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blessed
31-07-04, 03:18
I think, therefore I am. I stopped thinking... do I still exist?

Can an enlightened member help me out here?

chiquiliquis
31-07-04, 08:54
I think, therefore I am. I stopped thinking... do I still exist?

Can an enlightened member help me out here?

"There must be mere appearance, there must be some deception which prevents us from perceiving that which has being: where is the deceiver?"

"We have found him," they cry ecstatically; "it is the senses! These senses, which are so immoral in other ways too, deceive us concerning the true world. Moral: let us free ourselves from the deception of the senses, from becoming, from history, from lies; history is nothing but faith in the senses, faith in lies. Moral: let us say No to all who have faith in the senses, to all the rest of mankind; they are all 'mob'. Let us be philosophers! Let us be mummies! Let us represent monotono-theism by adopting the expression of a gravedigger! And above all, away with the body, this wretched idée fixe of the senses, disfigured by all the fallacies of logic, refuted, even impossible, although it is impudent enough to behave as if it were real!"

From Twilight of the Idols: Reason in Philosophy (sec. 1).

First off, Descartes would probably argue that you can't stop thinking; your being is necessary--causa sui.

Second off, IMHO, Descartes is a waste of your time.

Frank D. White
31-07-04, 09:02
I think, therefore I am. I stopped thinking... do I still exist?

Can an enlightened member help me out here?

Is that what they call "COMA" ?

Frank

:? :okashii: :blush:

lexico
18-01-05, 17:54
I think, therefore I am. I stopped thinking... do I still exist?

Can an enlightened member help me out here?I am a member but not enlightened, therefore I cannot help you. I can only confuse you more, if you were already confused at the time you wrote that post. Furthermore, the exact nature of my act of confusing you would all depend on how you define the context of your question. Here you gave none. Therefore leaving it open for the interpreter to fill in as he/she sees as fitting. So a little combinatorics is in order.

1. "I think, therefore I am."
1-1. You are quoting the sentence only. You reserve any decision as to its validity. It is the logic only that you are interested in.
1-2. You are quoting the idea. You are thinking about the idea, and want to know what might happen if it were true.
1-3. You are one with the idea.

2. "I stopped thinking."
2-1. You are presenting a sentence. But you don't actually think so.
2-2. You are quoting the idea. You are thinking about the idea, and want to know what might happen if it were true.
2-3. You actually stopped thinking. Or you are verbalizing a past act.

3. "Do I still exist?"
3-1. You are presenting a question. But you are not interested in the answer. Your only interest is in observing the responses from a logical point of view.
3-2. You are quoting the question. You are thinking about the question, and want to know what might happen if you actually asked it.
3-3. You are in the act of asking. You are verbalizing you desire to know what I am thinking, or how I might verbalize my reasoning.

I'd like to give you a chance to respond before I proceed with all the 27 possible combinations of what your question post might have been at the time you posted it, or how you might want to define it now as you read my pre-response. :)

mad pierrot
19-01-05, 07:44
Second off, IMHO, Descartes is a waste of your time.

That reminds me of a great joke!

Descartes walks into a McDonalds and orders a cheeseburger.
The cashier asks, "Would you like fries with that?"
To which Descartes replies, "No, I think not,"

and POOF!

He disappeared!

:D

lexico
19-01-05, 12:15
That reminds me of a great joke!

Descartes walks into a McDonalds and orders a cheeseburger.
The cashier asks, "Would you like fries with that?"
To which Descartes replies, "No, I think not,"

and POOF!

He disappeared!

:DThat's a really shallow reponse of yours as usual, like your nasty joke with the abnoxious beast with bad dental records. But it's actually better than my boring one. At least I could laugh myself away to non-existence! :giggle:

Shooter452
19-01-05, 12:57
I think, therefore I am. I stopped thinking... do I still exist?

Can an enlightened member help me out here?

Stopped thinking? As much as I adore Frank White's response, I did not think that was possible!

Now, concentrate! Try NOT to picture in your mind a pink elephant!! You gotta be heavy into Zen to do it, I guess. I sure can't!

mad pierrot
19-01-05, 16:02
I live to give.

Anyways, I think this subject about thought and non-thought is great. Personally, I belive in non-thought. Not too sounds cliche, but take being "in the zone" for example. Have you ever played a really intense game of basketball, (or any sport for that matter) and reacted with out thinking about it? It's in those frantic moments that you don't have time to think, "gee, maybe I should pass the ball," or "damn, I'd better get out of the way!"
Other proof? Look at most posts. When I look back at my posts, I always feel like I must not have been thinking when I wrote them...

