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Just now, BBD_123 said:

 

 

 

And it can finish right now, if no longer entertaining for all.

Its all good, I am just gonna go dink around in the studio in some 3/4 time... buh dum tish or whatever. ;)

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51 minutes ago, BBD_123 said:

 

Well, I read that as aimed at me.

 

 

Here's your definition:

 

 

The problem here is that this is not a definition of now. It's a description of time passing. What I'm trying to get at is that while everybody talks about 'now' it is in fact impossible to define it. You can't stick a pin in 'now'. You *can* say it happens between the future and the past, but that falls short of actually defining any instant in time as 'now'. And since you cannot define 'now' then it is possible to argue that it does not exist. It's subtle, as I said at the outset.

 

Aimed at you? Well, it wasn't and again, you should perhaps slow down a little. Or maybe not be so quick to tell other people to slow down. Be slow about doing that.

 

A definition IS a DESCRIPTION of something. That's pretty much what a defintion is. Here is a definition of definiton taken from the American Heritage Dictionary . A statement or description of the fundamental character or scope of something Note I highlighted the key word . We can't have a conversation if we can't agree on the defintions of the words we are using and you apparently don't agree with the defintion of defintion I found up.  I did come up with a description/definition of now. I stated it. It is accurate. I would say it's not the only one. There are many in many dictionaries. So you can keep saying all of your stuff BUT, I have a definition, the dictionary has several definitions and you may not agree with them but they are accurate. I can't stick a pin in many things. Dark, light, musical notes, love, anger, etc. But it seems silly to say you can't define any of them. And since you seem to use the word now a lot, it must have come from some understanding of what it meant, i.e. it's description, i.e. it's definition at somtime, somewhere, at some point. The fact that you are arguing against it having a defintion means you've already started from a position that the definitions are all wrong even though it does have to do with a description of time. How do you use a word that you claim has no meaning. What you really mean is, here is a word that has definitions that I don't agree with. WELL!!!! I'm almost done waiting. I may not have time to respond to your next post. By the way, I hear there's an update coming up. Do you know when it will happen? :D

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1 hour ago, Lachdanan0121 said:

Nahh, I think they are reveling in this. 

 

Revelling? NAH. Wasting time while I wait. Yes.

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1 hour ago, Lachdanan0121 said:

Nahh, I think they are reveling in this. 

 

Our Ford would not do that to us. It would not be productive!

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26 minutes ago, brue58ski said:

 

Revelling? NAH. Wasting time while I wait. Yes.

 

6 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

 

Our Ford would not do that to us. It would not be productive!

 

Yes, Revelling.

I was joking of course.  

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3 hours ago, BBD_123 said:

 

If the universe did not exist, then we would not be able to perceive it. While I leave proofs to mathematicians, I think the probability of the statement being correct is extremely high :-)

 

I don't know about this,   it would help if I could use a level meter from 2.9 to gage how accurate this is....   :)

 

 

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2 hours ago, brue58ski said:

A definition IS a DESCRIPTION of something.

 

Of course it is. And all I was ever trying to point out was that 'now' cannot actually be defined. The closest you can get is to define a space within which 'now' occurs (between the future and the past), but it is impossible to define more exactly than that.

 

2 hours ago, brue58ski said:

I can't stick a pin in many things. Dark, light, musical notes, love, anger, etc.

 

Dark is the absence of visible spectrum radiation. Light is the presence of vsr. Musical notes can be defined by frequency of vibration. Love is the strongest form of mutual attraction, hate the converse, etc. These are all closer to the mark than any fundamental definition of 'now'.

 

2 hours ago, brue58ski said:

The fact that you are arguing against it having a defintion means you've already started from a position that the definitions are all wrong

 

No, it doesn't. See above.

 

This was only ever meant to be a fun diversion into a philosophical kick-about while we wait for 2.9 to drop. It's stopped being fun, which is a shame.

 

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Well this escalated quickly, lol! Since we've all shared our unsolicited opinions on existence, perception, and reality, here's my current set of beliefs (stressing these are my beliefs only, not saying anyone has to agree!):

