The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

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Fujaro
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Post by Fujaro » Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:03 am

Dave Toast wrote:
Fujaro wrote:There really is no sense in pursuing Ultimate Truth and at the same time arguing for separate truths for philosophy and science
They're not separate truths. They're merely on different rungs of a hierarchy, distinguished by merit of contingency.
Assuming you are referring to philosophical and scientific statements, I agree they are not the same but that they relate to each other.

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Matt Gregory
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Post by Matt Gregory » Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:42 pm

Fujaro wrote:
Matt Gregory wrote:
Your tone is full of contempt for my view on the matter.
And yours is full of contempt for mine.
Just read back the postings in this thread and be a fair judge of where the retarded nonsense bit slipped in. If you further refrain from these remarks, I will gladly discuss any arguments you present.
Alright, I'll be more serious. Just give me some time to reply.

Fujaro
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Post by Fujaro » Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:09 am

Matt Gregory wrote:Alright, I'll be more serious. Just give me some time to reply.
OK Matt, fair enough, I look forward to the discussion.

Wonderer
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Post by Wonderer » Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:48 pm

If i might interject, pragmatically the search for what we percieve as "ultimate truth" takes place as follows.

An easy way to define "ultimate truth" or "objective truth" can be "the undeniable truth and reality concerning the nature of our existence and the universe", or more simply as "an undeniable and undoubtable eternal truth"

I preferr to define it in this way because it is the answer to the great questions about time, existence and the universe which we need to know if we are to be sure about any emperical beliefs in the sense of "a complete and ultimate truth".

For example, we might understand chemistry fully from observing it, but it might be the case that our 3'd world is a complete illusion created our conciousness (something to the extent that we are not necessarily material beings) and because of this our understanding of what we call material would forever be limited.

We are literally trapped within our 3 dimensional confinement. we can only percieve a limited amount of information from a limited internal perspective. Is it possible that we can ever see the whole picture?
If we stumbled on it by accident would we even know it?

A new question can always be raised. it need only be a single word; "why?"

The desire to attain "ultimate truth" is foolish. all we can do is improve the truth we already have.

the only thing we can do is continue to climb higher on the ladder, even if the ladder is never ending.


That's my somewhat pragmatist opinion.

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Matt Gregory
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Post by Matt Gregory » Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:40 am

the only thing we can do is continue to climb higher on the ladder, even if the ladder is never ending.
But if all these ladder climbs are themselves part of the Absolute Truth, then there is no place to climb. You're trying to cordon off things and keep them out of the Absolute in order to argue against it, but that's not valid because the Absolute is everything by definition. It's the All.

Nihilus
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Post by Nihilus » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:03 am

"...I like that kind of knowledge where it wouldn't matter if the world was a virtual reality simulation, or whether it was a dream in somebody's head, or whether the laws of physics or something are gonna change or not, I like that sort of knowledge which is beyond all that and can never ever change."
This is an empty phantom. It doesn't exist. It is a encapsulation of something not only incoherent but entirely contradictory to the premises provided early on in the discussion.

If you surrender to the notion that all sensory input has the potential for flaw (the truth for which must exist magically outside the materialistic reality), then there is absolutely no means by which to logically propose anything exists in this "beyond all that" knowledge realm and, furthermore, there is no means by which to engage in some odd transcendence of our reality in order to even see if such is the case.

You cannot simultaneously disavow yourself of the only (quasi)objective means of determining certitude and then demand/declare certitude of a premise merely by means of your imagination.

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David Quinn
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Post by David Quinn » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:32 am

What about pure logic? It is logically the case that all sense-information (and therefore all scientifc theorizing) is inherently uncertain. So right here we have a significant piece of knowledge which is absolutely certain.

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Nihilus
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Post by Nihilus » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:02 pm

What about pure logic? It is logically the case that all sense-information (and therefore all scientifc theorizing) is inherently uncertain. So right here we have a significant piece of knowledge which is absolutely certain.
Pure logic is a mental system based on conclusions that are presumed to be solid based on the way our universe functions. It functions only to the degree that we are able to consistently interpret things as linear and causative.

And, even yielding completely unto logic, without the use of the scientific method (which is, in a very banal sense, what we do while interactive with our reality each day...and which logic itself would lead us to), we are left with nothing but traditional fallacies (argumentum ad populum, appeal to emotion, false dichotomies...take your pick) as the means to determine the probability of any one thing more than the next.

What you are doing above is engaging in a semantic circular trick (a kind of variation of Russell's paradox). Unless we are interested only in "truths" which are self-supporting theoretically, as opposed to "truths" which actually reflect anything we interact with, this conclusion offers us nothing. In addition, the degree of "absolutism" that was desired in the original quote is still unavailable because we are still confined to the constrictions of our sensory inputs (turning everything outside of our thresholds into the equivalent of a Schrödinger's Cat).

The prospect of even asking for an absolutism that transcends materialism is wrought merely from the human capacity to imagine things beyond ourselves and then, retroactively, presume there is a consideration about them that can reasonably be made.

