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Reason and evolution

setabed
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2/9/2014 5:49:11 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
You don't need consciousness to make choices. For example, birds make choices between different kinds of materials for making nests, and they decide to migrate for the winter and so on. Most choices that humans make are not conscious.

But they feel conscious a lot of the time, and we are able to articulate indecision so that we can share knowledge in small groups when making a choice.

I think logic is an incomplete attempt to formalize the ways in which humans make decisions. That is, it's a retrospective analysis, but reiterated over the centuries until we have the rules of logic that we have today.

Which means that it's not objective at all. It's created by humans after observing humans and it's evaluated by humans. It's subject to the limitations of our perspective and understanding, and so it's no surprise that logic-based systems fail over and over to predict events or even to outperform groups of people with their gut instincts.

I'm just curious if anyone agrees with me. :)
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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2/9/2014 11:30:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 5:49:11 AM, setabed wrote:
You don't need consciousness to make choices. For example, birds make choices between different kinds of materials for making nests, and they decide to migrate for the winter and so on. Most choices that humans make are not conscious.

But they feel conscious a lot of the time, and we are able to articulate indecision so that we can share knowledge in small groups when making a choice.

I think logic is an incomplete attempt to formalize the ways in which humans make decisions. That is, it's a retrospective analysis, but reiterated over the centuries until we have the rules of logic that we have today.

Which means that it's not objective at all. It's created by humans after observing humans and it's evaluated by humans. It's subject to the limitations of our perspective and understanding, and so it's no surprise that logic-based systems fail over and over to predict events or even to outperform groups of people with their gut instincts.

I'm just curious if anyone agrees with me. :)

If logic is subjective, then the logic you used to make that argument isn't objective. Thus, your conclusion isn't objectively true and I have no reason to accept it. Your argument is self-refuting.
setabed
Posts: 28
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2/9/2014 11:50:09 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 11:30:58 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

If logic is subjective, then the logic you used to make that argument isn't objective. Thus, your conclusion isn't objectively true and I have no reason to accept it. Your argument is self-refuting.

On the contrary, my argument would be self-refuting if it was objective. My argument is subjective, but it's a shared subjectivity. Why would that be grounds for refusing to accept it?
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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2/9/2014 11:51:55 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 11:50:09 AM, setabed wrote:
At 2/9/2014 11:30:58 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

If logic is subjective, then the logic you used to make that argument isn't objective. Thus, your conclusion isn't objectively true and I have no reason to accept it. Your argument is self-refuting.

On the contrary, my argument would be self-refuting if it was objective. My argument is subjective, but it's a shared subjectivity. Why would that be grounds for refusing to accept it?

Your argument is self-refuting, because you admit your conclusion isn't based on objective truth. It is about as true as "blue is the best color", purely subjective. Thus, you are proving that your conclusion isn't objectively true.
setabed
Posts: 28
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2/9/2014 12:11:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 11:51:55 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

Your argument is self-refuting, because you admit your conclusion isn't based on objective truth. It is about as true as "blue is the best color", purely subjective. Thus, you are proving that your conclusion isn't objectively true.

When you say objectively true, though, that's just a belief that has credence because of social consensus. We code stuff as "objectively true" if it meets agreed on criteria which are humanly derived. So my argument could be "objectively true" in that sense, which is as true as it gets.

I just mean that we can't assume truth external to the human experience, and that logic itself is based on human thinking processes and cannot guarantee access to extrahuman knowledge. That's all.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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2/9/2014 12:15:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 12:11:48 PM, setabed wrote:
At 2/9/2014 11:51:55 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

Your argument is self-refuting, because you admit your conclusion isn't based on objective truth. It is about as true as "blue is the best color", purely subjective. Thus, you are proving that your conclusion isn't objectively true.

When you say objectively true, though, that's just a belief that has credence because of social consensus. We code stuff as "objectively true" if it meets agreed on criteria which are humanly derived. So my argument could be "objectively true" in that sense, which is as true as it gets.

I just mean that we can't assume truth external to the human experience, and that logic itself is based on human thinking processes and cannot guarantee access to extrahuman knowledge. That's all.

Logical absolutes apply no matter if humans exist or not. If there was humans, there still couldn't be a rock that is not a rock (the law of identity).
Rational_Thinker9119
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2/9/2014 12:15:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 12:11:48 PM, setabed wrote:
At 2/9/2014 11:51:55 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

Your argument is self-refuting, because you admit your conclusion isn't based on objective truth. It is about as true as "blue is the best color", purely subjective. Thus, you are proving that your conclusion isn't objectively true.

When you say objectively true, though, that's just a belief that has credence because of social consensus. We code stuff as "objectively true" if it meets agreed on criteria which are humanly derived. So my argument could be "objectively true" in that sense, which is as true as it gets.

