reply to post by Damsel
I agree with what you say about reality. It is merely another abstract concept. We can never point at reality, only objects within what we call
Mankind can point to the wind. We perhaps cannot see it unless it forms tornados, but we can feel it on our skin and see the effects it has on other
objects. It has tangibility on its side. Empedocles discovered air was a separate thing by flipping over a bucket in water and watching the bubbles
come out. Love cannot do that. Consciousness cannot do that. When a body dies, no gaseous substance called a soul, spirit or consciousness escapes.
When a person sleeps, he does not lose something called consciousness, only he no longer appears to match our idea of consciousness, he doesn't share
the similarities in appearance with other beings on which we bestow the word consciousness, our idea of what it looks like to be awake.
We don't know that consciousness exists, we know that people exist and that they appear conscious when they are awake, and we call that
appearance—so long that it matches our idea of consciousness—consciousness.
We must admit that consciousness is an idea, and not something tangible that constitutes the universe, or pushes man to do strange things, or
something someone loses when they fall asleep—for it isn't something at all. I exist, therefore I can think.
Great arguments Damsel. Thank you.
reply to post by Wandering Scribe
It's easy to belittle my arguments by calling them mere sophistry or a trite game of semantics if that makes you feel better about not being able to
refute them, but nonetheless there are people who use these words and exalt them in favor of the actual things they abstractly represent. People kill
and die for these ideas: for love, for freedom, for democracy, for God, for country etc. without paying no mind to the particulars, and not once
admitting that these are mere abstract ideas. That I call dishonesty, delusion, self-deception and a very dangerous error in human understanding. This
isn't mere sophistry to me.
You agree that these words are ideas, or conceptions, representing particular objects. That is my point. So what then is more important and has a
higher degree of intrinsic value: the particular object or the representative idea or symbol? What holds more value, God or the universe it perhaps
You're right to point out that pineapples too is an abstract term, but it represents real objects, things you can point at that at least share
similarities in appearance. Pineapple therefore deserves to be a noun. What can you point at in regards to consciousness? Nothing, because it doesn't
represent a person, place or thing. It represents a similarity in appearance, a shared quality all conscious beings participate in—a concept, an
idea, nothing more.
Imagine if Hitler didn't exalt the idea of the Jew he held in his mind, but instead considered each particular Jew in his own merit. If a soldier
goes to war and dies for what he thinks is freedom or democracy, would he have so easily gave up his life if he realized that he in fact was fighting
for the interests of a few rich men? These abstractions are dangerous when they take precedence over the particulars they represent. We let ideas and
conceptions speak for them and in the process take away the opportunity for them to speak for themselves.
I think the difference between me and the people against my argument—which seems to be everyone—is that they see the similarities before the
differences, whereas I see the differences before the similarities. When I look at an apple, I don't see just another apple, I see that particular
apple, with all its beautiful imperfections which separate it from all apples. Am I right to do this? That
I am unsure—but nonetheless I
argue for it.
Great arguments Scribe and a fruitful discussion.
Although I left much of this thought experiment to interpretation (or misinterpretation which seems to be the case), I am essentially tackling the
Problem of Universals
, an age old philosophical dispute. I, for whatever reason, take