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If Solipsism Is Metaphyscally Possible...

Rational_Thinker9119
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1/14/2017 3:58:33 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 1/14/2017 3:42:49 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 1/14/2017 3:24:48 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/14/2017 1:59:46 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 1/14/2017 1:25:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Yes but if our minds are at least possibly Solipsistic then they can't be physical because nothing physical can possibly be solipsitic.

I'm not sure why this isn't clear. My claim is that a solipsitic mind would be of a DIFFERENT KIND than a "normal" mind, or that, rather than just being a "mind without anything else", a solipsistic mind would be fundamentally different (it would not be solipsistic due to the context of the world in which it exists, but rather because it is a WHOLLY DISTINCT sort of thing).

If this is so, then our minds are not "possibly solipsistic" anymore than a table is "possibly a cannonball". The table and cannonball share *some* resemblance, but are by no means of the same kind beyond the most general sense of the word.

This only undermines the premise that Solipsism is metaphysically possible (which I never argued) not that IF it's possible the conclusions I mentioned entail.

Nowhere have I argued that solipsism is impossible. I argued that it is possible for OUR MINDS to be distinct from the type of mind which would, potentially, be solipsistic.
Thus, it is not our minds which have the modal possibility of solipsism, WHILE STILL allowing solipsism metaphysical possibility

Even if so, the argument could just be revised to "if minds in th actual world are metaphysically possibly Solipsistic" instead of "Solipsism is metaphysically possible". Both seem to have the same plausibility anyway.
ShabShoral
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1/14/2017 4:00:49 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 1/14/2017 3:58:33 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/14/2017 3:42:49 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 1/14/2017 3:24:48 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/14/2017 1:59:46 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 1/14/2017 1:25:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Yes but if our minds are at least possibly Solipsistic then they can't be physical because nothing physical can possibly be solipsitic.

I'm not sure why this isn't clear. My claim is that a solipsitic mind would be of a DIFFERENT KIND than a "normal" mind, or that, rather than just being a "mind without anything else", a solipsistic mind would be fundamentally different (it would not be solipsistic due to the context of the world in which it exists, but rather because it is a WHOLLY DISTINCT sort of thing).

If this is so, then our minds are not "possibly solipsistic" anymore than a table is "possibly a cannonball". The table and cannonball share *some* resemblance, but are by no means of the same kind beyond the most general sense of the word.

This only undermines the premise that Solipsism is metaphysically possible (which I never argued) not that IF it's possible the conclusions I mentioned entail.

Nowhere have I argued that solipsism is impossible. I argued that it is possible for OUR MINDS to be distinct from the type of mind which would, potentially, be solipsistic.
Thus, it is not our minds which have the modal possibility of solipsism, WHILE STILL allowing solipsism metaphysical possibility

Even if so, the argument could just be revised to "if minds in th actual world are metaphysically possibly Solipsistic" instead of "Solipsism is metaphysically possible". Both seem to have the same plausibility anyway.

Hey, I never said it wasn't an absurdly pedantic objection!
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Smithereens
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1/14/2017 9:45:12 PM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 1/14/2017 2:43:16 PM, NHN wrote:
At 1/14/2017 9:17:06 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 1/14/2017 3:56:18 AM, NHN wrote:
Introducing nature was my way of giving you a possible "out" by adopting a Spinozist position, so as to abandon monotheism and the antinomy of a divinity which is one, everywhere and all (violating the law of identity).
a monotheistic MGB need not violate the identity law so long as you are not holding the properties as purely materialistic. P/T symmetry are materialistic properties of natural laws that are purely materialistic and by definition not different to our concept of omnipresence. An MGB has this property minus the physical presence requirement, which I find no compelling reason to accept as given.
You have granted the MGB personal character traits (benevolence) as well as physical properties (omnipresence), which complicates your position. This is something you could have avoided.

Whether a MGB needs to be benevolent is not pertinent to the case nor relevant. We had isolated the property of omnipresence and were discussing it. My case asserted that the definition was incoherent as a physical property, thus it was a property describing function. Again, focusing only on this property, I do not see how an identity contradiction is inherent. It isn't.

