I have chosen Descartes to begin my study in rational thinking. Rene Descartes is famous for the quote "I think, therefore I am."
I want to make a stab and go a bit further.
Things I know:
I can determine that some thoughts are more "good" than others.
Therefore, morals must exist.
Things I don't know, but suspect:
There is a vessel that contains my mind (my body).
There appear to be other entities who think and have bodies.
There appear to be other things that don't think but have bodies.
Therefore, other things besides me likely exist.
Things I don't know:
Are these other things that probably exist extentions of ME?
Are things created, or do they merely exist?
This is just a bit of fun for me, please don't think I'm taking myself too seriously here.
I found this very good observation of what Descartes probably meant by his statement.
The guy was trying to figure out if he could prove that he existed, cause it was trendy then to try to prove what all existed and whether or not anything actually existed at all. They had a lot of time on their hands.
He decided that the proof of his own existence was in the observation that he thought - had a mind that could think. So he decided that because he could think, he must exist.
I think. Therefore I am.
On a side note, this very guy once walked into a bar and ordered a drink. Bartender brought him a drink. After a while the barkeep noticed his glass was near empty. Another drink, Mr. Descartes?
I think not, said Rene.
My own slant on Descartes statement would be " I am, therefore I think."
Meaning I am happy with the idea that I already exist and will take up my time thinking about other things.
On the side note, I walked into a bar and ordered a drink. Bartender brought me a drink. After a while the barkeep noticed that my glass was nearly empty. Another drink Mr Silverspeeder?
I am here, therefore I think so
I can think about unicorns
Therefore, unicorns must exist?
That was your argument, morals exist because you think so, mine is only an analogy.
Morals exist TO ME. Has nothing to do with the outside world. I'm not even sure that exists, remember?
How can you prove to yourself that anything outside of your own thoughts exist? Through your senses?
Suppose there is a galaxy xyz exists a million light years away and scientists haven't discovered it yet, doesn't it not exist because we do not know about it?
If there are no inhabitants? We don't know that it exists doesn't mean it doesn't exist. A few minutes before you had no idea that I exists but definitely did exist before that.
The thoughts about the unicorns are real aren't they? So they should be real, wasn't that your argument?
Nope, thoughts are real, we can think about all kinds of imaginary things that do not exist outside of our thought, unicorns, gods...
Our thoughts are also not outside our brain, a few neurotransmitters creating an image that we "feel" as real. We feel does not mean it is real, say pain though very real for us is still an illusion created by the body to protect against harm.
If it were real there would have been a real unicorn in our brain.
It's like the circuit that generates a computer picture, the electrons move but there is no real picture inside the CPU. The electrons are the things, the real things, the picture is a few dots that is switched on and off on the screen. Similarly a few nerve interaction creates a feeling (sensation) of reality, not reality.
If thoughts were real we would have to agree that hallucinations are real.
By the way what do you really mean by 'real'?
The process of thinking or hallucinating is real, it doesn't mean the hallucination is actually taking place apart from the mind. But events are happening in the brain that can be measured.
What is 'real', your feelings or the neural connection or the object you are thinking about?
When an electron moves through an ic chip in a computer it produces a picture on the screen, so which one is real, the picture or the electrons or the chip or the "thinking" of the computer in creating the picture?
The thoughts are real, not what you are thinking about,
Your computer analogy doesn't work as both are real.
Again I repeat the question, what do 'you' mean by "real"?
A thought is a feeling we get when some neurotransmitters are transmitted across. The neurons and molecules are real not the thought. A thought is a mere byproduct of a chemical reaction, an illusion created by brain.
Thoughts are not feelings. Feeling are emotions. Thoughts are ideas.
A thought is what you feel, an illusion. Ideas are a creation of brain. (Emotions are just one kind of thought - different chemicals, different brain area). Just like a projector creating a picture - all the hardwires are real but the picture is not, its just light reflected.
Maybe things can't exist out in the real world unless it conforms to laws. No blueprint for unicorns, so no unicorns can exist. But there are blueprints for people, so people can exist.
That's like the tree falling in the woods question. I would say, it probably exists. Like everything else probably exists. But I still can't say it absolutely exists. There is no way to prove it to myself.
What is in your mind is what you conceived - a conception, not real and hence do not exist (just because one can think about it).
Then what does exist? And can you prove it? Even to yourself?
Anything that has physical presence exist (that is independent presence regardless of mind).
What is a physical presence? Does it have to be material?
Thoughts are real.
They are how we know we exist so the thoughts must be real.
The thoughts may not be right, but they are real thoughts.
Thoughts are 'real' only in relation to mind/brain, a connection between a few nerve cells.