  • People are just animals with highly adapted brains. We're developed enough to 'see behind the curtain' and recognize our own existence.
  • Brains are big meat computers. Input goes in, thought goes out.
  • When we die we turn back into the dirt that spawned us. Poof, that's it.
  • Our only concrete idea of reality is based on our ability to perceive it, which is quite limited. We take in the world via our 5 senses, and that's it. Scientific tools we've made allow us to peer a bit deeper and see that more is going on, but there could still be a *LOT* more phenomena that we have yet to discover, perceive, or even postulate could be.
  • Nobody knows why we're here, what existence is, if there's an end-game, or if we'll ever know. Many claim to, however.
  • The idea of 'why' is probably the wrong question anyway, because the need for purpose is an evolved human construct. There might not be any purpose. There might not be any 'why.' If there was some kind of answer, it might not be anything that we could even understand with our human-brain logic systems.
  • We are fundamentally part of the universe, whatever it may be, and in a way are it experiencing itself. Think of how many times the universe has jacked itself... errr never mind.
  • Drugs don't let us access anything new in terms of whatever 'reality' may be. Taking a drug isn't going to let you pick up a radio broadcast in your head. They are like crossing wires in our brain to get distorted pictures out of our mental television because it's not working as designed. However, this experience may let us think and perceive within ourselves in different ways than normal, which brings about different ways of thinking and understanding.
  • Arguing about whether you can define what "now" is, is a debate for the sake of debate. It's absolutely definable, but you have to define the context of definition. In the colloquial sense, "now" is the general region of time around our most immediate experiences. It's doesn't have an exact value assigned to it; it's conceptual. In the precise sense, it's like taking a limit in calculus -- the precise instant along the dimension of time in the universe that is currently being crossed, which you can only get infinitesimally close to, but not hit exactly. And just like a mathematical limit, it does exist, but you can only express it in terms of a limit.

My worthless $0.02 :)

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Perfect. [Claps loudly]

 

:-)

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I second that. Excellent post, qwerty42 (if partially sad, depending on how you look at it).

As far as the latest "discussion" goes. Uhm, I thought about joining in earlier, but unfortunately you folks are making use of this funny language (which, obviously, is fine and even necessary round these parts). Maybe in my next life. Err...

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44 minutes ago, SaschaFranck said:

...if partially sad, depending on how you look at it).

 

Yep, it's all how you look at it. I grew up in a very religious social environment, so beliefs like mine can seem pretty disappointing at first. But, it's actually not all bad, and can even be positive:

  • If you believe you only have this one life to live, it's easier to appreciate every moment of it because it all counts.
  • Even if people are just animals, we're all in this confusing world together, and have an immense shared connection of humanity if we choose to see it.
  • We may be made of just meat and water, but the fact we can reason, communicate, feel and love makes us all so much greater than the sum of our simple meat-parts.
  • Every life holds value for the same reason. We experience empathy, and even if it's just an evolutionary survival trait, it's beautiful and amazing.
  • A sense of shared absolute mortality helps to show that all of our differences are petty and superficial, and can create a desire to help each other instead of harm.
  • If there's no pre-defined reason or purpose, that gives us the incredible freedom to define our own purpose.

 

And last but not least...!

  • We live in an absolute GOLDEN ERA for guitarists; we have amazing technology like the Helix to give us every expressive color of auditory paint imaginable, and we'll all get to experience 2.9 together when it finally drops. Well, hopefully... 2.8 did take a while... ;) jk
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Everything is empty from its own side. Things are how we perceive them and that is our unique experience of life. Best enjoyed because it is temporal in order to make room for other life. It is its own meaning, a tautology. Making it complicated is almost always to someone else's benefit.

 

Interesting conversation, and a nice way to find distraction while waiting for 2.9.

 

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1 hour ago, qwerty42 said:

If there's no pre-defined reason or purpose, that gives us the incredible freedom to define our own purpose.

 

Appreciate your insight. Even though I disagree with your premises about how we got here, I can't argue with your reasoning from those premises. I happen to be reading a book by Steven Pinker in which he argues secular humanism can provide sufficient meaning in life largely because humans can learn and can experience empathy. (I'm really paraphrasing here.) Now I don't agree with Pinker about that, it wouldn't give me meaning if I shared his other beliefs (which, long ago, I mostly did).

 

I actually find that last reason you gave much more powerful than anything in Pinker's book. Where you mentioned in your comment from above that, under your precepts, the question "why" is really irrelevant, is what I think is the ultimate problem, and your reason I quoted above is a very insightful and honest way of answering it. So maybe you can comment critically on my objections to Pinker because, let's face it, I am biased to agree with myself.

 

So my criticism goes something like this:  If mankind was not made, but is just the current result of eons of change, then we have no claim to being unique in any way. We differ from the dust under our feet only in that we happen to be better organized dust. So by learning and empathizing, which I think were Pinker's strongest arguments, we do nothing but entertain or please ourselves for the time being. We've learned about and empathized with other non-unique things, which will all be gone shortly. No one will remember it after we are gone, and entropy will continue to erode the Universe until no trace of any of it remains. That there would really be no "why" to our existence is ultimately my critique. 

 

If I can read your response to that as, you make your own purpose, I can actually see an argument for meaning. Even if you do not believe that you were made, it might be argued that you still matter uniquely to someone, even if that is yourself. You can set standards and goals for yourself and thus give yourself purpose. You can view yourself as central to the Universe as you inhabit it (or as you perceive it) and therefore as the ultimate determiner of value, which in turn gives meaning to the purpose you gave yourself. Those purposes can be empathy and learning, or whatever else you find worthy of respect. But you can only do this once you stop asking for an answer to "why" from an external source, since that external source would be an overriding source of purpose. I think that comes with some shaky moral baggage, but it's better than Pinker's argument. Any thoughts? Can you criticize my critique in the previous paragraph further?