I disagree. For a being to be, as anything else in the observable world, you must be able to express this being by means of a spatiotemporal interval. You needn't be mysterious about these properties.
Have you noticed that there is no MGB in the observable world...? It's existence would hold a similar status to that of an alien mind running this simulation called reality. Perfectly able to exist, but not within our immediate scope of knowing.
That would be the case had you opted for the Cartesian deus deceptor (or an updated simulation hypothesis a la Bostrom). But you added benevolence, a character trait, to this entity, which means that it must be known and identified as such. This being is simultaneously present everywhere and is the sum of all parts. Those steps result in a series of antinomies and ultimately a breakdown of your argument.
I don't recall ever discussing benevolence. I'm also not interested in benevolence as it's really not relevant. Whether or not an MGB is benevolent is not my concern, so the argument holds.

Not objectively but provisionally true. And neither extra-temporality nor extra-spatiality are acceptable properties for objects or beings in existence.
You'll have to define existence, as it appears we are using the term differently.
It regards either ontic or ontological properties.
1. The ontological is a reflection on being as such, regarding matters which require a coherent definition; ideas, theories, hypotheses, etc.
2. The ontic regards all beings, objects, and phenomena occurring in the observable world, which require physical properties.
The problem with both these definitions are that we accept the existence of things that contradict both categories. Take dark matter for instance, which we know exists. It A) is not defined, nor understood. B) Is not observable. We have no mental image of this concept and we can't cognate it's properties. Except we know it's there. The problem with your definitions is that a subjective epistemic consideration is predicated by 1 and 2. Ultimately however, things are still able to exist beyond your scope of knowing and cognition, contrary to what your definitions entail.

You could have opted for a purely ontological explication, but chose to include personal traits, thereby placing the MGB in the second category.
I don't recall once bringing omnibenevolence into this. I never called the MGB triomni either. My consideration is exclusive to deal with the omnipresent property and necessary vs possible existence.

A logically unacceptable perpetuum mobile, in other words.
If you want to say something is circular, call it that. An MGB is not different to the self-existing nature of the universe. Time and space simply are, and they depend only on themselves for their existence. Similarly, an MGB's existence does not require the existence of something else to enable it, much like the universe.
That is an infinite regress fallacy. What we call the universe is the spatiotemporal expansion in a given, physically represented interval. Its mass, expansion velocity, age, etc. are all calculable. The same can not be said of the MGB.
That's because you've already defined the universe as everything that can possibly exist, when we know this isn't the case. Penrose diagrams studying the nature of blackholes have found for example than when you switch an axis of time with an axes of space, you can use analytic continuation to infer that is more than one universe. Imagine therefore that an alien from the other universe simulates our experiences in this one. Since space-time as we know it is applicable to only our experiences we cannot comment on the experiences of the alien. Similarly we can't comment on the experiences of an MGB, we simply don't know what they are. This absence of knowledge does not imply impossibility remember, it implies a mechanic which is poorly understood.

I don't know the extent to which you're missing my point here regarding Cartesian doubt. RT is wrong because metaphysics/ontology, whether in the form of solipsistic brain-in-a-vat theories or Aristotelian energeia, are myths which are irrelevant as explanations. That said, the position adopted and developed by Descartes is not undermined by anything presented in this thread.
You're really obsessing with Descartes here, first you bring up the evil demon and then claim I'm missing a point on cartesian doubt, funnily enough.
Descartes does not get enough credit for perpetuating this meme. The point with Cartesian doubt is to remove superfluous aggregations--e.g., benevolence and omnipresence--and clear the path for philosophical inquiry.
I get the feeling you're the one who brought the superfluous baggage into this conversation in the first place, and now you seem to think that it's my fault that it's here...?

If I were to break down the idea, what I get is claims which are unknown, which is very different to unknowable. So I think your dismissal is fundamentally incorrect.
Agreed. This is unknown, not unknowable, territory. My dismissal, however, regards the antinomy of your position--which could very well be the result of miscommunication, as we may agree on what it means to exist.
Antimony is an element. I don't know how you're using the word. I think this point is largely addressed by my confusion as to why benevolence needs to be relevant to this discussion.

Furthermore, Solipsism itself is not a Descartes construct, humanity has been pondering it for thousands of years before him. His ideas on monism/dualism were certainly influential, however RT's OP was not concerned with the nature of solipsism. As you read, the implications on the possibility of an MGB are the topic, and all else is irrelevant.

