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Old 2008-01-16, 21:28   Link #41
siya
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Pride comes before the fall. While I won't suggest that older people are necessarily wiser or more intelligent, I would point out that they've "eaten more salt than all the rice you've eaten." So, never assume that you are too clever to learn from others, whoever humble their circumstances.

If it's writing you intend to do, here's further advice. People respect intelligence, but they admire beauty. While they may praise clever people, they don't often find them very likeable.

There are many kinds of writing, but the most successful novels, poems, essays, biographies, autobiographies, etc, are not the ones that beat you over the head bragging about the "wisdom" they contain. The most successful ones are those which tell stories that remind us what it means to be human.

Good luck.
Well, I'm pretty wise for my age....I mean, I've been through alot of things alot or people haven't been through...so I have insite on things that others don't. It's quite amazing...xD
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Old 2008-01-17, 21:32   Link #42
Twisted Reality
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
This is where I think you’re getting very confused. You’re talking about something derived possibly from the Taoist concept of dualism, ie, yin-yang, the empirical observation of how every natural phenomenom has an opposite.

But dualism does not in any way suggest that life has no inherent, universal value of its own. It merely proposes the view that where there is life, there is death. Where there is beauty, there is ugliness. Where there is kindness, there is cruelty. One does not define the other. It merely is.

To put it another way, before you can truly “live”, you need to accept death. To understand beauty, you need to know what is ugly. So on and so forth. This by no means imply that your life is meaningless. It’s merely a suggestion of how to live in acceptance of the Way (Tao).
Funny, I don't see how the "one defining the other" contradicts anything else you've said here about Taoism. Seems to me that death does impart a lot of meaning to life. The whole "truly living" state of mind seems to be a matter of intellectual maturity. The place we all eventually (hopefully) arrive at, where we make the realization that you can't both have your cake and eat it. It's a simple matter of semantics.
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Old 2008-01-17, 21:42   Link #43
Twisted Reality
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One thing that made me cry about this thread:
Bornstatin made a comment about how from a "metaphysical" point-of-view, it was ethically permissible to kill people on the idea that it made people/society/our species stronger.

My mind flashes "ERROR -- DOES NOT COMPUTE" messages all over the inside of it.

So. . . life has no intrinsic value according to the cold uncaring mechanical processes of physics and evolution. But on the other hand, you somehow derive the conclusion that Social Darwinism is mandated by a "will"? Is this will God or Satan? Is he perhaps one of the pagan gods?

I'm not sure how this works either:
1) Wanton violence and competition.
2) ???
3) Profit!

My brain hurts.
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-from Nietzsche's Human, all too Human, s.405, R.J. Hollingdale transl.

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Old 2008-01-17, 21:44   Link #44
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Double post.
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There are women who, however you may search them, prove to have no content but are purely masks. The man who associates with such almost spectral, necessarily unsatisfied beings is to be commiserated with, yet it is precisely they who are able to arouse the desire of the man most strongly: he seeks for her soul -- and goes on seeking.
-from Nietzsche's Human, all too Human, s.405, R.J. Hollingdale transl.

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Old 2008-01-18, 10:12   Link #45
siya
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Originally Posted by Twisted Reality View Post
One thing that made me cry about this thread:
Bornstatin made a comment about how from a "metaphysical" point-of-view, it was ethically permissible to kill people on the idea that it made people/society/our species stronger.

My mind flashes "ERROR -- DOES NOT COMPUTE" messages all over the inside of it.

So. . . life has no intrinsic value according to the cold uncaring mechanical processes of physics and evolution. But on the other hand, you somehow derive the conclusion that Social Darwinism is mandated by a "will"? Is this will God or Satan? Is he perhaps one of the pagan gods?

I'm not sure how this works either:
1) Wanton violence and competition.
2) ???
3) Profit!

My brain hurts.
Well...Everything gets a lot more complicated then what it already is when you go into religous matters. Though, yes..Everything is a matter if "will." With out it there is nothing...If you do not have the "will" to do somthing, you wont do it. I mean..Now this (once again) clashes with my mind...The whole "will" thing, is if there is destiny and everything is written in stone as to what going to happen, the the "will" to do something is not something you would have unless it has been written so (written is just a term used btw...I doubt it's accually written on stone...). It's a very confusing matter only because of the things I've been taught and the things I believe....

