May 14th, 2006


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09:52 pm - on Wørds and Wisdom... (and a little about Women at the end)

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on Wørds and Wisdom... (and a little about Women at the end) - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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Comments:


[User Picture]From: max1975 Date: May 16th, 2006 - 11:35 pm (Link)

Re: and then i thought on it some more

For a while it was reality that the sun revolved around the earth. Anyone could see that. It was reality.

See, to me that's not reality. That's just people's idea of reality.

but it's a science we designed within the confines of that which we believe to be reality.

Yes, but that which we believe to be reality is informed by what is actually real. Because our understanding of it is imperfect doesn't make it less so. You can't have a group hallucination without first having a group to hallucinate.
[User Picture]From: marmal8 Date: May 17th, 2006 - 12:06 am (Link)

Re: and then i thought on it some more

See, to me that's not reality. That's just people's idea of reality.

I don't see how it's possible to distinguish the two.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: May 17th, 2006 - 12:50 am (Link)

Re: and then i thought on it some more

it isn't. Certainly not on a globalsocio path...
[User Picture]From: max1975 Date: May 17th, 2006 - 01:27 am (Link)

Re: and then i thought on it some more

The fact that we lack the tools to distinguish them does not make them the same thing. We have the ability to take our own limitations into account when constructing our mental models of reality. If we fail to do so, and take our representations as the real thing, we're just fooling ourselves.
[User Picture]From: marmal8 Date: May 17th, 2006 - 01:51 am (Link)

Re: and then i thought on it some more

How can you be sure?
How do you know that we lack the tools to distinguish reality from our perceptions of it?
How do you know that we don't now know the real true reality?
[User Picture]From: max1975 Date: May 17th, 2006 - 02:46 am (Link)

Re: and then i thought on it some more

I can't be sure, that's my whole point. Neither can you :)

We have no point of reference from which to compare our perceptions with the real thing. We can get different perspectives from other people, but leaving aside any dishonesty or poor communication skills on their part, then all we have is our perceptions of their perspectives.

So why take the view that there is a reality outside our perceptions? A few reasons.

1) Solipsism is lonely
2) "There is no universal truth" is a contradictory, logically flawed statement. Now, I'm all for acknowledging the limits of reason (which ties in to my contention that we can't fully understand reality) but when you rest your argument on this statement, it removes your credibility. If you don't believe what you're saying is true, what possible reason could I have for doing so? Because most people agree with you? Why should I care?

On the other hand, if there is a universal truth, then I am open to arguments, because I don't want to be wrong. I will seek common ground, I will try to understand your perspective, I will listen to you because I want my model to be a more accurate reflection of reality. I might even come to accept views that I dislike. If consensus becomes reality, I don't have to do any of that. I just have to shout louder, construct arguments that sound good, impress you with big words and blinking lights. Or just build a mind-control device.
[User Picture]From: marmal8 Date: May 17th, 2006 - 08:42 pm (Link)

Re: and then i thought on it some more

While you chose to focus on the "truth" part of "universal truth," I focus on the "universal" part of it. That is to say that I have my truth that works for me. I recognize it doesn't work for others, but that doesn't make it any less true.

In your model, well, maybe you don't want to be wrong and you are open to arguments. But there do seem to be an awful lot of people who operate in your model who believe they are right and are not open to arguments. My model allows me to say, "Okay, enjoy that," and walk away from fanatics, fundies, schizophrenics, and poopooheads.
[User Picture]From: max1975 Date: May 17th, 2006 - 09:00 pm (Link)

Re: and then i thought on it some more

But there do seem to be an awful lot of people who operate in your model who believe they are right and are not open to arguments.

My model is not nearly as popular as I'd like it to be. What these guys are missing is the key ingredient that it's not possible to know what the universal truth is. When people assume they've got it, then yeah, there are problems. However your model is casting all these folks as fanatics, fundies, schizophrenics, and poopooheads, and if you're honest with yourself I don't think you'll find that you actually approve of their ideas as truths having as much validity as yours.