I just mean that we can't assume truth external to the human experience, and that logic itself is based on human thinking processes and cannot guarantee access to extrahuman knowledge. That's all.

*if there was no humans
whatledge
Posts: 210
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2/9/2014 12:21:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 5:49:11 AM, setabed wrote:
You don't need consciousness to make choices. For example, birds make choices between different kinds of materials for making nests, and they decide to migrate for the winter and so on. Most choices that humans make are not conscious.

Have you personally been a bird to know that it is not conscious? I may be misunderstanding your use of consciousness here though.


But they feel conscious a lot of the time, and we are able to articulate indecision so that we can share knowledge in small groups when making a choice.

I think logic is an incomplete attempt to formalize the ways in which humans make decisions. That is, it's a retrospective analysis, but reiterated over the centuries until we have the rules of logic that we have today.

It isn't logic that is incomplete, it is simply our application of it and our understanding of the physical world, from which logic derives.


Which means that it's not objective at all. It's created by humans after observing humans and it's evaluated by humans. It's subject to the limitations of our perspective and understanding, and so it's no surprise that logic-based systems fail over and over to predict events or even to outperform groups of people with their gut instincts.

No, it is objective that gravity exists on earth. And we can assume this objectively based on logic. I think you are misrepresenting logic as mere perspective here. Logic is objective by nature, or else it has no value at all. In other words, logic isn't based on what humans think it true via perspective/opinion, logic is objective because it is based on observation of the laws of physics.


I'm just curious if anyone agrees with me. :)
setabed
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2/9/2014 12:21:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 12:15:26 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

Logical absolutes apply no matter if humans exist or not. If there was humans, there still couldn't be a rock that is not a rock (the law of identity).

But categorizing is a human activity. A rock being defined as "a rock" on the basis of certain properties would not happen if there were no humans.
Rational_Thinker9119
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2/9/2014 12:23:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 12:21:42 PM, setabed wrote:
At 2/9/2014 12:15:26 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

Logical absolutes apply no matter if humans exist or not. If there was humans, there still couldn't be a rock that is not a rock (the law of identity).

But categorizing is a human activity. A rock being defined as "a rock" on the basis of certain properties would not happen if there were no humans.

So? The rock would still exist, regardless of labels I use now. There would still be that object that I am now, calling a rock, and it couldn't, not be a rock.
setabed
Posts: 28
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2/9/2014 12:32:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 12:21:09 PM, whatledge wrote:

Have you personally been a bird to know that it is not conscious? I may be misunderstanding your use of consciousness here though.

You're right - I shouldn't pick on birds like that. :) I just mean that humans and animals make choices without conscious deliberation.

It isn't logic that is incomplete, it is simply our application of it and our understanding of the physical world, from which logic derives.

Logic is objective by nature, or else it has no value at all. In other words, logic isn't based on what humans think it true via perspective/opinion, logic is objective because it is based on observation of the laws of physics.

I'm surprised to hear this because I would have thought that physics was based on logic not the other way round.

I'm just curious if anyone agrees with me. :)
setabed
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2/9/2014 12:35:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 12:23:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

So? The rock would still exist, regardless of labels I use now. There would still be that object that I am now, calling a rock, and it couldn't, not be a rock.

Sure. You and I both believe that, and so does everyone, so we have consensus. :)
whatledge
Posts: 210
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2/9/2014 12:36:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 12:32:34 PM, setabed wrote:
At 2/9/2014 12:21:09 PM, whatledge wrote:

Have you personally been a bird to know that it is not conscious? I may be misunderstanding your use of consciousness here though.

You're right - I shouldn't pick on birds like that. :) I just mean that humans and animals make choices without conscious deliberation.

It isn't logic that is incomplete, it is simply our application of it and our understanding of the physical world, from which logic derives.

Logic is objective by nature, or else it has no value at all. In other words, logic isn't based on what humans think it true via perspective/opinion, logic is objective because it is based on observation of the laws of physics.

I'm surprised to hear this because I would have thought that physics was based on logic not the other way round.

Well arguably, physics and logic are the same thing, but I would state that logic is more abstract, while physics are more... physical.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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2/9/2014 12:37:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 12:35:37 PM, setabed wrote:
At 2/9/2014 12:23:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

So? The rock would still exist, regardless of labels I use now. There would still be that object that I am now, calling a rock, and it couldn't, not be a rock.

Sure. You and I both believe that, and so does everyone, so we have consensus. :)

We have consensus because it is true, it isn't true because we have consensus. You are confusing cause and effect.
setabed
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2/9/2014 12:42:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 12:36:12 PM, whatledge wrote:

Logic is objective by nature, or else it has no value at all. In other words, logic isn't based on what humans think it true via perspective/opinion, logic is objective because it is based on observation of the laws of physics.