Descartes included.
I disagree. Descartes gave solipsism--which is an error of logic, as it equates non-existence with privative sensation--a philosophical foundation. Before him it was mere sophistry.
The OP is on a quest to prove that physicalism and God would be impossible if solipsism were possible. In other words, by rejecting solipsism he finds that one must accept God and the physical world. To thwart this low-level sophism one needs to go back to basics:

i.e., Descartes.
You misunderstand the argument. The negation of it does not in any way prove God. It's positive assertion would show that an MGB is not instantiated. It's negative does not show that a MGB is instantiated.
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NHN
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1/15/2017 12:45:26 AM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 1/14/2017 9:45:12 PM, Smithereens wrote:
Whether a MGB needs to be benevolent is not pertinent to the case nor relevant. [...]
I don't recall ever discussing benevolence. I'm also not interested in benevolence as it's really not relevant. Whether or not an MGB is benevolent is not my concern, so the argument holds.
That is my position. You were the one who brought up benevolence as relevant to the case (http://www.debate.org...).

We had isolated the property of omnipresence and were discussing it. My case asserted that the definition was incoherent as a physical property, thus it was a property describing function. Again, focusing only on this property, I do not see how an identity contradiction is inherent. It isn't.
Omnipresence would be acceptable if we were relating to an ontological concept such as the Holy Spirit, but not the ontic YHWH of the Old Testament, who is a personal god. So to which category, ontic or ontological, does the MGB belong?

Not objectively but provisionally true. And neither extra-temporality nor extra-spatiality are acceptable properties for objects or beings in existence.
You'll have to define existence, as it appears we are using the term differently.
It regards either ontic or ontological properties.
1. The ontological is a reflection on being as such, regarding matters which require a coherent definition; ideas, theories, hypotheses, etc.
2. The ontic regards all beings, objects, and phenomena occurring in the observable world, which require physical properties.
The problem with both these definitions are that we accept the existence of things that contradict both categories. Take dark matter for instance, which we know exists. It A) is not defined, nor understood. B) Is not observable.
Dark matter falls within the ontological category, as theory and hypothesis. Observation is an entirely different matter. For example, it wasn't until 2016 that we could observe gravitational waves from black hole mergers, but there was no reason to reject the hypothesis as such. A coherent explanation is strengthened by observation, but observation isn't required for its validity.

The problem with your definitions is that a subjective epistemic consideration is predicated by 1 and 2. Ultimately however, things are still able to exist beyond your scope of knowing and cognition, contrary to what your definitions entail.
Then I haven't been clear enough. There is no room for a "subjective epistemic consideration." What matters is coherent thought, language, reason itself. Therefore, there is no limit to what may or may not exist (ontologically), but once your conjecture leaps outside the boundaries of linguistic coherence, then you have lost your way.

My consideration is exclusive to deal with the omnipresent property and necessary vs possible existence.
Please expand on this.

That's because you've already defined the universe as everything that can possibly exist, when we know this isn't the case.
I never did that. What we call the universe is an interval covering the spatiotemporal expansion since the big bang. Look above. I actually referenced Penrose's theory of the big bang as an aeon as an alternative explanation.

Penrose diagrams studying the nature of blackholes have found for example than when you switch an axis of time with an axes of space, you can use analytic continuation to infer that is more than one universe. Imagine therefore that an alien from the other universe simulates our experiences in this one. Since space-time as we know it is applicable to only our experiences we cannot comment on the experiences of the alien. Similarly we can't comment on the experiences of an MGB, we simply don't know what they are. This absence of knowledge does not imply impossibility remember, it implies a mechanic which is poorly understood.
My problem isn't with Penrose (who is quite interesting) or rational conjecture but that of the MGB, which is yet to be properly defined.

Descartes does not get enough credit for perpetuating this meme. The point with Cartesian doubt is to remove superfluous aggregations--e.g., benevolence and omnipresence--and clear the path for philosophical inquiry.
I get the feeling you're the one who brought the superfluous baggage into this conversation in the first place, and now you seem to think that it's my fault that it's here...?
Benevolence and omnipresence are the two superfluous properties; I brought neither but am glad you dropped the first one.

Antimony is an element. I don't know how you're using the word. I think this point is largely addressed by my confusion as to why benevolence needs to be relevant to this discussion.
Antinomy, from the Latin antinomia, building on the Greek anti- and nomos, "against the law." (For anyone stumbling upon this thread.)

I brought up this Kantian term as you were violating the tautological law of identity.

