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Why isn’t philosophy taught in schools?
Posted: 14 March 2008 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]  
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Salt Creek - 13 March 2008 05:28 PM
waltercat - 13 March 2008 05:02 PM

First: NOTHING MATTERS

Second:  Only that which can be stated in the language of science can be true.

Walter, if I believe nothing matters, then I don’t care whether any statement can be regarded as true.

You might not care but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a view.  And, obviously, even if you are a nihilist, you may still believe that some things are true and that some things don’t even reach the level of truth or falsity.

When I said that I believe that you think that nothing matters is that I believe that you are under the impression that the theory of evolution demonstrates that we are nothing more than dust in the wind and that, despite all of our efforts and concerns and trials and tribulations, our lives are, ultimately, senseless. 

Maybe I am wrong about that, but you often say things that leads one to the conclusion that you are a nihilist.

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What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

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Posted: 14 March 2008 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]  
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waltercat - 14 March 2008 01:34 PM

When I said that I believe that you think that nothing matters is that I believe that you are under the impression that the theory of evolution demonstrates that we are nothing more than dust in the wind and that, despite all of our efforts and concerns and trials and tribulations, our lives are, ultimately, senseless. 

Maybe I am wrong about that, but you often say things that leads one to the conclusion that you are a nihilist.

I’m not a nihilist. Labeling oneself a nihilist is not worth the trouble it takes to label oneself. I don’t think the human endeavor is leading anywhere, so if the choice is between teleology and nihilism, yes, I take the latter. But I’m not so nihilistic as to succumb meekly to the dichotomy that you so flatly offer to anyone you think will listen.

[ Edited: 14 March 2008 10:35 AM by Traces Elk]
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Posted: 14 March 2008 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]  
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waltercat - 14 March 2008 01:34 PM
Salt Creek - 13 March 2008 05:28 PM
waltercat - 13 March 2008 05:02 PM

First: NOTHING MATTERS

Second:  Only that which can be stated in the language of science can be true.

Walter, if I believe nothing matters, then I don’t care whether any statement can be regarded as true.

You might not care but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a view.  And, obviously, even if you are a nihilist, you may still believe that some things are true and that some things don’t even reach the level of truth or falsity.

Let me try to restate it in absolutist terms that you actually think you can understand: If I believe nothing matters, why would I care whether any statement can be regarded as true?

waltercat - 13 March 2008 05:02 PM

Second:  Only that which can be stated in the language of science can be true.

Third:  The only things that we know to be true are the things that science has demonstrated to be true.

The conclusion that I actually do care can be made from Second and Third. There is an aspect of discrimination implied by deciding what statements we will say have been demonstrated.

Hence, I am not a nihilist. I note the importance of obtaining empirical knowledge combined with the insights obtained from inter-laboratory comparison. The ability to design experiments that are subject to inter-laboratory comparison is a measure of understanding of theory not to be trifled with.

Since you seem to think I care about the latter, your First and Second are self-contradicting. Work on your reading skills, walter.

[ Edited: 14 March 2008 10:45 AM by Traces Elk]
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Posted: 14 March 2008 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]  
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Salt Creek - 14 March 2008 02:30 PM

Let me try to restate it in absolutist terms that you actually think you can understand: If I believe nothing matters, why would I care whether any statement can be regarded as true?

Believing that nothing matters is not the same as not caring about the truth.  Presumably there is at least one truth that all nihilists care deeply about, namely, that nothing really matters.

As I tried to indicate above, belief that nothing matters is not the same as not caring about the truth.  I can believe that, ultimately, life is pointless and there is no inherent value in living and still take an interest in the concept of truth.

I’m not sure why this is so hard to get across.

waltercat - 13 March 2008 05:02 PM

Second:  Only that which can be stated in the language of science can be true.

Third:  The only things that we know to be true are the things that science has demonstrated to be true.

The conclusion that I actually do care can be made from Second and Third. There is an aspect of discrimination implied by deciding what statements we will say have been demonstrated.

Hence, I am not a nihilist. I note the importance of obtaining empirical knowledge combined with the insights obtained from inter-laboratory comparison. The ability to design experiments that are subject to inter-laboratory comparison is a measure of understanding of theory not to be trifled with.

Since you seem to think I care about the latter, your First and Second are self-contradicting.

But the First statement, NOTHING MATTERS, is consistent with your caring about the truth.  Again, if I believe that nothing matters, I only believe that life is ultimately pointless, that there is no inherent value in living or in nature or anything else.  But, having said all of that, I still may care about the truth.

 


Work on your reading skills, walter.

Why?

Why the need to provoke offense?  Do I deserve this?  Have I offended you by suggesting that you might be a nihilist?  If so, just say it, there is no need to continue the string of insults.

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What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

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