No...Violence and Competition is there for a reason, with out competition you have nothing to work for..and usualy competitions include some form of violence.......I have no idea what you mean by "???"

and I have no idea what you mean by "Profit!" but I'll take a guess...Everyone is greedy...everyone wants money....It's human nature to want..some just want it more than others....So, competion and violence can go into to gaining a profit (Obviously, look at sports..It's both profitable and violent...(Unless it's like Golf...but then you could..I mean, beat the crap out of your opponents with you clubs..that would make it violent..xD)
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Old 2008-01-18, 18:33   Link #46
Twisted Reality
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Originally Posted by siya View Post
Well...Everything gets a lot more complicated then what it already is when you go into religous matters. Though, yes..Everything is a matter if "will." With out it there is nothing...If you do not have the "will" to do somthing, you wont do it. I mean..Now this (once again) clashes with my mind...The whole "will" thing, is if there is destiny and everything is written in stone as to what going to happen, the the "will" to do something is not something you would have unless it has been written so (written is just a term used btw...I doubt it's accually written on stone...). It's a very confusing matter only because of the things I've been taught and the things I believe....

No...Violence and Competition is there for a reason, with out competition you have nothing to work for..and usualy competitions include some form of violence.......I have no idea what you mean by "???"

and I have no idea what you mean by "Profit!" but I'll take a guess...Everyone is greedy...everyone wants money....It's human nature to want..some just want it more than others....So, competion and violence can go into to gaining a profit (Obviously, look at sports..It's both profitable and violent...(Unless it's like Golf...but then you could..I mean, beat the crap out of your opponents with you clubs..that would make it violent..xD)
Yessss. . .but machines don't have wills. Presumably, neither does the sun. Or rocks. It just does what it does. They just exist.

What you're talking about might be more appropriate called energy. The potential for things to occur.

And just because *you* have a will, doesn't mean that there was necessarily a will that made it that way. People like to talk about "will" behind every cause, but that isn't necessarily automatically fact. Intelligent design is one of the more headache inducing examples of this.

Here's also another idea. The universe doesn't have a will. If it doesn't have a will, then it doesn't have a purpose to give us. In other words, evolution has no more meaning that we decide to give it. It's not there to evolve the perfect being. It doesn't care that violence and competition exist. Such things only have significance to animals. Or humans, if you're going to get hung-up and decide that humans are not animals.

If the universe does have a will, then you call it God. If a larger part of the universe does have a will, then it is merely *a* god. Of course, some people will say that God is outside of time and space, but they're just dodging the issue.

The general point is that you might think of the universe as an instrument of God's will. Or no will at all. Whichever you prefer. They're about the same. In any case, I'm pretty sure most religious folk will probably explain evolution as part of God's divine plan, but they'll never be any more specific about it than that. More likely than not, they'll outright reject the idea that evolution has any implications for how humans should behave. It's a natural law, just not a moral one.

In other words, saying that the laws of physics has a morality or an ethical system to recommend to us is pretty ridiculous. There isn't a moral science. Anybody who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you a bridge.
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-from Nietzsche's Human, all too Human, s.405, R.J. Hollingdale transl.

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Last edited by Twisted Reality; 2008-01-18 at 18:50.
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Old 2008-01-23, 11:48   Link #47
siya
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Originally Posted by Twisted Reality View Post
Yessss. . .but machines don't have wills. Presumably, neither does the sun. Or rocks. It just does what it does. They just exist.

What you're talking about might be more appropriate called energy. The potential for things to occur.

And just because *you* have a will, doesn't mean that there was necessarily a will that made it that way. People like to talk about "will" behind every cause, but that isn't necessarily automatically fact. Intelligent design is one of the more headache inducing examples of this.

Here's also another idea. The universe doesn't have a will. If it doesn't have a will, then it doesn't have a purpose to give us. In other words, evolution has no more meaning that we decide to give it. It's not there to evolve the perfect being. It doesn't care that violence and competition exist. Such things only have significance to animals. Or humans, if you're going to get hung-up and decide that humans are not animals.

If the universe does have a will, then you call it God. If a larger part of the universe does have a will, then it is merely *a* god. Of course, some people will say that God is outside of time and space, but they're just dodging the issue.

The general point is that you might think of the universe as an instrument of God's will. Or no will at all. Whichever you prefer. They're about the same. In any case, I'm pretty sure most religious folk will probably explain evolution as part of God's divine plan, but they'll never be any more specific about it than that. More likely than not, they'll outright reject the idea that evolution has any implications for how humans should behave. It's a natural law, just not a moral one.

