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PhilosophyGround >> Idealism is false


2/16/05 1:03 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 16-Feb-05
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*The following is from a series of threads to stimulate some conversation. They do not mean i know anything about the topic, and do not necessarily express my opinion* It seems to me that the only truelly workable idealist system is one that conforms to what we observe. It may all be in my mind, but it is scientifically consistent as far as i can tell, and, given that, how is it any different from materialism? Not only that, it seems materialism is the easier of the two to reconsile with those observations. -doug-
2/16/05 2:44 PM
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DonnaTroy
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Edited: 16-Feb-05
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Yeap, materialism is the easy way out from responsibilities.
2/17/05 1:44 AM
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Dory
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Edited: 17-Feb-05
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Well, what seems to you is wrong. The only truly legitimate idealist system has nothing to do with what we observe. It has everything to do with what God creates.
2/17/05 11:52 AM
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vermonter
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Edited: 17-Feb-05
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"materialism is the easy way out from responsibilities." What do you mean? What sort of responsibilities are you talking about? "Well, what seems to you is wrong. " Fair enough. "The only truly legitimate idealist system has nothing to do with what we observe." So why do i observe at all? And why do we both observe the same sorts of things from slightly different perspectives (EG, if we were in the same room)? There seems to be consistency in our observations. Or do you deny this as well? "It has everything to do with what God creates. " Ok.... care to explain? -doug-
2/17/05 3:06 PM
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DonnaTroy
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Edited: 17-Feb-05
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Whenever a person puts materialism in first place, all the moral values related to renounce, cooperation, compassion, love and life, are twisted upside down. Materialism induces a person to suicide if the burden is heavy.
2/17/05 4:32 PM
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FudoMyoo
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Edited: 17-Feb-05
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"Materialism induces a person to suicide if the burden is heavy. "

care to expand on that abit Donna?

2/17/05 5:37 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 17-Feb-05
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"Whenever a person puts materialism in first place, all the moral values related to renounce, cooperation, compassion, love and life, are twisted upside down. " I'm not sure i understand. When i say materialism, i don't mean the way Mononna means it when she's says she's a "material girl." Of course i dont beleive in moral entities, but i'm not sure why any of the other things need to be changed.... on the contrary, assuming materialism, all of those things certainly seem to be in place and functioning just fine. -doug-
2/17/05 6:11 PM
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DonnaTroy
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Edited: 17-Feb-05
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Fudo Forgive me for just "copy/paste". THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SPIRITISM by ALLAN KARDEC CHAPTER 5 - BLESSED ARE THE AFFLICTED SUICIDE AND MADNESS 14. The calm and resignation which can be absorbed according to the manner in which terrestrial life is viewed, together with confidence in the future, give the Spirit a serenity which is the best preventive measure against madness and suicide. To be sure, it is certain that the vast majority of cases of madness are due to the commotion produced by vicissitudes which Man has not had the strength to face. But if the things of this world are looked at from the point of view with which Spiritism regards them, all the reverses and deceptions which in other circumstances would cause Man to become desperate, can be received with indifference, even with happiness. It is evident then, that this inner strength puts him above these happenings, so protecting him from shocks to the mind which, if it were not for this, would cause serious disturbances. 15. The same applies to suicide. Leaving aside those which occur due to drunkenness or madness, which can be classified as unconscious, it is incontestable that in every case the cause is discontentment, whatever the private motives may be. But for those who are sure they will only be unhappy for a day, and that the days to come will be much better, it is easy to be patient. Man only becomes desperate when he can see no end to his sufferings. What is a lifetime compared to eternity? Is it not less than a day? But for those who do not believe in eternity, or who judge that everything ends with life, for the unfortunate and the afflicted who become dejected, grief-stricken or heartbroken, death appears to be the only solution for so much sorrow. Expecting to receive nothing, it seems natur~ and even logical to them to shorten their miseries by means of suicide. 16. Total incredulity, simply doubting as to the future or having materialistic ideas, are in fact the greatest of all incitements towards suicide because they cause moral cowardice. When scientists, upheld by the authority of their knowledge, do their best to prove to those who will listen or read what they write, that we have nothing to expect after death, are they not in fact leading us to deduce that if we are wretched then the best thing to do is to kill ourselves? What can they offer as a reason to turn away from this consequence? What compensation do they have to offer? What hope can they give? None at all, except nothingness! From this we should conclude that if nothingness is the only heroic remedy, the only prospective, then it would be better to seek it immediately and not later on, so as to suffer less. So then, the dissemination of materialistic doctrine is the poison which inoculates the idea of suicide into the majority of those who actually come to commit this act, and those who become disciples of such doctrines assume tremendous responsibilities. With Spiritism, however, this doubt is impossible and the aspect of life changes completely. For the believer, existence prolongs itself after the so-called death, although in many varied conditions. From this belief stems patience and resignation which naturally leads all thought away from the idea of suicide. This then is the process which enables us to acquire moral courage.
