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Questions on Parmenides

PeacefulChaos
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4/19/2014 6:32:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Recently, my Latin teacher gave me an assignment where I had to present Parmenides and his philosophical ideas to the class (with reality being uniform and indivisible and what not), and needless to say it was rather confusing, but I managed to give a pretty decent presentation.

Despite having to research it, however, I still don't feel like I fully understand this. I was hoping to have a debate on the topic of Parmenides's reality, but I don't feel as if I understand the topic well enough to give any good arguments for or against it. If anyone could address my questions, then I'd gladly appreciate it. I'm sure some of you have heard about him a million times, but I suppose I'm a novice in the realm of philosophy, and it would be great if someone else could help me on this.

I also realize I didn't really put the arguments in the proper 3 lined syllogism format, but just bear with me. I didn't really intend for them to be syllogisms, just arguments listed in a numbered format (eh ... whatever).

First and foremost, I'd like to know the purpose of the following argument (I summarize all the following arguments in my own words):

1. Anything we can conceive either exists or does not exist
2. Anything that does not exist is nothing
3. It is impossible to conceive a concept of nothingness
4. To formulate a concept, something must be thought of
5. We cannot conceive a concept of that which does not exist
C: Therefore, anything we conceive is something

I understand it, but I don't really see how it goes toward supporting his argument of how reality is. It's quite obvious that anything we think of must have substance, so what purpose was there in establishing such an argument? I recognize he uses this conclusion later on, but the way he uses it seems to be incorrect (the argument that he uses this conclusion in is below).

1. Motion requires empty space to move through
2. Empty space is that which is not
3. That which is not does not exist
A. Non-being is unconceivable
5. Consequently, all movement is an illusion

In premise 3 A., from my understanding, Parmenides is essentially arguing that because we cannot conceive non-being (proved in the first set of arguments) and everything we do conceive is something, movement is an illusion (since movement would require non-being).

However, everything we conceive is only something in the sense that what we conceive has some kind of substance to it (I do not mean physical substance; I just use substance for lack of a better term). This is what Parmenides established in the first argument, correct? He did not establish, however, that everything we can conceive exists (e.g. I can think of a dancing unicorn that exists right in front of me, but there isn't a dancing unicorn in front of me). So I fail to see how this can be used to support that nothing does not exist and motion is impossible.

My second question has to do with Parmenides and his argument that nothing can be born and nothing can die.

1. If something "becomes," it must either come from something or nothing
2. Something cannot come from nothing
3. Something cannot come from something
4. Thus, there is only being and there is no change
C: What exists was not born and will not die

In the third premise, I have heard of two ways of how Parmenides defends it (one is rather weak so I won't ask about it). His primary defense seems to be that, because reality is uniform and encompasses everything that exists, then how can it come from something else if reality is everything? In other words, how can something else create everything, if that something else should have been part of everything?

There exists an answer to this, and I was wondering if there is a counter to it. Reality can come from something else, because reality in this form didn't always have to exist. Rather, something else could have originally been the reality, and it could have created what we recognize as reality as today, and thus something can come from something.

His defense of premise three also relies on the assumption that reality is uniform (and I couldn't find an argument that had a good argument for it; the best I found is below).

1. If Being (what is) is divided, then it is being divided by what is (Being)
2. Reality cannot be divided from itself
C: Therefore, Being is one, indivisible, and uniform

He vastly generalizes everything to a single thing: reality (he refers to it as Being). From there, he argues that because reality cannot be divided by anything else except that which exists (i.e. reality), then it's not really being divided (e.g. you don't divide water with more water; it's all a uniform substance).

Are there any other arguments other than this supporting uniformity of reality for Parmenides? Because as it stands, this is getting rather absurd. Reality is not a single component and is made up of a multitude of other objects that contrast with one another. The only thing Parmenides seems to have proved is that reality is uniform in that all reality is reality, which is just stating the obvious.

It would be akin to looking at a planet in a closed system and stating, "This planet is completely uniform, because if that planet were to be divided, then it would be divided by only itself, meaning that the planet is completely uniform and indivisible."

Lastly, I'd like to know if Parmenides ever addressed the following:

Reality is uniform and encompasses everything that exists (according to Parmenides). Since humans exist, we are also part of this reality and are the same as everything else that makes up reality (because reality is uniform); however, if this is the case, then why do we perceive things differently from one another, and why are we able to perceive things in the first place when other things are not? If we are all truly uniform, we should perceive things in exactly the same way and all have a single, linked consciousness instead of multiple consciousnesses.

If I mis-interpreted any of his arguments or I'm just plain wrong somewhere, please feel free to call me out. Thanks.
Wocambs
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4/19/2014 8:25:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/19/2014 6:32:01 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:

His views seem pretty similar to mine, though I would be so bold as to say I have surpassed him...

"1. Motion requires empty space to move through
2. Empty space is that which is not
3. That which is not does not exist
A. Non-being is unconceivable
5. Consequently, all movement is an illusion"

I think he's basically saying 'To move is to move through 'empty space', but that's nothing, and you can't perform an action on 'nothing' so you cannot 'move through it', since you would be moving through nothing, i.e. not moving at all. therefore according to that definition of movement, it is an illusion.

I don't really think that his previous argument, that "anything we conceive is something", is particularly useful, unless you interpret that how I interpret it, which is that 'since it is impossible to talk about something 'non-existent' since that is 'nothing', things like magical unicorns must be understood as things that exist 'abstractly' as concepts. They are 'imaginary' terms, of which 'nothing' is included... perhaps he's saying that movement isn't nothing, but an illusion, since it must be something? I'm not quite sure haha.

"1. If Being (what is) is divided, then it is being divided by what is (Being)
2. Reality cannot be divided from itself
C: Therefore, Being is one, indivisible, and uniform"

I think he's trying to say that if we consider existence without our subjective perspective on it, then it is simply Being. To draw a line somewhere in that Being makes no sense, since the only reference point from which to try and divide the totality of Being is the totality of Being. You saw reality is made out of various components, but it does not seem to me that this is an interpretation 'given to us' by Being itself, but invented by us. The implications of what he's saying, if I interpret them correctly, is just that. That our divisions of the world are distinctly 'subjective'.

I think you misinterpret the 'uniformity' slightly. I think he's trying to say that Being = Being, not that if you decide, yourself, to differentiate the undifferentiated Being that you will find every part to be identical, you will merely have no 'objective' reason to draw lines around things. I don't think this entails that we would have to share consciousness, it merely entails that the consciousness emerges from an 'indistinct' physical reality and differentiates itself.

I suppose what he's trying to do in his first argument then is argue that 'non-existence' doesn't exist, because that might sabotage his intention to declare that Being is undifferentiated, since if nothing could exist then that might be grounds for differentiation.

