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The Evil Demon

FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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5/4/2011 3:05:47 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Tis perhaps one of the most important popularized thought-experiments, as well as the least used when needed.

It concerns itself with the limitations of doubt and, more specifically, whether there in-fact is any.

The thought-experiment posits the hypothetical existence of an evil demon. It could also perhaps be God, an alien, mental illness, or even simply a fundamental flaw in our evolutionary biology; the mechanism doesn't really matter. This demon gets his shits-n'-giggles out of confusing you. The way in which he confuses you is by implanting your mind with false beliefs that certain things are self-evident. These things are in-fact not self-evident but the demon takes away your ability to understand how they could not be. He may also have removed from your site key logical principles for separating truth from fiction or giving you false logic which in-fact is not logical at all.

Now, the reason for the experiment is not to bring into question whether this demon exists but whether or not we can really claim with certainty that self-evidences exist.

Discuss.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Solomon_Kane
Posts: 29
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5/4/2011 4:56:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
So this demon basically reminds us that all is subjective without consensus. Not much of a demon really. A real one would have robbed us of the capacity to choose, which is ironically a gift it has unwittingly bestowed.

Cheers demon!
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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5/4/2011 5:56:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
You can not be certain that you are certain, the only thing you can do is assume you are rational and proceed further. If you are not rational then no harm done, if you are then things are as they should be.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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5/5/2011 6:43:57 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
And wasn't Descartes answer that, even if everything is an illusion, even if its an illusion caused by the evil demon, it still doesn't change the fact that he is questioning his own existence, and you have to exist in order to question whether you exist, thus it is certain that I exist.
"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
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
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5/5/2011 6:53:43 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/5/2011 6:43:57 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
And wasn't Descartes answer that, even if everything is an illusion, even if its an illusion caused by the evil demon, it still doesn't change the fact that he is questioning his own existence, and you have to exist in order to question whether you exist, thus it is certain that I exist.

Nope. There may well be a gaping hole in that logic which we can't understand because of the demon (for example it may actually be that something doesn't need to exist to question it existence, but we are being into believing that it does by the demon)
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
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5/5/2011 6:54:48 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Essentially what you believe to be logic would be what the demon wants you to believe as logic. You must question everything.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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5/5/2011 6:59:47 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/5/2011 6:43:57 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
And wasn't Descartes answer that, even if everything is an illusion, even if its an illusion caused by the evil demon, it still doesn't change the fact that he is questioning his own existence, and you have to exist in order to question whether you exist, thus it is certain that I exist.

Which is retarded and shows that he never understood his own thought experiment.

I really dislike Descartes.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
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5/5/2011 7:02:02 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/5/2011 6:59:47 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 5/5/2011 6:43:57 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
And wasn't Descartes answer that, even if everything is an illusion, even if its an illusion caused by the evil demon, it still doesn't change the fact that he is questioning his own existence, and you have to exist in order to question whether you exist, thus it is certain that I exist.

Which is retarded and shows that he never understood his own thought experiment.

I really dislike Descartes.

But eh invented graphs and doesn't afraid of anything!
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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5/5/2011 7:41:35 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/5/2011 6:59:47 AM, FREEDO wrote:

Which is retarded and shows that he never understood his own thought experiment.


How so ?
"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
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
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5/5/2011 7:58:56 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/5/2011 7:41:35 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 5/5/2011 6:59:47 AM, FREEDO wrote:

Which is retarded and shows that he never understood his own thought experiment.


How so ?

Freedo is so hip, that he doesn't like mainstream philosophers, 'cos they just don't get things like he does.
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
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5/5/2011 8:01:32 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/5/2011 7:58:56 AM, Thaddeus wrote:
At 5/5/2011 7:41:35 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 5/5/2011 6:59:47 AM, FREEDO wrote:

Which is retarded and shows that he never understood his own thought experiment.


How so ?

Freedo is so hip, that he doesn't like mainstream philosophers, 'cos they just don't get things like he does.

We love him really!
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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5/5/2011 6:22:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/5/2011 7:41:35 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 5/5/2011 6:59:47 AM, FREEDO wrote:

Which is retarded and shows that he never understood his own thought experiment.


How so ?