 

(For the record, I'm not calling you a secular humanist or claiming you agree with Pinker or implying I know your reasoning. And I don't intend for anything in that last paragraph as accusing anyone of selfishness. I just find debate with people I already agree with boring.)

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1 hour ago, rzumwalt said:

 

Appreciate your insight. Even though I disagree with your premises about how we got here, I can't argue with your reasoning from those premises. I happen to be reading a book by Steven Pinker in which he argues secular humanism can provide sufficient meaning in life largely because humans can learn and can experience empathy. (I'm really paraphrasing here.) Now I don't agree with Pinker about that, it wouldn't give me meaning if I shared his other beliefs (which, long ago, I mostly did).

 

I actually find that last reason you gave much more powerful than anything in Pinker's book. Where you mentioned in your comment from above that, under your precepts, the question "why" is really irrelevant, is what I think is the ultimate problem, and your reason I quoted above is a very insightful and honest way of answering it. So maybe you can comment critically on my objections to Pinker because, let's face it, I am biased to agree with myself.

 

So my criticism goes something like this:  If mankind was not made, but is just the current result of eons of change, then we have no claim to being unique in any way. We differ from the dust under our feet only in that we happen to be better organized dust. So by learning and empathizing, which I think were Pinker's strongest arguments, we do nothing but entertain or please ourselves for the time being. We've learned about and empathized with other non-unique things, which will all be gone shortly. No one will remember it after we are gone, and entropy will continue to erode the Universe until no trace of any of it remains. That there would really be no "why" to our existence is ultimately my critique. 

 

If I can read your response to that as, you make your own purpose, I can actually see an argument for meaning. Even if you do not believe that you were made, it might be argued that you still matter uniquely to someone, even if that is yourself. You can set standards and goals for yourself and thus give yourself purpose. You can view yourself as central to the Universe as you inhabit it (or as you perceive it) and therefore as the ultimate determiner of value, which in turn gives meaning to the purpose you gave yourself. Those purposes can be empathy and learning, or whatever else you find worthy of respect. But you can only do this once you stop asking for an answer to "why" from an external source, since that external source would be an overriding source of purpose. I think that comes with some shaky moral baggage, but it's better than Pinker's argument. Any thoughts? Can you criticize my critique in the previous paragraph further?

 

(For the record, I'm not calling you a secular humanist or claiming you agree with Pinker or implying I know your reasoning. And I don't intend for anything in that last paragraph as accusing anyone of selfishness. I just find debate with people I already agree with boring.)

 

First I just want to say I really appreciate your very interesting and thoughtful response, too. These kinds of beliefs are so fundamental to an individual's overall worldview and identity, it's not often that people can hear out others' ideas without their own feeling threatened or challenged, and becoming defensive or judgmental. I love to talk about these things with others who have different worldviews but can talk about them from the perspective of sharing ideas instead of trying to make others believe whatever we believe ourselves.

Your questions are actually a pretty relevant breakdown of how I got to what I believe now, and some of the things I had to ask myself too. For what it's worth, I did believe in some kind of god, and innate purpose in life, and afterlife, etc. until my early 20s (I'm 35 now). Being raised with a concrete foundation and answer for every question of 'why,' and then losing that altogether, was not an easy or comfortable transition, but that was mainly due to me having to find many answers to questions I'd never previously considered.

 

Your questions involve a lot of complex ideas and I'll do my best to fully answer them:
 

1 hour ago, rzumwalt said:

So my criticism goes something like this:  If mankind was not made, but is just the current result of eons of change, then we have no claim to being unique in any way. We differ from the dust under our feet only in that we happen to be better organized dust. So by learning and empathizing, which I think were Pinker's strongest arguments, we do nothing but entertain or please ourselves for the time being. We've learned about and empathized with other non-unique things, which will all be gone shortly. No one will remember it after we are gone, and entropy will continue to erode the Universe until no trace of any of it remains. That there would really be no "why" to our existence is ultimately my critique. 

 

That's a pretty good synopsis of what I believe, indeed. Except depending on the scale at which we view it, I think we are both unique and not unique:

  • I think we are not unique in that we are all made of atoms, bits of the universe, scattered around like dust in the cosmos. We're all just the same ingredients getting re-mixed over and over. That's the macro view.
  • However, at the scale of our individual lives and experiences, I think we are incredibly unique. No two people are ever exactly the same; the sum of their ingredients and their experiences creates a completely unique person. And because of that, I think every individual person has a hugely significant innate value, even though we're just well-organized dust, or meat and water like I jokingly referred to earlier.

