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  1. #1
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    The paradox of latent belief

    Belief is a cognitive state; believing something is a matter of having a certain kind of positive mental attitude towards it, of thinking that it is true. There are, however, numerous propositions that we believe to be true even though we have never entertained them. Paradoxically, it seems that belief is, in some cases, independent of thought.

    Take, for example, the proposition “I have more nostrils than noses.” You know this proposition, and have known it for a long time. However, until you read this page you had never entertained it. This shows that belief is independent of thought, that you do not need to think a thing in order to know it. You have never engaged in any mental activity that could be described as assenting to the idea that you have more nostrils than noses, and yet you have known that proposition to be true.

    If you are tempted to suggest that before reading this page you did not know the proposition, then consider the following: you now know that you have more nostrils than noses, but this page did not teach you that you have more nostrils than noses, therefore you already knew it.

    Belief, then, does not depend on mental activity at all.

  2. #2
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    Re: The paradox of latent belief

    Nihilist paradox/proof

    Nihilism is the view that nothing exists. There are different kinds of nihilism; one can be a moral nihilist, for instance, holding that morality does not exist, or a religious nihilist, holding that God does not exist. The problem of the specious present supports a universal nihilism, the view that nothing whatsoever exists.

    In order for something to exist it must have duration, it must exist for a certain amount of time. To say that something exists for no time at all, that at the very moment that it comes into existence it also passes out of it, is to say that it doesn’t exist at all. Unicorns exist for no time at all; so do square circles. Things that exist for no time at all don’t exist. In order for something to exist it must have duration.

    The past and the future do not exist; they are not there, in the world. Perhaps the past once existed, and perhaps its effects can still be seen in the world today, but the past doesn’t exist now; if it exists now, then where is it? And perhaps the future will exist one day, but it doesn’t exist yet; again, if it exists now, then where is it? The past and the future clearly do not exist; the universe consists only of the gap between them, the present.

    How large is the gap between the past and the future? What is the duration of the present? A minute? A second? A nano-second?

    Clearly the present does not last as long as a minute. A minute consists of different temporal parts. First comes its beginning, then its middle, and then its end. Each of its parts occurs at a different time. If its beginning is present then its middle and end are future. If its middle is present, then its beginning is past and its end is future. If its end is present then its beginning and middle are past. If the present lasted as long as a minute then it would consist of past, present, and future elements, but that would be absurd; the present must be wholly present.

    The same, though, could be said if the present were of shorter duration, lasting only a second, or even only a nano-second. In either case, the present would have temporal parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end. If its beginning were present then its middle and end would be future. If its middle were present, then its beginning would be past and its end would be future. If its end were present then its beginning and middle would be past. If the present has any duration at all then it consists of past, present, and future elements, but that, as I said before, would be absurd.

    The present, then, has no duration; there is no gap between the past and the future. It has already been seen, though, that to say that something has no duration is to say that it does not exist. The present, then, like the past and the future, does not exist. If there is neither past, nor present, nor future, though, then what is there? Nothing. Nothing exists at all. Universal nihilism is true.

  3. #3
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    Re: The paradox of latent belief

    Paradox of omnipotence (Paradox of the Stone)

    God is all-powerful, or as theologians put it, “omnipotent”; there is nothing that he cannot do. This is part of the definition of “God”.

    Can God create a stone that is so heavy that he cannot lift it? Either he can or he can’t.

    If God can’t, then he isn’t all-powerful. If God can’t create a stone that he can’t lift, then there is something that he can’t do. Since God is all-powerful, though, he can do everything; there’s nothing that he can’t do. That includes creating a stone that he can’t lift. Since God is omnipotent, then, he must be able to create a stone that is so heavy that he can’t lift it.

    If God can create a stone that is so heavy that he can’t lift it, though, then he also isn’t all-powerful. If God can create a stone that is so heavy that he can’t lift it, then there’s something that he can’t do: lift that stone. Since God is omnipotent, then, he must be unable to create a stone that is so heavy that he can’t lift it.

    God’s omnipotence, then, means that he is both able and unable to create a stone that is so heavy that he can’t lift it. He can’t be both able and unable to do this, though; either he can or he can’t. So which is it to be?

  4. #4
    coontie is offline Vashudeva; Ferryman - doing the work...
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    Re: The paradox of latent belief

    yeah, yeah, yeah.... Which came first, the chicken or the egg? :D

    WHo created God? :confused:

    I will have to say you come up with some intersting and lively conjecture.

    Also, no your usual material!

    Keep on truckin' :)

  5. #5
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    Re: The paradox of latent belief

    As long as I can remember (and been able to read science fiction), the possibility of time travel has been an on-the-table proposition. Time travel would confound the theory of universal nihilism.

    If a person were able to travel in time immune to the temporal effects of such, it would prove that each moment of time, past and maybe future, is extant somewhere in the universe. If it had ceased to exist, or had not happened yet, how could you get there? It is reasonable to assume that the future does not yet exist, and if so, travel to the past is all that would be available to us.

    Suppose you were thirty five years old in the current timeline and you traveled back to when you were ten. Could you meet your self? If you are unique in the universe, then this would be a temporal paradox, for you to exist twice in time/space at the same time, an event seemingly impossible. But by the theory that each moment of time exists somewhere, you become a temporal anomaly, something merely out of place in time/space. There is no paradox, because the number of yous becomes infinite.

    Suppose in this scenario, you were to kill your ten year old self. Would you suddenly cease to exist? Absolutely not, because every subsequent moment of your life already exists somewhere in the universe. Killing your young self would create a new timeline that would exist somewhere simultaneously with the one you still occupy. The idea that altering the past would also alter the future in your particular timeline would necessarily be false. Could people migrate from one timeline to another in order to find one more suitable, say, to get rid of a particularly pesky neighbor? No, because their very presence would create yet another timeline possibly less desirable than the one they left.

    My theory is that since no one has yet traveled back in time, there is only one timeline, which is the one we now occupy. But if we are ever able to travel back, infinite timelines could be created, thus spreading copies of ourselves all over the universe.

    Here’s another one for you: Is there a limit to space? If so, what is beyond that?


    OK, so I’m insane. So what?


    LS

  6. #6
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    Re: The paradox of latent belief

    My belief on these is that they are not paradoxes at all. Rather they are indications of the limitations of our thoughts/language. We are after all a product of evolution, and the fact that we can comprehend the universe at all (although often only through mathematical abstractions) seems pretty amazing to me.

    Can god create a stone so heavy he can't lift it? I believe that if there is a god, his existance is so far removed from our own that we can't even comprehend it. Words like can/can't/create must have no meaning. It is only a paradox because our thinking is limited; who says there are only two options, either he can or he can't, maybe there are other possibilties we're not aware of.

    Anyway, the idea I'm trying to get across doesn't lend itself very readily to expression via the internet. Hopefully you get the gist.

  7. #7
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    Re: The paradox of latent belief

    back to the future!?all i wanna know is.....is this crap contagious!?hehe!!or......does thought always try to obtain an escape!?a method of explaining itself to be free!?but it's a direction i guess......just dont forget to let go when it's not looking!?(then show me how!?like in peter pan!?)the mime in time gets a dime for his rhyme that has no words!?and as to latent beleif......now there's a spicy meataball!!show me my latent beleifs grand wizard of ZARDOZ!?hehe!!just askin.........and the skies,.....are not cloudy all day.....woh trigger......there there.......i'm done now.....OH!and by the way.....you have 2 nostrils!.......OK!OK! i didn't mean it!?.....calm down.....your gonna upset "groundhog day"!?ya wouldn't want that to happen!?would ya!?..........now stop with the funny looks!?tell ya what, lets mosey on over ta dinner.....hehe!!just askin.....
    Last edited by lexx; 07-25-2006 at 07:25 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: The paradox of latent belief

    Quote Originally Posted by coontie
    yeah, yeah, yeah.... Which came first, the chicken or the egg? :D

    WHo created God? :confused:

    I will have to say you come up with some intersting and lively conjecture.

    Also, no your usual material!

    Keep on truckin' :)
    god....is....the ROOSTER!?hehe!! and i always associate truckin(ALWAYS!?) with carryin/haulin a LOAD!?as long as it's headed fer the promised land!?(lakefront property in arizona!?)....i guess....hehe!!just askin....
    Last edited by lexx; 07-25-2006 at 07:27 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: The paradox of latent belief

    Quote Originally Posted by kazza
    My belief on these is that they are not paradoxes at all. Rather they are indications of the limitations of our thoughts/language. We are after all a product of evolution, and the fact that we can comprehend the universe at all (although often only through mathematical abstractions) seems pretty amazing to me.

    Can god create a stone so heavy he can't lift it? I believe that if there is a god, his existance is so far removed from our own that we can't even comprehend it. Words like can/can't/create must have no meaning. It is only a paradox because our thinking is limited; who says there are only two options, either he can or he can't, maybe there are other possibilties we're not aware of.

    Anyway, the idea I'm trying to get across doesn't lend itself very readily to expression via the internet. Hopefully you get the gist.
    I think i have the same beleif as you on this matter.

    i spent some time considering paradoxes and came to the conclusion that they are simply a consequence of the inability of language to be used as an accurate tool for understanding our universe.

    We create language because of reality, it is our way of communicating what we see hear feel etc. We then try to use that language to suppose potential realities. It is practical in this regard. but sometimes we use it to create fictions. A stone so heavy that a being that can do anything cant lift it is one such fantasy. All of those words make sense, but when put together they create a non-sense concept. I mean, linguistically it seems to make sense, but in hard cold practical reality... such things are non-real. A being which can do 'anything' is not accurate of anything we know of in reality, so this is purely linguistic fancy. We are imposing our understanding of 'Anything' onto a 'being'...we can't even truly comprehend what it means, but our brains can grey out the fuzzy areas and understand it conceptually and therefore it seems to make sense.

    Similarly with hercules and the tortoise. he must move half the distance to the tortoise, then the next half, then the next half etc and it would take an infinite period of time to reach the tortoise, he therefore can't overtake it. This is abusing a linguistic concept (maths being a language) to express something which makes sense but in practical application simply doesn't occur. nothing moves in relational distances. (trying to word that so it doesn't sound like I am contradiciting relativity LOL). Things will always move in relationship to each other, but their movement is not determined by how far from that object they are....

    Think of any other paradox and you will be able to solve it similarly. If you try to bring the language back to reality, you will find that there is a premise in the paradox which is based entirely in a language fancy completely removed from any reality.

    Shane

  10. #10
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    Re: The paradox of latent belief

    Quote Originally Posted by kazza
    My belief on these is that they are not paradoxes at all. Rather they are indications of the limitations of our thoughts/language. We are after all a product of evolution, and the fact that we can comprehend the universe at all (although often only through mathematical abstractions) seems pretty amazing to me.
    "Who created God?" God is sometimes called the "Uncaused First Cause". This is a paradox, but "paradox" is simply the term we use to acknowlege our inability to articulate the nature of a seemingly contradictory existence. The use of the term paradox seems perfectly legitimate to me.

    I believe that if there is a god, his existance is so far removed from our own that we can't even comprehend it. Words like can/can't/create must have no meaning. It is only a paradox because our thinking is limited; who says there are only two options, either he can or he can't, maybe there are other possibilties we're not aware of.
    Logical Fallacies

    Excluded Middle (or false dichotomy): Considering only the extremes. Many people use Aristotelian either/or logic tending to describe in ter*ms of up/down, black/white, true/false, love/hate, etc. (e.g., You either like it or you don't. He either stands guilty or not guilty.) Many times, a continuum occurs between the extremes that people fail to see. The universe also contains many "maybes."

    Appeal to Ignorance (argumentum ex silentio) Appealing to ignorance as evidence for something. (e.g., We have no evidence that God doesn't exist, therefore, He must exist. Or: We have no evidence that God exists, therefore He must not exist. Or: Because we have no knowledge of alien visitors, that means they do not exist). Ignorance about something says nothing about its existence or non-existence.

    Can god create a stone so heavy he can't lift it?
    This is not a paradox, but a Loaded Question, as it embodies an assumption that, if answered, indicates an implied agreement. (e.g., Have you stopped beating your wife yet?) Also a logical fallacy.

    It could also be a Meaningless Question: (e.g., "How high is up?" "Is everything possible?") If everything proved possible, then the possibility exists for the impossible, a contradiction. Although everything may not prove possible, there may occur an infinite number of possibilities as well as an infinite number of impossibilities.

    LS

  11. #11
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    Re: The paradox of latent belief

    great reply lonestar.

  12. #12
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    Re: The paradox of latent belief

    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStar
    "Who created God?" God is sometimes called the "Uncaused First Cause". This is a paradox, but "paradox" is simply the term we use to acknowlege our inability to articulate the nature of a seemingly contradictory existence. The use of the term paradox seems perfectly legitimate to me.



    Logical Fallacies

    Excluded Middle (or false dichotomy): Considering only the extremes. Many people use Aristotelian either/or logic tending to describe in ter*ms of up/down, black/white, true/false, love/hate, etc. (e.g., You either like it or you don't. He either stands guilty or not guilty.) Many times, a continuum occurs between the extremes that people fail to see. The universe also contains many "maybes."

    Appeal to Ignorance (argumentum ex silentio) Appealing to ignorance as evidence for something. (e.g., We have no evidence that God doesn't exist, therefore, He must exist. Or: We have no evidence that God exists, therefore He must not exist. Or: Because we have no knowledge of alien visitors, that means they do not exist). Ignorance about something says nothing about its existence or non-existence.



    This is not a paradox, but a Loaded Question, as it embodies an assumption that, if answered, indicates an implied agreement. (e.g., Have you stopped beating your wife yet?) Also a logical fallacy.

    It could also be a Meaningless Question: (e.g., "How high is up?" "Is everything possible?") If everything proved possible, then the possibility exists for the impossible, a contradiction. Although everything may not prove possible, there may occur an infinite number of possibilities as well as an infinite number of impossibilities.

    LS
    but take the computer for example.it could not function if the extremes of 1 and 0 were not absolute.and god in the bible also states that no middle is acceptable.so then........what is existence anyway!?a creation made possible by the EXTREMES!?+,-,good,bad,but not necessarily mindful of same!?an anomaly of the real!?a special isolation and suspension of extremes created by same!?or to put it another way.the extremes are important to the whole!?(final)why would it be this way!?what's the point!?(accidents happen,so use them?)hehe!!just askin........and oh yeah!......who shot the sheriff!?......

  13. #13
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    Re: The paradox of latent belief

    It is correct that 1 and 0 are extremes, but we tend to think of extremes as points on opposite ends of a scale with a lot of stuff in between. This is not necessarily the case. Extremes are fragments of a whole. In a base 10 or decimal system, you have ten digits ranging from 0 to 9. Therefore 0 and nine are extremes with eight digits in between, each being a fragment of the whole. In a base 2 or binary system you only have two digits, 1 and 0. While they are absolute extremes, and each a fragment of the whole, they alone constitute the whole. There is no "middle". And please don't give me "what about 1 1/2?".

    My understanding of God's use of the false dichotomy (either/or) is to prove to us that we simply cannot live up to His standards, and are therefore in need of redemption. Since when was God ever logical by human standards?


    Bob Marley shot the sheriff (but he did not shoot the deputy).

    "I want to say 'I shot the police' but the government would have made a fuss so I said 'I shot the sheriff' instead... but it's the same idea: justice."
    Bob Marley



    LS

  14. #14
    coontie is offline Vashudeva; Ferryman - doing the work...
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    Re: The paradox of latent belief

    I actually, at times, very briefly, fleetingly, sense the idea that this

    'REALITY' that we BELIEVE in, is REALLY just an illusion, like a dream.

    Strange it is and strange it IS true.

    Then, I consider that it is a really powerful illusionary capability that

    projects, creates in 'real-time' the existence of dense material objects

    as well as 'seeing' ourself and others as flesh-bodied entities, as well

    as those other 'human-beings' [something being human] and all the

    'living' creatures that we 'see' as our companions here in this 'Earth

    Dimension'.

    Is that part of what Jesus meant when he addressed some human in

    his life here and said to them, as to humans in general: "Ye are Gods."

    Who knows what REALITY really is? BUT, holding fast to accepting this

    here as it works best!

    Watched a program on P.B.S. - Nova where the discussion wa regarding

    FIVE different "sting-theories'. One focused intently on [the] Gravitational

    Force that we experience and that [supposedy] works everywhere in

    the Universe. It was an awesome discussion. Very mehntally stimulating.

    Brought one to think of 'things' in a way other then what we traditionally,

    habitually acccept as truth and fact every instant of our life.

    For instance: parallel dimesions, colliding UNIVERSES, communication

    with possibly, potentially 'alien' creatures in other dimesions using

    gravity waves. They even mentioned the possibiity of the idea of

    no beginning or end to 'existence', just a continium. Wrap your mind

    aroun that one! :eek:

    Yes, these were are dead-serious scientists talking and discussing these

    ideas. They stated that in several thousand years, life as we now know

    it and believe in it will be unbeliveably different than what we know of it

    now. They were also making a departure from empirical science

    orientation and entering the realm of the Philosophers. A new development

    for Scientist. However, they stated that in the future that this is where

    humanity will have to arrive at and dwell within to actually understand,

    comprehend who we really are and where we dwell.

    IT wont be that anything outside of us has changed. It will mean that

    human beings [as we consider ourselves, NOW] will have a totally different

    cognition, relization of our 'world', how it works, what it is and who we

    are.

    There are SOME now that have this cognition. But, because they disagree

    with the typical belief of cognition they are considered as insane.

    Marie Louise VOn Franz, Carl Jungs' Secretary and Lover wrote a

    book [don't remember title now, but look it up if interested] in which

    she proposed that EVERYTHING that EXISTS; no past, present or

    future qualifying, exist in the 'NOW'. It doesn't need humans to accept

    or qualify it as reality. Humans just have to arrive at a place in time

    [but there's really NO TIME] where humans gain recognition of it ALL.

    AFter all, it is really very arrogant of humanity to 'see', believe itself as

    the ultimate determiner of what is and what is not.
    Last edited by coontie; 07-26-2006 at 09:28 PM. Reason: change

  15. #15
    coontie is offline Vashudeva; Ferryman - doing the work...
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    Re: The paradox of latent belief

    Quote Originally Posted by lexx
    god....is....the ROOSTER!?hehe!! and i always associate truckin(ALWAYS!?) with carryin/haulin a LOAD!?as long as it's headed fer the promised land!?(lakefront property in arizona!?)....i guess....hehe!!just askin....

    Mannnn... will have to say that you 'dodged', big-time! :rolleyes:

  16. #16
    coontie is offline Vashudeva; Ferryman - doing the work...
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    Re: The paradox of latent belief

    S.J.: how do you know that God is a 'HE'? WHy does God need a gender?

    If he has a gender, he has to have a companion with a opposite gender

    of a HE with an 'S' prefixed! After all, it calls for a complimentary gender

    in order to have ORDER, completness. Wasn't this what was demonstrated

    in the 'Garden'? A PAradox: what do you suppose IF it was God and his

    'compliment' in the Garden, wherein everything SUPPOSEDLY got all

    fouled up? :D

    Difficult to break conventions isn't it, hmmmm?

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