"1. If something "becomes," it must either come from something or nothing
2. Something cannot come from nothing
3. Something cannot come from something
4. Thus, there is only being and there is no change
C: What exists was not born and will not die"

This, I think, is a statement of the idea that Being simply is. If things can 'become', then differentiation is possible. Again, consciousness raises an issue here, but I think if we deem consciousness as 'imaginary', that is to say 'unreal', or 'pure negation' as Sartre said, then this problem doesn't exist, because consciousness is imaginary, and the 'coming and going' of imaginary things is not a 'real' occurrence.

I'm just ranting, so excuse the 'train of thought' style of writing... I think he and I are pretty much in agreement, so feel free to ask me questions. I'd just like to say that this way of thinking isn't 'anti-scientific' by any means, it is the awareness of what I would allege is the fact that we understand the world in a way that is not 'objective'. It doesn't mean that the divisions we make are 'false' provided we understand them for what they are. Measuring things clearly works, but it's an abstraction.

To illustrate the 'applications' of this way of thinking, in case you think it's completely pointless:
'Why is there something rather than nothing?' - Well, 'nothing' is imaginary, so naturally there just is Being. The question, to Parmenides and I, I imagine, appears as 'Why is there reality instead of something unreal?' which makes the answer obvious, since that which is unreal is not a real 'possibility' (indeed, anything other than Being is an absurdity, and so there are no 'real possibilities')

Infinity. If this line is infinitely long, then ----A----B----C--- are all equally far apart from each other, despite A apparently being further away from C than B is. Infinity is purely imaginary, and so ABC are not separated by a real distance, making the question based on a fallacy.

Oh, and maybe I should try and clarify what I said about consciousness. Well... imagine a swirling pool of water. Maybe the foam will create images of faces, cars, dogs, but they aren't real. The water isn't saying 'Here is a dog', the dog is something imaginary, but the shape of the foam is still real and interacts with the rest of the water - though of course such 'interaction' isn't suggested by the water either, it's just Being.

I suppose one point against all this would be 'the past Being is not identical to the present Being', but again I suppose this is subjective, since it assumes a 'present' standpoint and suggests that something can act upon itself to change itself, which I don't think makes sense (acting 'on yourself' being 'properly understood' as a mouth eating itself, I suppose).

Sorry for the rant, heh.
PeacefulChaos
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4/19/2014 8:58:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/19/2014 6:32:01 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:

His views seem pretty similar to mine, though I would be so bold as to say I have surpassed him...

"1. Motion requires empty space to move through
2. Empty space is that which is not
3. That which is not does not exist
A. Non-being is unconceivable
5. Consequently, all movement is an illusion"

I think he's basically saying 'To move is to move through 'empty space', but that's nothing, and you can't perform an action on 'nothing' so you cannot 'move through it', since you would be moving through nothing, i.e. not moving at all. therefore according to that definition of movement, it is an illusion.

His argument was more-so that, because what we refer to as "nothing" does not exist, you cannot move through it (since there is only something that exists, and that is reality).

Nevertheless, your interpretation certainly does raise a good argument that would be an interesting subject of debate.

I don't really think that his previous argument, that "anything we conceive is something", is particularly useful, unless you interpret that how I interpret it, which is that 'since it is impossible to talk about something 'non-existent' since that is 'nothing', things like magical unicorns must be understood as things that exist 'abstractly' as concepts. They are 'imaginary' terms, of which 'nothing' is included... perhaps he's saying that movement isn't nothing, but an illusion, since it must be something? I'm not quite sure haha.

I am certain that you are correct that he argues our thoughts exist only as abstract concepts, but he attempts to wrongly utilize it in his second set of arguments that movement is an illusion. He essentially argues that, because non-being is unconceivable and that which we think of exists at least as an abstract concept, non-being does not actually exist and motion cannot exist, since motion requires the existence of non-existence.


"1. If Being (what is) is divided, then it is being divided by what is (Being)
2. Reality cannot be divided from itself
C: Therefore, Being is one, indivisible, and uniform"

I think he's trying to say that if we consider existence without our subjective perspective on it, then it is simply Being. To draw a line somewhere in that Being makes no sense, since the only reference point from which to try and divide the totality of Being is the totality of Being. You saw reality is made out of various components, but it does not seem to me that this is an interpretation 'given to us' by Being itself, but invented by us. The implications of what he's saying, if I interpret them correctly, is just that. That our divisions of the world are distinctly 'subjective'.

I think you misinterpret the 'uniformity' slightly. I think he's trying to say that Being = Being, not that if you decide, yourself, to differentiate the undifferentiated Being that you will find every part to be identical, you will merely have no 'objective' reason to draw lines around things. I don't think this entails that we would have to share consciousness, it merely entails that the consciousness emerges from an 'indistinct' physical reality and differentiates itself.

It is from my research that I have concluded that Parmenides really does believe that reality is entirely uniform. If this is incorrect, however, your explanations certainly do make sense and would also be interesting topics for debate (especially the way you described how our perspectives allow us to divide "Being" into separate parts).


I suppose what he's trying to do in his first argument then is argue that 'non-existence' doesn't exist, because that might sabotage his intention to declare that Being is undifferentiated, since if nothing could exist then that might be grounds for differentiation.

"1. If something "becomes," it must either come from something or nothing
2. Something cannot come from nothing
3. Something cannot come from something
4. Thus, there is only being and there is no change
C: What exists was not born and will not die"

This, I think, is a statement of the idea that Being simply is. If things can 'become', then differentiation is possible. Again, consciousness raises an issue here, but I think if we deem consciousness as 'imaginary', that is to say 'unreal', or 'pure negation' as Sartre said, then this problem doesn't exist, because consciousness is imaginary, and the 'coming and going' of imaginary things is not a 'real' occurrence.

Interesting, but what of my alternative to his defense of premise 3 (this is what his entire argument here seems to revolve around)?

As for the topic of consciousness:

It would certainly tie in with what you said earlier about humans perceiving reality as different components, when in reality it is just one component. Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that consciousness is not a real occurrence. If it is not a real occurrence, that must mean that it does not exist, and that which does not exist is nothing; however, Parmenides argues that nothing does not exist (this is how he supports his argument of motion being an illusion), which is the same as saying non-existence does not exist. This is a contradiction, do you see?

Ignoring the contradiction and continuing on, Parmenides argues that nothing does not exist, meaning our consciousness cannot not exist. Furthermore, if our consciousness is an illusion, the fact remains that the illusion exists, and that a multitude of different consciousnesses (and consequently illusions) also exist in reality. These different illusions are technically part of reality, thus disproving his argument that reality is uniform.