Regarding that there would be no "why" to our existence:

  • I sense your discomfort with the idea that no one will remember it after we're gone, and that there would be no higher meaning of "why", and I absolutely understand that discomfort. I think that was one of the hardest things to come to terms with when I lost my belief in religious ideas and a single higher power. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized... in believing that there has to be a "why", I'm assuming that human existence must be something created of primary importance, and it's my own ego needing to feel that reassurance. If our existence is a consequence of some random chaos, or even some other process we have no comprehension of, there might not be any why. There might just be an 'is.' I don't know if I explained that well, or of it makes any sense, but essentially I came to reason that a need for 'why' was simply a need to satisfy the human ego, and how we understand cause and effect in the world to provide direction and motivation. If our understanding of our existence is wholly incomplete and shallow, and mainly rooted in just how to ensure our survival, 'why' might be an overly-simple question, rooted in instinctive need, to a much more complicated concept that might not even be understandable by human reasoning.
  • So to summarize this first part, my belief is that there may indeed be no 'why,' and that feels like a shock to the system at first but I'm quite at peace with it now. It's an acceptance of the unknown, and being ok with not having answers, while realizing the need for answers is a human construct where there might not even be any answers. Our existence might be part of something much bigger where ultimately we are an insignificant by-product that is just along for the ride.
1 hour ago, rzumwalt said:

If I can read your response to that as, you make your own purpose, I can actually see an argument for meaning. Even if you do not believe that you were made, it might be argued that you still matter uniquely to someone, even if that is yourself. You can set standards and goals for yourself and thus give yourself purpose. You can view yourself as central to the Universe as you inhabit it (or as you perceive it) and therefore as the ultimate determiner of value, which in turn gives meaning to the purpose you gave yourself. Those purposes can be empathy and learning, or whatever else you find worthy of respect. But you can only do this once you stop asking for an answer to "why" from an external source, since that external source would be an overriding source of purpose. I think that comes with some shaky moral baggage, but it's better than Pinker's argument. Any thoughts? Can you criticize my critique in the previous paragraph further?

 

Yep, and I think that's also a pretty good capture of what I now think, although with a few important clarifications which again operate at the macro and micro level:

  • Fundamentally, at the macro level, I don't think I really matter one iota. At least not in the sense that I used to when I believed I was a unique being lovingly crafted by God. I think I'm just another well-organized collection of dust that for whatever reason has formed into my being, for a short period of time that I get to experience as existence. I think in the grand scheme of things, I am no more significant nor any more memorable than the billions of other life forms that came before me. If you've ever visited a catacombs and see the thousands of skulls and bones piled up inside, and you realize--every one of these skeletons were once people like me--that's a very visceral way to take in how I view my overall significance.
  • But at the micro level, I matter very much, because of all those human connections and bonds I have made. Regardless of how we got here, or why (if there is a why), the love I feel for my family and friends is real for me, and it is real for them. This is why I think fundamentally our shared humanity and the way we feel are the single most important aspects of human existence. Even without any purpose or 'why,' there is still incredible relevance in our relationships with others that are as real and as meaningful as anything you could find, and they need no other definition/purpose/reason to be so. They just are.
  • The above is also why, no matter how insignificant I felt, or even if I felt I had zero purpose, I would never end my own life. Empathy dictates that doing so does not remove pain or suffering, but instead just multiplies it and places it on everyone else who cares for you and loves you. (Important side note here; I do feel differently about this in regards to some kinds of terminal illnesses, etc., where forcing somebody to keep living can be regarded as a lack of compassion for their suffering.)
  • I think I view myself *not* as central to the Universe as I inhabit it, but rather the opposite. I think the universe doesn't know that I exist, and I don't need it to. I don't believe it owes me a 'why', nor do I think it could necessarily give me one. I just, am. And in that incredible void of losing all meaning (which I'll admit will really mess with a person's head for a number of years), eventually you come out light as a feather. You enjoy life for what it is, take in whatever it offers, and appreciate the experiences without the weight of why they must be. Once you make peace with not having answers, and accept that they might not even exist, you can define what you want your own path and meaning to be without any of the weight that other belief systems carry. You get to evaluate everything on its own merits, and truly think for yourself. It's the ultimate mental freedom. You don't even need a why, but you can create your own, because, why not?

One last bit--I'd like to comment about 'shaky moral baggage' because I understand that it's hard to fathom how people could be innately good without a belief system like religion to provide moral foundations.

