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Thread: Our Existence Is Paradoxical or Non-Paradoxical?

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    Re: Our existance is paradoxical or non paradoxical?

    Existence is demonstrably paradoxical because all attempted explanations of its origins, authenticity, and validity are paradoxical.-Elenor
    The history of philosophy is replete with paradoxes that were held to be genuine and even irreproachable, only to be resolved later in one of several ways. Namely: (1) it can be shown that one of the premises that the paradox relies upon to be obviously true is in fact false; (2) that it confuses different senses of a term and therefore is shown to be merely an invalid argument or a false statement. (3) That the absurd conclusion derived from the premises of the paradox is conceded as true, and perhaps not absurd at all; or finally, (4) that our entire conceptual architecture must be molded around a certain paradox that can neither be assented to or denied, but must be merely kept from arising by the employment of systemic rules.

    For the first case, the paradox of the Barber who shaves everyone in the village who does not shave himself fits as an example (the punch line is: does the barber shave himself?) as Quine says in The Ways of Paradox, all this paradox means is there is no such barber or no such village, and supposing them merely results in a reductio of that supposition once its possibilities are explored. Zeno’s paradoxes also arguably fit for both one and two, though the Eleatic’s at least took them in the third sense—namely, by concluding that the absurd conclusion of a lack of motion is impossible. Russell’s paradox and the ensuing theory of types is a paradigm example of the forth, or the liar’s paradox vis-à-vis Tarski’s work in truth theory.

    Yet, the examples and specific cases are ultimately unimportant. The point is that any supposed paradox regarding existence (and I’m still not sure exactly what about existence is paradoxical) may not actually have anything to do with existence itself (how could it?) Rather, it may simply be a foible regarding the way we use words, and the pitfalls that may lie hidden in our language—especially when we lead it to places that it was never intended to go.

    There is nothing paradoxical about our existence, only in the way we perceive it (we perceive quantum fields as people or things).-Aupmanyav
    What is the basis for taking quantum fields as epistemically or ontologically prior to things, and why are quantum fields any less problematic than things? Is it perhaps because the predictions of scientists working in the field of quantum mechanics (based on entities that cannot be seen but merely theoretically posited) can be empirically verified—by people using things such as particle accelerators?

    Ahh, but…

    Science is working on the problem of its origins.
    Yes—“science is” (which is to say, scientists are) working on a model that will be a perfect model. The problem is we already have a perfect model, and that is that which we are modeling! But maybe I’ve been too hasty in trying to correct the anthropomorphization of science. Maybe science is the last personality; when the scientists have been shown to be merely clouds of light, science will still be there, as the mind of God. But the perfect model is already in God’s mind, so our work is quite done.

    Unless we want to make our cry “Back to Descartes! Back to the Meditations! And that means all of them, not just the first two!”

    Existence is perception-Reynard
    The distinction between perception and existence in philosophy has been a fundamental feature of western thought since at least Parmenides; it cannot simply be claimed away without argument—and especially not by using “is” itself, as a copula, to do it!

    Here’s the common sense case for the distinction: I’ve seen something and thought it was something, but it turned out I was wrong and it was actually something else. For example, I once saw a tower in the distance that was round, but upon closer inspection it was a square tower. It is also possible for me to merely see a round tower at a distance and walk away, never realizing that that tower is, in fact, square. But that doesn’t change the fact that the tower is square. Therefore, what I see and what actually is are at least potentially two different things.

    Now it may be argued by those of a positivist-empiricist bent that we don’t *really* see towers at all, but merely a smear of colors that somehow exists prior to our transforming them into objects such as towers by a cognitive process. And those smearings of color—or something prior even to them—are the basis of all knowledge. But that’s insane. We see the tower, and only by a process of abstraction do we ever get to the tower cum smearing of color.

    I can find no fault in the common sense argument; however, it does seem possible to collapse the distinction, as ontologically primary, by acknowledging that perception exists. Or, that perception is not nothing but rather something. The danger is not in acknowledging, ontically as Heidegger might say, the distinction between inner and outer. It is obviously there. The danger is in taking it as ontologically prior as a principle that is not derived from the world itself, but as a given upon which our own individual worlds are built.

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    Re: Our existance is paradoxical or non paradoxical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elenor View Post
    If Z exists, it has properties. Howerver must all existing things must share any properties?
    I am discussing the properties in another forum (IIDB). One thing seems certain, the energy/substance that constitutes Z is not sentient. It is not a judge. It is not kind or cruel. To attribute these and similar properties to it, as if it was human, is wrong. It does not act. Perhaps there is no creation. The energy/substance follows its own rules (waves/vibrations) and the result is what we percieve as creation; animals, vegetation, or things, but it is due to our own faulty perception. We are all constituted of it, and therefore, every property of the energy/substance is the same as our properties. The additional properties that we have, are, again, illusions; like feeling pain or pleasure, being calm or agitated, etc. Perhaps I would add some more in a next post.

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    Re: Our existance is paradoxical or non paradoxical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aupmanyav View Post
    I am discussing the properties in another forum (IIDB). One thing seems certain, the energy/substance that constitutes Z is not sentient. It is not a judge. It is not kind or cruel. To attribute these and similar properties to it, as if it was human, is wrong. It does not act. Perhaps there is no creation. The energy/substance follows its own rules (waves/vibrations) and the result is what we percieve as creation; animals, vegetation, or things, but it is due to our own faulty perception. We are all constituted of it, and therefore, every property of the energy/substance is the same as our properties. The additional properties that we have, are, again, illusions; like feeling pain or pleasure, being calm or agitated, etc. Perhaps I would add some more in a next post.
    Your ideas seem very Schopenhauerian, have you read his works? He considers the world in itself, your essence of all things, as the 'Will'. All things that we percieve are manifested from the Will, interpreted through the Principle of Sufficient Reason (being space, time, and logic (ie object - subject distinction) which lays within our minds. The Will is non moral, being a force that is purely impulse and drive without direction.

    One point I would like to think on is whether, as you say, we should consider our inability to percieve the World-in-itself as 'faulty perception'. Perhaps we can say that the Will is the true essence of all things, but is there not some way to justify our human view of the world?

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    Re: Our existance is paradoxical or non paradoxical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    Your ideas seem very Schopenhauerian, have you read his works? He considers the world in itself, your essence of all things, as the 'Will'. All things that we percieve are manifested from the Will, interpreted through the Principle of Sufficient Reason (being space, time, and logic (ie object - subject distinction) which lays within our minds. The Will is non moral, being a force that is purely impulse and drive without direction.

    One point I would like to think on is whether, as you say, we should consider our inability to percieve the World-in-itself as 'faulty perception'. Perhaps we can say that the Will is the true essence of all things, but is there not some way to justify our human view of the world?
    Unfortunately not, but we have enough of it in Indian philosophy, if it is that. Schpenhauer is reported to have studied Indian scriptures.

    But is there a difference? 'Brahman' has no 'will', it does not want anything, it just follows its 'ritam', its nature, like water flows downwards. The word 'will' implies desire and perhaps is not suitable in the context.

    Human view is an illusion of scale and physiology, and is perfectly justified. Our eyes are able to see only the visible section of the spectrum. There is a lot before and after. We will percieve what we percieve, but when we translate perception into understanding, what we make out of the perception, we need to be more enlightened. IMHO, to be drowned in feelings, emotions and attachments, are results of a faulty understanding.

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