Is there a way to tell when you are deluded?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Magical Realist, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Well, you can always wait till you get pneumonia or an injury to the parts of your breathing apparatus, and then you'll see the need for thinking about how you breathe.

    It looks like you've never practiced yoga or breath meditation.
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  3. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I think it would be revealing to look into how come we perceive it as unremarkable.

    The breath is, after all, the immediately observable cause of us "being alive" and being able to do things with our bodies and minds. That makes it remarkable.
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  5. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    It looks like you're jumping to conclusions, perhaps that fulfils some need for you?
    I'm wondering how this could be true for our ancestors who hadn't developed speech or language, presumably they were as capable of breathing as we are.
    I imagine an injured primate adapts their breathing to compensate for illness or injury, and so do we. That we are also able to speak and think about it probably makes no difference.

    I can't imagine how having a cracked rib and thinking "that hurts" every time I breathe is going to make the situation any different.
    So I can't see what your point is. Or maybe you don't have a point?
    So do I. Particularly in light of all those writings which report the experience is not, after all, unremarkable. Aren't they suggesting that your perception of "unremarkable" is wrong, in that case?
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  7. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    The concept of "evidence" used in the teapot analogy is one that can adequately be employed only for things that do not contextualize the (prospective) knower.

    To give another example, besides God, of something we hold that contextualizes us: If we posit that electrons play a role in how we know things, then electrons are things that contextualize us as (prospective) knowers. Which is why we cannot approach seeking evidence of or about electrons in the same way we seek it of things like tables and chairs (things we are sure do not contextualize us). Which is how on the microlevel, physics turns into philosophy.

    Have you noticed that the theists on this forum generally agree that I am not a theist?

    Of course I do. Because exalted ideas are the only ones worth having!

    On principle, yes.

    I've never believed in God.

    Sure. Who doesn't long for the exalted?

    No, and no.

    Because of their "Timmy started it!" mentality.

    If I find something to be important, then I will research it myself, make effort to figure it out myself. I'm not going to wait for someone else to do it for me.

    So when someone claims they want to see evidence of "God," as atheists typically do, and then they just sit on their assess, pouting - then such people simply aren't serious about their inquiry or about what they state is important to them or what they want to know about.
    I'm not like that and I don't want to become like that.

    Envy, feeling threatned can take on very sophisticated forms. The more sophisticated a person, the more sophisticated their envy and feeling threatened can be. They can reach a level of sophistication where they don't seem anything like what is usually understood by "envy" and "feeling threatened." Mature ego defense mechanisms don't seem like ego defense mechanisms at all - the list reads like a list of virtues, of positive qualities to aspire to, nothing at all like those ugly things listed in the previous levels.

    By exploring how come I wish to make such a distinction.

    Since I am not in any formal or socially relevant position where it would be part of my job description to distinguish true religious ideas from heathen supersitition, it's none of my business to attempt to do so in speculation.

    "Monks, these two are fools. Which two? The one who takes up a burden that hasn't fallen to him, and the one who doesn't take up a burden that has. These two are fools."
    AN 2.98

    Not at all. I am vehemently focusing on those reasons, and I include into them as a factor the personal qualities of the (prospective) knower / decision-maker.

    Knowing takes place within a person's mind, based on the person's faculties, qualities; it doesn't take place in some abstract impersonal space. Hence epistemology is necessarily personal.

    Apply virtue epistemology to yourself: You are the knower, or at least the prospective knower. For what reason are you interested in knowing this or that? Do you assess that to be a good reason?

    "All those who ask questions of another do so from any one of five motivations. Which five?

    "One asks a question of another through stupidity & bewilderment. One asks a question of another through evil desires & overwhelmed with greed. One asks a question of another through contempt. One asks a question of another when desiring knowledge. Or one asks a question with this thought,[1] 'If, when asked, he answers correctly, well & good. If not, then I will answer correctly [for him].'

    AN 5.165


    No, these two sentences do not follow from the above.

    I think virtue epistemology deals with really basic things, things that children are expected to master. I'm just bewildered why it seems like such a problem to some people.

    I talked about it in the sentences following the one quoted.

    Hold as true for the sake of the argument for the time being.

    All arguments, about anything, are circular, self-referential like that.

    From Quine's "Two Dogmas:"

    The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, from the most casual matters of geography and history to the profoundest laws of atomic physics or even of pure mathematics and logic, is a man-made fabric which impinges on experience only along the edges. Or, to change the figure, total science is like a field of force whose boundary conditions are experience. A conflict with experience at the periphery occasions readjustments in the interior of the field. Truth values have to be redistributed over some of our statements. Re-evaluation of some statements entails re-evaluation of others, because of their logical interconnections -- the logical laws being in turn simply certain further statements of the system, certain further elements of the field. Having re-evaluated one statement we must re-evaluate some others, whether they be statements logically connected with the first or whether they be the statements of logical connections themselves. But the total field is so undetermined by its boundary conditions, experience, that there is much latitude of choice as to what statements to re-evaluate in the light of any single contrary experience. No particular experiences are linked with any particular statements in the interior of the field, except indirectly through considerations of equilibrium affecting the field as a whole.