:blush:

Bob in Iowa
19-01-05, 18:13
Monty Python helped to ruin my ability to take philosophers seriously. Every time I hear or read a reference to Descartes, the "Philosophers' Drinking Song" goes off in my mind.


THE PHILOSOPHERS' DRINKING SONG

Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
who was very rarely stable.
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
who could think you under the table.

David Hume could out consume
Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel,
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
who was just as sloshed as Schlegel.

There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya
'bout the raisin' of the wrist.
Socrates himself was permanently pissed.

John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
after half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
Plato, they say, could stick it away,
'alf a crate of whiskey every day!

Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
and Hobbes was fond of his Dram.
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart:
"I drink, therefore I am."

Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;
A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed.

-- written by Eric Idle


http://members.aol.com/islabob2/images/teeth.gif

lexico
19-01-05, 19:42
I think your post is getting deep into the abyss of the mysterious truth that evaded all the philosophers except Buddha and Darma leading them into an endless loop of goofy philosophy when...
the simple answer only lies in the middle of a baseball yard.
or one of those late night posts jotted down in a frenzy that you cannot comprehend the day after.

As for me, this site may be a smart Turing machine to play a joke on me, yet you are as real as I can make sense of your post.

So how can you unthink a pink elephant, when you have to struggle to imagine one to begin with?

Or is my initial lack of imagination enough proof of my non-existence?
(Just a logical question; I am not serious when I says it.)

Again, am I the number of posts I post, or the number of responses people respond? Maybe so if Descartes didn't copywrite the genric phrase.

There's just too many holes, or D could have meant sarcasm? :clueless:

More than once I've wished to wish myself out of existence, or out of the embarassment, as in "beam me out of this place now, Scotty!" :D

Miss_apollo7
23-01-05, 17:51
I went out with some friends and former colleagues yesterday and suddenly (after too many drinks) we had a similar discussion in a bar.

When does an individual exist?

-When the individual can think and have thoughts?
(this is existence for him, he can see and feel himself existing)

OR:

-When his friends/workmates/aquaintances know of his existence?
He only exists when he has people/friends around him, meaning a person without a circle of friends/people/ or contact with other people does not exist as other people can't recognise his existence. :wave:

Is life in solitude existing?? :-)

Miss_apollo7
23-01-05, 17:52
=sorry...double post...mistake...
plz ignore this message=

lexico
23-01-05, 18:32
=sorry...double post...mistake...
plz ignore this message=I just couldn't ignore it, because it woke me up to something substantial. Where is goma the surfer the poet, btw?

Apart from your obvious ebarassment of doing a double post, it is quite revealing of and relevant to the topic. You could not see your own post, or had trouble verfying that the initial submission of it was successful. Therefore you believed that it was lost, i.e. non-existent from a practical point of view, and you tried to correct that by resubmitting, which happened to happen after the 30 second period, which resulted in the strange and uncomfortable thing, a double post.

This tells us -- it's happend to me before, on my first several postings actually -- that our very fundamental and taken-for-granted "pure reasoning" such as "knowing the existence" of sth. is very dependent upon the senses. In other words, "pure reasoning" or "a priori" knowledge or "innate thoughts" are not real. This is just a notion begotten in the midst of accumulating logic, born out of the necessity to prove thesis after thesis after thesis.

So although the classical three uncertainties of

1. we can never be sure that sth. exists
2. even if sth. existed, there's no guarantee that it can be known
3. even if it could be known, there's no gurantee that the knoledge can be transmitted to another person

may have been presented by a cynic; the logic can be used in the positive sense, likewise.

1. if we can sense sth. and can trust our senses, then its existence is proven.
2. if we can sense sth. and can trust our senses, then its existence is known.
(These are btw just two aspects of one thing; noticing sth. thru the senses.)
3. if I told you sth. and you understood it, then knowledge is transmitted.

Therefore Descartes, if he is to be understood as serious and non-sarcastic, is not promoting "pure reasoning" fundamentally detatched from the senses, but is telling us to trust our senses and our reasoning based on them as long as evidence proves otherwise.