  • I completely understand this and used to think the same way. But when I no longer had the 'fear of God' driving my decisions, I had to start evaluating my ethical foundations based on their own merits too. And surprising as it may seem, there are plenty of very logical justifications for ethics and moral behavior, completely absent of a belief in a higher power.
  • In fact, I feel like my need to be good to others and act ethically is stronger now than ever, because I came to the conclusions about why it's necessary and beneficial to act that way through my own rationalizations. It is no longer something forced on me, but instead based on an objective view of what is best for other people, and the way that affects their feelings and my relationships with them, as well as the overall societal good on the larger scale.
  • There is one concept frequently found in religion that I still hold onto, because as of yet I've found no single principle more true without any need for extra rationalization. In fact, for me it might be the closest thing I have to a 'why', now. And that thing is the old well known 'Golden Rule' -- treat others the way you would like to be treated. This goes back to understanding that our shared humanity is something of utmost significance as I described above, and really is just a statement of empathy. We care about one another because we all feel, we all hurt, we all share joy, we all love, and if we try to nurture the positive sides of what we feel in one another as much as possible, everyone ends up better off for it. In my set of beliefs now, this is the core principle that all of my ethical beliefs flow from.

I hope I answered your questions in that long response. The things I believe now are the product of many years of pondering these exact ideas over and over so it's tough to distill it into concise points. Thanks again for your interesting and thought-provoking questions and I'm quite interested to hear your responses or differences of ideas if from your own views! :)

(This is quite a thread for firmware updates, lol )

Edit: Just had to add one more thing I ponder a lot: rather than 'why', you can also view life as an infinitesimally-unlikely opportunity. I think even if you believe in God or a higher power, you can still argue that every single one of us has won the most unfathomable lottery with odds so mind-blowingly small that they are incomprehensible. For any of us to exist, it took thousands, millions, billions of years to get to this point, the extremely unlikely odds of our parents meeting at whatever moment in their life brought them together, the even more infinitesimal odds that that one specific sperm cell and egg cell to combine, out of the billions of other possibilities just for those two people... for each of us that made it to life, the odds are pretty much incalculable. So even if you have no why, maybe just the sense of how extreeeeeeemely lucky we all are to have our moments of existence is enough motivation to do things with it!

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7 hours ago, qwerty42 said:

People are just animals with highly adapted brains. We're developed enough to 'see behind the curtain' and recognize our own existence.

 

Sucks, don't it? I'm coming back as a dog... preferably one that ends up with a sucker like me. My mutts live better than I do.

 

Quote

Brains are big meat computers. Input goes in, thought goes out.

 

For some, yes...though this is hardly universal. ;)

 

Quote

The idea of 'why' is probably the wrong question anyway.

 

Why is easy... things happen for one of 3 reasons:

1) Money

2) Power

3) Money and Power

 

... well, maybe 4 reasons. Stuff occasionally happens for $hits and giggles.

 

Quote

Nobody knows why we're here, what existence is, if there's an end-game, or if we'll ever know. Many claim to, however.

 

It's a "happy accident". I miss Bob Ross...

 

Quote

Drugs don't let us access anything new in terms of whatever 'reality' may be...They are like crossing wires in our brain to get distorted pictures out of our mental television.

 

Amen. Pass the bourbon... it's 5 o'clock somewhere.

 

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This needs to be settled on a football pitch.

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16 hours ago, BBD_123 said:

 

Of course it is. And all I was ever trying to point out was that 'now' cannot actually be defined. The closest you can get is to define a space within which 'now' occurs (between the future and the past), but it is impossible to define more exactly than that.

 

 

Dark is the absence of visible spectrum radiation. Light is the presence of vsr. Musical notes can be defined by frequency of vibration. Love is the strongest form of mutual attraction, hate the converse, etc. These are all closer to the mark than any fundamental definition of 'now'.

 

 

No, it doesn't. See above.

 

This was only ever meant to be a fun diversion into a philosophical kick-about while we wait for 2.9 to drop. It's stopped being fun, which is a shame.

 

I'm back but got no time. I am sorry it stopped being fun. I was not trying to insult you or anything. Just a little philosophizing back and forth. But, ain't got time to do this today so you win.

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Let's go ahead and lock this thread and start a new one for 2.9...nobody cares about anyone else's philosophical view on anything. 

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Had to turn off email notifications for this thread :(

 

I just want 2.9

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NEWS,
 

JUST IN...

 

The new 2.90 firmware will have a brand new "Philosophy" Mode that will allow you to switch between 3 Existential options;
Kierkegaard
Martin Heidegger and
Jean-Paul Sartre

 

Nihilism is not an option.

 

It's your choice!
complete with flashing LEDs

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1 hour ago, datacommando said:

NEWS,
 

JUST IN...

 

The new 2.90 firmware will have a brand new "Philosophy" Mode that will allow you to switch between 3 Existential options;
Kierkegaard
Martin Heidegger and
Jean-Paul Sartre

 

Nihilism is not an option.

 

It's your choice!
complete with flashing LEDs

 

No Silvia Plath mode? That's it... I'm buying an Axe Fx...

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1 hour ago, datacommando said:

NEWS,
 

JUST IN...

