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Old 01-29-2008, 09:38 AM   #41
Samuel Dravis
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommycat
BUT by your definition of emotions, they had no emotions during that game because they did not show them. That is false. They had emotions, but did not express them. Your judgement about the requirement of actions is incorrect.
What do I expect emotions to look like in a game of poker?

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Why does there have to be a specific circumstance for a person to hide their emotions?
Because of this: human beings live in a certain way. They act like human beings do. That means in general they laugh when they're happy and they cry when they're sad. Do this when happy, that when sad. They joke in these situations, they don't joke in others. There is no reason for these actions, it's just what they do. Why do we act like this? Because that is what people do.

That is why there needs to be a specific circumstance in which people express their emotions differently. In the Poker game it is an assumed rule: "Suspend what we normally do in order to play this game." Instead of giving off the normal cues for emotion, the person who can best act nonchalant wins the game. Someone who wants to win badly will put on the most blank face they can, and that is an appropriate and expected expression of emotion in the context of playing a poker game.

Children play a game where they see who can stare at the other blankly the longest (usually exploding into laughter when one fails). Why is this a fun game? Because that action is so unnatural.

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Some people just don't like people to know too much about them. Actually strangely enough that former band mate of mine did a great job of hiding his emotions. He seemed very happy. Right up until he shot so much heroine into his veins that it could have killed 4 healthy people. But no, he wasn't unhappy at all until he decided to act on it? WRONG, he was unhappy for a long time, but never expressed it.
I am sorry to hear that.

What I can say about it is this: your friend was not playing the game that we play when living. He broke the rules, so to speak, insofar as he did X when everyone expects Y, R when everyone expects T. Is it any wonder we can't make sense of his actions? It is not an option for me to suicide because I do not live in a way that makes it viable; I can't even comprehend a situation in which I would behave like that: acting happy and then killing myself. It's not an option for me to hide my emotions (i.e., act in one way only) because I don't live like I'm playing a poker game all my life. I want people to understand me.

It's like that quote above: "If a lion could speak, we could not understand him." Why not? Because he lives and experiences the world in completely different way than we do. His seeing is not our seeing; his smell, not our smell.

Your friend's world is a world very different from mine, and I don't pretend to understand it. The way he acted means he must not have wanted you to react in certain ways (i.e., suggesting possible drug treatment, your showing concern, etc). Yes, we say, "He must not have been happy" because we see what he has done. If he had not killed himself or done anything else "sad", however, we would not say he was unhappy...

Yes, there's an assumption here: that other people share our way of living. I can't comprehend what it is to live as an amoeba, or a lion, or an ape, or even someone who acts radically different than those around me. A person that doesn't show emotion ever? A person that never says anything intelligible? A person who is completely insane? I might well suppose that they were robots and not people. No, I don't know what it is to live like those people, just as I don't know what they mean by sadness if they don't ever show it.

Your friend finally showed his sadness, it's true. It is a tragedy that he chose that way to express it. Consider what we say about it: "Those people aren't in their right mind. They have to be helped, cured." That's an expression of worldviews colliding. They're actually insane to us; we don't understand the motivations involved.

Consider: what would be the point of ascribing our type of emotions to someone whom it clearly does not fit? Sadness to a person who is never sad; happiness to a person who never acted happily in his life?

"But emotions are subjective!" No, they cannot be, if we are to mean anything by them. As I said before: what is the standard for judging sadness if it is subjective? If there is no standard, then there is no coherent concept of sadness (try to differentiate "sadness" from "happiness" subjectively). To talk about a subjective emotion then is as ridiculous as to say that "He has no heart" is to be meant literally. It's wrong to say that "he has no heart" is meant that way. It's wrong to say that an emotion has a specific meaning when that meaning is not specified.

A=B? OK - you've told me something about a relationship between A and B. Now tell me what A means! But there is no meaning.

Trying to derive meaning from the subjective is like trying to get out of quicksand by diving headfirst into a massive pit of full of it.

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I have more memories of other things in life that make me happy and sad in my daily life, but those memories need not be spoken about to exist. Memories of things that I wanted to do but never did. I have memories of desires that I never filled. Memories of things that will never happen(ie stories I had come up with). I have thoughts that will never go spoken. I have emotions that will never be displayed. While to an outside observer it may appear that I do not have these thoughts, memories, and desires, they do exist. That memory of my former band mate did not go spoken about until this forum. It was an example of one that I had that no action came from(obviously until this forum). Hence actions do not define the person. The person is who he is despite what his actions show the public. For instance a tough guy may actually be a coward. His actions show him to be tough and brave on the outside, however he is afraid on the inside.
I don't know what it means to say someone is tough on the outside but afraid on the inside apart from what they've done. They might have said "I get scared every time I walk by the bed in the dark because I think about a monster under it." And we'd understand that. But not if they act brave when they say it. The swing their feet over the side, crawl underneath the bed, etc. "I'm afraid of the underside of the bed"? That doesn't describe the situation in the least.

How about if they tell you that they're not afraid of anything under the bed, yet act as if the devil himself was poking an iron around the bottom? What if they hysterical when they are told to go to bed? "AAaaaaaahh! I'm not afraid of anything under the bed! AHHHHHHHH Don't take me there!!!"