This line of reasoning can be extended to some interesting examples, I think, but my mind is muddled again at this point. Sorry, can somebody please fill in?

lexico
23-01-05, 19:40
Monty Python helped to ruin my ability to take philosophers seriously. Every time I hear or read a reference to Descartes, the "Philosophers' Drinking Song" goes off in my mind.You know Bob, the more I think about it, and other its, I think I have to watch that particular Monty Python. What makes me laugh is greater than a room full of bookish fools. The higher form of intelligence is the simple smile or one of these. :lol: :giggle: :bravo: :blush: :relief: :p :cool: :D :ramen: :hihi: :happy: :bawling: :silly: :shock: :hanabi: :cake: :beer: :music: :smoke: :sleep: Yep, definitely.

Shooter452
23-01-05, 21:26
Rene Descartes was an amazing man. For those who know nothing about him except that rather profound statement (at least I think it is profound), he was also, amongst other things, an amazing mathematician.

He developed and refined the Cartesian coordinate system. For all of you who have not suffered through college algebra (well, today, perhaps high-school algebra) and above, that is a method of plotting all mathematic formulae, expressing each on a graph, even in three dimensions. Wow! I'm impressed!

I am no number cruncher, so it is not something I relish, but I remember plotting many a parabola on such a graph. The hell of Algebra 121...X squared plus XY minus 4y. Yeccchhhhh! Somebody else do it for me!!!

He also said, when faced with Aristotle's logic, that only mathematics is a definate science, so all cognitive philosophy should be based on math. Find fault with that one, if you will, but it works for me!

Rene Descartes
Male mater coitem

Miss_apollo7
23-01-05, 23:34
Monty Python helped to ruin my ability to take philosophers seriously. Every time I hear or read a reference to Descartes, the "Philosophers' Drinking Song" goes off in my mind.


THE PHILOSOPHERS' DRINKING SONG

Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
who was very rarely stable.
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
who could think you under the table.

David Hume could out consume
Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel,
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
who was just as sloshed as Schlegel.

There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya
'bout the raisin' of the wrist.
Socrates himself was permanently pissed.

John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
after half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
Plato, they say, could stick it away,
'alf a crate of whiskey every day!

Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
and Hobbes was fond of his Dram.
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart:
"I drink, therefore I am."

Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;
A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed.

-- written by Eric Idle


http://members.aol.com/islabob2/images/teeth.gif

I really like this song! I am a HUGE Monty Python fan. I also live their "Lumberjack"-song and "I like Chinese." HAHA :D

Anyway about the embarrassing double post in this thread....hehe...I think it happened to me a couple of times in these fora, not often...but it is hilarious that it happened again in this particular thread about existence...hahaha :D

I agree with Shooter that Descartes was a clever guy and I am very fond of philosphy in general, especially existentialism, which has been an interest of mine for a long time.... :wave: :wave:

Monty Phyton is right in this regard: Descartes: "I drink therefore I am..". hehe...If I can drink, I exist... :blush:

Bob in Iowa
24-01-05, 02:25
I have always had a great appreciation for both existentialism and rationalism, and have long thought that the two philosophies can compliment one another.

For example:

If one accepts the premise of "I think, therefore I am", then it would logically follow that:

I thought, therefore I was.
I have thought, therefore I have been.
I had thought, therefore I had been.
I will think, therefore I will be.
I should think, therefore I should be.
I would like to think, therefore I would like to be.

Although logically sound, when carried out to the extent that verbal conjugation will allow, this exercise could give credence to a more existential notion that "mental masturbation is nothing like the real think".


http://members.aol.com/islabob2/images/cool.gif

lexico
24-01-05, 03:08
Rene Descartes was an amazing man. For those who know nothing about him except that rather profound statement (at least I think it is profound), he was also, amongst other things, an amazing mathematician.

He developed and refined the Cartesian coordinate system. For all of you who have not suffered through college algebra (well, today, perhaps high-school algebra) and above, that is a method of plotting all mathematic formulae, expressing each on a graph, even in three dimensions. Wow! I'm impressed!I agree, Shooter, I would have been a dumber man without those coordiantes. Whoever said that the essence of mathematics is freedom, I think (s)he meant the freedom to think on one's own without relying on authority or past habit. And Descartes would figure among the top thinkers who made that possible. Okay, everyone bow to the great thinker for all humanity! :gomen: Serious, I teach math. and this is what I believe and preach. Thank you for pointing that out, Shooter.

