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Can you refute this proposition?

Orangatang
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8/8/2014 2:51:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Is it possible to reasonably refute the proposition: "Something exists." I see no reasonable justification for arguing against this disregarding semantic confusion. I think this proposition is special because it is seemingly irrefutable and can be known to be true with absolute certainty, it is not a counterfactual, and it is not a truth by it's own definition (like all bachelors are unmarried). Do you know of any other propositions like this that are absolutely true?
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Illegalcombatant
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8/8/2014 8:09:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I doubt it.

You have to start some here. I think "something exists" is the first move. Everything after that is debatable.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
sadolite
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8/8/2014 9:44:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
When I see stuff like this I wonder to myself, what is the point of pointlessness. What knowledge is to be gained arguing pointlessness. Asking people to refute existence? What is it an exercise in wanting to hear yourself talk for the sake of hearing yourself talk. in this case in the form of the written word. What if any intellectual value could be passed on? Does one think they have some new perspective on all of existence that every generation before them didn't already think about. What "hasn't" already been said about existence since the dawn of man is a better question and a better challenge.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

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Rational_Thinker9119
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8/8/2014 11:51:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/8/2014 2:51:11 PM, Orangatang wrote:
Is it possible to reasonably refute the proposition: "Something exists." I see no reasonable justification for arguing against this disregarding semantic confusion. I think this proposition is special because it is seemingly irrefutable and can be known to be true with absolute certainty, it is not a counterfactual, and it is not a truth by it's own definition (like all bachelors are unmarried). Do you know of any other propositions like this that are absolutely true?

This is an easy one; of course it is not possible to refute it! A refutation is something, ergo, the very act of trying to refute it presupposes that something exists (it would be a self-refuting argument). If one tries to claim that a refutation is nothing, then there is literally nothing to combat the proposition "something exists".

So, no it is not possible to reasonably refute the proposition.
Orangatang
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8/8/2014 11:51:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/8/2014 9:44:56 PM, sadolite wrote:
When I see stuff like this I wonder to myself, what is the point of pointlessness. What knowledge is to be gained arguing pointlessness. Asking people to refute existence? What is it an exercise in wanting to hear yourself talk for the sake of hearing yourself talk. in this case in the form of the written word. What if any intellectual value could be passed on? Does one think they have some new perspective on all of existence that every generation before them didn't already think about. What "hasn't" already been said about existence since the dawn of man is a better question and a better challenge.

I am genuinely interested in some reasonable argument against this proposition because I failed to do it in my first ever debate on this site regarding absolute certainty, and I still have not come up with an answer. I did not think there it was possible to know something with absolute certainty, until I came unto this proposition, counterfactuals, and perhaps some basic axioms of logic. This is just philosophical curiosity not some thread for me to boast about. I am asking for some other propositions that perhaps I am not aware about that is true and can be known with absolute certainty. I do this because I am extremely curious and passionate about what truth actually is.
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xXCryptoXx
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8/8/2014 11:52:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/8/2014 9:44:56 PM, sadolite wrote:
When I see stuff like this I wonder to myself, what is the point of pointlessness. What knowledge is to be gained arguing pointlessness. Asking people to refute existence? What is it an exercise in wanting to hear yourself talk for the sake of hearing yourself talk. in this case in the form of the written word. What if any intellectual value could be passed on? Does one think they have some new perspective on all of existence that every generation before them didn't already think about. What "hasn't" already been said about existence since the dawn of man is a better question and a better challenge.

Sadly, none but the greatest philosophers come up with new questions and areas to explore. Luckily many people don't posses the knowledge that already exists, so I see no problem with someone repeating it.

The question is not pointless, for it serves the purpose of proving objectivity and existence, two things that are extremely important to philosophy are those two things.
Nolite Timere
Orangatang
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8/8/2014 11:53:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/8/2014 11:51:11 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 8/8/2014 2:51:11 PM, Orangatang wrote:
Is it possible to reasonably refute the proposition: "Something exists." I see no reasonable justification for arguing against this disregarding semantic confusion. I think this proposition is special because it is seemingly irrefutable and can be known to be true with absolute certainty, it is not a counterfactual, and it is not a truth by it's own definition (like all bachelors are unmarried). Do you know of any other propositions like this that are absolutely true?