I'm surprised to hear this because I would have thought that physics was based on logic not the other way round.

Well arguably, physics and logic are the same thing, but I would state that logic is more abstract, while physics are more... physical.

If they're the same thing then is it enough to say one is objective because it's based on the other?
setabed
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2/9/2014 12:46:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 12:37:41 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

So? The rock would still exist, regardless of labels I use now. There would still be that object that I am now, calling a rock, and it couldn't, not be a rock.

Sure. You and I both believe that, and so does everyone, so we have consensus. :)

We have consensus because it is true, it isn't true because we have consensus. You are confusing cause and effect.

You believe it's true and so do I. Naturally we think I'm very similar ways, belonging to the same species and all. What evidence is there apart from belief and consensus?
whatledge
Posts: 210
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2/9/2014 12:46:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 12:42:39 PM, setabed wrote:
At 2/9/2014 12:36:12 PM, whatledge wrote:

Logic is objective by nature, or else it has no value at all. In other words, logic isn't based on what humans think it true via perspective/opinion, logic is objective because it is based on observation of the laws of physics.

I'm surprised to hear this because I would have thought that physics was based on logic not the other way round.

Well arguably, physics and logic are the same thing, but I would state that logic is more abstract, while physics are more... physical.

If they're the same thing then is it enough to say one is objective because it's based on the other?

I look at it this way, physics represents the physical laws of the universe like gravity and the law of conservation of matter. Logic represents things like math that do not physically exist, but the concepts themselves apply objectively to physics/reality. Like 1+1=2 is true, just like 1 apple + 1 apple = 2 apples.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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2/9/2014 12:55:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 12:46:16 PM, setabed wrote:
At 2/9/2014 12:37:41 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

So? The rock would still exist, regardless of labels I use now. There would still be that object that I am now, calling a rock, and it couldn't, not be a rock.

Sure. You and I both believe that, and so does everyone, so we have consensus. :)

We have consensus because it is true, it isn't true because we have consensus. You are confusing cause and effect.

You believe it's true and so do I. Naturally we think I'm very similar ways, belonging to the same species and all. What evidence is there apart from belief and consensus?

Belief and consensus of X is because it is true, as I said, you are confusing cause and effect. We don't all agree, and that's what makes something true. The only reason we agree if the first place is that it is already true regardless of what we think.
setabed
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2/9/2014 2:01:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 12:55:15 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

Belief and consensus of X is because it is true, as I said, you are confusing cause and effect. We don't all agree, and that's what makes something true.

It becomes true because we don't agree? I don't understand that at all.

The only reason we agree if the first place is that it is already true regardless of what we think.

That's a statement of faith. I can't argue with that
Rational_Thinker9119
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2/9/2014 2:03:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 2:01:53 PM, setabed wrote:
At 2/9/2014 12:55:15 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

Belief and consensus of X is because it is true, as I said, you are confusing cause and effect. We don't all agree, and that's what makes something true.

It becomes true because we don't agree?

That's not what I said.

I don't understand that at all.

I didn't say that to begin with lol


The only reason we agree if the first place is that it is already true regardless of what we think.

That's a statement of faith. I can't argue with that

It is based on reason.
setabed
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2/9/2014 2:08:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 2:03:43 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Belief and consensus of X is because it is true, as I said, you are confusing cause and effect. We don't all agree, and that's what makes something true.

It becomes true because we don't agree?

That's not what I said.

What did you mean then?

It is based on reason.

Yes?
setabed
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2/9/2014 2:16:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 12:46:58 PM, whatledge wrote:

I look at it this way, physics represents the physical laws of the universe like gravity and the law of conservation of matter. Logic represents things like math that do not physically exist, but the concepts themselves apply objectively to physics/reality. Like 1+1=2 is true, just like 1 apple + 1 apple = 2 apples.

You said earlier that physics and maths are "objective by nature " when they're both very much self-evaluated human activities. So what makes them objective?
whatledge
Posts: 210
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2/9/2014 2:44:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 2:16:36 PM, setabed wrote:
At 2/9/2014 12:46:58 PM, whatledge wrote:

I look at it this way, physics represents the physical laws of the universe like gravity and the law of conservation of matter. Logic represents things like math that do not physically exist, but the concepts themselves apply objectively to physics/reality. Like 1+1=2 is true, just like 1 apple + 1 apple = 2 apples.

You said earlier that physics and maths are "objective by nature " when they're both very much self-evaluated human activities. So what makes them objective?