In other words, saying that the laws of physics has a morality or an ethical system to recommend to us is pretty ridiculous. There isn't a moral science. Anybody who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you a bridge.
Well, the thing with religion is the fact, know truely knows the facts..they know what they've been told and what they believe..it's like everything else in the world....You know what you've been taught.....If you were confined to your house all your life with no human contact except for, let's say your mother and she tells you that 2 + 2 is 7 and the word "Wall" is spelld "Wool" then when you finally make human contact, if someone asks you what 2 + 2 is, you will tell them 7, because of what you have been taught..so if you want to technically think about it...What we know, is it accually true? Breaking it up down to this is where it starts to get confusing because it's something that you have never been taught...
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Old 2008-01-23, 16:02   Link #48
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Heh.. a fallibilist. [/spam]
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Old 2008-01-23, 16:24   Link #49
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by siya View Post
Well, the thing with religion is the fact, know truely knows the facts..they know what they've been told and what they believe..it's like everything else in the world....You know what you've been taught.....If you were confined to your house all your life with no human contact except for, let's say your mother and she tells you that 2 + 2 is 7 and the word "Wall" is spelld "Wool" then when you finally make human contact, if someone asks you what 2 + 2 is, you will tell them 7, because of what you have been taught..so if you want to technically think about it...What we know, is it accually true? Breaking it up down to this is where it starts to get confusing because it's something that you have never been taught...
That's a problem of language, not of truth.

Language is a matter of consensus. Things like whether the Earth is flat or not isn't.

Besides, our knowledge isn't restricted to stuff we are taught. If that was so, there'd be no progress.
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Old 2008-01-23, 19:26   Link #50
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It's fate. You, personally, have free will to decide. But everything about the universe, the system you live in, ultimately influences everything you do. So you go left instead of right, events will just play out accordingly. Because you cannot see the future, you cannot understand the events leading to your decision until after you have made it.
Let me kick into the thread (damn, I hate being an entire week without internet access ) by adding a bit of my personal spice to this matter. Perhaps it doesn't have much to do with what you're exposing, Bornsatin, but perhaps it may add something for you to think about.

First of all, let me clear that, according to what I understand of Metaphysics (I'm not an expert in philosophy, though I know enough about it to consider myself learned), by my general mindset, I would be one of those people who believe there really isn't a "set of rules" beyond what science does to filter reality (in other words, a pure atheist). However, I like to play with the idea from time to time purely out of romantic enjoyment. Let's just say that I have atheist and agnostic phases of my own personality and set of beliefs, which I apply depending on the situation (most of the people who know me would say I'm atheist).

And on the point of the quote I nabbed from Solace, I'm one of those people who firmly believe there doesn't exist a free will at all. What we think is our consciousness and our free will is nothing but an illusion, a feeble "feeling" of self-awareness. Truth is, our self-awareness as individuals, and more importantly, as a species, isn't "complete" yet. Logical thinking may only have been the first step towards reaching it. We're just a part of the circumstances as every other little thing that surrounds us, and our actions are influenced by every other variable around us, even those we don't know the existence of yet. Now, wandering off towards my romantic (and strangely optimistic) approach to these ideas... if anything, we're a part of a sort of "cycle" through which an element of reality, of which we may well be only but a step towards, gains complete and full self-awareness, of itself and its circumstances (which actually comprise the most important element of the true self-awareness). It might be mankind's next evolutionary step, it might be something we can barely dream of right now, but it will happen. And when it does, it will be perfect.

Yes, it's fatalist. Yes, I know fatalism is the root of pessimism, but my view is purely optimistic. I don't know how it will happen, but, in my romantic, agnostic phases, I'm perfectly sure it will happen, and as I said, it will be perfect. Will I be there to see it? I'm sure not. But, at any rate, what does guarantee us that the future "perfection" has to be something like anything we've ever experienced before? It will be different, so much different in so many levels that just trying to imagine it would blow our mind into tiny pieces, like those fictitious robots we often see in media exploding when they try to process a paradox (which actually doesn't happen, but that's not the point ).

Perhaps I've drifted a bit too far off from what you originally intended to convey, but I hope it adds another point of view over the matter.
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Old 2008-01-23, 20:48   Link #51
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Originally Posted by WanderingKnight
I would be one of those people who believe there really isn't a "set of rules" beyond what science does to filter reality (in other words, a pure atheist). However, I like to play with the idea from time to time purely out of romantic enjoyment.

And on the point of the quote I nabbed from Solace, I'm one of those people who firmly believe there doesn't exist a free will at all. What we think is our consciousness and our free will is nothing but an illusion, a feeble "feeling" of self-awareness. Truth is, our self-awareness as individuals, and more importantly, as a species, isn't "complete" yet. Logical thinking may only have been the first step towards reaching it. We're just a part of the circumstances as every other little thing that surrounds us, and our actions are influenced by every other variable around us, even those we don't know the existence of yet.