I recognize it doesn't work for others, but that doesn't make it any less true.

But if your truth doesn't apply to me, I'm not compelled to try and understand it. I might try to a point, but if it doesn't make some headway quickly, I'm likely to just stick to my own truth. I think this leads to more walking away and less understanding.
[User Picture]From: marmal8 Date: May 17th, 2006 - 09:39 pm (Link)

Re: and then i thought on it some more

However your model is casting all these folks as fanatics, fundies, schizophrenics, and poopooheads, and if you're honest with yourself I don't think you'll find that you actually approve of their ideas as truths having as much validity as yours.

They are welcome to their ideas so long as they do not force them on other people or go around screaming at people and beating people up for thinking differently. It is forcing your ideas on someone else that makes you a poopoohead.

I'm not compelled to try and understand it.

As a general rule, I'm not into compelling people.
Yes, this does make my professional life difficult, but it works for my personal life. Some random person doesn't wanna understand me? Fine. Doesn't bother me.

[User Picture]From: max1975 Date: May 17th, 2006 - 10:23 pm (Link)

Re: and then i thought on it some more

But they're not welcome to those ideas which require them to beat people up for thinking differently. So some ideas are better than others.

Some random person doesn't wanna understand me? Fine. Doesn't bother me.

I'm all for avoiding conflict as much as possible, and in general I'm happy to let people believe what they want. But if someone (conscientiously adhering to his own truth) is doing something that's hurting me, I need to be able to make a compelling argument that he shouldn't do that (and I can't do that honestly unless I believe my point of view is superior, i.e. closer to an unknown truth which applies to us both). Maybe he'll listen and maybe he won't, but he should at least have the opportunity. There are only so many places I can walk away to.
[User Picture]From: marmal8 Date: May 17th, 2006 - 11:21 pm (Link)

Re: and then i thought on it some more

So some ideas are better than others.

The idea of beating people up is generally a bad one, IMO. But deciding to beat people up based on the fact that they hold different ideas from you is not the fault of the ideas.

In any case, I don't see how you can convince anyone that your point of view is closer to The Truth if they believe that their idea is closer to The Truth.

At least you don't resort to veiled insults and imply that only people who agree with you are smart. I consider that kind of behavior equivalent to fundamentalism.
From: max1975 Date: May 18th, 2006 - 03:41 am (Link)

Re: and then i thought on it some more

[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: May 17th, 2006 - 12:47 am (Link)

Re: and then i thought on it some more

for the record, this is a point of reference thing. If the universe is truly infinite, then any point could be picked as its center. The earth revolves around the sun because looking from an arbitrary point outside of our solar system, 9 objects are revolving around one other larger one. But lacking other markers, and just taking into account two objects, the earth and the sun, it is impossible to say which object is revolving around which.
[User Picture]From: max1975 Date: May 17th, 2006 - 01:32 am (Link)

Re: and then i thought on it some more

I'm not sure what your point is. We aren't lacking other markers. Still, I don't wanna be nitpicky about who revolves around who. I'm just saying there are real things doing this thing we call "revolving" and they do what they do regardless of what we call it or how well we understand it or whether or not we're even aware of it.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: May 17th, 2006 - 01:52 am (Link)

Re: and then i thought on it some more

point being that its not so simple as saying its revolving. The very concept of revolution only matters in reference to an observer. I believe there is some corollary to relativity that explains it better than I could ever hope to. *shrug*

The point is, truths are seldom universal. Certainly not the interesting ones. Generally perspective has a lot to do with it. And perspective is colored by perception, especially mob perception. Are we the good guys or the bad guys in Iraq? It all depends on who you ask.
[User Picture]From: max1975 Date: May 17th, 2006 - 02:56 am (Link)

Re: and then i thought on it some more

The existence of contradictory perspectives does not make impossible a third point of view from which they both make sense. It's the discovery of this third point of view that I think is being impeded when we assign too much truthiness value to the mob perception.
 

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