Just to loosen up a bit, for those of us coffee lovers and :gulp: tobaccophiles :smoke:, we should all thank these for helping us to think clearly. Personally I would not know what to do without them, although not to the degree of mathematical reasoning for sure.
He also said, when faced with Aristotle's logic, that only mathematics is a definate science, so all cognitive philosophy should be based on math. Find fault with that one, if you will, but it works for me!I hope that wasn't a Latin curse? ;-) Okay, I would have to find just a little fault there. After much pondering and experimenting, I came to the conclusion that I have learned mathematical reasoning by way of being exposed to the stuff, one at a time. No wonder I'm no great mathematician, however, it does tell me something about how people might learn math. Through experience. This means that, although we apply the deductive method believing that is the way of everything, most of the time we learn things is by inducing patterns from many concrete examples, or make mistakes by hasty generalization. So, with due respect for the great thinker, I think either he was wrong by assuming "pure reasoning," and so did Immanuel Kant. Well if they didn't, the faulty logic belongs to bad interpretation of these thinkers. If the last is the case, there is some serious cleaning up to do. Burn the books! :p

Shooter452
24-01-05, 04:19
*heh-heh*

It is not quite a curse, Lex, but it cannot be said in English (or else the "bad language" filter would edit it out). I allow myself such conceits now and again, and I hope the admin/moderator buys are just as tolerant toward me!

Think of it as with that old song, SHAFT: "...he's a bad m--" "Shush yer mouth!"

Damn, is there life before coffee?

My favorite twist from Descartes is: "Cogito ergo zoom!" I think, therefore I go fast!

*wink*

lexico
24-01-05, 07:42
If one accepts the premise of "I think, therefore I am", then it would logically follow that:

I thought, therefore I was.
I have thought, therefore I have been.
I had thought, therefore I had been.
I will think, therefore I will be.
I should think, therefore I should be.
I would like to think, therefore I would like to be.You know Bob, I never thought of it this way. This is pretty creative, and I would like to apply it to some of my classes, if that's okay with you. :cool:
Although logically sound, when carried out to the extent that verbal conjugation will allow, this exercise could give credence to a more existential notion that "mental masturbation is nothing like the real think".I think I know what you're trying to say, however, I would rather think of the mental m* part (by which you referred to the conjugation excercise) as an object of subjective evaluation first. If indeed the outcome happens to be one of a non-significant nature, then your conclusion is apt in that real existence surpasses a representation of it in your brain. If not, that in itself means the representation itself has assumed a stronger existence than the real one.

Actually, to speak of sensation at the level of somatic existence and cognition at the level of mental signification is a kind of abstraction, isn't it? It may help the student of anatomy grasp his trade in technical jargon, but does either have any meaning on its own? A body without the head, or the head without the body?

So I was wondering if you could fill me in on the quantum leap that is a little difficult for me to grasp in full. ;-)

Bob in Iowa
24-01-05, 13:47
You know Bob, I never thought of it this way. This is pretty creative, and I would like to apply it to some of my classes, if that's okay with you.

Feel free to do so if you think that it is applicable.


I think I know what you're trying to say, however, I would rather think of the mental m* part (by which you referred to the conjugation excercise) as an object of subjective evaluation first. If indeed the outcome happens to be one of a non-significant nature, then your conclusion is apt in that real existence surpasses a representation of it in your brain. If not, that in itself means the representation itself has assumed a stronger existence than the real one.

Actually, to speak of sensation at the level of somatic existence and cognition at the level of mental signification is a kind of abstraction, isn't it? It may help the student of anatomy grasp his trade in technical jargon, but does either have any meaning on its own? A body without the head, or the head without the body?

So I was wondering if you could fill me in on the quantum leap that is a little difficult for me to grasp in full. ;-)

LOL!!! I wasn't really advocating the act of grasping anything, but I was having a bit of fun by administering some poetic license through metaphor and pun, the interpretation of which, in an existentialist point of view, I will leave to the reader's own imagination. :-)

lexico
25-01-05, 03:17
Feel free to do so if you think that it is applicable.Thank you, Bob. I will mention your name should I ever use it in a book.
LOL!!! I wasn't really advocating the act of grasping anything, but I was having a bit of fun by administering some poetic license through metaphor and pun, the interpretation of which, in an existentialist point of view, I will leave to the reader's own imagination. :-)I knew you were upto some fun, but it made real good sense which I thought deserved some genuine response. :-)