This is an easy one; of course it is not possible to refute it! A refutation is something, ergo, the very act of trying to refute it presupposes that something exists (it would be a self-refuting argument). If one tries to claim that a refutation is nothing, then there is literally nothing to combat the proposition "something exists".

So, no it is not possible to reasonably refute the proposition.

Good way to put it.
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Rational_Thinker9119
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8/8/2014 11:57:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/8/2014 8:09:27 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
I doubt it.

You have to start some here. I think "something exists" is the first move. Everything after that is debatable.

I think that, more fundamentally (and specifically), is the mental world that is the starting point and first move. To hold any belief and to have any idea to argue anything; a mental world must exist. It just so happens to be in the generally category of "something that exists", but that is vague terminology in my opinion when discussing the true first move.
ClassicRobert
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8/9/2014 1:01:28 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
If I were in a debate, I would say that there is no way to objectively prove existence. And if there is no way to prove that something exists, then the default position would be nonexistence.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

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Illegalcombatant
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8/9/2014 1:47:14 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/8/2014 11:57:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 8/8/2014 8:09:27 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
I doubt it.

You have to start some here. I think "something exists" is the first move. Everything after that is debatable.

I think that, more fundamentally (and specifically), is the mental world that is the starting point and first move. To hold any belief and to have any idea to argue anything; a mental world must exist. It just so happens to be in the generally category of "something that exists", but that is vague terminology in my opinion when discussing the true first move.

I see "something exists" as more fundamental, thus that's your starting point.

Sure from that you might make further argument to support some kind of mental argument, but your starting point before that is still something exists or the more classic why is there something rather than nothing.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Installgentoo
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8/9/2014 7:42:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/8/2014 11:51:11 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 8/8/2014 2:51:11 PM, Orangatang wrote:
Is it possible to reasonably refute the proposition: "Something exists." I see no reasonable justification for arguing against this disregarding semantic confusion. I think this proposition is special because it is seemingly irrefutable and can be known to be true with absolute certainty, it is not a counterfactual, and it is not a truth by it's own definition (like all bachelors are unmarried). Do you know of any other propositions like this that are absolutely true?

This is an easy one; of course it is not possible to refute it! A refutation is something, ergo, the very act of trying to refute it presupposes that something exists (it would be a self-refuting argument). If one tries to claim that a refutation is nothing, then there is literally nothing to combat the proposition "something exists".

So, no it is not possible to reasonably refute the proposition.

This is a use-mention fallacy.
sadolite
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8/9/2014 7:52:01 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/8/2014 11:52:11 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 8/8/2014 9:44:56 PM, sadolite wrote:
When I see stuff like this I wonder to myself, what is the point of pointlessness. What knowledge is to be gained arguing pointlessness. Asking people to refute existence? What is it an exercise in wanting to hear yourself talk for the sake of hearing yourself talk. in this case in the form of the written word. What if any intellectual value could be passed on? Does one think they have some new perspective on all of existence that every generation before them didn't already think about. What "hasn't" already been said about existence since the dawn of man is a better question and a better challenge.

Sadly, none but the greatest philosophers come up with new questions and areas to explore. Luckily many people don't posses the knowledge that already exists, so I see no problem with someone repeating it.

The question is not pointless, for it serves the purpose of proving objectivity and existence, two things that are extremely important to philosophy are those two things.

Go break a mans arm and then argue his broken arm doesn't really exist with him.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
Rational_Thinker9119
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8/9/2014 12:47:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/9/2014 1:47:14 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 8/8/2014 11:57:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 8/8/2014 8:09:27 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
I doubt it.

You have to start some here. I think "something exists" is the first move. Everything after that is debatable.

I think that, more fundamentally (and specifically), is the mental world that is the starting point and first move. To hold any belief and to have any idea to argue anything; a mental world must exist. It just so happens to be in the generally category of "something that exists", but that is vague terminology in my opinion when discussing the true first move.

I see "something exists" as more fundamental, thus that's your starting point.