Needless to say, you didn't have to apologize for ranting, because there is no seems to be no other way to explain this! I apologize if you have to read this multiple times to get what I'm saying, as I find it somewhat difficult to convey this odd topic to a different person.
s-anthony
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4/20/2014 12:29:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/19/2014 6:32:01 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
Recently, my Latin teacher gave me an assignment where I had to present Parmenides and his philosophical ideas to the class (with reality being uniform and indivisible and what not), and needless to say it was rather confusing, but I managed to give a pretty decent presentation.

Despite having to research it, however, I still don't feel like I fully understand this. I was hoping to have a debate on the topic of Parmenides's reality, but I don't feel as if I understand the topic well enough to give any good arguments for or against it. If anyone could address my questions, then I'd gladly appreciate it. I'm sure some of you have heard about him a million times, but I suppose I'm a novice in the realm of philosophy, and it would be great if someone else could help me on this.

I also realize I didn't really put the arguments in the proper 3 lined syllogism format, but just bear with me. I didn't really intend for them to be syllogisms, just arguments listed in a numbered format (eh ... whatever).

First and foremost, I'd like to know the purpose of the following argument (I summarize all the following arguments in my own words):

1. Anything we can conceive either exists or does not exist
2. Anything that does not exist is nothing
3. It is impossible to conceive a concept of nothingness
4. To formulate a concept, something must be thought of
5. We cannot conceive a concept of that which does not exist
C: Therefore, anything we conceive is something

I understand it, but I don't really see how it goes toward supporting his argument of how reality is. It's quite obvious that anything we think of must have substance, so what purpose was there in establishing such an argument? I recognize he uses this conclusion later on, but the way he uses it seems to be incorrect (the argument that he uses this conclusion in is below).

1. Motion requires empty space to move through
2. Empty space is that which is not
3. That which is not does not exist
A. Non-being is unconceivable
5. Consequently, all movement is an illusion

In premise 3 A., from my understanding, Parmenides is essentially arguing that because we cannot conceive non-being (proved in the first set of arguments) and everything we do conceive is something, movement is an illusion (since movement would require non-being).

However, everything we conceive is only something in the sense that what we conceive has some kind of substance to it (I do not mean physical substance; I just use substance for lack of a better term). This is what Parmenides established in the first argument, correct? He did not establish, however, that everything we can conceive exists (e.g. I can think of a dancing unicorn that exists right in front of me, but there isn't a dancing unicorn in front of me). So I fail to see how this can be used to support that nothing does not exist and motion is impossible.

The dancing unicorn is no more or less the contents of consciousness than anything, else, you experience. You see the phenomenal world, as existing beyond your own experience and the dancing unicorn as, merely, a product of your imagination; however, anything beyond your experience is beyond your experience; in other words, you can't prove the existence of anything outside of your experience; the dancing unicorn is just as much your experience as the phenomenal world is.


My second question has to do with Parmenides and his argument that nothing can be born and nothing can die.

1. If something "becomes," it must either come from something or nothing
2. Something cannot come from nothing
3. Something cannot come from something
4. Thus, there is only being and there is no change
C: What exists was not born and will not die

In the third premise, I have heard of two ways of how Parmenides defends it (one is rather weak so I won't ask about it). His primary defense seems to be that, because reality is uniform and encompasses everything that exists, then how can it come from something else if reality is everything? In other words, how can something else create everything, if that something else should have been part of everything?

There exists an answer to this, and I was wondering if there is a counter to it. Reality can come from something else, because reality in this form didn't always have to exist. Rather, something else could have originally been the reality, and it could have created what we recognize as reality as today, and thus something can come from something.

If something came from something, then, all it could be is that which something was; in other words, one divided by itself is still one. However, you may ask, "What if one were broken up into lesser values?". So, instead of having only one, in its place, there were mere fractions of one. I have given this much thought, and, for me, it creates an impossible conundrum: namely, in order for reality to be coherent, its variables must be relative to each other; and, in order to relate, there must be a connection; and, being connected, it must be one. However, being one, there are no variables; and, all things only have a single value; which is meaningless. Yet, what if all things were one, as the Ocean is one, and undulate as waves across the Ocean's surface?


His defense of premise three also relies on the assumption that reality is uniform (and I couldn't find an argument that had a good argument for it; the best I found is below).

1. If Being (what is) is divided, then it is being divided by what is (Being)
2. Reality cannot be divided from itself
C: Therefore, Being is one, indivisible, and uniform

He vastly generalizes everything to a single thing: reality (he refers to it as Being). From there, he argues that because reality cannot be divided by anything else except that which exists (i.e. reality), then it's not really being divided (e.g. you don't divide water with more water; it's all a uniform substance).

Reality is being, in it can't be nonbeing; because, nonbeing is nothing.

You raise a good point about water's dividing itself. This makes me reconsider my Ocean analogy: The Ocean undulates, because of an outside force; on its surface, it is, primarily, the wind. However, if reality is singular, there is no outside force; and, the undulations must be self-produced. This would be an impossibility; because, one cannot be divided by itself.


Are there any other arguments other than this supporting uniformity of reality for Parmenides? Because as it stands, this is getting rather absurd. Reality is not a single component and is made up of a multitude of other objects that contrast with one another. The only thing Parmenides seems to have proved is that reality is uniform in that all reality is reality, which is just stating the obvious.

It would be akin to looking at a planet in a closed system and stating, "This planet is completely uniform, because if that planet were to be divided, then it would be divided by only itself, meaning that the planet is completely uniform and indivisible."

Lastly, I'd like to know if Parmenides ever addressed the following:

Reality is uniform and encompasses everything that exists (according to Parmenides). Since humans exist, we are also part of this reality and are the same as everything else that makes up reality (because reality is uniform); however, if this is the case, then why do we perceive things differently from one another, and why are we able to perceive things in the first place when other things are not? If we are all truly uniform, we should perceive things in exactly the same way and all have a single, linked consciousness instead of multiple consciousnesses.

If I mis-interpreted any of his arguments or I'm just plain wron
Wocambs
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4/20/2014 11:06:24 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/19/2014 8:58:51 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:

"There exists an answer to this, and I was wondering if there is a counter to it. Reality can come from something else, because reality in this form didn't always have to exist. Rather, something else could have originally been the reality, and it could have created what we recognize as reality as today, and thus something can come from something"

So you would be saying that in reality there is a latent reality, a potential that is yet to be expressed properly, and thus when it is expressed properly a real change has occurred? Hmm... This does seem to be the case, but I think it might perhaps be guilty of 'assuming a perspective', i.e. within the present. So while it might seem that a fire comes from the wood, if we view the situation without a perspective on time, as we are indeed trying to view it without any perspective then so such 'change' occurs. If it is legitimate to exclude a time-perspective, and so imagine somehow that when you look at the bundle of sticks what you see is before, during and after the fire, every single moment appearing at the same time (that's not meant to make any analytic sense, just to convey what I mean haha), then it would seem that there is no change.