That doesn't make any sense whatever. I somehow doubt you'd EVER use those words to describe those situations. Do you really assume people are liars because they could be acting in a different way than normal? I don't think you do.

Saying that they were "scared inside" or "not scared inside" in those contexts merely serves to make the words meaningless. You can't equivocate scared and not-scared without destroying the meaning of both concepts.

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You missed the point. You haven't answered what is leaving the body.
Nothing has literally left the body.

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Sure you say he is dead, but they could say He'sDeadJim.
And this would be used in the same context, right? I imagine it would mean the same thing as hissoulhasleftthebody.

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So what has left the body that makes him dead. In My estimation and by my definition, all that made him who he is, is no longer there. I'm stuck with this body to get rid of in whatever manner we generally do. You used the others to define what a soul is, but this one you left out what soul meant in the phrase.
I agree. Everything that made him a living person is no longer there, and hissoulhaslefthisbody is an expression of that idea. "Soul" in this use is simply a particular sound that we use in conjunction with others in this situation. You can point to a dead person and say "hissoulhaslefthisbody" and point to a living person and say, "heisalive". The meanings of those would be the same as saying someone is dead or alive.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein

Last edited by Samuel Dravis; 01-29-2008 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:54 PM   #42
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On the "God Shag You" comment, well the christian faith also have some holy ghost shagging virgins... and virgin birth from god is quite a common theme in religions and the like.

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Originally Posted by El Sitherino
Why should you obey him? What if he has bad things planned for you? Do you not deserve a chance for something better, even if you must make it for yourself?
Well, think of god as some person playing The Sims. He may be nice and perfect and help you on your problems. He may also decide to place you in some screwed up situation just to see how you react.

Oftentimes people would calling an optimistic view on such adverse situations "faith/Test" or something like that, and questioning such events would be considered "You Just Lost The Game" And yes, dieties throwing people in weird situations just to see how they react is described in many religions.
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:43 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommycat
The mind, the memories, the personality, the life force, the morals, emotional traits.
But all of these things are directly controlled by the brain, a very physical entity. And there is a lot of evidence that it is directly controlled by the brain, people who suffer head trauma to certain areas have ended up with completely different personalities than they had before the accident.

If the thing that makes us who we are is incorporeal why would brain trauma cause a change in personality?



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Old 01-29-2008, 10:15 PM   #44
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Sorry SD, the person is who they are whether their actions show it or not. They have feelings even though they may not express them. Many comedians are really very unhappy individuals. The only difference between when they show it and when they do not show it is OUR perception of that person. Many people internalize their negative feelings. Those that express them are less common. Perhaps that is why I have such a hard time explaining this to you. Again Good for you if you always express all your emotions except under specific circumstances. The reality is that what we see of a person is usually only about 10% of who they really are.

@ET: Well that could be interpreted as the brain damage being like a short circuit in the translation from the soul to the world.
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:32 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Tommycat
Sorry SD, the person is who they are whether their actions show it or not. They have feelings even though they may not express them. Many comedians are really very unhappy individuals. The only difference between when they show it and when they do not show it is OUR perception of that person. Many people internalize their negative feelings. Those that express them are less common. Perhaps that is why I have such a hard time explaining this to you. Again Good for you if you always express all your emotions except under specific circumstances. The reality is that what we see of a person is usually only about 10% of who they really are.
If you know those comedians are unhappy then they must have expressed that in some way. It doesn't matter if it was kicking a rock or cussing out a fan. Doesn't matter if it was purposefully avoiding people or not watching their favorite TV show anymore. Unless you have some other way of determining their happiness, all you seem to have done is assert you know something without actually having a method of getting that information. An interesting claim, but since I have already posted twice why such subjective knowledge can't be obtained I won't argue it further.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:59 AM   #46
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You've never been sad without showing it? Wow!

A person can be sad for a long time without showing that sadness. Just because you cannot obtain that information doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It means that YOU have no way to tell, but it doesn't mean the person is not sad. It may be later that you find out about it. You must not be married....
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:52 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by El Sitherino
Uh, you seem to have missed the point.
How exactly did I do this?

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Originally Posted by El Sitherino
I'm sorry you're not sure.
I'm sorry you didn't reply to my question.

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Originally Posted by ES
No, it's not putting myself on the level of God. That's good for you, I'm not, hell I'm not even convinced there is a God. And no, loyalty is a human concept. Faith is the matter of God. It's not about loyalty for him, it's about belief in him. You don't owe him some blood-debt, he just hopes you worship him because he likes it.
Well, if there isn't a God, then this is all a moot point. But if there is a God, and He created you, that would mean as well that He gave you the ability to understand and come up with a concept such as loyalty, right? If there is a God, in other words, humans couldn't come up with something that God didn't already know and give us the means to understand. So....

.... how exactly are we not indebted to at least give glory to God for creating us? I'm not trying to be pushy, I'm just wondering. I would think that even on a philosophical sense, a being who could create and shape us into who we are deserves respect from his creations.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:34 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Tommycat
You've never been sad without showing it? Wow!

A person can be sad for a long time without showing that sadness. Just because you cannot obtain that information doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It means that YOU have no way to tell, but it doesn't mean the person is not sad. It may be later that you find out about it. You must not be married....
I don't deny there is a subjective. I do deny that there's any point in talking about it. In order to communicate, words must mean the same thing to the person you're talking to as yourself. The subjective excludes that possibility by its very nature. Ergo, words cannot be based on or refer to the subjective... I can't even intelligibly say, "There are things that we can't talk about" because I haven't defined things in this context...and will never be able to. You can't say someone is subjectively sad because that use of "sad" is undefined. See what I mean?