That's interesting. Our opinions are exactly opposites. I can only prove to myself that my thoughts are real (although all my thoughts aren't necessarily true).
Exactly, thoughts are only perceptions that has no existence. If thoughts had existence we could dream anything into existence.
Why do you say that? I don't see how that conclusion necessarily follows. There are still rules (like the laws of physics). Maybe we can only dream certain things into existence.
We cannot dream anything into existence. Thoughts are mere circuits in the brain just like the circuit in an ic chip of a computer. Just as there are no others things in a computer(other than the chips) though we can see the whole world there is nothing other the brain though we can think about anything. Who knows, the computer also may be thinking that ita thoughts are real.
Still something real. Expressing the thought is also something real.
What is real?
Nothing physical is real. Just "waves' of collapsed probability. That doesn't even mean anything to me.
What's a physical thing? Nothing, really. A kind of barrier of force between other "things".
An electron is the only thing that I can think of that has it's own physical existence without being broken down into smaller parts. And what the heck is that? Is it physical? It has mass. What is mass,anyway? Just means it has volume or takes up space.
Only physical things are real that only physical things exist. Physical things are not waves but that which has shape to differentiate itself from surrounding nothingness. (Just like the circumference differentiate a circle from its background )
But doesn't quantum mechanics say everything has wavelike qualities? That everything vibrates?
"but that which has shape to differentiate itself from surrounding nothingness. (Just like the circumference differentiate a circle from its background )"
Totally agree with that
Every'thing' vibrates and when it stops vibrating we call it 0 Kelvin (absolute zero temp), but it needs a thing to vibrate. There is nothing to vibrate without the thing.
What about this. It take three quarks to make a proton. A proton is a thing. What are quarks then?
Does something have to have mass to be a physical thing? And what is mass, besides that the thing can be measured and weighed?
I'm not sure any physical thing really exists. I think it's all forces and their fields.
1) Nobody knows what is inside an atom, so speculation.
2) I have no idea what 'mass' is. To be physically it neefs shape not mass.
3) Physical things exist by definition.
That is not true. An atom is comprised of a nucleus and a cloud of electrons. This is high school stuff.
Again, not true, all matter is comprised of mass.
Let me rephrase, Nobody knows what that stuff is or how it is arranged. We speculate a shape based on some findings and revise it when new findings come up. No one really has seen an atom let alone what is inside it so we can only speculate based on studies.
Again I have no idea what mass is, so feel free to enlighten. To be physical needs shape, not something that nobody knows what.
http://io9.com/the-first-image-ever-of- … -509684901
Ever hear of the Standard Model? Look it up.
It might have been better had you looked it up first rather than posting false statements.
Great photo. Who took it? With what camera? I guess the middle circle is the nucleus, but what is the outer circle? As far as I am aware, hydrogen has only one electron.
I did look up but I couldn't find what mass is, let alone that matter is made up of little blocks of mass.
The article explains those things. Did you read it?
I didn't read because the article wouldn't open in my phone. I read it now, but it still didn't answer the question, how a single electron is pictured as a shell.
And are you saying that this is the final picture of the atom (hydrogen) and there won't be any further revision?
Again, what I said still stands true, still we have only the picture of three circles not what is inside it (if I remember correctly the first scientific picture of atom was also based on similar properties and then it was made into a model with an outer orbit and middle nucleus, again two circles. Now it has become something like a cloud. Then at least it could havr been said that single electron and the path is the ring, now you are saying that a single electron makes a cloud)
mass (from Greek μᾶζα "barley cake, lump [of dough]") is a property of a physical body which determines the body's resistance to being accelerated by a force and the strength of its mutual gravitational attraction with other bodies.
It simply says that "mass" is a "property", resistance against motion not that it makes it physical. So suppose there is only one atom doesn't it got mass (then there will be nothing for gravitational attraction? Won't the atom exist then?
It is pictured as a shell because of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, you can start here, good luck with the math:
I never said any such thing.
That was just a cartoon depiction.
Sure, now that we actually can see what it looks like and how it appears based on the Uncertainty Principle.
That is correct, electrons move at the speed of light, coupled with the Uncertainty Principle, it certainly should appear as a cloud.
Yes, atoms have mass. Electromagnetic radiation (light, x-rays, radio waves, etc.) have NO mass, they are massless particles, hence they move at the speed of light, always. Anything with mass can never attain that speed.
It does, indeed.
Don't you know that momentum has nothing to do in picture?
Exactly, I too said the same thing, we revise our picture based on new findings and nobody really knows what is inside an atom.
You were saying that it is the picture of atom.