 

The new 2.90 firmware will have a brand new "Philosophy" Mode that will allow you to switch between 3 Existential options;
Kierkegaard
Martin Heidegger and
Jean-Paul Sartre

 

Nihilism is not an option.

 

It's your choice!
complete with flashing LEDs

how does the level meters work for the philosophy mode? more like a GAF meter? 0-10 in ducks given? 

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3 hours ago, datacommando said:

NEWS,
 

JUST IN...

 

The new 2.90 firmware will have a brand new "Philosophy" Mode that will allow you to switch between 3 Existential options;
Kierkegaard
Martin Heidegger and
Jean-Paul Sartre

 

Nihilism is not an option.

 

It's your choice!
complete with flashing LEDs

 

This feature may be delayed due to the discovery of a "Metamorphosis" bug. Attempts to suppress the bug by throwing apples at it have thus far failed.

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5 hours ago, gunpointmetal said:

Let's go ahead and lock this thread and start a new one for 2.9...nobody cares about anyone else's philosophical view on anything. 

 

Gotta say I can't agree here. Even if all this isn't happening in my native language (hence my options to contribute are severely limited), I found this to be one of the most enlightening discussions on any music forum in quite a while, especially as people stayed so well mannered (instead of doing things such as proving Godwin's law yet again or whatever...).

Also touched quite some subjects *way* more important than 2.9.

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Very well said. And very encouraging to have honest and open discussion of these things on, of all places, a software update thread. Just goes to show, Helix users are just better people than those Axe Effects troglodytes.

 

14 hours ago, qwerty42 said:

essentially I came to reason that a need for 'why' was simply a need to satisfy the human ego, and how we understand cause and effect in the world to provide direction and motivation.

 

This is I think an important thing that people who believe like me will overlook about this question. Just because I have a answer to "why" that grants me meaning, doesn't mean that someone else can't find meaning in something other than "why." It's not uncommon to hear people in churches saying things like, "nonbelievers' worldviews are all defeatist and despair." I'm not a fan of that, because (1) I have noticed many nonbelievers for whom that does not appear to be true and (2) it is usually used as an example for why our faith is true, but it isn't a valid argument, as even if I thought nonbelief only offered despair, if nonbelief appeared to be true, I would have to believe that. (Sorry for the clunky language; I'm being intentionally vague about my ultimate/religious beliefs because I don't want it to color this as an advertisement or proselytizing.)

 

14 hours ago, qwerty42 said:

If you've ever visited a catacombs and see the thousands of skulls and bones piled up inside, and you realize--every one of these skeletons were once people like me--that's a very visceral way to take in how I view my overall significance.

 

If you ever have a chance to visit the World War I battlefield at Verdun, France, do so. The monument is a massive ossuary, and it definitely gives you that kind of perspective.

 

16 hours ago, qwerty42 said:

I think I view myself *not* as central to the Universe as I inhabit it, but rather the opposite. I think the universe doesn't know that I exist, and I don't need it to.

 

My wording was clunky on this. I meant something more like, from one's own perspective, they are the only voice in their own head; and their perspective is their view of the universe known to them. It doesn't make them special in the macro sense, but they are essentially the authority of their own life. Should they chose to use that self-authority for constructive purposes, they can create meaning. It's a stretch, sure, but I was trying to argue an analogy to a religious person's possible source of meaning by finding an alternate source for an ultimate authority of sorts.

 

15 hours ago, qwerty42 said:

And surprising as it may seem, there are plenty of very logical justifications for ethics and moral behavior, completely absent of a belief in a higher power.

 

I actually agree with you here. In fact, I've been toying with an idea for some time that goes like this: If God created the universe, and if God has a moral standard, could it be that there is something about the universe in the way He created it, such that it reveals His moral standard to us on its own? The answer or non-answer to this question wouldn't be a proof of God's existence or nonexistence, but I thought it might be an argument for it. My basic rational is, every person is an individual; every individual is therefore a separate entity from every other individual; every individual's "personhood" therefore has equal claim to value/independence/respect as anyone else's; because of this symmetry in, let's call it dignity, any rights a person claims to have, he necessarily admits all other people also have; then, to the extent one individual tries to invade the dignity of another, he is tacitly claiming he has a right to do so and therefore simultaneously admitting all others also have a right to do so to him; so the only rights that can be valid must be those that could be compatible if all other people had the same rights; and finally, by eliminating the potential rights that fail this compatibility test, we are left with rights to do things only if they do not harm other people. So I say "shaky" for two reasons. First, there are several assumptions at work in that logic. Second, I can't quite make a case along these lines for active moral responsibilities like charity and giving aid to others in harm's way. So I can get to half of the golden rule which would be "do not do unto others," which is more of the Confucian version; but I can't get to the half that says "do unto others" which is more of the Christian version. I'm not saying it's impossible; I just haven't figured that part out. 