1 + 1 = 2 is not true or objective because humans evaluate them to be true or objective. In other words, logic and physics are not reliant on human evaluation to be true. For instance, people thought the earth used to be flat. But that doesn't mean it was. In fact, the people that used logic and science to prove that it wasn't such as Copernicus and Galileo were persecuted for having objective views based on logic.

Conversely, even if people thought having 2 apples is having 5 apples, the physical reality is that they have 2 apples. The math is not reliant on a person's evaluation (which is fallible). The laws of physics, however, are not fallible, which is what makes them objective.

To take it a step further, "human evaluation" does not equate to logic, as people use subjectivity to evaluate things all the time (subjective in the sense that they are based on opinions/feelings/emotions/taste as opposed to appealing to logic/evidence/reason). Logic is objective because it applies to everyone and is universal, just like the laws of physics.

A dictionary definition of objective would be:
not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion.

Logic does not appeal to personal feeling or bias, and is reliant on facts, evidence, and reason.
setabed
Posts: 28
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2/9/2014 7:33:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 2:44:28 PM, whatledge wrote:
At 2/9/2014 2:16:36 PM, setabed wrote:
At 2/9/2014 12:46:58 PM, whatledge wrote:

I look at it this way, physics represents the physical laws of the universe like gravity and the law of conservation of matter. Logic represents things like math that do not physically exist, but the concepts themselves apply objectively to physics/reality. Like 1+1=2 is true, just like 1 apple + 1 apple = 2 apples.

You said earlier that physics and maths are "objective by nature " when they're both very much self-evaluated human activities. So what makes them objective?

1 + 1 = 2 is not true or objective because humans evaluate them to be true or objective. In other words, logic and physics are not reliant on human evaluation to be true. For instance, people thought the earth used to be flat. But that doesn't mean it was. In fact, the people that used logic and science to prove that it wasn't such as Copernicus and Galileo were persecuted for having objective views based on logic.

Conversely, even if people thought having 2 apples is having 5 apples, the physical reality is that they have 2 apples. The math is not reliant on a person's evaluation (which is fallible). The laws of physics, however, are not fallible, which is what makes them objective.

To take it a step further, "human evaluation" does not equate to logic, as people use subjectivity to evaluate things all the time (subjective in the sense that they are based on opinions/feelings/emotions/taste as opposed to appealing to logic/evidence/reason). Logic is objective because it applies to everyone and is universal, just like the laws of physics.

A dictionary definition of objective would be:
not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion.

Logic does not appeal to personal feeling or bias, and is reliant on facts, evidence, and reason.

But logic isn't universal at all. It's a human creation. That's what I'm trying to talk about in this thread. It's no more than a widely accepted code that humans share. We believe it to be true, but what evidence is there apart from our belief?

Even this idea of prejudice/emotion vs objectivity is based on human values. People talk about it as if it's a linear continuum with emotion and prejudice on one end and objectivity at the other, but they're actually independent dimensions, and emotion and prejudice almost always enhance decision-making, with obvious and undesirable exceptions. The only linear dimension that they conform to is desirable vs undesirable. How can that be anything but subjective?
setabed
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2/9/2014 7:44:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 2:08:08 PM, setabed wrote:
At 2/9/2014 2:03:43 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Belief and consensus of X is because it is true, as I said, you are confusing cause and effect. We don't all agree, and that's what makes something true.

It becomes true because we don't agree?

That's not what I said.

What did you mean then?

It is based on reason.

Yes?

Sorry, I was on my phone before, and for some reason the text box won't scroll down so I have to be rather abrupt. But I'm my computer now, with no restrictions, so I'm going to write a lot.

You say that we believe stuff because it's true. But I wonder if this whole idea of objective reality and that it's important is a human construction.

In evolutionary terms. It's possible - usual even - to make even complex decisions without awareness and conscious deliberation. I used the example of birds before. Neural circuitry can calculate the best odds of this and that based on perceptions of the environment and trigger complex actions without needing consciousness and a sense of self. For example, when we're in danger we can react and run away before we even know what's happening, or we can pull away from a hot thing before the pain even hits us.

But consciousness must have some evolutionary advantage. I think it's an adjunct to language. Consciousness allows us to translate intentions and experiences into language to share with other people, and to decode their language into understanding of the same. That is, it has a very specific purpose related to survival, and has to do with social status and sharing of resources.

This means that consciousness comes with a very strong sense of self, time and stuff (objective reality). When we communicate and think, it's all about dividing stuff up and sharing it, manipulating it in various ways. We must believe in an objective reality and we must believe in the consistency of various ways of thinking and communicating about it (logic).

That's not to say that it does or doesn't exist - the question is kind of irrelevant. All I'm trying to say is that logic and perception are part of a tool with a very specific function, and not evidence of a reality outside that function.