I might be misinterpreting what you mean, of course. I'm assuming 'unburnt stick > burning stick > ash' is 'something coming from something'. You seem to be saying it on a more cosmic scale, but maybe it still works.

"It would certainly tie in with what you said earlier about humans perceiving reality as different components, when in reality it is just one component. Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that consciousness is not a real occurrence. If it is not a real occurrence, that must mean that it does not exist, and that which does not exist is nothing; however, Parmenides argues that nothing does not exist (this is how he supports his argument of motion being an illusion), which is the same as saying non-existence does not exist. This is a contradiction, do you see?

Ignoring the contradiction and continuing on, Parmenides argues that nothing does not exist, meaning our consciousness cannot not exist. Furthermore, if our consciousness is an illusion, the fact remains that the illusion exists, and that a multitude of different consciousnesses (and consequently illusions) also exist in reality. These different illusions are technically part of reality, thus disproving his argument that reality is uniform."

This is a very interesting point, because saying that I do not exist appears to be very clearly false. I'm in a bit of a rush, but perhaps this problem is being caused by the conflation of these ideas: 'that which does not exist', 'that which is imaginary', 'that which is unreal' and 'that which is necessarily coloured by perspective'.

As you can see I cannot particularly answer the question at the moment, but I guess the solution would look something like arguing that what we are really trying to say by 'unreal' or 'non-existent' is not that it doesn't 'exist', but that it has no authority on Being, if that makes any sense. We obviously can't dismiss such things.
AlbinoBunny
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4/20/2014 11:52:26 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/19/2014 8:25:57 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 4/19/2014 6:32:01 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:

His views seem pretty similar to mine, though I would be so bold as to say I have surpassed him...

"1. Motion requires empty space to move through

Does it?

2. Empty space is that which is not

Sounds right.

3. That which is not does not exist

Possibly.

A. Non-being is unconceivable

?

5. Consequently, all movement is an illusion"

Possibly, interesting idea.


I think he's basically saying 'To move is to move through 'empty space', but that's nothing, and you can't perform an action on 'nothing' so you cannot 'move through it', since you would be moving through nothing, i.e. not moving at all. therefore according to that definition of movement, it is an illusion.

I don't really think that his previous argument, that "anything we conceive is something", is particularly useful, unless you interpret that how I interpret it, which is that 'since it is impossible to talk about something 'non-existent' since that is 'nothing', things like magical unicorns must be understood as things that exist 'abstractly' as concepts. They are 'imaginary' terms, of which 'nothing' is included... perhaps he's saying that movement isn't nothing, but an illusion, since it must be something? I'm not quite sure haha.

"1. If Being (what is) is divided, then it is being divided by what is (Being)

It sounds like he's saying that everything is being, all being, and nothing but being. That he's defining that everything is one, indivisible and uniform in this premise. Maybe I don't understand it though.

2. Reality cannot be divided from itself
C: Therefore, Being is one, indivisible, and uniform"

I think he's trying to say that if we consider existence without our subjective perspective on it, then it is simply Being. To draw a line somewhere in that Being makes no sense, since the only reference point from which to try and divide the totality of Being is the totality of Being. You saw reality is made out of various components, but it does not seem to me that this is an interpretation 'given to us' by Being itself, but invented by us. The implications of what he's saying, if I interpret them correctly, is just that. That our divisions of the world are distinctly 'subjective'.

I think you misinterpret the 'uniformity' slightly. I think he's trying to say that Being = Being, not that if you decide, yourself, to differentiate the undifferentiated Being that you will find every part to be identical, you will merely have no 'objective' reason to draw lines around things. I don't think this entails that we would have to share consciousness, it merely entails that the consciousness emerges from an 'indistinct' physical reality and differentiates itself.

I suppose what he's trying to do in his first argument then is argue that 'non-existence' doesn't exist, because that might sabotage his intention to declare that Being is undifferentiated, since if nothing could exist then that might be grounds for differentiation.

"1. If something "becomes," it must either come from something or nothing
2. Something cannot come from nothing

Maybe.

3. Something cannot come from something

Maybe.

4. Thus, there is only being and there is no change
C: What exists was not born and will not die"

Quite convincing.


This, I think, is a statement of the idea that Being simply is. If things can 'become', then differentiation is possible. Again, consciousness raises an issue here, but I think if we deem consciousness as 'imaginary', that is to say 'unreal', or 'pure negation' as Sartre said, then this problem doesn't exist, because consciousness is imaginary, and the 'coming and going' of imaginary things is not a 'real' occurrence.

I'm just ranting, so excuse the 'train of thought' style of writing... I think he and I are pretty much in agreement, so feel free to ask me questions. I'd just like to say that this way of thinking isn't 'anti-scientific' by any means, it is the awareness of what I would allege is the fact that we understand the world in a way that is not 'objective'. It doesn't mean that the divisions we make are 'false' provided we understand them for what they are. Measuring things clearly works, but it's an abstraction.

To illustrate the 'applications' of this way of thinking, in case you think it's completely pointless:
'Why is there something rather than nothing?' - Well, 'nothing' is imaginary, so naturally there just is Being. The question, to Parmenides and I, I imagine, appears as 'Why is there reality instead of something unreal?' which makes the answer obvious, since that which is unreal is not a real 'possibility' (indeed, anything other than Being is an absurdity, and so there are no 'real possibilities')

Maybe being, is just. Doesn't seem satisfying, but oh well.


Infinity. If this line is infinitely long, then ----A----B----C--- are all equally far apart from each other, despite A apparently being further away from C than B is. Infinity is purely imaginary, and so ABC are not separated by a real distance, making the question based on a fallacy.

Not separated by a finite distance. Maybe it is a fallacy.


Oh, and maybe I should try and clarify what I said about consciousness. Well... imagine a swirling pool of water. Maybe the foam will create images of faces, cars, dogs, but they aren't real. The water isn't saying 'Here is a dog', the dog is something imaginary, but the shape of the foam is still real and interacts with the rest of the water - though of course such 'interaction' isn't suggested by the water either, it's just Being.

I suppose one point against all this would be 'the past Being is not identical to the present Being', but again I suppose this is subjective, since it assumes a 'present' standpoint and suggests that something can act upon itself to change itself, which I don't think makes sense (acting 'on yourself' being 'properly understood' as a mouth eating itself, I suppose).

A human can act on itself?


Sorry for the rant, heh.

I don't know philosophy. Also I realise these aren't your arguments.
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4/20/2014 11:58:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 12:29:25 AM, s-anthony wrote:

The dancing unicorn is no more or less the contents of consciousness than anything, else, you experience. You see the phenomenal world, as existing beyond your own experience and the dancing unicorn as, merely, a product of your imagination; however, anything beyond your experience is beyond your experience; in other words, you can't prove the existence of anything outside of your experience; the dancing unicorn is just as much your experience as the phenomenal world is.