Sure from that you might make further argument to support some kind of mental argument, but your starting point before that is still something exists or the more classic why is there something rather than nothing.

But the "something" that we are saying must exist as the starting point is a mental world to be specific.
Rational_Thinker9119
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8/9/2014 12:48:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/9/2014 7:42:50 AM, Installgentoo wrote:
At 8/8/2014 11:51:11 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 8/8/2014 2:51:11 PM, Orangatang wrote:
Is it possible to reasonably refute the proposition: "Something exists." I see no reasonable justification for arguing against this disregarding semantic confusion. I think this proposition is special because it is seemingly irrefutable and can be known to be true with absolute certainty, it is not a counterfactual, and it is not a truth by it's own definition (like all bachelors are unmarried). Do you know of any other propositions like this that are absolutely true?

This is an easy one; of course it is not possible to refute it! A refutation is something, ergo, the very act of trying to refute it presupposes that something exists (it would be a self-refuting argument). If one tries to claim that a refutation is nothing, then there is literally nothing to combat the proposition "something exists".

So, no it is not possible to reasonably refute the proposition.

This is a use-mention fallacy.

This is a bare-assertion fallacy. Unless you can explain how I committed the fallacy, then just naming fallacies is useless.
Rational_Thinker9119
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8/9/2014 12:50:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/9/2014 1:01:28 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
If I were in a debate, I would say that there is no way to objectively prove existence.

Of course there is.

P1: If there is no existence, then this argument does not exist
P2: This argument exists
C: Therefore, there is existence (follows Modus Tollens)

And if there is no way to prove that something exists, then the default position would be nonexistence.
ClassicRobert
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8/9/2014 2:34:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/9/2014 12:50:28 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 8/9/2014 1:01:28 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
If I were in a debate, I would say that there is no way to objectively prove existence.

Of course there is.

P1: If there is no existence, then this argument does not exist
P2: This argument exists
C: Therefore, there is existence (follows Modus Tollens)

And if there is no way to prove that something exists, then the default position would be nonexistence.

There's no proof that the argument exists.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

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PeacefulChaos
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8/9/2014 4:55:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/9/2014 2:34:45 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 8/9/2014 12:50:28 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 8/9/2014 1:01:28 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
If I were in a debate, I would say that there is no way to objectively prove existence.

Of course there is.

P1: If there is no existence, then this argument does not exist
P2: This argument exists
C: Therefore, there is existence (follows Modus Tollens)

And if there is no way to prove that something exists, then the default position would be nonexistence.

There's no proof that the argument exists.

Then there's no proof you've refuted it. So it stands.
Orangatang
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8/9/2014 6:59:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/9/2014 1:01:28 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
If I were in a debate, I would say that there is no way to objectively prove existence. And if there is no way to prove that something exists, then the default position would be nonexistence.

First of all why is the default position non-existence? I can't prove that I exist to you, but if you are thinking right now then clearly something must exist. It is the problem of solipsism, but even solipsists agree that something exists.
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Rational_Thinker9119
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8/9/2014 9:56:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/9/2014 2:34:45 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 8/9/2014 12:50:28 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 8/9/2014 1:01:28 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
If I were in a debate, I would say that there is no way to objectively prove existence.

Of course there is.

P1: If there is no existence, then this argument does not exist
P2: This argument exists
C: Therefore, there is existence (follows Modus Tollens)

And if there is no way to prove that something exists, then the default position would be nonexistence.

There's no proof that the argument exists.

Even if the argument is an illusion; an illusion is still something. Ergo, "something" has to exist. There is your proof.
xXCryptoXx
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8/9/2014 10:08:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/9/2014 1:01:28 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
If I were in a debate, I would say that there is no way to objectively prove existence. And if there is no way to prove that something exists, then the default position would be nonexistence.

Isn't your own proposition that there is no way to prove something exists, something that exists in of itself? In other words, you can't argue that you cannot prove existence without proving existence.
Nolite Timere
Illegalcombatant
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8/10/2014 1:28:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/9/2014 12:47:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 8/9/2014 1:47:14 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 8/8/2014 11:57:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 8/8/2014 8:09:27 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
I doubt it.