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David Quinn
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Post by David Quinn » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:35 pm

I don't go along with any of that. For one thing, you are attempting to use logic to prove your point, one that you think is significant enough to be worth mentioning, so already you are going against everything that you express in your post. Not even you believe your own arguments, it would seem.

Logic is simply the art of drawing conclusions from what is perceived. The uncertainty inherent in science and empirical theorizing derives from what science actually is - namely, a system of knowledge that finds its support in what is observed through the senses. Since we can never experience the sense-world other than through the senses, it follows that we have no means of ascertaining just how reliable our sense-information is. Or to put it more simply, we can never step beyond the senses (or their technological equivalents) and observe what is "out there".

Again, this is a truth which derives from what science is, and will always remain true for as long as science retains its current identity.

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Nihilus
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Post by Nihilus » Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:29 am

I don't go along with any of that. For one thing, you are attempting to use logic to prove your point, one that you think is significant enough to be worth mentioning, so already you are going against everything that you express in your post. Not even you believe your own arguments, it would seem
I have no idea how you interpret any dissonance in what I'm saying. I'm not contradicting anything by using logic because I am not the one arguing in favor of anything beyond the materialistic. So using logic works fine for me.

What I've been trying to do is show how the use of logic under the pretense of searching for an "ultimate truth" that exists beyond the confines of the known universe is silly. There is no such knowledge (aka certitude) to be potentially gained.
Logic is simply the art of drawing conclusions from what is perceived.
Logic is the the process of sensibly determining a conclusion from understood principles of non-contradiction.

Otherwise, by the above definition, a person on hallucinogenics "perceiving" purple spotted camels in tutus makes them a "logically" sound entity.

The logic of the original quote, as an earlier poster (Fujaro) poignantly stated, leads to an infinite regress. For every over-universe you think you discover beyond this one that would lead you to believe you achieved an "ultimate truth" there can conceivably be one above it with entirely different properties that voids your conclusions.
The uncertainty inherent in science and empirical theorizing derives from what science actually is - namely, a system of knowledge that finds its support in what is observed through the senses.
When you say "the uncertainty of science" what you really are referring to is the uncertainty of humanity. You are talking about the potential for fallibility in our human sensory tools. So, yes.
Since we can never experience the sense-world other than through the senses, it follows that we have no means of ascertaining just how reliable our sense-information is.
If you disregard the universe we live in, yes. If you choose to toss away the obvious and repeatedly sound method of tangible reality...which some people like to do in a theoretical world, but which you have not done in practicality even by sending the last post (which required you to presume the physical laws of the universe that led you to think hitting plastic buttons on an electronic machine while a particular array of light-emiting particles were shown on a rectangular display object would magically turn into modern hieroglyphics that I would understand and be able to reply to).

If two people have competeing points - one saying a ball immediately in front of them is made of plastic and the other saying it is made of jello - physical reality gives us the tools by which to verify not only which of the two propositions is more probable, but also which is factual. Materialism (and the scientific method, as a fine-tuned structure coalesced to best interpret it) provides this means of differentiating...one which is "supported" every day. It works within the parameters of our universe.

Saying we could be a virtual reality machine doesn't change anything because when I'm playing Super Mario Bros., unless I'm using a hacked version, Mario still can only jump (roughly) 2 inches vertically, even if I can jump a foot vertically; meaning, the physical "truth" about my over-universe has no bearing on the structure of that sub-universe and the laws of that sub-universe remains constant to what they're set to.
Or to put it more simply, we can never step beyond the senses (or their technological equivalents) and observe what is "out there".
Exactly. Which is precisely why, when we discard materialism and the scientific method, we willingly release the only means we have of determining a differentiation in the likelihood of something (even if it's only provisional). At that moment, any and every thing imaginable becomes equally likely - which leads to no knowledge; no truth. Furthermore, our certainty about this uncertainty is also part of the set, so we cannot be even certain about that...rendering the entire concept of "ultimate truth in all possible scenarios" incoherent.
Again, this is a truth which derives from what science is, and will always remain true for as long as science retains its current identity.
I'm not sure what you are suggesting here. That we just imagine ideas into reality? I find it a bit ironic that you both took the time to add snickers towards the end of the podcast when Victor described a poignant epiphany related to the correlation between AI and humans, describing it as "science fiction"-ish, when this search for something outside science (which, again, is you covertly saying "outside our reality") is even more science-fiction (and I say this because it appears to me that you are not entering upon this endeavor from the perspective of a quantum physicist, actually curious about the ways mutiple dimensions or multiverses could function [which might have some merit], but treading upon the thought process purely from metaphysical philosophy hoping to possibly garner more than what we can as humans).

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David Quinn
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Post by David Quinn » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:44 am

I'm sorry, you've caught me at a busy time. I don't have time at the moment to get into a big discussion on this.

I would like to continue discussing it. It's an important issue and you seem intelligent to me. If you're still around in a couple of weeks, I can give it my full attention then.

A thousand apologies.

David

Nihilus
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Re: The Nature of Knowledge - Victor Danilchenko

Post by Nihilus » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:01 am

A thousand is a bit excessive, no? I mean, it's just a nice (though healthily critical) discussion online. :)

I'm likely to poke back on.

Now, if you were offering a thousand peanut butter cups...

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