You really don't see it? He kicks out the whole idea, mindlessly. Completely forgetting that he may not understand how it could not be self-evident but that it very well may not be. He's completely oblivious to the implications.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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5/6/2011 3:39:54 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I like the hypothetical better where we think of life as a dream. Most people rarely realize just how little things in their dream make sense until they are awake. They will do things that make sense based on their dream logic but once they wake up seem like complete non-sequiturs. What if you never woke up?

That reminds me of Waking Life. Good movie.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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5/6/2011 3:49:19 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/6/2011 3:39:54 AM, FREEDO wrote:
I like the hypothetical better where we think of life as a dream. Most people rarely realize just how little things in their dream make sense until they are awake. They will do things that make sense based on their dream logic but once they wake up seem like complete non-sequiturs. What if you never woke up?

That reminds me of Waking Life. Good movie.

It still doesn't change Descartes proof. Even if its all a dream/illusion, he has to exist in order to have the dream or be deluded.
"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
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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5/6/2011 3:57:50 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/6/2011 3:49:19 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 5/6/2011 3:39:54 AM, FREEDO wrote:
I like the hypothetical better where we think of life as a dream. Most people rarely realize just how little things in their dream make sense until they are awake. They will do things that make sense based on their dream logic but once they wake up seem like complete non-sequiturs. What if you never woke up?

That reminds me of Waking Life. Good movie.

It still doesn't change Descartes proof. Even if its all a dream/illusion, he has to exist in order to have the dream or be deluded.

No, he simply doesn't know if he understands anything about that. You are completely missing it. The concept of yourself not existing makes no sense but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Non-sequitur. It's a delusion. The nearly universal religious belief; that one can find confidence in self-evidences.

YOU KNOW NOTHING. But most will do anything to escape that conclusion. They simply aren't emotionally prepared for it. I can tell from first-hand that when you do there will be times like simply feel like you've lat go of sanity. It honestly destroys the mind but it's the truth. The walls our mind is built out of to make sense of the world are all made of lies. You can deal with the lies or you can be bold and fall off the edge into a nameless danger that will redefine you. It is freedom. It is insanity.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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5/6/2011 4:01:57 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/6/2011 3:57:50 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 5/6/2011 3:49:19 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 5/6/2011 3:39:54 AM, FREEDO wrote:
I like the hypothetical better where we think of life as a dream. Most people rarely realize just how little things in their dream make sense until they are awake. They will do things that make sense based on their dream logic but once they wake up seem like complete non-sequiturs. What if you never woke up?

That reminds me of Waking Life. Good movie.

It still doesn't change Descartes proof. Even if its all a dream/illusion, he has to exist in order to have the dream or be deluded.

No, he simply doesn't know if he understands anything about that. You are completely missing it. The concept of yourself not existing makes no sense but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Non-sequitur. It's a delusion. The nearly universal religious belief; that one can find confidence in self-evidences.

YOU KNOW NOTHING. But most will do anything to escape that conclusion. They simply aren't emotionally prepared for it. I can tell from first-hand that when you do there will be times where you simply feel like you've let go of sanity. It honestly destroys the mind but it's the truth. The walls our mind are built out of, to make sense of the world, are all made of lies. You can deal with the lies or you can be bold and fall off the edge into a nameless danger that will redefine you. It is freedom. It is insanity.

fix
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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5/6/2011 4:29:10 AM
Posted: 5 years ago

No, he simply doesn't know if he understands anything about that. You are completely missing it. The concept of yourself not existing makes no sense but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Non-sequitur. It's a delusion. The nearly universal religious belief; that one can find confidence in self-evidences.

YOU KNOW NOTHING. But most will do anything to escape that conclusion. They simply aren't emotionally prepared for it. I can tell from first-hand that when you do there will be times where you simply feel like you've let go of sanity. It honestly destroys the mind but it's the truth. The walls our mind are built out of, to make sense of the world, are all made of lies. You can deal with the lies or you can be bold and fall off the edge into a nameless danger that will redefine you. It is freedom. It is insanity.

fix

I think your missing the point. I agree its possible for me or anyone to not exist. But Descartes argument was self existence was a necessary pre supposition of questioning your own existence.

I know nothing...........and you know this how again ?

As far as your insanity claim, I think Friedrich Nietzsche beat you too it with absurdism.