You have to start some here. I think "something exists" is the first move. Everything after that is debatable.

I think that, more fundamentally (and specifically), is the mental world that is the starting point and first move. To hold any belief and to have any idea to argue anything; a mental world must exist. It just so happens to be in the generally category of "something that exists", but that is vague terminology in my opinion when discussing the true first move.

I see "something exists" as more fundamental, thus that's your starting point.

Sure from that you might make further argument to support some kind of mental argument, but your starting point before that is still something exists or the more classic why is there something rather than nothing.

But the "something" that we are saying must exist as the starting point is a mental world to be specific.

That's debatable.

What is less debatable is that.....................something exists.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Rational_Thinker9119
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8/10/2014 6:58:23 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/10/2014 1:28:50 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 8/9/2014 12:47:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 8/9/2014 1:47:14 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 8/8/2014 11:57:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 8/8/2014 8:09:27 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
I doubt it.

You have to start some here. I think "something exists" is the first move. Everything after that is debatable.

I think that, more fundamentally (and specifically), is the mental world that is the starting point and first move. To hold any belief and to have any idea to argue anything; a mental world must exist. It just so happens to be in the generally category of "something that exists", but that is vague terminology in my opinion when discussing the true first move.

I see "something exists" as more fundamental, thus that's your starting point.

Sure from that you might make further argument to support some kind of mental argument, but your starting point before that is still something exists or the more classic why is there something rather than nothing.

But the "something" that we are saying must exist as the starting point is a mental world to be specific.

That's debatable.

It's not even close to debatable. Debates stem from ideas in minds, so the mental world must exist for a debate to even occur. The mental world must exists before anything can be posited as existing. It is the "something" that must exist before we can even try to claim anything else exists


What is less debatable is that.....................something exists.

Nope; they are both just as debatable. You cannot doubt a mental world, because "doubt" itself is a mental state! Just like how you cannot doubt something exists, because doubt is itself something. It is JUST as absurd to doubt the mental world, as it is to doubt that something exists. I don't see how it is "less" debatable. The reason why we have to admit something exists, is because a mental world exists.
Sidewalker
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8/10/2014 4:32:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/8/2014 2:51:11 PM, Orangatang wrote:
Is it possible to reasonably refute the proposition: "Something exists."

One could refute the contention that it actually constitutes a proposition on several levels.

1) Concrete facts are not normally considered a proposition in most logical systems.

2) , A proposition must be a bearer of truth or falsity, and It's poorly constructed because it's opposite, "something does not exist" can also be considered true.

3) The terms are poorly defined, it's not really clear what "something" and "exists" are meant to designate.

4) It's a useless and therefore meaningless statement, unworthy of the term proposition in logic.

I see no reasonable justification for arguing against this disregarding semantic confusion.

It already contains semantic confusion.

I think this proposition is special because it is seemingly irrefutable and can be known to be true with absolute certainty, it is not a counterfactual, and it is not a truth by it's own definition (like all bachelors are unmarried).

I suppose you could say an invalid proposition is a "special" proposition.

Do you know of any other propositions like this that are absolutely true?

I suppose there are a lot of other propositions like it that are absolutely useless, but for absolutely true, how about "Something does not exist".
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Ore_Ele
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8/10/2014 4:59:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/9/2014 1:01:28 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
If I were in a debate, I would say that there is no way to objectively prove existence. And if there is no way to prove that something exists, then the default position would be nonexistence.

I think, therefore I am. The only existence that can be proven to no one other than the thinker. I can't prove my existence to you, can you can't prove your existence to me. But you prove it to yourself, and I prove it to myself. While that is the only thing that can be objectively proven to us, that still falls under that something exists.
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Orangatang
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8/10/2014 6:05:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/10/2014 4:32:55 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 8/8/2014 2:51:11 PM, Orangatang wrote:
Is it possible to reasonably refute the proposition: "Something exists."

One could refute the contention that it actually constitutes a proposition on several levels.

1) Concrete facts are not normally considered a proposition in most logical systems.

Ok, I haven't actually studied logical systems. So "a tree is an organism" or "a triangle has three corners" aren't propositions?