    If this view is right, it is misleading to speak of the empirical content of an individual statement -- especially if it be a statement at all remote from the experiential periphery of the field. Furthermore it becomes folly to seek a boundary between synthetic statements, which hold contingently on experience, and analytic statements which hold come what may. Any statement can be held true come what may, if we make drastic enough adjustments elsewhere in the system. Even a statement very close to the periphery can be held true in the face of recalcitrant experience by pleading hallucination or by amending certain statements of the kind called logical laws. Conversely, by the same token, no statement is immune to revision. Revision even of the logical law of the excluded middle has been proposed as a means of simplifying quantum mechanics; and what difference is there in principle between such a shift and the shift whereby Kepler superseded Ptolemy, or Einstein Newton, or Darwin Aristotle?

    Perhaps the thing to remember here is that arguments for or against aren't meant to convince people, but only to stimulate thought on a topic.

    I think you need to clarify what your null hypothesis is in all this.

    Why inquire into how other people know, but ignore matters of how one knows?

    Continually directing one's attention outwards is a recipe for confusion and suffering.
  8. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I guess it's possible to do yoga and "practice" breath meditation and remain clueless about breathing ...

    Yes, most people are like that, which is why aging, illness and death usually are what they usually are ...

    If "that hurts" is the only thing you can think of when having a cracked rib and it hurts to breathe, then you're operating out of a very limited scope of ways to think about breathing.

    Have you never been ill or injured and had to figure out ways of breathing that wouldn't hurt so much?

    Like I said, I think it would be revealing to look into how come we perceive it as unremarkable. I'm not sure how feasible it is to do this within this discussion.
  9. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    You too, since you brought it up as an example of an experience that occurs without thought

    and I also explained how that tends to occur due to its unremarkable nature

    already done.
    In brief - when accompanied by tools of language, it becomes enriched and when it doesn't, it goes unnoticed

    plenty of literature out there to suggest otherwise ...

    If it wasn't the case, there would be no grounds for discerning enriched experiences of hearing the sound of breathing (whatever they may be) from the run-of-the-mill variety

    quite a few
    None are there of breathing

    Not quite.
    Its due to the efforts of language/literacy/codes that the experience becomes enriched.
    If it was otherwise, there would be no qualitative distinction between enriched experiences and unenriched ones

    Given that none of the books are full of blank pages, all of them.

    already explained this.
    It depends on language/codes/tools, otherwise it remains practically invisible.

    regardless of the advise, the nature of giving it requires the use of language/tools/codes etc ... otherwise it would be impossible to assimilate it in the pursuit of any sort of goal.

    Its your attempt to play it as "enriching" sans any accompanying thought processes that is vague.

    by meeting criteria that accompanies a claim of course.

    For instance if I say I had an enriching experience walking through the forest one would certainly be suspicious if they couldn't qualify the claim in any meaningful manner

    and I explained how it doesn't fit since its the nature of low end claims that they don't really rate as experiences ... much less enriched ones.

    Its the nature of a lot of low end claims that they have limited scope to work with

    given that your so-called enriched breathing experiences are lost in the vagueries common to those pretending to have access to something they don't, your belief doesn't amount to anything either ... although, ironically, this is the sort of ultra subjective myopic uselessness of belief (namely beliefs that can't be qualified in any meaningful manner) of pseudo-spiritualism that atheists delightfully have a field day with ....
  10. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    You could say it is essential, but as an experience, if we want to focus on the experience of breathing, that requires special concentration of a variety that is impractical to sustain 24 hrs a day. As such, the "experience " of breathing tends to only becomes apparent when the automatic functioning of it is impaired.

    Or to say it another way, if we were to take an overview of our life's most remarkable/enriching experiences (or things/events that meant the most to us), breathing would not appear in the top 10 (much less arfa brane's coveted sound of breathing) , even though it is an essential process for sustaining our corporeal existence
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Nonsense. Other people don't really exist for you, do they ...

    You're just projecting onto others your own ideas, and then you expect others to defend things you merely imagine they said or hold.

    I seriously doubt you do.

    Pffft. Your saying that proves you don't know jack squat about science and scholarship.

    Yes, as long as one insists on remaining ignorant of the philosophy of science ...

    Talking about yourself again, eh ...

    There you go again! Timmy started it! And you'll just sit and pout.

    And of course you'll kill off, for real or at least in your mind, all those who don't agree with you.