 

15 hours ago, qwerty42 said:

you can still argue that every single one of us has won the most unfathomable lottery with odds so mind-blowingly small that they are incomprehensible.

 

And it is incomprehensible that there is even a realm of existence in the first place. And since our universe has such a dimension as time, and since time goes in one direction, it appears there must have been a point in which it came into existence. I know cosmologists say that time is merely a physical dimension we experience as time, but that doesn't change that it is effectively a one-way street. Not to get all sophomore year philosophy here, but why not nothing instead? I don't mean a void without matter, I mean why would even the void exist? But the smallness and unfathomable luck that even our existence was caused to exist is part of what convinces me of my beliefs about what/who caused it. The upside is that this means every individual is a part of that creation and therefore is known by their creator. And if they are known by their creator, the fact that they have the capacity to seek Him out may mean they were created in His image. If so, all men are indelibly endowed with the value, rights, and dignity of every other man. And I think that goes for all men, no matter what they believe, as they do not lose their capacity to seek Him out, and therefore their likeness to His image, even if they conclude He does not exist. The creator's response to that is His business; as for us mortals, we have no right to treat anyone with anything less than respect. That is all a too-long way of saying, if you, or anyone else waiting for firmware updates who comes across this, 

 

Lastly, do you suppose version 2.9 knows it was lovingly made by its creators? Or maybe frustratingly made with a lot of profanity thrown in?

 

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7 hours ago, brue58ski said:

I'm back but got no time. I am sorry it stopped being fun. I was not trying to insult you or anything. Just a little philosophizing back and forth. But, ain't got time to do this today so you win.

 

All a misunderstanding I suspect. And you didn't 'lose' nor did I 'win' an open-ended discussion about the nature of reality :-)

 

Peace & love

 

BBD

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, gunpointmetal said:

Let's go ahead and lock this thread and start a new one for 2.9...nobody cares about anyone else's philosophical view on anything. 

I think even if you started a new thread it would quickly devolve into unrelated discussion again :) The new features have already been discussed. All we can do is wait for its release, which could be days... weeks... months?

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28 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

So, if we're done with the nature of reality as philosophical speculation, and since 2.9 is STILL not here, let's move to science!

 

If the many worlds hypothesis is correct, then elsewhere, 2.9 will already have arrived and this thread never happened.

 

And in all universes where L6 updates exist, they are a gift that keeps on giving  :-)

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1 hour ago, rzumwalt said:

Very well said. And very encouraging to have honest and open discussion of these things on, of all places, a software update thread. Just goes to show, Helix users are just better people than those Axe Effects troglodytes.

...

Apologies to those who don't like the philosophy! :) But I just wanted to say, this has been a genuinely fascinating discussion for me, and I've really enjoyed contemplating all the logical reasoning and obvious detailed thought that has gone into your beliefs too. Hands down, the best discussion I've ever had on this kind of topic with someone who has different beliefs. For what it's worth, I don't see your ideas as any less valid or any less 'correct' than mine. I have the utmost respect for believers of all faiths who have thought it through and arrived at those conclusions like you have, rather than just taking what somebody else told them and then trying to make everyone else believe it too.

 

1 hour ago, rzumwalt said:

If you ever have a chance to visit the World War I battlefield at Verdun, France, do so. The monument is a massive ossuary, and it definitely gives you that kind of perspective.

Would love to see it. Added to my mental list. Actually, the catacombs I saw and referred to is underground in Paris. Also a definite must-see if you haven't already! A bizarre and fascinating experience for sure. 

 

1 hour ago, rzumwalt said:

...So I say "shaky" for two reasons. First, there are several assumptions at work in that logic. Second, I can't quite make a case along these lines for active moral responsibilities like charity and giving aid to others in harm's way. So I can get to half of the golden rule which would be "do not do unto others," which is more of the Confucian version; but I can't get to the half that says "do unto others" which is more of the Christian version. I'm not saying it's impossible; I just haven't figured that part out. 

I enjoyed following all of your logic there, and find it well-reasoned and completely valid in its context. I think the key difference in my explanation vs. yours is the initial premises, and the support they require to satisfy the conclusion. I think I can easily explain this one in the context of my beliefs by saying, from an evolutionary perspective, humans fare better when they work together and form communities together. So, not only does that equate to the idea behind the passive form of the golden rule (don't do unto others), it also provides a motivation for the active form of it. By stepping out and choosing to intentionally do good to others, or be charitable, etc., you are actively growing a supportive community. Simply not hurting others does not imply societal development; just non-harming societal isolation. That said, I definitely see the challenge in your rationalization and how to satisfy that second part. Maybe it could still be answered with my same idea above--if God created an inherent 'goodness' in the design of everything that underpins human behavior, then social cooperation to support a thriving human race (and ensure offspring are produced) could be part of that built-in design. So, the active form of 'doing unto others' could be a very natural outcome of that design, in your context.