To clarify, are you stating that I cannot truly verify anything beyond what I experience?

What if I had a family member or a friend come into the room, or I brought another, and another, and another?

All of their experiences would be in agreement with mine; there was no dancing unicorn; thus, through communication with others, is it not possible to verify things beyond my own existence?

Well, I'm not really taking solipsism into account, as that gets rather troublesome to deal with ...

If something came from something, then, all it could be is that which something was; in other words, one divided by itself is still one. However, you may ask, "What if one were broken up into lesser values?". So, instead of having only one, in its place, there were mere fractions of one. I have given this much thought, and, for me, it creates an impossible conundrum: namely, in order for reality to be coherent, its variables must be relative to each other; and, in order to relate, there must be a connection; and, being connected, it must be one. However, being one, there are no variables; and, all things only have a single value; which is meaningless. Yet, what if all things were one, as the Ocean is one, and undulate as waves across the Ocean's surface?

This is certainly a good way of explaining it. It's consistent with many of the laws of conservation of "X," and is consistent with many scientists' claims that the total energy of the universe sums to 0.

Although I don't really want to bring God into the topic, I will briefly mention something akin to him. If a supernatural being existed that was capable of defying the laws of conservation and creating matter from nothing, then we would no longer have the total sum of 1 as you suggested, but rather we would have an additional sum of 1, making "2."

That is an interesting analogy, comparing the ocean to reality; however, we must consider what causes the ocean to have waves. Earthquakes can result in tsunamis, the gravitational pull of the moon results in the tides of the ocean, and the wind can also influence the ocean's waves. These may be going outside the analogy, but it demonstrates that there are a variety of outside factors that affect the ocean (or, in this case, our reality).


Reality is being, in it can't be nonbeing; because, nonbeing is nothing.

You raise a good point about water's dividing itself. This makes me reconsider my Ocean analogy: The Ocean undulates, because of an outside force; on its surface, it is, primarily, the wind. However, if reality is singular, there is no outside force; and, the undulations must be self-produced. This would be an impossibility; because, one cannot be divided by itself.

I see that you have also addressed the outside forces acting upon the ocean.

You do bring up a good point that, if reality is singular and encompasses all that exists, there can be no outside force to act upon reality, and the "undulations" of reality must be self-produced. But how are they self-produced? What in reality is causing them?

Furthermore, reality has a variety of different components (e.g. you, me, the lawn mower outside my house, the sun shining brightly onto me, the air that I'm breathing, etc.). Wocambs brought up an interesting point that all of this is just a result of our perspectives on reality and it's all consequentially not real; however, why would we suppose this? What is there to suggest that our perspectives are not real? I also told this to Wocambs, but I'd like to see how you'd respond, if you don't mind:

If our perspectives of reality are not real, then they must not exist. If they don't exist, then they are nothing. Nothing cannot exist (as argued by Parmenides to demonstrate that motion is an illusion), which consequentially means that non-existence does not exist. This is a contradiction, do you see?

Ignoring the contradiction and moving on, if our perspectives are not real but are simply illusions, then the fact remains that people have different perspectives on different matters, which means there are different illusions within existence. If there exist different illusions and these illusions are part of reality, then how can reality be uniform?

I thank you and Wocambs for taking the time to respond to my lengthy posts.
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4/20/2014 12:05:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 11:52:26 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:

The 'perspective' this line of thinking attempts to argue for is that the world, considered without a subjective perspective, is undifferentiated. Consciousness/perspective is differentiation, which is not a fallacy per se, but attempting to consider the world 'objectively' through a certain perspective (here and now, me and that which is not me) is fallacious, and understanding this solves many conceptual problems. An understanding of the world in 'good faith' accepts the subjectivity of our differentiation and the 'lack of reality' that certain thoughts of ours possess (such as nothingness, infinity).
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4/20/2014 12:07:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 11:06:24 AM, Wocambs wrote:

So you would be saying that in reality there is a latent reality, a potential that is yet to be expressed properly, and thus when it is expressed properly a real change has occurred? Hmm... This does seem to be the case, but I think it might perhaps be guilty of 'assuming a perspective', i.e. within the present. So while it might seem that a fire comes from the wood, if we view the situation without a perspective on time, as we are indeed trying to view it without any perspective then so such 'change' occurs. If it is legitimate to exclude a time-perspective, and so imagine somehow that when you look at the bundle of sticks what you see is before, during and after the fire, every single moment appearing at the same time (that's not meant to make any analytic sense, just to convey what I mean haha), then it would seem that there is no change.

Hmm, I would be more saying that the reality of today has not always been everything that has existed, and it's possible for something else to have existed that created this "everything" that we observe today. I suppose it's similar to saying there is a latent reality within this reality.

I have to admit I'm a bit confused by the wood and fire analogy.

If we looked at wood burning at every single moment instead of looking at it burning through time, we'd never see anything happen (although, not necessarily for the same reasons you proposed).

Let's suppose the wood started burning at 4:00 p.m. and ended at 4:10 p.m., and we wanted to take a "snapshot" of every single moment of the wood burning. Well, quite simply, we can't. Before we can get to 4:10, we have to get to 4:05, and before we can get to 4:05, we have to get to 4 minutes and 2.5 seconds, and so on. In other words, there will be an infinite amount of numbers and "snapshots" we have to take until we get to 4:10 p.m., and nothing would happen.

This is a very interesting point, because saying that I do not exist appears to be very clearly false. I'm in a bit of a rush, but perhaps this problem is being caused by the conflation of these ideas: 'that which does not exist', 'that which is imaginary', 'that which is unreal' and 'that which is necessarily coloured by perspective'.

As you can see I cannot particularly answer the question at the moment, but I guess the solution would look something like arguing that what we are really trying to say by 'unreal' or 'non-existent' is not that it doesn't 'exist', but that it has no authority on Being, if that makes any sense. We obviously can't dismiss such things.

So you mean that non-existence does not exist within Being, but can exist outside it, since it has "not authority on Being," as you put it?
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4/20/2014 12:08:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 12:05:36 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 4/20/2014 11:52:26 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:

The 'perspective' this line of thinking attempts to argue for is that the world, considered without a subjective perspective, is undifferentiated. Consciousness/perspective is differentiation, which is not a fallacy per se, but attempting to consider the world 'objectively' through a certain perspective (here and now, me and that which is not me) is fallacious, and understanding this solves many conceptual problems. An understanding of the world in 'good faith' accepts the subjectivity of our differentiation and the 'lack of reality' that certain thoughts of ours possess (such as nothingness, infinity).