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    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  12. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    There is a succint saying, but I couldn't find the exact reference for it online, that a devotee thinks of God with each and every breath.

    A similar one:
    MM 46: The wise inhabitants of the heavenly regions know that the perfection of the head is to offer prostrate obeisances to the Supreme Lord, the perfection of the life-breath is to worship the Lord, the perfection of the mind is to ponder the details of His transcendental qualities, and the perfection of speech is to chant the glories of His qualities.
  13. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    People often argue that way in philosophical theology.

    For example, the word 'God' might sometimes be defined by reference to a list of supposed divine qualities. Somebody else might then point out that two or more of those qualities appear to be logically inconsistent. The motive in doing that typically isn't to prove that God doesn't exist, but rather to argue that the given list of qualities isn't really a satisfactory definition of 'God'.
  14. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I agree with Arf. We needn't have the a-priori ability to pre-define everything that we can possibly experience, in order for us to be able to experience those things.

    If that was the case, then we would never be able to experience anything new. Children wouldn't be able to learn language in the first place.
  15. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    LG might be thinking that an experience, even if it's an unspoken private experience, doesn't really become an experience until we can speak it to ourselves in linguistic terms in some interior monologue.

    I'm inclined to think that our experiences always exceeds and overflows our ability to put those experiences into words.

    People can have experiences that are totally impossible to describe. Taking LSD will generate endless experiential examples. Mundane experience probably provides countless examples as well. There's philosophy's so-called 'qualia', such as how the color red looks. We can all recognize it, but try describing it in words to a blind man.

    Is it possible for any linguistic description to capture and represent every aspect of human experience, without any remainder?
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    What a strange assumption. I'm quite social, have a lot of friends, and am regarded as compassionate, generous and helpful. As I've noted before, like most of our members I behave differently on SciForums because it is a place where people go deliberately to argue.

    I'm reading your posts and responding to what you write.

    As I said, you have very little visibility into my life out in the carbon world. By not being as strident out there as I am here in the silicon world (because they aren't as strident as the majority of our members), I can engage people in conversations about what they believe and why. A very common explanation for belief in Heaven is, "I haven't had the good fortune you have, to be 70 and the worst things that have ever happened were a broken heart, being fired, or the death of a pet. My life is nothing like yours. I need a Heaven to look forward to, in order to convince myself that this was all worthwhile."

    My dearest friend has M.S. Her husband died 11 years ago, her brother died 3 years ago, her best friend died 1 year ago, and the fellow who by process of elimination ended up inheriting the title of "best friend" just died two weeks ago. She needs a Heaven to believe in. I do not try to argue her out of it.

    There are similar rationales for belief in a Supreme Ruler of the Universe (or whatever they call it), although they're not as focused as the rationale for Heaven, so I can't condense it into a paragraph. Nonetheless I do understand it. I don't give these people a hard time unless they get in my face with a Bible--and few of them do since I don't walk around announcing that I'm an atheist.

    You can doubt all you want, but all that shows is that you don't understand me any better than you claim I understand you. And probably for the same reason. We're different here than out there.

    Disagreeing with someone without explaining why is certainly neither science nor scholarship!

    I have cited quite a few elements of the scientific method, just in this one thread. The scientific method is the philosophy of science, codified and elaborated to become a useful tool.

    Non-scientists (or antiscientists like the hard-core religionists) always want everything dumbed down like it is in the Bible, so they look for a philosophy that can fit, at most, in three fortune cookies. Some things cannot be condensed so vigorously and still retain enough of their essence to represent that essence. Science is certainly one of those things. If someone doesn't have the patience and cognitive skills to make it through a full explanation of the scientific method, ask intelligent questions, and attempt to test it for himself, then he'll never understand it. You've already lost patience with my condensed Reader's Digest version of the scientific method! What makes you think you're qualified to discuss something you can't grasp?

    Referring to violence??? I am a true pacifist. I have never been in a fight, never hit another person and never hit by another person. In exasperation I've used corporal punishment on pets three or four times in my life, but I always come away from it crying, apologizing, and vowing to find a better way, so I haven't done that in decades. I never even hit the asshole who shot my cat, nor the asshole who ran off with my first wife after posing as my best friend. Accusing me of violence is one of the most stupid, nasty, vicious things you've said here.

    I don't understand that little outburst well enough to even formulate a question about it. Who does "Timmy" represent, and what did he start? You've become so angry that you're losing your communication ability.

    Again you accuse me of being a violent person, "at least in my mind." Where do you come up with this ugly, insulting bullshit? I conduct my conflicts in words. There are no prisoners, no casualties.
  17. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    You think that an experience is meaningless unless you can talk about it.
    That is complete crap, you are a fool.