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:43 AM   #49
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You know, Sam, it might just be that some people are better able to comport themselves around others and hide their sadness or sorrow from view. But frankly, sad is sad. The subjective part is more likely to come into play over the source of that sadness. You just might not be able to explain cogently why something is bothering you, not so much that it IS bothering you.


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Old 01-30-2008, 10:54 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Tommycat
@ET: Well that could be interpreted as the brain damage being like a short circuit in the translation from the soul to the world.
So, despite all evidence to the contrary, the soul is what makes us who we are, despite the fact that the brain appears to have 100% control over our thoughts and actions?

If people who suffer from depression take anti-depression medication they aren't really happy, they've just short-circuited the sad feelings to make us think that they're happy?



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Old 01-30-2008, 04:44 PM   #51
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Well, in which case, I make an assumption that the diety is a person, not a human, but a person who can think, talk, and have its own will.

It's an oversimplication that could be seen as heritical in the wrong light, but it works for me, and is probraly how many people see God, as a person. Besides, if the diety is NOT a person, with its own ability to think, then you are claiming God to be the Big Bang.
...Bump, Samuel Dravis?


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Old 01-30-2008, 07:00 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Totenkopf
You know, Sam, it might just be that some people are better able to comport themselves around others and hide their sadness or sorrow from view. But frankly, sad is sad. The subjective part is more likely to come into play over the source of that sadness. You just might not be able to explain cogently why something is bothering you, not so much that it IS bothering you.
I agree with most of that, although I'm not sure how you mean the subjective plays a part in the "source" of sadness. It doesn't seem to make much sense to say "He's sad because he feels sad." Well, ok, but whatever it is you mean, we still have to be talking about something objective...

I do agree with you that reasons don't work with the subjective, though. I can't give reasons to explain to someone why I enjoy drawing or watching the sunset. I just do certain things and I use words to describe those actions.

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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
...Bump, Samuel Dravis?
Alright, SS!

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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Well, in which case, I make an assumption that the diety is a person, not a human, but a person who can think, talk, and have its own will.
I had interpreted this reply as in the same vein as the last sentence of my original post: "I act like this." As long as you're aware of what you're doing, I have nothing more to say about it. I'm not interested in telling you how to act except in certain specific circumstances, like when you're expected to follow laws.

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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Besides, if the deity is NOT a person, with its own ability to think, then you are claiming God to be the Big Bang.
Well, if the deity is not a person, then what is it? I'm not sure. I can't even say of it that it has the ability to think, because I don't know what thinking consists of in something not-living. Note that I'm not denying it COULD think; all I mean here is that we don't know what thinking means when it's used like this.

I suppose if you used God in the context of "He created everything" you could mean "The big bang created everything." Whether anyone actually agrees to that interpretation of the sentence is somewhat questionable.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:25 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
I don't deny there is a subjective. I do deny that there's any point in talking about it. In order to communicate, words must mean the same thing to the person you're talking to as yourself. The subjective excludes that possibility by its very nature. Ergo, words cannot be based on or refer to the subjective... I can't even intelligibly say, "There are things that we can't talk about" because I haven't defined things in this context...and will never be able to. You can't say someone is subjectively sad because that use of "sad" is undefined. See what I mean?
Maybe that's the problem I have. I believe the subjective defines the objective. A picture of a person laughing can also be interpreted as a person crying until you know the emotion being expressed. A person who kills themselves in a high speed crash can be either suicidal, or so happy that he feels invincible.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:48 PM   #54
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IMO:

God cannot have emotion since he must be infallible if he is God.
Therfore, God's love is uncondition love.
Any emotion expressed by God is not emotional, but expressed as emotional in order for humanity to understand God in their extreme perceptive limitations. Basically, God has to express, or illustrate emotions in order for us to understand him and his will, even though he isn't emotional. Anger/wrath is intended to make us 'fear' him and want to obey him in order to avoid consquences of disobeying his will. Fearing God in the Bible actually means to respect God, to have humilty towards him, 'fear' implying the to humility to do His will. Love... God is Love. God loves us. Jesus loves me... Simple illustrative emotional expressions. It is God's unemotionally based wish for us to follow Him and His will and to be saved under His mercy/grace. God loves us in the sense that he wants us to be saved from sin. He has unconditional love towards all, but is especially graceful to those who follow him.
In the Bible, Jesus displayed anger, love, and sadness in order for us o understand what he wants for us.
If God is sad for us, that is that he feels sorry for us being lost in sin. In the case of Jesus's death and resurrection, Jesus in his human side displayed fear/sadness of havign to die ont he cross. Why? both because as being human and God at the same time, he did this so we woudl understand what a great legnth He was goign to give us the ability to be saved, as His human side was fearful. His sadness was that he knew that not many of mankind would follow Him in the lognrun, and dyign on the cross to forgive us our sins would only save so many of us, because only a sparse part of humanity would follow Him, and all the others would have been given the ability to be saved for nothing because they denied God.
That is my explanation fo God's expression of emotion to Humanity. This is noy intended as a debating post, but as an IMO that is suggestive of my opinion.