Undifferentiated meaning?
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4/20/2014 12:09:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 11:52:26 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:

I don't have time to address all of your post, but I can assure you that movement requires empty space to move through. Typically, Parmenides's arguments begin with a statement that is true or obvious, but after about the third premise, it starts to become questionable.
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4/20/2014 12:11:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 12:09:20 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 4/20/2014 11:52:26 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:

I don't have time to address all of your post, but I can assure you that movement requires empty space to move through. Typically, Parmenides's arguments begin with a statement that is true or obvious, but after about the third premise, it starts to become questionable.

Why does movement require empty space?
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4/20/2014 12:15:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 12:11:16 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:09:20 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 4/20/2014 11:52:26 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:

I don't have time to address all of your post, but I can assure you that movement requires empty space to move through. Typically, Parmenides's arguments begin with a statement that is true or obvious, but after about the third premise, it starts to become questionable.

Why does movement require empty space?

To begin with, in reality nothing really touches anything. My hands, technically speaking, are not touching my keyboard right now, because the atoms that compose my hands and the atoms that compose my fingers aren't actually touching one another. They are repulsing each other. Most of an atom is empty space. If you wanted an idea of how much of an atom is empty space, let's suppose we enlarged it to the size of a football field. The nucleus would be about the size of a marble.

Furthermore, you cannot move through something that exists. If I tried walking through a wall, it would not work. If I had enough strength, I could potentially break through the wall with my fist, but what would be happening is that the wall would be pushed away from my fist, thus giving me empty space to move through.

I am able to move through air because there exists large amounts of empty space in air. The air molecules are repulsed when they hit me, allowing me to move through the empty space that exists between air molecules.
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4/20/2014 12:20:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 12:15:33 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:11:16 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:09:20 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 4/20/2014 11:52:26 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:

I don't have time to address all of your post, but I can assure you that movement requires empty space to move through. Typically, Parmenides's arguments begin with a statement that is true or obvious, but after about the third premise, it starts to become questionable.

Why does movement require empty space?

To begin with, in reality nothing really touches anything. My hands, technically speaking, are not touching my keyboard right now, because the atoms that compose my hands and the atoms that compose my fingers aren't actually touching one another. They are repulsing each other.

Van der Walls' force?

Most of an atom is empty space. If you wanted an idea of how much of an atom is empty space, let's suppose we enlarged it to the size of a football field. The nucleus would be about the size of a marble.

Yeah, the nucleus is similar to the size of a tennis ball compared to the atom the size of the empire state building, or something.


Furthermore, you cannot move through something that exists. If I tried walking through a wall, it would not work.

Because the atoms form a solid material.

If I had enough strength, I could potentially break through the wall with my fist, but what would be happening is that the wall would be pushed away from my fist, thus giving me empty space to move through.

Separate the solid material.


I am able to move through air because there exists large amounts of empty space in air.

Space without atoms.

The air molecules are repulsed when they hit me, allowing me to move through the empty space that exists between air molecules.

But is that space truly "empty"?
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4/20/2014 12:24:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 12:08:08 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:05:36 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 4/20/2014 11:52:26 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:

The 'perspective' this line of thinking attempts to argue for is that the world, considered without a subjective perspective, is undifferentiated. Consciousness/perspective is differentiation, which is not a fallacy per se, but attempting to consider the world 'objectively' through a certain perspective (here and now, me and that which is not me) is fallacious, and understanding this solves many conceptual problems. An understanding of the world in 'good faith' accepts the subjectivity of our differentiation and the 'lack of reality' that certain thoughts of ours possess (such as nothingness, infinity).

Undifferentiated meaning?

It's all 'the same'. There is no A,B,C, just this one undifferentiated reality. You can only ever talk of 'reality' - all there is and ever will be considered as one entity.
AlbinoBunny
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4/20/2014 12:29:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 12:24:21 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:08:08 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:05:36 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 4/20/2014 11:52:26 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:

The 'perspective' this line of thinking attempts to argue for is that the world, considered without a subjective perspective, is undifferentiated. Consciousness/perspective is differentiation, which is not a fallacy per se, but attempting to consider the world 'objectively' through a certain perspective (here and now, me and that which is not me) is fallacious, and understanding this solves many conceptual problems. An understanding of the world in 'good faith' accepts the subjectivity of our differentiation and the 'lack of reality' that certain thoughts of ours possess (such as nothingness, infinity).

Undifferentiated meaning?

It's all 'the same'. There is no A,B,C, just this one undifferentiated reality. You can only ever talk of 'reality' - all there is and ever will be considered as one entity.

So there is no variation in reality? What we see as variation is subjective?
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4/20/2014 12:29:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 12:20:40 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:

Van der Walls' force?

Yes, but more generally intermolecular forces.

Because the atoms form a solid material.

Yes, and this solid material does not have enough empty space for me to move through them (unlike air), meaning I cannot move through the solid.

Separate the solid material.

This would consequentially form enough empty space between the parts of the solid, allowing me to move. If there was no empty space, I could not move.

But is that space truly "empty"?

Of physical matter? Yes. You could argue the definition of "nothingness" and say that there isn't true nothing between the atoms, since quantum fields exist there.

The point remains that I require empty space to move through, however.
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4/20/2014 12:32:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 12:29:29 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:20:40 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:

Van der Walls' force?

Yes, but more generally intermolecular forces.

Because the atoms form a solid material.

Yes, and this solid material does not have enough empty space for me to move through them (unlike air), meaning I cannot move through the solid.

Separate the solid material.

This would consequentially form enough empty space between the parts of the solid, allowing me to move. If there was no empty space, I could not move.

But is that space truly "empty"?

Of physical matter? Yes. You could argue the definition of "nothingness" and say that there isn't true nothing between the atoms, since quantum fields exist there.

The point remains that I require empty space to move through, however.

Wasn't empty space defined as being nothing? Or having nothing contained in it? Just because atomic forces prevent you from moving through solid materials doesn't mean for you to be able to move that you need to move through "nothingness". At least I don't think it does.
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4/20/2014 12:43:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 12:32:38 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:29:29 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:20:40 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:

Van der Walls' force?

Yes, but more generally intermolecular forces.

Because the atoms form a solid material.

Yes, and this solid material does not have enough empty space for me to move through them (unlike air), meaning I cannot move through the solid.

Separate the solid material.

This would consequentially form enough empty space between the parts of the solid, allowing me to move. If there was no empty space, I could not move.

But is that space truly "empty"?

Of physical matter? Yes. You could argue the definition of "nothingness" and say that there isn't true nothing between the atoms, since quantum fields exist there.

The point remains that I require empty space to move through, however.

Wasn't empty space defined as being nothing? Or having nothing contained in it? Just because atomic forces prevent you from moving through solid materials doesn't mean for you to be able to move that you need to move through "nothingness". At least I don't think it does.