I am not totally against insanity, I am up for a bit of insanity.
"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
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
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5/6/2011 4:38:14 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/6/2011 4:29:10 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:

No, he simply doesn't know if he understands anything about that. You are completely missing it. The concept of yourself not existing makes no sense but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Non-sequitur. It's a delusion. The nearly universal religious belief; that one can find confidence in self-evidences.

YOU KNOW NOTHING. But most will do anything to escape that conclusion. They simply aren't emotionally prepared for it. I can tell from first-hand that when you do there will be times where you simply feel like you've let go of sanity. It honestly destroys the mind but it's the truth. The walls our mind are built out of, to make sense of the world, are all made of lies. You can deal with the lies or you can be bold and fall off the edge into a nameless danger that will redefine you. It is freedom. It is insanity.

fix

I think your missing the point. I agree its possible for me or anyone to not exist. But Descartes argument was self existence was a necessary pre supposition of questioning your own existence.

I know nothing...........and you know this how again ?

As far as your insanity claim, I think Friedrich Nietzsche beat you too it with absurdism.

I am not totally against insanity, I am up for a bit of insanity.

If we are not assuming the demon, descartes makes sense. However, when the demon is brought into play, we cannot assume any logic, even the most seemingly self-evident elements of logic such as requireing to exist before one can question ones existence.
Imagine a trading card game if you will.

Evil demon
Hp Unkillable
Summon cost; free if summoned by facetious tool to win annoying arguments
Effect; removes all logic and reasoning cards from play
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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5/6/2011 5:29:46 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/6/2011 4:29:10 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:

No, he simply doesn't know if he understands anything about that. You are completely missing it. The concept of yourself not existing makes no sense but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Non-sequitur. It's a delusion. The nearly universal religious belief; that one can find confidence in self-evidences.

YOU KNOW NOTHING. But most will do anything to escape that conclusion. They simply aren't emotionally prepared for it. I can tell from first-hand that when you do there will be times where you simply feel like you've let go of sanity. It honestly destroys the mind but it's the truth. The walls our mind are built out of, to make sense of the world, are all made of lies. You can deal with the lies or you can be bold and fall off the edge into a nameless danger that will redefine you. It is freedom. It is insanity.

fix

I think your missing the point. I agree its possible for me or anyone to not exist. But Descartes argument was self existence was a necessary pre supposition of questioning your own existence.

That is what I was referring to.

I know nothing...........and you know this how again ?

I don't. That's exactly it. Absolute uncertainty is the only justifiable position. And I don't even know that.

As far as your insanity claim, I think Friedrich Nietzsche beat you too it with absurdism.

Newsflash: Nietzsche wasn't an Absurdist.

I am not totally against insanity, I am up for a bit of insanity.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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5/6/2011 5:56:37 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/6/2011 5:29:46 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 5/6/2011 4:29:10 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:


I know nothing...........and you know this how again ?

I don't. That's exactly it. Absolute uncertainty is the only justifiable position. And I don't even know that.


If you don't know that absolute uncertainty is the only justifiable position, then do you concede its possible that we can know something for certain ?
"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
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
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5/6/2011 6:04:54 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/6/2011 5:56:37 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 5/6/2011 5:29:46 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 5/6/2011 4:29:10 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:


I know nothing...........and you know this how again ?

I don't. That's exactly it. Absolute uncertainty is the only justifiable position. And I don't even know that.


If you don't know that absolute uncertainty is the only justifiable position, then do you concede its possible that we can know something for certain ?

It might be possible. But it isn't probable.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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5/6/2011 7:21:00 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/6/2011 5:56:37 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 5/6/2011 5:29:46 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 5/6/2011 4:29:10 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:


I know nothing...........and you know this how again ?

I don't. That's exactly it. Absolute uncertainty is the only justifiable position. And I don't even know that.


If you don't know that absolute uncertainty is the only justifiable position, then do you concede its possible that we can know something for certain ?

Yes.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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5/6/2011 8:54:55 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/5/2011 7:58:56 AM, Thaddeus wrote:
At 5/5/2011 7:41:35 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 5/5/2011 6:59:47 AM, FREEDO wrote:

Which is retarded and shows that he never understood his own thought experiment.


How so ?

Freedo is so hip, that he doesn't like mainstream philosophers, 'cos they just don't get things like he does.

I dislike descartes too.. for the same reasons I'd think

and I'm not hip!
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."