2/17/05 6:14 PM
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DonnaTroy
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Edited: 17-Feb-05
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17. In the same aspect, Spiritism produces yet another equally positive result, one which is perhaps even more decisive. It presents to us these actual suicides, who inform us of the unhappy situation in which they find themselves, so proving that no one violates God's laws with impunity. God prohibits Man to cut short his own life. Amongst these suicides there are those whose suffering, although temporary and not eternal, is none the less terrible and of such a nature as to make those who might be considering this act reflect, before leaving this world sooner than God ordained. The Spiritist however, has various reasons against the idea of suicide: the certainty of a future life in which he knows that his happiness will be in proportion to his misfortunes and the degree of resignation shown while on Earth; the certainty that if he abbreviates his life he will in fact reap the exact opposite of the desired result. By liberating himself from a trial in this manner, he will consequently encounter another and far worse one in its place, longer and more terrible. The Spiritist knows that he is mistaken in imagining that by killing himself he will reach Heaven more quickly; he knows that suicide is an obstacle which will prevent him joining those he loves and hopes to meet on the other side. From whence the consequences of suicide, which only bring deceptions, are against his own interests. For these reasons alone the number of people already saved from suicide is quite considerable. From this we may conclude that when all men and women are Spiritists, conscious suicide will cease to exist. When comparing the results of materialist doctrines with those of the Spiritist Doctrine, on this one point alone we are forced to recognise that whereas the logic of the first leads towards suicide, the second prevents suicide, which is a fact proven on many occasions.
2/17/05 6:27 PM
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Socrates
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Edited: 17-Feb-05
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Materialism leads to a lack of chairs.
2/17/05 8:10 PM
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vermonter
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Socrates is correct. I find it interesting that those who post on this thread are Judeo-chrisitans. Typically theistic thinkers are dualists like decartes, which is most certainly not idealism. Donna, i'll try to respond to each of the points. 14. I fail to understand how i can not be calm, resigned, or confident about the future with a beleif in materialism? My vicissitudes, and those of plenty of other athiests or agnostics are apparently not severe enough to lead me to desperation. In fact, i am very confident about what happens in the future. How would Kardec explain these sorts of people? 15. I am an athiest and yet i am neither drunken or mad. In fact, i don't drink alchohol at all. I am not grief stricken, nor dejected. What would Kardec say about me? 16. "Total incredulity, simply doubting as to the future or having materialistic ideas, are in fact the greatest of all incitements towards suicide because they cause moral cowardice." I cannot be a victim of moral cowardice, since i do not beleive in abstract moral entities such as a moral ledger. It is this sort of retributivist idea that advocates the death penalty just because someone "deserves" to die. No thank you. "are they not in fact leading us to deduce that if we are wretched then the best thing to do is to kill ourselves?" Why would that be the best thing? Wouldn't becoming non-wretched not be better? I don't think suicide is necessarily a consequence as he suggests, but i also think that if one killed oneself, no wrong has been done (although a great deal of sadness could be caused to others, i do not debate that) nor will such a person be damned to hell for any length of time, let alone an eternity. "then it would be better to seek it immediately and not later on, so as to suffer less." It's interesting that, under materialism, apparently only suffering occurs and never pleasure in statements like this. And yet he acknowledges that some are "fortunate" to be not wretched. Isnt this something good? There is no aspect of "fortune" in my mind, that conflicts with working towards a more pleasureable and happy life, then a miserable one. I am a materialist, and still i see no reason to kill myself. "This then is the process which enables us to acquire moral courage." Moral courage has no appeal to me since i do not beleive in such a thing. -doug-
2/17/05 8:17 PM
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DonnaTroy
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Edited: 17-Feb-05
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Doug, just curious, but how old are you?