Then you'd have to provide me with an example of when movement does not require empty space.
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4/20/2014 1:20:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 12:29:20 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:24:21 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:08:08 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:05:36 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 4/20/2014 11:52:26 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:

The 'perspective' this line of thinking attempts to argue for is that the world, considered without a subjective perspective, is undifferentiated. Consciousness/perspective is differentiation, which is not a fallacy per se, but attempting to consider the world 'objectively' through a certain perspective (here and now, me and that which is not me) is fallacious, and understanding this solves many conceptual problems. An understanding of the world in 'good faith' accepts the subjectivity of our differentiation and the 'lack of reality' that certain thoughts of ours possess (such as nothingness, infinity).

Undifferentiated meaning?

It's all 'the same'. There is no A,B,C, just this one undifferentiated reality. You can only ever talk of 'reality' - all there is and ever will be considered as one entity.

So there is no variation in reality? What we see as variation is subjective?

Not quite, it's more like 'Variation from what?'. Sure, if you cut reality up into pieces then those pieces are not identical, but if you do not cut it up then you cannot say there is any variation since you can only compare the totality of reality (lol) to itself, naturally, so there will be no variation between 'Being' and 'Being'. It's the act of 'cutting up' that is subjective, not the variation that can be seen afterwards, but that's only possible to observe with such separation.
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4/20/2014 1:48:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 12:07:03 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:

"Hmm, I would be more saying that the reality of today has not always been everything that has existed, and it's possible for something else to have existed that created this "everything" that we observe today. I suppose it's similar to saying there is a latent reality within this reality"

If you're saying that a latent reality has been revealed, then that would be the time thing, but if you're saying that at some point reality has been 'added to' then wouldn't that be something from nothing?

"I have to admit I'm a bit confused by the wood and fire analogy" - That's all right, since I was just trying to convey some strange imaginative process of mine where I try to perceive the universe without the perspective of the present haha, so that the passage of time appears as one picture. You're right about the whole snapshot thing.

"So you mean that non-existence does not exist within Being, but can exist outside it, since it has "not authority on Being," as you put it?"

Well, I'm just thinking that we have no problem saying that the thought of a unicorn exists only abstractly, so we might go further and say that all consciousness is similarly only abstractly existent. You then raised the point that doesn't this imply that consciousness is not part of reality, and therefore non-existent... but I do exist. Perhaps then, I must say that I exist abstractly. I suppose that makes sense, actually, since I have been saying that to view reality objectively, I must destroy any sense of perspective, and what more am I than a perspective? This is not to say that I'm sabotaging morality either haha.

Thanks by the way. You have pushed me towards the conclusion that consciousness is 'outside' reality in that it is 'unreal', 'abstract', etc. I am not 'reality', I am something else, which is how I may approach it from a perspective. I'm not sure how accurate that is but its getting there...
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4/20/2014 4:29:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 12:43:54 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:32:38 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:29:29 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:20:40 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:

Van der Walls' force?

Yes, but more generally intermolecular forces.

Because the atoms form a solid material.

Yes, and this solid material does not have enough empty space for me to move through them (unlike air), meaning I cannot move through the solid.

Separate the solid material.

This would consequentially form enough empty space between the parts of the solid, allowing me to move. If there was no empty space, I could not move.

But is that space truly "empty"?

Of physical matter? Yes. You could argue the definition of "nothingness" and say that there isn't true nothing between the atoms, since quantum fields exist there.

The point remains that I require empty space to move through, however.

Wasn't empty space defined as being nothing? Or having nothing contained in it? Just because atomic forces prevent you from moving through solid materials doesn't mean for you to be able to move that you need to move through "nothingness". At least I don't think it does.

Then you'd have to provide me with an example of when movement does not require empty space.

What do you classify as empty space? An area with no atoms in it?
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4/20/2014 4:31:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 1:20:04 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:29:20 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:24:21 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:08:08 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:05:36 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 4/20/2014 11:52:26 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:

The 'perspective' this line of thinking attempts to argue for is that the world, considered without a subjective perspective, is undifferentiated. Consciousness/perspective is differentiation, which is not a fallacy per se, but attempting to consider the world 'objectively' through a certain perspective (here and now, me and that which is not me) is fallacious, and understanding this solves many conceptual problems. An understanding of the world in 'good faith' accepts the subjectivity of our differentiation and the 'lack of reality' that certain thoughts of ours possess (such as nothingness, infinity).

Undifferentiated meaning?

It's all 'the same'. There is no A,B,C, just this one undifferentiated reality. You can only ever talk of 'reality' - all there is and ever will be considered as one entity.

So there is no variation in reality? What we see as variation is subjective?

Not quite, it's more like 'Variation from what?'. Sure, if you cut reality up into pieces then those pieces are not identical, but if you do not cut it up then you cannot say there is any variation since you can only compare the totality of reality (lol) to itself, naturally, so there will be no variation between 'Being' and 'Being'. It's the act of 'cutting up' that is subjective, not the variation that can be seen afterwards, but that's only possible to observe with such separation.

So he says that reality is the same as itself?
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4/20/2014 4:42:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 4:29:49 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:43:54 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:32:38 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:29:29 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:20:40 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:

Van der Walls' force?

Yes, but more generally intermolecular forces.

Because the atoms form a solid material.

Yes, and this solid material does not have enough empty space for me to move through them (unlike air), meaning I cannot move through the solid.

Separate the solid material.

This would consequentially form enough empty space between the parts of the solid, allowing me to move. If there was no empty space, I could not move.

But is that space truly "empty"?

Of physical matter? Yes. You could argue the definition of "nothingness" and say that there isn't true nothing between the atoms, since quantum fields exist there.

The point remains that I require empty space to move through, however.

Wasn't empty space defined as being nothing? Or having nothing contained in it? Just because atomic forces prevent you from moving through solid materials doesn't mean for you to be able to move that you need to move through "nothingness". At least I don't think it does.

Then you'd have to provide me with an example of when movement does not require empty space.

What do you classify as empty space? An area with no atoms in it?

I suppose for the purposes of this discussion, I'd classify empty space as an area that has no physical substance in it. So, to answer your question, yes.
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4/20/2014 4:46:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 4:31:29 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 1:20:04 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:29:20 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:24:21 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:08:08 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:05:36 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 4/20/2014 11:52:26 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:

The 'perspective' this line of thinking attempts to argue for is that the world, considered without a subjective perspective, is undifferentiated. Consciousness/perspective is differentiation, which is not a fallacy per se, but attempting to consider the world 'objectively' through a certain perspective (here and now, me and that which is not me) is fallacious, and understanding this solves many conceptual problems. An understanding of the world in 'good faith' accepts the subjectivity of our differentiation and the 'lack of reality' that certain thoughts of ours possess (such as nothingness, infinity).

Undifferentiated meaning?

It's all 'the same'. There is no A,B,C, just this one undifferentiated reality. You can only ever talk of 'reality' - all there is and ever will be considered as one entity.

So there is no variation in reality? What we see as variation is subjective?