Please feed the trolls. XD
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:59 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommycat
Maybe that's the problem I have. I believe the subjective defines the objective. A picture of a person laughing can also be interpreted as a person crying until you know the emotion being expressed. A person who kills themselves in a high speed crash can be either suicidal, or so happy that he feels invincible.
Yes, that could be a problem.

It is intuitive to say that words mean the subjective. I have said it before myself. I required much explaining before I agreed with my current position. Here's an example that has helped me see it the other way:

Think of humans as black boxes with holes in two sides. The box can't be opened up, nor can it be broken, seen through, probed inside or anything else that would get us in the box.

________
| |
| |

| |
|________|


Things go in: the sensory input (the objective world). It's what they see, hear, smell, taste, and feel.


_________
| |
| |
Senses -->
| |
|_________|


Things come out: that person's actions.


_________
| |
| |
Senses --> Actions-->
| |
|_________|


We define the subjective as whatever it is that goes on inside the box.


__________
|Subjective|
| |
Senses --> Actions-->
| |
|__________|


But we don't know what goes on in the box. All we know are the input and the output. To make attempt to make a distinction between subjective emotions is like saying, "There is a person inside there crying." And then a moment later you say, "The person in there is so angry!" But between those two situations, what has changed?

Nothing.

That's the problem with attempting to make a distinction between something that has no distinguishable characteristics. What was said about the person in the subjective-box is not wrong, per se - that would imply there was a truth-standard, which does not exist. Instead, they just lack sense. They don't mean anything. You could say whatever you wanted about the inside of the box and it wouldn't matter a bit; you still wouldn't know what was going on inside.

The only way you could say anything meaningful is to point out: "Look, this goes in and this action comes out. I'm going to call that 'feeling sad.'" And that is exactly what we do. The problem comes up when we say "feeling sad" in a situation different than we normally do. Another person might be familiar with our use of the word "sad" in this first way, but then what happens if we suddenly decide that another input/action combo is also "feeling sad"? I sure hope no one was depending on us being consistent with our definitions!

Another way of looking at it: What makes a person colorblind? Their perception of color... but isn't that subjective? I don't know what their green looks like. How could I possibly know they're colorblind, then? How could they know they're colorblind?



Also, I found an interesting quote earlier that may help see the kind of overall perspective I am presenting in this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wittgenstein, p. 17e, Culture and Value
"Philosophers often behave like little children who scribble some marks on a piece of paper at random and then ask the grown-up, "What's that?" - It happened like this: the grown-up had drawn pictures for the child several times and said, "this is a man", "this is a house", etc. And then the child makes some marks too and asks: what's this then?
And we ask, "What is a soul?"


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein

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Old 01-31-2008, 12:24 AM   #56
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The problem with your explanation is that the only definition you are using is the perceived human rather than the actual human. That which is in the box represents the person's real make up. I look at it as the sleeper race car(maybe that's where our differences come from, I look at actual and you are looking at theoretical). On the outside it may appear to be a stock car. It may actually sound like a stock car. To the world at that point it pretty much is a stock car. Then you see it run down the track and beat a car that the stock version shouldn't and you realize that it is not a stock car. Nothing changed about the car except your perception of that car. The car is the same car with the same capabilities, just your perception changed. The car itself was always capable of that.
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:54 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Tommycat
The problem with your explanation is that the only definition you are using is the perceived human rather than the actual human. That which is in the box represents the person's real make up. I look at it as the sleeper race car(maybe that's where our differences come from, I look at actual and you are looking at theoretical). On the outside it may appear to be a stock car. It may actually sound like a stock car. To the world at that point it pretty much is a stock car. Then you see it run down the track and beat a car that the stock version shouldn't and you realize that it is not a stock car. Nothing changed about the car except your perception of that car. The car is the same car with the same capabilities, just your perception changed. The car itself was always capable of that.
Certainly, I agree with you. Let me explain: suppose both a normal stock car and the souped-up version both went into a junkyard and never displayed their differences? Regardless of capability, they both do the exact same thing - sit and rot. What would we say then? If we put all sleeper cars into the junkyard, why would we ever talk about them being better than a stock car?

My point was: if something looks like a duck, talks like a duck, and acts like a duck, then it IS a duck by any objective sense of the term. If the sleeper never exceeded a stock car's capability we would call it a stock car, or at least we wouldn't consider it any better than one.

I consider the racing in your example to be the action of my example.


By the way, I am glad you have used your time to discuss this with me, regardless of whether you were convinced or not. I appreciate it.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:16 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
Certainly, I agree with you. Let me explain: suppose both a normal stock car and the souped-up version both went into a junkyard and never displayed their differences? Regardless of capability, they both do the exact same thing - sit and rot. What would we say then? If we put all sleeper cars into the junkyard, why would we ever talk about them being better than a stock car?
It still wouldn't change the car. The car is still a fast car. IE potential energy as opposed to kenetic energy.

Quote:
My point was: if something looks like a duck, talks like a duck, and acts like a duck, then it IS a duck by any objective sense of the term. If the sleeper never exceeded a stock car's capability we would call it a stock car, or at least we wouldn't consider it any better than one.