2/17/05 8:33 PM
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vermonter
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17. Again, he seems to not be willing to accept that there are reasons to live in a world without god, or an afterlife. And yet, happiness seems to be a good one to me. I too have plenty of reasons to not kill myself. My education, my work, my beautiful girlfriend, my family and friends, and all of the other things that bring me happiness. In fact, knowing that i wont be able to cop-out at the end and beg for forgiveness gives me a damn good reason to not fuck up my life right now. Not only that, if someone suffering from a terminal illness wants to die sooner rather then later, then that is their decision. Scaring the shit out of them with some sort of religious dogma about how they will go to hell for ending their own suffering is crap. My god wouldnt ask people to suffer needlessly. If this makes me a barbarian, then a barbarian a happily be. He sums up his argument nicely at the end: P1. Suicide is wrong. P2. "Spritism" prevents suicide (this is a proven "fact" apparently) P3. Materialism encourages suicide C. Spiritism is the way to be. I have a few problems with this argument. For starters, it is a prudential argument for faith. It only proves what you *should* believe (in this case, you should have faith because it leads to good results, whether its actually true or not), not that you have a true belief. Let me give a materialist argument against the rest of the arguments premises, which rely on P1 being true, and at LEAST one of P2 or P3 being true (of course he argues for both, which makes the conclusion stronger). P1: As a materialist i have argued against moral entities, and i do not beleive in right or wrong, in what is most commonly meant by those terms. As such, to say that anything is "wrong" to me (meaning to me that to perform a wrong act is one that accrues a negative tally to my moral ledger leading me to deserve penance, or punishment) is not to say much at all. First, a successful account of wrongness that successfully crosses over into materialism will be needed to be very convincing. P2: Laughable at best. How "proven" this fact is, is clearly up to debate, but i am willing to grant, for the sake of argument, that this premise could be true. P3: This one he totally pulls out of his ass. He does a crappy thought experiment ("hmm... if i were miserable and a worthless heathen, i would want to kill myself wouldnt i?) and concludes that rigorous philisophical thought of the materialist variety and a dab of misfortune automatically means i'm going hang myself. I feel that he completely fails to support P1 and P3 to analytic debate, and has only one moderately successful (and might i add, pretty weak) premise in #2. Anyway... this is just my take on it. No need to forgive the cut and paste, anyone's input is welcome, even if they are wrong ;) (that's a joke) -doug-
2/17/05 8:36 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 17-Feb-05
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Donna, Personal question time? Sweet. I'm 24. My turn: What are you wearing? -doug-
2/17/05 9:15 PM
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DonnaTroy
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Edited: 17-Feb-05
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doug, if you have a girlfriend and at the same time you are asking what I am wearing, well, what do you want me to think about you? --- You are too young, and life probably has not tested you yet - or perhaps you have already developed your faith in the future (in past lives - even if you don´t remember it with your conscient mind). I wonder what you would do if at once (like at the tsunami) you had lost all the "things" you say that bring you happiness. Do healthy people need doctors? I guess no. Jesus came for the sick. The sick that try to look for help at materialism will not find any comfort for their suffering. You should read "The History of Spiritism", written by Arthur Connan Doyle, to know more about this doctrine. You are not geting the big picture thru the small copy/paste that I´ve done.
2/17/05 10:38 PM
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vermonter
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"what do you want me to think about you? " That i made a joke. She would laugh too. You should meet her, she's a nice girl. Very tall actually, 6'1". "You are too young, and life probably has not tested you yet " I figured you'd play this card. I'll not get in a pissing match about what it takes to be "tested by life" or to have faith (as though a certain amount of tragedy would bring me to god) because that is my business and yours is yours. I will however, have you consider that the people who educate me every day (and who hold largely similar views, although many of them consider me a tad bit radical) are probably as old or older then you. Would you like to say to each of them that they arent wise enough too? If i lost all of the things that brought me happiness, i dont know what i would do either. I doubt my reaction would be what you suspect though. Quite the contrary, given the things i have been through, my convictions are stronger then they have ever been. -doug-
2/17/05 10:45 PM
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Dory
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Edited: 17-Feb-05
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"So why do i observe at all? And why do we both observe the same sorts of things from slightly different perspectives (EG, if we were in the same room)? There seems to be consistency in our observations. Or do you deny this as well?" We observe the world around us in order to perceive our relation to the Creator who made all things. If our thoughts are to in any sense be called true, we must in effect think God's thoughts after Him. Certainly there is some consistency in our observations even if from a slightly different perspective. This itself testifies to the unity of God's creation within God's plan. 'Only if one begins with the self-identifying Christ can one bring the "facts" of the world into intelligible relation to the "laws" of this world. Science, philosophy and theology find their intelligible contact only on the presupposition of the self-revelation of God in Christ - through Scripture understood properly by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.' - Van Til
2/17/05 11:04 PM
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vermonter
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Dory, Just to clarify terms, when i say "idealism" i mean a philosophy in which nothing actually exists except consciousness, or mind, or soul, or what have you. That there actually are NO material objects. The things we experience via senses are actually illusions. I support materialism, that there are only material objects (and their properties). Descartes, was a dualist, believing in soul-like entities, god, and material objects. Just want to make sure that we are actually disagreeing. -doug-
2/17/05 11:34 PM
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Dory
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Edited: 17-Feb-05
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Not having a background in philosphy, a difference in terms has caused us some difficulty. I am not an idealist in the sense that I believe there is no physical world. In that case your proposition that a workable idealist system must conform to observations is more tenable. I could still argue against that, and argue that senses are illsuory. But, since I dont actually support that system, I want make that argument in depth unless someone just wants to read it.
2/18/05 8:25 AM
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DonnaTroy
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Edited: 18-Feb-05
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It is funny how people think that everyone here must have a background on philosophy. How hermetic.
2/18/05 2:31 PM
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vermonter
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Dory, I thought that may be the case, since it seemed as though you weren't what would be normally called an idealist. For example, in the zen philosophy, to the best of my knowledge, there exists only your consciousness, and nothing and noone else. The world you observe is a bad illusion. However, the interesting thing to me is that within this illusion, scientific inquiry is still consistent, and my social life is no less active, and so i wonder what the big deal is? How is a full-on idealism different from materialism? I encourage you to begin a new thread supporting Dualism. I believe it to be your personal philosophy, and one that i have not otherwise been arguing for or against other then in the "self" thread with you. It's an interesting topic, but sort of alien to me. I'm not sure what exactly is the advantage (philisophically speaking, perhaps there are big religious advantages) of the standard dualism. And all i mean about idealism conforming to observation is that any idealist has to admit that we have sensuous experience (for whatever reason they posit that such experience has come about) of (illusory) physical objects and i wonder then, what the explination for its consistency would be? -doug-
2/19/05 3:48 PM
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Dogbert
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Edited: 19-Feb-05
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I'm not going into the moral debate here. I just want to note that I don't understand why "believing X make you a bad person" implies "X is wrong". To the original question: One can turn this argument upside down (bishop Berkeley actually did so). Our observations as observations are "mental objects". We don't see any atoms. So epistemologically subjective observations come before material objects. My view (stolen from Carnap) is that one can base his language on both. P.S.: I don't think "you are to young, female or black so you don't understand"-arguments have much place in discussions here. They don't allow for any sensible discussions, which is the purpose of this subforum. For reference: I'm 22 years old.
2/19/05 5:03 PM
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DonnaTroy
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Edited: 19-Feb-05
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Dogbert You are too young.
2/19/05 5:04 PM
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DonnaTroy
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Edited: 19-Feb-05
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:-p
2/19/05 6:32 PM
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Dogbert
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Edited: 19-Feb-05 06:32 PM
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You are too old. You've lost it. :-P

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