Not quite, it's more like 'Variation from what?'. Sure, if you cut reality up into pieces then those pieces are not identical, but if you do not cut it up then you cannot say there is any variation since you can only compare the totality of reality (lol) to itself, naturally, so there will be no variation between 'Being' and 'Being'. It's the act of 'cutting up' that is subjective, not the variation that can be seen afterwards, but that's only possible to observe with such separation.

So he says that reality is the same as itself?

Well, 'difference' seems to require two differing parties, so yes... though A=A might require perspective too, since A=A entails that A =/= not-A, and 'not-A' is unreal by definition. Not saying the law of identity is wrong, obviously.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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4/21/2014 12:20:29 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/20/2014 11:58:42 AM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 4/20/2014 12:29:25 AM, s-anthony wrote:

The dancing unicorn is no more or less the contents of consciousness than anything, else, you experience. You see the phenomenal world, as existing beyond your own experience and the dancing unicorn as, merely, a product of your imagination; however, anything beyond your experience is beyond your experience; in other words, you can't prove the existence of anything outside of your experience; the dancing unicorn is just as much your experience as the phenomenal world is.

To clarify, are you stating that I cannot truly verify anything beyond what I experience?

Yes.


What if I had a family member or a friend come into the room, or I brought another, and another, and another?

The family member, friend, or others are all apart of your experience; if you didn't experience them, you would not be aware of their existence.


All of their experiences would be in agreement with mine; there was no dancing unicorn; thus, through communication with others, is it not possible to verify things beyond my own existence?

In as much as you experience them, you experience them; you don't experience that which you don't experience. You say their experiences; however, their experiences are your experiences, in as much as you experience them. In other words, they may have experiences, apart from your experience, however that which you experience is the telling of those experiences, not the experiences, themselves; you don't experience, that which you don't experience; that's a contradiction in terms.


Well, I'm not really taking solipsism into account, as that gets rather troublesome to deal with ...

If something came from something, then, all it could be is that which something was; in other words, one divided by itself is still one. However, you may ask, "What if one were broken up into lesser values?". So, instead of having only one, in its place, there were mere fractions of one. I have given this much thought, and, for me, it creates an impossible conundrum: namely, in order for reality to be coherent, its variables must be relative to each other; and, in order to relate, there must be a connection; and, being connected, it must be one. However, being one, there are no variables; and, all things only have a single value; which is meaningless. Yet, what if all things were one, as the Ocean is one, and undulate as waves across the Ocean's surface?

This is certainly a good way of explaining it. It's consistent with many of the laws of conservation of "X," and is consistent with many scientists' claims that the total energy of the universe sums to 0.

Although I don't really want to bring God into the topic, I will briefly mention something akin to him. If a supernatural being existed that was capable of defying the laws of conservation and creating matter from nothing, then we would no longer have the total sum of 1 as you suggested, but rather we would have an additional sum of 1, making "2."

If a metaphysical being existed, it would not be defined, by space and time. In other words, you could not use physical terms, such as tensed verbs, to describe it; it would be beyond action; because, action speaks of time; it would not change; because, change requires action; therefore, it would be eternally static. It would not be definable; because, in order to define something, you must set boundaries, around it; you must set lines of demarcation; you must give it its own space; you must say, "It's here, but not there." It would have no meaning, or value; it would be valueless; it would be nothing.


That is an interesting analogy, comparing the ocean to reality; however, we must consider what causes the ocean to have waves. Earthquakes can result in tsunamis, the gravitational pull of the moon results in the tides of the ocean, and the wind can also influence the ocean's waves. These may be going outside the analogy, but it demonstrates that there are a variety of outside factors that affect the ocean (or, in this case, our reality).


Reality is being, in it can't be nonbeing; because, nonbeing is nothing.

You raise a good point about water's dividing itself. This makes me reconsider my Ocean analogy: The Ocean undulates, because of an outside force; on its surface, it is, primarily, the wind. However, if reality is singular, there is no outside force; and, the undulations must be self-produced. This would be an impossibility; because, one cannot be divided by itself.

I see that you have also addressed the outside forces acting upon the ocean.

You do bring up a good point that, if reality is singular and encompasses all that exists, there can be no outside force to act upon reality, and the "undulations" of reality must be self-produced. But how are they self-produced? What in reality is causing them?

Furthermore, reality has a variety of different components (e.g. you, me, the lawn mower outside my house, the sun shining brightly onto me, the air that I'm breathing, etc.). Wocambs brought up an interesting point that all of this is just a result of our perspectives on reality and it's all consequentially not real; however, why would we suppose this? What is there to suggest that our perspectives are not real? I also told this to Wocambs, but I'd like to see how you'd respond, if you don't mind:

If our perspectives of reality are not real, then they must not exist. If they don't exist, then they are nothing. Nothing cannot exist (as argued by Parmenides to demonstrate that motion is an illusion), which consequentially means that non-existence does not exist. This is a contradiction, do you see?

More and more each day, I'm coming to the conclusion, reality is not one or the other but both: reality is a dynamic between being and nonbeing, a tug of war between that which is and that which isn't. However, the difficulty in this logic is one exists and the other doesn't. So, how could that which exists have interplay with that which doesn't? Something must exist, firstly, before it's even a factor. The great conundrum, as Shakespeare put it, is to be or not to be. For, if only existence exists, then, to speak of nonexistence is ludicrous; because, you can't speak of something that doesn't exist; in other words, you can't speak of nothing, as though it were something; for, if you were to speak of nothing, you would have nothing of which to speak.

This leads me to question the very nature of that which we call nothing. Is that which we have termed nothing indeed nothing, or is it something in the guise of nothing? Is the dynamic we define as consciousness, merely, the interplay between two very real interdependent phenomena, namely, that of energy and dark energy?


Ignoring the contradiction and moving on, if our perspectives are not real but are simply illusions, then the fact remains that people have different perspectives on different matters, which means there are different illusions within existence. If there exist different illusions and these illusions are part of reality, then how can reality be uniform?

I thank you and Wocambs for taking the time to respond to my lengthy posts.
sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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4/21/2014 1:55:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
To posit something is singular and uniform is to say it is indivisible even in theory (ie, that even if I did conceptually divide it all pieces would be identical), and nothing is indivisible in theory because 1 does divide into 0.5. Reality cannot be a single uniform mass without being non-existent. To exist at all is to contain distance, and distance and movement are one and the same; the relationship between one point and another in space is a causal one. To measure the time between an object now and an object in five minutes is to measure the movement of (distance between) objects in space. Hence, time and space are two methods of measuring the same thing.

"2. Something cannot come from nothing
3. Something cannot come from something"

I'd like to know the justification of this. Isn't this basically assuming the conclusion in terms of change not being possible?

Also, to posit reality is infinite is to posit that it came from nothing.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx