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Sounds as you are arguing for a intuitive approach to life. And also that you are a little scared of all the modern behavioristic views that came into play, reducing humans to behaviors and statistics. What one have to remember is that statistics isn't about individuals, but about a conglomerates of peoples behavior in which trends are possible to define. Some expect that to be representative of the individual too, but I can't agree on that.
I think therefore I am doesn't imply that anything external to the self actually exists.
Intuitions and feelings can be natural, they can be conditioned by experience, they can be learned and defined by culture. This is why you question them to make sure you know which is which. It does not mean you can't trust them, but rather you need to sort these until you have a set that is useful and rational. For example, a couple of decades back was a fad called the pet rock. Essentially a rock was sold as a pet. It came with feeding and care instructions. This sounds silly, yet millions of people trusted their feelings and intuitions and bought one or more. Others, like myself, trusted my feelings and intuitions and said this was stupid, who would pay for a rock and make it a pet? Which was correct? There is no right answer, since each person's feelings and intuitions about the pet rock depended on deeper levels of motivation, they may or may not even be aware of. Are you motivated by reason, or are you motivated by belonging to the herd. The same feeling of conviction, can move a person in different ways. The children wanted to run with the cool kids; cutting edge, and be not be left out. Peer pressure played a role in their feelings and intuitions about owning a pet rock. Their mothers wanted their children to be happy and less vulnerable to the school bullies who will rub the pet rock in their face. Dad saw this as a waste of money, which should go to practical needs, so he felt differently about a pet rock. They are all right for their own needs, but there no universal consistency. How do you find a working set, so you feeling and intuitions begin to have universal consistency? One way may be to reason all that you think and believe. The goal is to make reason the underlying foundation of your feelings and intuitions. It is not about being cool, appeasing the feelings of children, saving money, but its this rational or not?
Quote from: jeffreyH on 17/07/2016 16:00:11I think therefore I am doesn't imply that anything external to the self actually exists.That may be true because he did not believe such a thing. However he could have been controlled externally when he made these statements. We like to believe that we are in control of our own thoughts but there is no guarantee that this is true. Nor is there any reliable evidence that it is false. So we are left with possibilities.
Quote from: jerrygg38 on 17/07/2016 20:54:10Quote from: jeffreyH on 17/07/2016 16:00:11I think therefore I am doesn't imply that anything external to the self actually exists.That may be true because he did not believe such a thing. However he could have been controlled externally when he made these statements. We like to believe that we are in control of our own thoughts but there is no guarantee that this is true. Nor is there any reliable evidence that it is false. So we are left with possibilities.It doesn't matter what- if anything- exists external to the self. If there's a thought that thought exists.It's possible that all I am is that thought- but I still exist. It's possible that I'd not remotely recognise the real "me" but that "me" must exist. Descartes was right (also, if he wasn't someone would probably have noticed before)
It's pretty obvious that whilst thought may be a property of some things that exist, it isn't essential to all things that exist, so it is a cosmically and philosophically trivial attribute and "ergo" is not justified.
"Cogito ergo sum" is not a particularly useful starting point for an analysis of the world. You can look at a brick and say "non cogitat, sed est" and what have you achieved? Or consider a corpse "est sed non cogitat". It's pretty obvious that whilst thought may be a property of some things that exist, it isn't essential to all things that exist, so it is a cosmically and philosophically trivial attribute and "ergo" is not justified.
Of course."I think therefore I am" is a possibly valid test of the thinking entity's existence but as it doesn't test the existence of things that can't, don't or used to think but obviously exist, it isn't a very useful one. Cosmically, thinking is a trivial and apparently highly localised and transient consequence of existence.
This is rather interesting is that we came from a thoughtless process.
Quote from: jerrygg38 on 19/07/2016 13:56:14 This is rather interesting is that we came from a thoughtless process.That's why science is interesting and religion and philosophy aren't!
Philosophy tries to explain many concepts which are beyond science.
Religion......tries to explain why we are here.
(English:) Accordingly, seeing that our senses sometimes deceive us, I was willing to suppose that there existed nothing really such as they presented to us; And because some men err in reasoning, and fall into Paralogisms, even on the simplest matters of Geometry, I, convinced that I was as open to error as any other, rejected as false all the reasonings I had hitherto taken for Demonstrations; And finally, when I considered that the very same thoughts (presentations) which we experience when awake may also be experienced when we are asleep, while there is at that time not one of them true, I supposed that all the objects (presentations) that had ever entered into my mind when awake, had in them no more truth than the illusions of my dreams. But immediately upon this I observed that, whilst I thus wished to think that all was false, it was absolutely necessary that I, who thus thought, should be something; And as I observed that this truth, I think, therefore I am,[c] was so certain and of such evidence that no ground of doubt, however extravagant, could be alleged by the Sceptics capable of shaking it, I concluded that I might, without scruple, accept it as the first principle of the philosophy of which I was in search.[e][f]
Quote from: jerrygg38 on 19/07/2016 23:17:41 Philosophy tries to explain many concepts which are beyond science. I am unaware of any such, though I have come across a lot of bad philosophy. QuoteReligion......tries to explain why we are here. And there's its weakness: the wholly groundless assumption of purpose.
Ok. I have thought about this and Descartes is wrong. Self existence requires more than thought.... it requires an identity. There must be a meaningful "I". Thought can exist in a computer, or better still on the internet, without ether self awareness of identity or anybody else's awareness. Worse, if it is the result of interaction between programs Identity might be utterly confusing to the point where a meaningful answer never could be given.In short "I think but I haven't a clue who is"
According to Descartes, an act of thinking is the evidence of the subject's existence. The thinker can doubt anything else but it cannot doubt its own existence. It can still doubt its own identity.Have you ever seen Jacky Chan's movie "Who Am I?"