No. In a picture you can only see the object not the path taken by it. If there is only one electron, in a picture you will see a dot or a circle not a shell. If a plain is moving from Tel Avev to Teheran and if a satellite picture is taken we see only the plain at a given location not the path taken.
Not in a picture, unless you are superimposing all the frames of a motion picture.
And appearing as a cloud doesn't mean it is a cloud.
That is not what I asked. You were saying that something needs mass to exist and now you are saying that light has no mass, so light doesn't exist?
If there is only one atom(consider it a thought experiment) then there is nothing to attract it and hence according to you it should not have mass but you now say it has. So which is it?
A nucleus and an electron, that is what is inside of an atom.
No, this picture is a photo. The old pictures of a ball with a couple circles around it are cartoon depictions.
Electrons move at the speed of light, the shutter of the camera that took the picture would be open for a short time, but it would an eternity for the electrons. The distance around a nucleus in which the electrons move is very small, and with an open shutter speed and a short distance to travel, one electron would show up as a cloud.
No, I did not say something needs mass to exist.
That picture was NOT a photo! There are no photos of atoms. I'm not even sure if you can see a molecule, except maybe a giant bucky ball.
"the uncertainty principle is any of a variety of mathematical inequalities asserting a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties of a particle known as complementary variables, such as position x and momentum p, can be known simultaneously"
Unfortunately that is just 2 names given based on the pictures we derived based on experiments. We still don't know what all things are inside the atom, the shape of the things inside nor it relations. And you yourself agree that this picture may be revised in the future.
When a picture depict a dot as a shell that is not a true picture.
And in this photo there are 3 circles not two, so what is the middle circle?
Then it is not a true picture and is not giving us the true depiction. So are you telling me that the old cartoon depictions are the true shape of the atom?
And according to the article, the picture is somewhat like an X-ray picture not a true picture.
Appear does not mean it is. So the old planatary model is the correct shape?
Probably not, so when you said this
"[2) I have no idea what 'mass' is. To be physically it neefs shape not mass.
Again, not true, all matter is comprised of mass."], you meant that my statement that I had no idea what mass was, is not true?
Then, explain what you mean, why its not needed.
Uh, yeah we do, look up the Standard Model.
Why do you keep putting words in my mouth, I never said that.
Did you not read my explanation of that?
Yeah, it is.
I never said that.
It's a picture of the atom.
Appear, as in that is what it should look like.
What planatary model?
Yes, all "matter" is comprised of mass. Energy is not matter, it is energy.
Seriously dude, you appear to have some reading comprehension issues.
Momentum is associated with motion, in a picture we have no motion. Isn't it common sense that a picture/photo shows only location and not motion?
It does not convey any details about its appearance or arrangement, one can as well say that an atom is made of two balls.
There is no picture of atom there. And all you got is a number of assumptions based on some photographic plates.
So the picture will never be revised?
That the shutter is not properly working hence what would have been a single dot is shown as a shell made of cloud, yes. So what is preventing you from saying that the inner and middle circles are made of similar clouds or that the electron inside an atom is like a shell indeed?
You yourself said that the shutter is not good and hence a single dot is shown as a shell, so how is it a real picture?
So how does an electron look like in an atom, a shell or a dot?
Then how did the electron(that used to take the picture) pass through the nucleus? And didn't you noticed that there is no definition in the picture, but only three circles? A true picture should show clearly how does it look like from outside. From outside if the electron is present like a cloud one will not be able to see inside nor the picture will be like a cross section.
For that the shutter should also be good.
Haven't you heard of it?
If light is not physical, it must be spiritual? Light has a shape dude (that is why we can draw light) which distinguish light from its surrounding nothingness, hence it is physical. And if physical=matter, then light is matter.
What is energy(its definition)? How does it differentiate itself from the surrounding nothingness? If energy has no shape, it cannot exist.
What is the definition of "physical" according to you?
You see No concrete definition means the term is mostly useless. So please define.
Believer's favorite tactic, insult those who question their cherished beliefs.
Dude, you are seriously confused and keep putting words in my mouth. I'm done with your nonsense.
Believers last resort, when unable to answer in a logical and coherent way insult the one who questions and run away!
A great believer you are! Are you related to Craig or somebody like him?
Yes, that objects at the quantum level show both particle and wave like behavior, depending on the reference frame.
That, I think, refers to String Theory.
So, I might be mixing my theories in together where they shouldn't be. I think string theory hasn't been proven at all, correct?
This is not necessarily true. From my understanding with logic it would look like this . . .
I think, therefore I am
think, therefore am (The I's cancel themselves out)
Think is an action
Result of action is existence
Ponder a car moves. The car exists since an action occurs.