Now, wandering off towards my romantic (and strangely optimistic) approach to these ideas... if anything, we're a part of a sort of "cycle" through which an element of reality, of which we may well be only but a step towards, gains complete and full self-awareness, of itself and its circumstances (which actually comprise the most important element of the true self-awareness). It might be mankind's next evolutionary step, it might be something we can barely dream of right now, but it will happen. And when it does, it will be perfect.
If pre-set rules do not exist, by what standard would you judge a potential future perfect? If free will is an illusion, and if everything we do is pre-determined, why think? Just act -- everything will turn out fine.

Objections aside however, you do have an interesting perspective on life. Yes, logic is a blunt tool. We can't rely on it alone to find our way. And sometimes, we do think too much for our own good.
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Old 2008-01-23, 21:02   Link #52
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If free will is an illusion, and if everything we do is pre-determined, why think? Just act -- everything will turn out fine.
Well, that's the interesting bit. We're not fully self-aware of ourselves and our relationship with the environment and the circumstances that create and surround us, but we're not purely instinctive animals, either. We have, as a species, built an attempt at understanding ourselves and our relationship with, or should I say, our "role" in these circumstances. Which means that, even though it hasn't been done, someone has to do it. Of course, when confronted with such an idea, some people might let themselves go and wait for everything to sort itself out--but I'm sure others wouldn't. It's paradoxical, I know, but in a way I can't really convey right now, it makes sense in my mind.

Or, at the very least, it's an idea that propels me forward and makes me think positively about mankind. If I had to think otherwise, then the knife would be much closer to my wrist.

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If pre-set rules do not exist, by what standard would you judge a potential future perfect?
That's why I talked about the agnostic and the atheist phases of my own beliefs. Atheisitically (does that word even exist?), I don't know what will happen in the future, and I can only guess based on the scientific constructs of today. Only on my agnostic side I may dare assert that it will be "perfect". Note that my understanding of perfect is "balance": The system does not need to progress further because the system has achieved perfect balance, both with its inner elements and its outer ones.
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Old 2008-01-23, 21:09   Link #53
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Eugenics isessentially.. forcing our way through evolution.
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Truth is, our self-awareness as individuals, and more importantly, as a species, isn't "complete" yet.
Was that a Platonic reference?
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Old 2008-01-23, 21:10   Link #54
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
If pre-set rules do not exist, by what standard would you judge a potential future perfect? If free will is an illusion, and if everything we do is pre-determined, why think? Just act -- everything will turn out fine.
What WanderingKnight is referring to is a consequence of materialism. That the world is simply a chain of cause and effect since there is no external force beyond the physical to influence our world.

By cause and effect, what defines the individual and his actions are genetics and environment, factors that we do not choose. Those factors influence our thinking and consequently our reactions. Therefore, all of our reactions under "free will" are simply the products of of nature and nurture, which we do not have control over. We do not walk the path that we choose, but the path that we have been led to choose. This is the theoretical elimination of free will.

This is possible since humans are logical creatures which is what I think he means by logical thinking is the "first step". Since we have logic, under a set circumstance, we will always choose the same thing.

I don't really understand that "complete self-awareness" and "evolution" concept. It just sounds way too similar to Instrumentality from Evangelion for comfort though.
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Old 2008-01-23, 21:24   Link #55
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Haha... how cruel. You're proposing we're living our lives acting upon a script we have no control over.
By your logic, are crimes really 'crimes' in the ethical sense anymore? Or does 'love' or 'hate' or any other emotion even matter..? You make humans pathetic and non-sentient. So by your thought pattern, lets flush the religions and morals down the drain since technically, it'd be another act under the inevitably dominant script. Or any of our acts for that matter, even this worthless post.
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Old 2008-01-23, 21:26   Link #56
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Eugenics isessentially.. forcing our way through evolution.
Umm, no. At best, eugenics means forcing and segregating people. I'm in for people choosing the change of their own accord, but that's another topic altogether. Besides, I'm of the belief that the environment matters a thousand times more than genes. In fact, genes are the ones that adapt themselves to the environment and not otherwise.

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I don't really understand that "complete self-awareness" and "evolution" concept. It just sounds way too similar to Instrumentality from Evangelion for comfort though.
Bingo. The "perfect" world I envision is way, way too similar to the ocean of LCL in The End of Evangelion. I love Eva and it has been strongly influential in my way of thinking, but that doesn't mean I have to agree "in real life" with the decision taken at the end (that is, choosing the preservation of individuality over the perfection of the human species).