2) , A proposition must be a bearer of truth or falsity, and It's poorly constructed because it's opposite, "something does not exist" can also be considered true.

Well if it was the case that there was absolutely nothing, then it would be false. Absolute nothingness is not something. I agree, something does not exist is also true, but it just happens to be the case because the term something is so general so as to include non-existent and existent entities.

3) The terms are poorly defined, it's not really clear what "something" and "exists" are meant to designate.

Colloquially I think most people understand what I am saying but here is how I would define them:

Something- An undetermined or unspecified thing.

Thing - some entity, object, and/or idea that may or may not exist.

Exist - to be actual or real rather than merely possible.

I can keep defining terms in these definitions but they are becoming more and more synonymous.

4) It's a useless and therefore meaningless statement, unworthy of the term proposition in logic.

Well, which is it? A fact which cannot be considered a proposition, or a meaningless statement? Or both? Did the definitions clear up some vagueness?

I see no reasonable justification for arguing against this disregarding semantic confusion.

It already contains semantic confusion.

Well yea, philosophy can make that true of anything.

I think this proposition is special because it is seemingly irrefutable and can be known to be true with absolute certainty, it is not a counterfactual, and it is not a truth by it's own definition (like all bachelors are unmarried).

I suppose you could say an invalid proposition is a "special" proposition.

Do you know of any other propositions like this that are absolutely true?

I suppose there are a lot of other propositions like it that are absolutely useless, but for absolutely true, how about "Something does not exist".

I never said it was useful, only absolutely true. This is interesting however because "something does not exist" is seemingly more true, it is a tautology. In the case that there is absolute nothingness, "something exists" would be false, but "something does not exist" would be true. In our actual thing-filled world, both propositions are true. However, I feel like I'm missing something, pun not intended.
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Double_R
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8/10/2014 7:07:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/8/2014 9:44:56 PM, sadolite wrote:
When I see stuff like this I wonder to myself, what is the point of pointlessness. What knowledge is to be gained arguing pointlessness. Asking people to refute existence? What is it an exercise in wanting to hear yourself talk for the sake of hearing yourself talk. in this case in the form of the written word. What if any intellectual value could be passed on? Does one think they have some new perspective on all of existence that every generation before them didn't already think about. What "hasn't" already been said about existence since the dawn of man is a better question and a better challenge.

When I see stuff like this I wonder to myself, if that's your take what are you doing in the philosophy section?
sadolite
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8/10/2014 8:01:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/10/2014 7:07:21 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 8/8/2014 9:44:56 PM, sadolite wrote:
When I see stuff like this I wonder to myself, what is the point of pointlessness. What knowledge is to be gained arguing pointlessness. Asking people to refute existence? What is it an exercise in wanting to hear yourself talk for the sake of hearing yourself talk. in this case in the form of the written word. What if any intellectual value could be passed on? Does one think they have some new perspective on all of existence that every generation before them didn't already think about. What "hasn't" already been said about existence since the dawn of man is a better question and a better challenge.

When I see stuff like this I wonder to myself, if that's your take what are you doing in the philosophy section?

I have no problem with philosophy, There is no philosophical knowledge to be gained by refuting existence. refuting existence renders all philosophy moot.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

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8/10/2014 8:37:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I wouldn't say, like some people do, that you can "prove" axioms - that implies that, behind axioms, there is something else from which proofs can be extrapolated. Axioms are self-evidencies , that cannot be rejected. ANY statement or thought is based upon these axioms, and trying to refute them or to demand proof of them is, by definition, pointless and irrational, given that any such refutation or proof would have to first presuppose that the axioms are valid anyway.
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8/10/2014 8:53:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/10/2014 8:37:23 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
I wouldn't say, like some people do, that you can "prove" axioms - that implies that, behind axioms, there is something else from which proofs can be extrapolated. Axioms are self-evidencies , that cannot be rejected. ANY statement or thought is based upon these axioms, and trying to refute them or to demand proof of them is, by definition, pointless and irrational, given that any such refutation or proof would have to first presuppose that the axioms are valid anyway.

So your saying that my proposition is an axiom and any type of refutation would vindicate it true? I agree. What other axioms do you have in mind? Law of identity?
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