I consider the racing in your example to be the action of my example.
The racing doesn't change the car. In essence it changes everyone who sees it perform. It changes their perception. The car is still the same. You just have confirmation of what the car is truly capable of. I guess it goes back to the old saying "You can't judge a book by its cover."

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By the way, I am glad you have used your time to discuss this with me, regardless of whether you were convinced or not. I appreciate it.
No problem at all. I gotta do something unconstructive when avoiding work.
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:57 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Tommycat
It still wouldn't change the car. The car is still a fast car. IE potential energy as opposed to kinetic energy.
But how is potential energy defined? The amount of work similar things have been seen to do (the action other sleeper cars). We may say, "This car goes faster than those cars!" But the distinction made here is between the actions of both types of car, not between what is under the hood. "It's a fast car!" --Compared to what? There is great energy (electricity) contained in powerlines, but we only know about it due to a differential in energy levels (energy flows from a higher energy level to a lower one). If everything held the same electrical charge we would not have our current concept of electricity, because there would be no electrical flow. A car is certain things (fast, powerful, etc) as compared to other cars, not as compared to itself. "This car is fast because it is fast." Ok; but that doesn't tell us anything.

Quote:
The racing doesn't change the car. In essence it changes everyone who sees it perform. It changes their perception. The car is still the same. You just have confirmation of what the car is truly capable of. I guess it goes back to the old saying "You can't judge a book by its cover."
You could also say: "You can't judge a book's contents if the cover is closed." And that is the problem here. The car's hood is closed. We say, "It's pretty clear that there must be some difference underneath there if it can beat the other cars." And maybe there is. The things we can't say about it are like these: "It has X type of engine oil, and Y brand's engine, and has X modifications to those." Now some of those questions could be answered by watching the car; you could see how fast the acceleration was and compare it to engines that you know of.

Of course, our knowledge this depends on the driver not purposefully going slowly for who knows what reason, but I don't regard that as anything very significant. When in a race people are supposed to drive as fast as they can (to win). If they don't, and can't provide a reason, then they're simply not understandable; they don't know what it means to race like people do.

Anyway, my point was: we can't say specifically what is in the car, just as we can't say what is inside the box. To try to is like saying, "That spark plug is fast." What does that mean? The car goes fast, so the stuff inside must be fast too, right? Perhaps the other way around: "The stuff inside the car is fast so the car is fast too." But what do we know? That the car is fast in the race. We seem to be confusing terms. We still haven't succeeded in saying anything meaningful about the subjective; it looks like we just defined the subjective retroactively.

The what we call the performance of a car in a race is based on how it acts as a whole, not on a specific part inside.

I don't need to know what goes on inside of a computer processor in order to talk about processors, i.e., "this processor is faster than that one." We talk about emotions exactly like this.

What would you think of a situation in which you heard someone talking about a person in a coma, and then they suddenly say that the coma-person is very angry? I know what I would do: I'd be incredulous.

"But how is that possible? He's in a coma, isn't he?"
"Well, yes, but he's still angry."
"Why do you say that?"
"You know he COULD be feeling angry subjectively, so there."
"But if that's just a possibility, then why did you say he was specifically angry? You're confusing possibility with an actual state." (a set as differentiated from a member of that set; "number" vs 1, or 2, etc.)
"Oh, no reason. I just felt like saying it."
"????"


There are some other sets that are often confused with something they're not as well (if you're interested).

"What is color?"
"What is an object?"
"What is a feeling?"
"What is a number?"

Et cetera. Strictly speaking, "color" is colorless (in the sense that a specific color cannot be assigned to a grammatical construct). Color is: the set of this kind of thing that are distinguishable. Depending on the particular use of color, it could mean a specific color, but that color would have been specified. "Look at this color." and we point to it - as opposed to color in general.

"What is an object?" has been especially abused by Descartes and other more recent philosophers.


To expand on a previous example of why we can't talk about the subjective:
A colorblind person knows they're colorblind. How can they know this? Why should they suspect they weren't seeing color correctly? Could they intelligibly say they were colorblind if they didn't know that other people/animals reacted differently than they did? In this case I submit that even the person in question cannot meaningfully say they're colorblind except in the context of an objective standard.

To be clear, I don't deny that people can hide emotions from others; it's just I deny that emotions can be ascribed where they are never, ever, objectively expressed.

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No problem at all. I gotta do something unconstructive when avoiding work.
Indeed.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein

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Old 02-01-2008, 06:34 PM   #60
SilentScope001
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I had interpreted this reply as in the same vein as the last sentence of my original post: "I act like this." As long as you're aware of what you're doing, I have nothing more to say about it. I'm not interested in telling you how to act except in certain specific circumstances, like when you're expected to follow laws.
But the thing is, I'm not 'acting as if God exist'. I firmly believed God exist. And we are able to begin to think how God operates because, according to Judeo-Chrisitan mythos, God has talked to us. He could talk to us directly, via dreams and voices, or talk to us rather indirectly, through the use of the Holy Books. And we are able to talk to God back, via prayers and thoughts.

Hence, that why we can conclude God think, God is real, and that God is living, and that God is a person. And that's where the problem lie. It's not as if we are philosphers who postulate the existence of an Intelligent Designer and is now trying to figure out how to create a SETI program that allows us to talk to this Intelligent Designer. God is supposed to have went down and told us right then and there that he exist and he's wanting to see us beg.

