Matrix and so they have different 'knowledge'.

Neo, being born into the Matrix, only has his experience inside the program to go on, so he believes the Matrix to be 'real'. He has to be removed from the Matrix and experience life outside of it in order to learn what is 'real'. Others have escaped the Matrix, so their reality now consists of the 'real world' outside of the program and the 'fake' world when they go back inside. Anybody born outside of the Matrix would only have experiences outside of the program and would therefore never have any knowledge of the 'reality' inside the program. Their reality would be the mush they eat and this person would never 'know' what a steak tastes like.

And yet, characters who 'die' inside the Matrix will still die in the 'real' world, so is the Matrix really any less 'real'? We see some characters who would rather live in this 'fake' world because it is easier, more comfortable, more pleasing. Does knowledge of the outside 'reality' make living inside the Matrix any different? It is all about the perception of the individual.

If we try to apply this type of model to our experience, we see where the question posed by the title of this thread comes into play. What does it mean to 'live it'? People inside the Matrix believe they are 'living life' and the objects they interact with are real. The lamps, spoons and bullets are real. Neo knows better, and so once back inside the program he initially dodges bullets and eventually just stops them in mid air. He is able to live in a world where bullets can be stopped. He has experienced it, so to him, it is a reality of being in the Matrix.

I have to ask myself, then, am I inside a Matrix? Is the lamp real? Can I stop bullets? My experience tells me I cannot, but that is because my experience may be altered by what I think I know. I 'know' bullets can't be stopped by my mind. My 'knowledge' has colored the way I experience things. I 'know' about Paris, so I believe it to be 'real', but I have never experienced Paris. When I do, my 'knowledge' of Paris will impact the way I experience it. I will see the Eiffel Tower and 'know' that I must be in Paris. But am I really? Could Paris be just another projection of the program that I am meant to believe is 'real'? Maybe I just don't 'know' life outside of this reality because I have yet to escape it?

In the meantime, as a practical matter, I live my life according to the knowledge and experience I have gained in this 'reality'. I don't try to stop bullets or let lamps hit me in the face. I can still enjoy the philosophical exploration of whether or not I'm being duped by a computer and an 'Agent Smith' of a boss though. :)

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7 years 1 month ago #253494 by Carlos.Martinez3

Goken wrote: I have wondered about this very thing many times. It's cool and all, but what does it really change. No matter how many times I tell myself that there is no spoon I still can't just bend it with my mind. So does the idea that there is no spoon really matter?

When in action everything to me matters.I never live in hypotheticals, waist of good thinking time to me...jk. But when we have an idea at least when I do or a thought, and I try it... everything matters. Did it work? Why why not. I break things down, it's my nature some times which CAN be disciplined. We can memorize creeds, wills, ways, words, but if they stay in the...realm of our minds and never happen... well then they never really happened . No exp points no credits no log in no nothing. Doesn't exist.
That being said it is a scary thing. Action and change scare every one. No one is immune . How we react... there is the gravy!! Keep seeking friends, keep finding what you look for. Keep acting what you learn, it's called learning. If they don't work... think... use your bright light! Figure it out. Some times its just as easy as meditation then your like, we'll that s obvious now that I have taken time to stop n thing. That's one of many ideas here....TRY!

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