That doesn't mean that an ocean of LCL is the perfect way, either. More like the networking hive-mind sketched sometimes in Ghost in the Shell. Neither does that mean that I'm going to go out of the way to force people to become that

EDIT:

Quote:
Or does 'love' or 'hate' or any other emotion even matter..? You make humans pathetic and non-sentient. So by your thought pattern, lets flush the religions and morals down the drain since technically, it'd be another act under the inevitably dominant script. Or any of our acts for that matter, even this worthless post.
You're thinking with the current values of "life as a human being". In Evangelion terms, you're thinking as Shinji, who doesn't know anything else than the life as a human being he's been carrying away, and is faced with the decision of destroying his life as it has been in order to embrace a perfect existence. Of course it won't happen: you're going to choose otherwise because the life as you know it agrees with your overall values. However, keep in mind that, in the future, things may change, values may change. Values are nothing more than constructs, anyways (and I think more or less everyone in this discussion can agree on this point), so they're bound to change according to the different ages and the different ways societies have of expressing themselves and of setting their own rules. In the future, things may be VERY different. Remember that.
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Old 2008-01-23, 21:30   Link #57
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That doesn't mean that an ocean of LCL is the perfect way, either. More like the networking hive-mind sketched sometimes in Ghost in the Shell. Neither does that mean that I'm going to go out of the way to force people to become that
In that case, if the hive mind is what you're after, I strongly urge you to watch the first episode of Kino no Tabi. That shows some of the drawbacks of a shared conscious. I can only hope that your wife doesn't end up dying in the testing of biomechanical superweapons.

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Haha... how cruel. You're proposing we're living our lives acting upon a script we have no control over.
By your logic, are crimes really 'crimes' in the ethical sense anymore? Or does 'love' or 'hate' or any other emotion even matter..? You make humans pathetic and non-sentient. So by your thought pattern, lets flush the religions and morals down the drain since technically, it'd be another act under the inevitably dominant script. Or any of our acts for that matter, even this worthless post.
Well, I never said it's what I believe in, it's simply a philosophy. If you are completely an atheist and believe that there are no other forces in the universe other than the natural laws that we have empirically derived, then yes, this is the world that you are subscribing to. Most people don't know this, I didn't either before I took a philosophy class.

Crimes really are the product of circumstance, if you wish to use that example. Criminality is correlated very highly with poor socioeconomic status, single mother families, child abuse, and instability. While correlation doesn't imply causation, there are things that cause people to be more likely to commit crime. Emotion and sentience are also the result of circumstances. You would hate someone who murdered your family, and love someone who shows you kindness and support, not the other way around. The things that you say are all influenced by your upbringing, they definitely influence what you do, but you don't get to choose what your upbringing is. For example, there was this family on youtube who taught their kids to be proud Nazis, their morals are going to be different from yours, because their environment is different from yours.

(Please refrain from neg-repping, I am explaining a philosophy, not saying what I believe. I can't even count how many neg-reps I get for explaining an unpopular idea that somehow becomes my own.)
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Old 2008-01-23, 21:44   Link #58
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Anime references.. darn.
Well, the value as I've defined it in the initial post was doesn't 'change' in the general meaning of the word. It's either there or it's not there. It's a number, just like the binary code which represents information much more vivid. I beleive that these 'values' actually affect all non-living relationships as well, and that's how I would define probability. Humans can 'change' what side of a coin faces them after a toss if they 'will' for it hard enough. Living govern the non-living. So even free will.. might actually exist mutually, if not individually (just as value does). I'll look into this more after my exams are done.
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Old 2008-01-23, 21:50   Link #59
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Originally Posted by Bornsatin View Post
Anime references.. darn.
Well, the value as I've defined it in the initial post was doesn't 'change' in the general meaning of the word. It's either there or it's not there. It's a number, just like the binary code which represents information much more vivid. I beleive that these 'values' actually affect all non-living relationships as well, and that's how I would define probability. Humans can 'change' what side of a coin faces them after a toss if they 'will' for it hard enough. Living govern the non-living. So even free will.. might actually exist mutually, if not individually (just as value does). I'll look into this more after my exams are done.
Truth be told, I didn't really understand your opening "metaphysical" points. You were definitely driving at some like existentialism, but the incorporation of probability and numerical values was a little shaky, generally the two don't mix. You should definitely read up or formally study philosophy. Without knowing the terms, you end up wasting your breath and confusing other people trying to establish known points. Like how I spent the last 2 posts summing up "materialism" or "monism" as it is sometimes called.
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Old 2008-01-23, 21:52   Link #60
Bornsatin
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DejaVu, and it is epistemology + existentialism as far as I understand.
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