Somehow, I'm pretty worried your argument about "who God is" could easily be twisted to "who man is"...how do you know if your fellow Man is really thinking or if he is just a robot who is merely pretending to think and that you are the only man who got Free Will? This argument could somehow play into the hands of skeptics, if used correctly.


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Old 02-03-2008, 11:54 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
But the thing is, I'm not 'acting as if God exist'. I firmly believed God exist.
That's ok; what else is believing firmly supposed to mean?

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And we are able to begin to think how God operates because, according to Judeo-Christian mythos, God has talked to us. He could talk to us directly, via dreams and voices, or talk to us rather indirectly, through the use of the Holy Books. And we are able to talk to God back, via prayers and thoughts.
Well, perhaps you have not thought much about the original post. "God talks to us." What does God mean here? A person, it looks like; but that is abjectly denied. Notice that even saying god is an "it" means that god is somehow distinguishable from other things; in what way is it distinguishable? Not by being physical.

Perhaps you know what god is by the content of dreams. But dreams are not reality, by definition. Why should you treat a god-dream differently than all the all the rest that are dismissed as interesting but ultimately irrelevant things to say after waking up?

God shows he exists by voices. "This is my son, in whom I am well pleased." is probably an example of what you mean. Well, that's in the Bible, not someone actually talking out loud. I've never actually heard a disembodied voice before (outside of someone hiding behind something, or over an intercom, etc), so I'm not sure what you mean. Or, suppose there was such a voice. What properties would it have? It'd just be a voice. Why would you differentiate one voice as the "voice of god" and another as not? Perhaps you've defined disembodied voices as god-voices. Ok; but if you do that then remember that all you've done is decide to call this voice god, not that you know anything about it other than you can't find its source. I don't know if you want to do that, but if you decide you do, then just remember that's all you're doing.

God talks to us via Holy books: This seems quite similar to a disembodied voice. Someone wrote these books, didn't they? Of course. The Bible is said to have been written by the hands of some anonymous faithful in the years after Jesus died. Fine, but then you say that God inspired their writing. Ok; do you mean that in the sense that any idea inspires what people write? Or perhaps in the sense that they were possessed by God and forced to write it? But I wonder where you get that idea. In any case, is there a distinguishing characteristic that would differentiate God's influence from whatever someone wanted to write in the first place? If there is no such characteristic, then why do you talk as if there is? If you're just deciding to call books with this type of content (or even 'this set of specific books') "the work of God", then I have no objection - as long as you remember what you've done here.

Talking to god: It is not talking in the ordinary sense, that's clear. I've prayed for quite some time myself but there was no talking involved (save perhaps a few times on my end). "Jill talked to John." - no, not that way. You can say a prayer, which is usually called talking to God, but that's simply an equivalence. "Talking to god" = "praying." And praying is something people do, it's I agree. Some people say they pray to the devil as well; imagine that. But what are people saying when they say they talked to god?

"I talked to God" - GW, trying to reassure Americans that he was on the right course
"I talked to God" - someone trying to make a difficult decision
"I talked to God" - someone who's gotten into trouble and doesn't know what to do
"I prayed for a curse on him." - well.
etc.

But if these people mean anything beyond how those sentences are used, they must explain that meaning, as per the first post.

Quote:
Hence, that why we can conclude God think, God is real, and that God is living, and that God is a person.
See the second part of #1 for discussion about what god cannot be, the last part of #4 for talk about the nature of persons, this thread for the nature of reality (and what it can't be), the first part of this post about what thought is. God living? But we said he doesn't have a corporeal presence. Living is rather hard to do without a body, believe it or not (at least insofar as I know what living is).

Quote:
And that's where the problem lie. It's not as if we are philosophers who postulate the existence of an Intelligent Designer and is now trying to figure out how to create a SETI program that allows us to talk to this Intelligent Designer. God is supposed to have went down and told us right then and there that he exist and he's wanting to see us beg.
If that's true then it should be easy to differentiate God from something else. Whatever came down (from where? a mountain?) and told "us" they were god is god. If that's not what is meant, then please explain what is meant.




I am beginning to think that believing in a religion is something like this:

A set of alternate ways of saying objective things in conjunction with a different way of living (ritual prayer, etc). "I wish you well" = "God be with you." A person who believes might also be tempted to say something without meaning, but I don't think they usually try to do that if they're not being questioned on the subject. In this way religion is essentially self-referential, in that if you say something in the normal way it breaks the religion-game. My statements above about holy books, god talking, the soul and judgment "break" the religion-game like that.




I think it'd be tempting to say that I have defined God into nonexistence. However, that would be wrong... The basis of this entire discussion was the idea that meaning is given to words through their use. This is very supportable and very easy to see when you watch someone learning a new language. Take, for example, a child that, curious, approaches something hot. You'd say, "Hot!" and jerk them back from it. After doing this a few times they'd start to catch on, so that you'd only have to say, "Hot!" and they'd get the idea. A more detailed explanation of this system is given here, in the beginning of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations.

Essentially, it is the idea that the meaning of words is not some sort of mysterious voodoo magic that goes on inside the head (somehow relating the objective to the subjective in the process! ), but a simple consequence of how people act.