You misunderstand the argument. The negation of it does not in any way prove God. It's positive assertion would show that an MGB is not instantiated. It's negative does not show that a MGB is instantiated.
I am addressing the argument's hidden implication, the bias explicated between the lines, as God and physicalism are paired together vis-a-vis solipsism.
dylancatlow
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1/15/2017 4:30:49 AM
Posted: 1 week ago
Again, I think that if solipsism is taken to imply an absence of God, then the argument works. If God doesn't have to exist then I don't think the concept of God can exist. The very uncertainty implies that there was never a God at the most basic level who had total control of reality, that there was something more basic that threatened to undermine the whole thing. But in light of this clash, it's more difficult to establish the possibility of solipsism than one might have originally thought. One has to prove that there is no possibility of a God.
Smithereens
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1/15/2017 10:49:29 AM
Posted: 1 week ago
At 1/15/2017 12:45:26 AM, NHN wrote:
I've run out of characters so I've deleted everything and represented each point of the discussion as dot points. If I miss anything just add it in.

> Benevolence.
I think we find ourselves in agreement here. I originally was replying to Descartes' demon by suggesting that it's an MGB and he might as well call it benevolent for all it matters since that's conventional. It's not relevant to the discussion however and I didn't intend to pursue it.

> Omnipresence.
I've shown here and elsewhere in this thread that the conventional definition of omnipresence is nonsensical. To illustrate the point another way, what does "presence" everywhere entail? That one's physical body is evenly distributed across space? Clearly not, for immaterial things. At most, we can only say 'universal influence' that is to say, the omnipresent being can influence anywhere. No region of space is beyond it's influence, as space is not a limiter to it's existence. This would also infer that it's existence is not contingent on space. Thus if space ceased to exist, the MGB would not.

> Necessary existence
Is a nuance of modal logic. Whenever I see RT I jump straight to many world's semantics because he understands it and it makes discussion so much easier. I would assume you understand it too, as I wouldn't think Descartes' philosophy is taught alone. So let an MGB hold the condition that it exists in all possible worlds. Let X be a world such that a MGB is instantiated. A MGB is therefore instantiated in reality. The S world argument shows why this does follow. Not only can we show that there exists a world where MGB is not, but we can show why an MGB is not.
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NHN
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1/16/2017 4:55:29 PM
Posted: 6 days ago
At 1/15/2017 10:49:29 AM, Smithereens wrote:
> Benevolence.
I think we find ourselves in agreement here.
Good. Then let's move on.

> Omnipresence.
I've shown here and elsewhere in this thread that the conventional definition of omnipresence is nonsensical. To illustrate the point another way, what does "presence" everywhere entail? That one's physical body is evenly distributed across space? Clearly not, for immaterial things. At most, we can only say 'universal influence' that is to say, the omnipresent being can influence anywhere. No region of space is beyond it's influence, as space is not a limiter to it's existence. This would also infer that it's existence is not contingent on space. Thus if space ceased to exist, the MGB would not.
Or, you could simply reject the personal god of the Old Testament and appeal to a universal concept--such as time or freedom, which are both omnipresent--as you would no longer be bound by the spatiotemporal interval necessitated by physical representation.

Moreover, you need to demarcate MGB's omnipresence--which remains fleeting and indistinguishable from infinity--before you conclude what follows from worldly non-existence.

> Necessary existence
Is a nuance of modal logic. Whenever I see RT I jump straight to many world's semantics because he understands it and it makes discussion so much easier. I would assume you understand it too, as I wouldn't think Descartes' philosophy is taught alone. So let an MGB hold the condition that it exists in all possible worlds. Let X be a world such that a MGB is instantiated. A MGB is therefore instantiated in reality. The S world argument shows why this does follow.
I disagree. We could, by analogy, compare the situation to the infinite monkey theorem. Hammering away at keyboards and typewriters, infinity grants that these ardent nonhumans will succeed in jotting down the collected volumes of William Shakespeare. What is never granted, however, is the scenario in which there is a monkey cognitively aware of Shakespearean poetics. Infinity does not grant the leap according to which we say, let Y be a world such that a monkey possesses human cognition and writes Shakespeare, nor does it grant one in which there is a world X where the omnipresent being MGB is instantiated.

Not only can we show that there exists a world where MGB is not, but we can show why an MGB is not.
No, we cannot. The only possible route is a Cartesian scenario. And what that informs us, rather, is that the existence of the MGB or any other divine concept, remains a closed loop which can neither be proven nor disproven ontically, or which can be replaced by other universal concepts ontologically (infinity, time, etc.). Either way, the MGB is superfluous.
ShabShoral
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1/16/2017 5:09:29 PM
Posted: 6 days ago
You guys would make this so much easier if you admitted that a "MGB" is a nonsensical concept.
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