Forget the observer point of view unless you decide it is important. If it is important then it is a result of deciding witnessing the car move with the sense is a fact. For Descartes it is not the witnessing - experiential knowledge of consequence it is the fact one does decide. The action of deciding equates to 'therefore I am'.
I'm not very logical:) That's why I'm studying logic, and Descartes. I only just started reading Discourse on the Method.
This post is more along the lines of my personal views. Not exactly though, just a kind of generalized version of how I'm thinking about the subject of existence (from my own personal point of view). I don't expect it to make much sense to anyone. else. Mostly just doing it as an enjoyable activity. Kind of like a thought experiment.
Introduction to logic by Copi is a good book if you want to study logic, philosophy is not a good place to study logic. If you want to study philosophy, Will Durant's story of philosophy and 'socrates ti sartre' by Levine is a good introduction. Right now I am reading basic teachings of philosophers by Frost, which divides chapters based on topic rather than philosophers by the former ones.
I think every thought exercise is always worth it. I appreciate the forums when a thought exercise is a peer discussion focused on the exercise itself and the tangibles. Yes, intangibles will result with side bars sort to speak, yet a thread such as this offers with reading many views of sound reasoning to ponder. I tend to read much more than participate. This is one I follow because it seems to offer knowledge in many perspectives.
Maybe our forms are only vessels created by us to contain our thoughts, in a manner to separate them from other thought complexes. Our way of becoming individuals. Or separating ourselves physically from other individuals.
I'm afraid it's the other way around. Thoughts are a function of the brain.
That's the current theory. I don't think it's true though.
Human babies don't become self aware until just before 2 (I think). When the brain and body matures so does thought. Thought is not independent of us. It's something our body does to survive.
Actually I agree with all that. The only difference is that I believe that the thought is the cause, not the effect.
Afraid I don't understand, the thought is the cause of what?
Thought is the cause of all "physical" things. Our bodies, rocks, the sun. Plants. Each thing has it's own thought complex behind it. Each person or rock or animal. Except for things like bees, where the thought complex encompasses the whole hive.
EDIT: I'm kind of making this up as I go along, so bear with me unless that bores you:)
Perhaps that's an average, Rad Man. 2 years?
My earliest memory was at 9 months. I was very self-aware, but English was still a new language to me. I could understand that my mother was angry and I had a sense of the thing she was angry about, but searched my soul for a reason how I could have forgotten to put up my toys.
And thought is independent, if we are in spirit. Too many are stuck in their Homo sapiens body.
All hail the great lone77star. I should point out that we don't start to remember out memories into the adults years until we are about 3.5 years old. You forgot to put your toys up. I guess you were walking at 6 months as well right?
Considering that within the first year, a baby's brain development for learning is crucial in that it sets the stage for how it will learn the rest of it's life, however the baby has just more or less mastered the art of crawling, positioning and basic motor skills allowing it handle small toys. Certainly, at that age, a baby doesn't have the mental capabilities to comprehend even understanding the concept of putting up their toys, let alone remembering. A parent certainly shouldn't show angry behavior towards the baby because that expectation went unfulfilled.
Reality has a tendency to do that.
I think Descartes statement means exactly what is says, with no intermediate steps. In order to perform though, one must exist.
Descartes also believed in God.
The universe exists, therefore He IS.
I have seen without these human eyes, therefore I am not my body. And not all out-of-body experiences require trauma, drugs or surgery.
Being able to think without a brain was very revealing, too. It let me know what Christ meant by everlasting life -- continuity of consciousness without a Homo sapiens "chalk board."
When we took the forbidden fruit (ego) in the Garden (Heaven), we lost our ability to see as spiritual beings. We were left in eternal darkness. Then Homo sapiens was created and we could see again, but darkly as if through smoked glass.
And when this species was threatened and the future existence of civilization in jeopardy, God brought the Flood to cleanse it of the threat. The Flood was an act of Love. None of God's children were harmed by it -- only the bodies they wore.
Rod Martin, Jr.
"The Bible's Hidden Wisdom: God's Reason for Noah's Flood"
Who saw without eyes? Did you use your imagination?
Who thought without a brain?
Did anyone else spew a mouthful of coffee on their lap?
(from Greek μᾶζα "barley cake, lump [of dough
I wonder is the religious term "mass" stems from this.
Like Christmas and Michaelmas.
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is commonly called in the Roman Catholic Church, Western Rite Orthodox churches and many Old Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. Apart from "Eucharist" others are the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly (synaxis)", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and Divine Liturgy" and "Holy Communion". wikipedia
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