Quote:
Somehow, I'm pretty worried your argument about "who God is" could easily be twisted to "who man is"...how do you know if your fellow Man is really thinking or if he is just a robot who is merely pretending to think and that you are the only man who got Free Will? This argument could somehow play into the hands of skeptics, if used correctly.
If there were a constructed being that was exactly the same as a normal human (within the normal range of variation), then I would not object to calling him human. No difference, no reason for a new name. "Pretending to think"? How is that possible? Either you think or you don't; I see no reason why this man would be any different. This is not to say I would not recognize his creation was different than ours, but rather that the method of his creation is irrelevant to whether he is a man or not. A test-tube baby is still a person.

Free will? Look at the ways we use "free will" and the contexts of those ways.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein

Last edited by Samuel Dravis; 02-03-2008 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 02-03-2008, 03:15 PM   #62
SilentScope001
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Well, perhaps you have not thought much about the original post. "God talks to us." What does God mean here? A person, it looks like; but that is abjectly denied. Notice that even saying god is an "it" means that god is somehow distinguishable from other things; in what way is it distinguishable? Not by being physical.
Er.

Again, I may be a hertic, but God IS a person. He may not be physical, but he is real, and he has his own agenda. He is an indivudal, with his own ideas and his own thoughts.

Many people deny God is a human being who looks like us, because that is true. God isn't supposed to look like us. But God is a person.

Quote:
Perhaps you know what god is by the content of dreams. But dreams are not reality, by definition. Why should you treat a god-dream differently than all the all the rest that are dismissed as interesting but ultimately irrelevant things to say after waking up?
Because in said dream, you REALLY DO KNOW God is talking. I haven't had any of these god-dreams, nor do I think they exist. But I do think many people had those god-dreams, and knows what a God-dream is when they see one.

Quote:
God shows he exists by voices. "This is my son, in whom I am well pleased." is probably an example of what you mean. Well, that's in the Bible, not someone actually talking out loud. I've never actually heard a disembodied voice before (outside of someone hiding behind something, or over an intercom, etc), so I'm not sure what you mean. Or, suppose there was such a voice. What properties would it have? It'd just be a voice. Why would you differentiate one voice as the "voice of god" and another as not? Perhaps you've defined disembodied voices as god-voices. Ok; but if you do that then remember that all you've done is decide to call this voice god, not that you know anything about it other than you can't find its source. I don't know if you want to do that, but if you decide you do, then just remember that's all you're doing.
Listen. I never actually heard any God-Voice either. The difference is, once you hear a God-Voice, you know it's a God Voice.

Again, um, I know nothing of the Chrisitan religion, so instead, I'm going to start describing religious traditions of Islam.

Anyway, according to my Judeo-Chrisistan religion, Islam, in some Haditahs, my prophet, Mohammed, actually heard of the God-Voice when he got the first revelation. Later on, those same Haditahs stated that Mohammed actually saw the "Face of God" himself, during the Miraj (travel). Those same Haditahs goes on to say that those who are considered the 'best believers' will see the "Face of God" himself, but that will be on the Day of Judgement. Seeing the "Face of God" is supposed to be the ultimate reward or some such.

So, if we trust these Haditahs, we can assume God got a voice. And he got a Face. But we don't know what the voice are or what the face actually is, because Mohammed won't tell us (and because God doesn't want us to know unless we really are holy). So I can't describe to you what it is other than feebly telling you "You will know it when you hear it". But you don't need to hear a Voice, nor do you need to see a Face, nor do you need a God-Dream. You got the Holy Books and the word of the Prophet.

If you don't trust them, it's rather unlikely you're going to trust the Voice, the God-Dream, or the Face of God when you see them. So, it's all based on trust. But we know about God.

Quote:
God talks to us via Holy books: This seems quite similar to a disembodied voice. Someone wrote these books, didn't they? Of course. The Bible is said to have been written by the hands of some anonymous faithful in the years after Jesus died. Fine, but then you say that God inspired their writing. Ok; do you mean that in the sense that any idea inspires what people write? Or perhaps in the sense that they were possessed by God and forced to write it? But I wonder where you get that idea. In any case, is there a distinguishing characteristic that would differentiate God's influence from whatever someone wanted to write in the first place? If there is no such characteristic, then why do you talk as if there is? If you're just deciding to call books with this type of content (or even 'this set of specific books') "the work of God", then I have no objection - as long as you remember what you've done here.
While that line of attack may be good against Chrisitans, it isn't that effective against Islam.

Mohammed wrote the Quran due to one source, an angel, named Gabierl, who acts as the intermedratie of God. Mohammed also heard from the Voice of God and saw God's Face (which allowed God to verify that Gabieral, is in fact, the intermedirate of God), but the actual Quranic verses were handed down from Gabierl to Mohammed. And again, nobody other than Mohammed knows about these stuff. And Mohammed's dead. (Mohammed has written the entire Quran, after 20 years, and after his death, nothing was to be added to it)

Nor do I truly feel comfortable about talking about God's features. The fear is, by trying to assign variables to what God is, you are turning God into some sort of idol, where you project your own wants, desires, and needs, and then just go and worship said idol, rather than what God really is. I know little about God's nature, but I do note from really intelligent people about some aspects of God. Only now do I have to start explaining everything about God, that most people already assume, in order to counter your words (mostly because I fear that same argument is going to one day be reintroduced, so better to counter it now).