    Why? Because you have taken up a burden that doesn't exist. You have a problem, you have to explain everything to the extent you can't draw a breath without rationalising it.
    To you, breathing is an experience that amounts to nothing; I'm surprised you're still doing it. You think you understand everything, which makes you an even bigger fool.

    You're deluded, but you can't see it. Your mind is in control, and you don't know what your mind is. Good job. Ha ha. You deserve each other.
    That's wrong. Your idiotic explanation as usual says nothing helpful or informative. It's just your opinion, and not a very good one.
    I really wish you'd stop preaching. Who told you you knew how to do that?
    Breathing might not be in your top 10, but who do you think cares? And why do you think I covet the sound of breathing? Who said it was about the sound? I did mention that your breath makes sound, but where did I say that was what breathing is about, or that I "covet" it?
    You really are an idiot, aren't you?
  18. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    You respond to what you see, not necessarily to what is written on the page.
    I have often caught you in lying and misrepresenting people.

    I can see how you treat people here at the forums. Many have complained about you already.

    This is a very limited understanding of people's reasons for believing in God.

    Dunning-Kruger at its best!

    There is more to violence that just hitting and shooting people or speaking harshly and calling names.

    Mentioned it earlier, in a reply to you. Do keep up with the thread.

    The ease with which you project ugly things onto and into other people says a lot about you.
  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    31st plane of existence, like I said. Not able to learn the Dharma.
  20. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Oh fuck.
  21. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    It's not an "ability to pre-define everything". Whether we like it or not, we learn all kinds of definitions about what this or that is, this happens as we grow up, listening to what other people tell us, what we read. And then, sooner or later, we get in contact with those things, and experience them according to the definitions we've learned (or created by contemplation based on various input) before.

    It's a matter of awareness. We're aware of as much as we know. We can't be aware of what we don't know; at most, we can be aware of a certain lack that we either cannot further identify, or identify it according to what we do know.

    I think that depends on whom we are trying to communicate with about said experience. Describing something to someone who is hostile toward one is quite a different matter than describing it to a friendly person.

    Indeed. Which is why such experiences are also mostly useless.

    Sure. It may just require a different conceptual approach and a different motivation for communicating about it.
  22. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    So according to this paradigm, our human ancestors only had "low end" experiences before they evolved speech.
    Thankyou Captain Obvious.
    And of course "awareness" can be of your mind and your thoughts. Unless you believe that you don't experience anything without thinking, which leaves our "unthinking" ancestors in a somewhat difficult position.
    How could you possibly know that? Why say it as if you're some kind of authority, and why should anyone believe you are?
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Huh? Do you always write in riddles?

    Often??? I forgot that I had used the term "economics" in one post. I'm sure things like that have happened before. That's hardly "often."

    As for "misrepresentation," I call 'em like I see 'em. You can hardly complain about that since you do the same thing.

    As I said, the silicon world is qualitatively different from the carbon world. People expect to treated differently here. I already said that and you ignored it. It's okay if you think I'm not telling the truth, but in that case you have to say so, not pretend something never happened.

    That is disingenuous argument, one of your favorite tactics. Once again, this is evidence that you have no respect for science and probably don't belong here.

    Do you put your own personal slant on everything? You are the most dishonest writer on this thread! I clearly noted that this is just one example of people's reasons for believing in God. Why did you so conveniently pretend that you didn't notice that statement?

    This kind of dissembling is getting pretty close to a rule violation. You need to be careful. Glaucon is not one of our more heavy-handed moderators, but he has his limits.

    I'll let the other members decide which one of us has a better understanding of science and the scientific method. The one who went to Caltech and has practically posted the entire scientific method in various posts on this thread, or the one who so far displays no familiarity at all with the scientific method, and in fact appears to not even take it seriously?

    Great rhetoric but worthless in a debate. Would you care to list just one example of these alleged other types of violence in one of my posts? And then explain why you define it as violence? These are all words, after all!

    As a moderator I go through quite a few threads every day. Pardon me if I can't remember every name cited in every one of them.

    Please explain how the above sentence was in some way a response to the post you claimed to be responding to:
    This is a discussion website populated primarily by people who are chronologically or emotionally immature, and often both. The language gets pretty raw. I'm still waiting for an excuse for calling a well-known pacifist, who has endured quite a few incidents of astounding abuse graciously, "violent," apparently on the basis of raw language that is well within the standards of SciForums and which is lobbed at me by other members routinely.

    And put a sock in that ridiculous argument that words are violent. Are you really not an American, so when you were a kid your elders never taught you the mantra, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?"

    Or are you just someone who resorts to whining when you can't win an argument with facts and reasoning?

    I'd like to see one of the readers of this thread do an impartial analysis of our posts, to see which one has presented the most facts, explanations and rational arguments, and which one relies more heavily on sniping.

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