But, uh, yes. Back to that. Every little word in the Quran is supposed to be what God says. So, um, think of it this way: Mohammed is the ghostwriter. God says what he wants to Mohammed. Mohammed then writes every little sentence of what God said, without any change. Mohammed then spreads that book around. So, you could say: "This is the work of Mohammed", but I disagree, it's the "work of Mohammed writing down every sentence of God" meaning it is, in all practical purposese "a work of God".

Quote:
Talking to god: It is not talking in the ordinary sense, that's clear. I've prayed for quite some time myself but there was no talking involved (save perhaps a few times on my end). "Jill talked to John." - no, not that way. You can say a prayer, which is usually called talking to God, but that's simply an equivalence. "Talking to god" = "praying." And praying is something people do, it's I agree. Some people say they pray to the devil as well; imagine that. But what are people saying when they say they talked to god?
They are sending an message to God, and hope God reply. Um, eventually.

Quote:
See the second part of #1 for discussion about what god cannot be, the last part of #4 for talk about the nature of persons, this thread for the nature of reality (and what it can't be), the first part of this post about what thought is. God living? But we said he doesn't have a corporeal presence. Living is rather hard to do without a body, believe it or not (at least insofar as I know what living is).
Now, we got ourselves a problem.

Anyway, some Chrisitan sects are believing that Jesus has a corporeal presence, in the form of wine and bread. Don't ask.

And, um, my interpretions above sort of implies that God does have a Body. Which I am reflexictvely quick to deny. But you know what? My reflexivle denials mean nothing. God may have a Body. We just don't see it. Just like I don't see your Body, Samuel Dravis, but just because I never seen your Body does not mean that your Body does not exist. So, God does have a Body. What is this Body? I don't know what he looks like (nor do I care, per se). All I know is that he got a 'Face' (whatever it is), and a 'Voice'. So, if we assert that God GOT a corporeal body, just that God does not wish to show us it, how does that change your argument?

(This Body, however, presuming it exist, is not in 'this world', but rather in the 'Hereafter', in Heaven.)

Take, for example, some strange Sci-Fi video game where you get to play as an alien race known as "Gas". Now, "Gas" is a race that does not have a Body. It is intelligent however (more intelligent than your average oxygen tank), it is powerful, it can control ships, it can colonize planets, it can destory other intelligent races. "Gas" is the greatest threat known to mankind. And "Gas" is real. But the problem is, "Gas" can't really talk to anyone else. It is "Gas" after all. It just stays there, waiting for the right moment to strike.

Prehaps an example of a 'body' that God may have is that "Gas". That "Gas" represent something physical, but it is not like a human body. It's 'alien', but it is real. But, talking about God's body may be heretical, and besides, we know nothing about God's body other than what God tells us. We shouldn't worry about what God looks like, instead, we should worry about following God's dictates.

Quote:
If that's true then it should be easy to differentiate God from something else. Whatever came down (from where? a mountain?) and told "us" they were god is god. If that's not what is meant, then please explain what is meant.
It is easy to differenate. But, Mohammed and the other Prophets are known to have seen God. And they will not tell us what God looks like.

God has not revealed himself to others, however, to test to see if we really would worship him if not given the evidence he exist. I do. But, uh, other people, er, don't...

Quote:
I am beginning to think that believing in a religion is something like this:

A set of alternate ways of saying objective things in conjunction with a different way of living (ritual prayer, etc). "I wish you well" = "God be with you." A person who believes might also be tempted to say something without meaning, but I don't think they usually try to do that if they're not being questioned on the subject. In this way religion is essentially self-referential, in that if you say something in the normal way it breaks the religion-game. My statements above about holy books, god talking, the soul and judgment "break" the religion-game like that.
The problem is, in this case, you still make the assumption about Chrisitanity. I think the born-agains are just rolling their eyes. But, if a person assumes God has a body, but a Body existing in another dimension, could it change your views? Likely not...but still.

We haven't explained what God is, because we usually already have a pre-ordinated view. You're just forcing us to explain it.

Quote:
I think it'd be tempting to say that I have defined God into nonexistence. However, that would be wrong... The basis of this entire discussion was the idea that meaning is given to words through their use. This is very supportable and very easy to see when you watch someone learning a new language. Take, for example, a child that, curious, approaches something hot. You'd say, "Hot!" and jerk them back from it. After doing this a few times they'd start to catch on, so that you'd only have to say, "Hot!" and they'd get the idea. A more detailed explanation of this system is given here, in the beginning of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations.

Essentially, it is the idea that the meaning of words is not some sort of mysterious voodoo magic that goes on inside the head (somehow relating the objective to the subjective in the process! ), but a simple consequence of how people act.
...Uh.

I don't know how that is related to the discussion about wheter God has a body, wheter he has a corperal presence, and how he is real.

Anyway, I do think I might be able to sustain some sort of defense by stating God has a body.

Since you said in the first post that Zeus is exempt becuase he has a body, if God has a body, he is also exempt. Of course, we don't know what the body is. But he has one. If you got some New Age cultist screaming about "Nature" as a God, I could state that the body of "Nature" is in fact the entire planet of Earth itself, as that is its coperal presence. In fact, if I really want a loophole, I could define the entire universe as the body of God, and be rather happy.

But I don't know how effective that loophole is.


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Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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