 

2 hours ago, rzumwalt said:

Not to get all sophomore year philosophy here, but why not nothing instead? I don't mean a void without matter, I mean why would even the void exist? But the smallness and unfathomable luck that even our existence was caused to exist is part of what convinces me of my beliefs about what/who caused it.

Absolutely a great question. In my view, this is one of the most fundamental questions of existence that all the other ideas (religions, spirituality, philosophy, atheism, agnosticism etc.) stem from. I think the conclusion one makes from this is the stepping stone that guides their beliefs that follow from it. One person might (very reasonably) arrive at your conclusion, and from there, spirituality or religion is the likely path. Or another person might say, 'I don't know, but I don't think anyone really does, and I'm ok with leaving it there,' which is where you get agnosticism (I consider myself in that group). Then there's outright atheism, which denies the existence of any God or higher power, which to me is less rational, because in my view it also falls into the category of 'you don't really know that for sure.' To me, religion and atheism have a similarity in that they both choose to place a more concrete belief in an unknown, but one is more optimistic than the other--so why not choose the more optimistic one (religion and an afterlife)? I guess what I'm trying to say is given the choice between religion vs. atheism, I actually see more practicality in religion, if one must choose a concrete belief. Saying there absolutely, for sure is *no* God or higher power, to me, is as much a faith as saying there is--so why not take the one with an everlasting future?

 

2 hours ago, rzumwalt said:

Lastly, do you suppose version 2.9 knows it was lovingly made by its creators? Or maybe frustratingly made with a lot of profanity thrown in?

lol, I hope for both. Because then it knows it's loved, but it also knows that love takes work, commitment, and emotional investment of many different forms :D

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23 minutes ago, BBD_123 said:

 

If the many worlds hypothesis is correct, then elsewhere, 2.9 will already have arrived and this thread never happened.

 

And in all universes where L6 updates exist, they are a gift that keeps on giving  :-)

Not only that, but somewhere there would exist a world where 2.9 turned all the Helixii into AXE FX's, and vice versa. Imagine the chaos and consternation that must be going down there. Probably the end of times for that particular timeline! lol

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querty24 nails it. Logic requires agnosticism. From there, it is a leap of faith, either way :-)

 

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9 hours ago, datacommando said:

 

 

Nihilism is not an option.

 

It's your choice!
 

If Nihilism, especially existential Nihilism, isn't an option... Then it isn't my choice.

 

Perhaps L6 can finally get it right with 3.00. :)

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BTW. Agnostic is not the middle ground between atheism, and theism.

 

Atheism is a lack of belief in a god. IE not convinced one exists.

 

Anti-theism is the assertion that there is no god.

 

Agnostic is a statement of knowledge. Atheism is a statement of beliefs.

 

I am an Agnostic Atheist.

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1 minute ago, Lachdanan0121 said:

BTW. Agnostic is not the middle ground between atheism, and theism.

 

Atheism is a lack of belief in a god. IE not convinced one exists.

 

Anti-theism is the assertion that there is no god.

 

Agnostic is a statement of knowledge. Atheism is a statement of beliefs.

 

I am an Agnostic Atheist.

Ah, interesting, I wasn't aware of that difference (atheism vs anti-theism). Thanks for clarifying that.

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3 minutes ago, qwerty42 said:

Ah, interesting, I wasn't aware of that difference (atheism vs anti-theism). Thanks for clarifying that.

Aye. No problem. Glad I could help.

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47 minutes ago, BBD_123 said:

querty24 nails it. Logic requires agnosticism. From there, it is a leap of faith, either way :-)

 

Thanks :) But I also want to emphasize I don't see one as superior over the others. (I used to, but I realized it made me a bit of a d*** so I reassessed those beliefs and changed my attitude.) Depending on a person's values and priorities, choosing a leap of faith might make a lot more sense than stopping where logic can go no further. I think in some ways, the human psyche thrives with spiritual beliefs and the positive outlook they can create. So, IMO, there's a strong argument for choosing to believe in something if it improves your life, even if you can't prove it to be true. If your goal is just to have the most fulfilling and happiest life, that could be the most practical choice for many people.

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2 minutes ago, qwerty42 said:

Thanks :) But I also want to emphasize I don't see one as superior over the others.

 

Agreed. It's what you *do* that matters.The underpinning is less important than the result. Golden Rule rulez, amen.

 

 

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50 minutes ago, qwerty42 said:

Thanks :) But I also want to emphasize I don't see one as superior over the others. (I used to, but I realized it made me a bit of a d*** so I reassessed those beliefs and changed my attitude.) Depending on a person's values and priorities, choosing a leap of faith might make a lot more sense than stopping where logic can go no further. I think in some ways, the human psyche thrives with spiritual beliefs and the positive outlook they can create. So, IMO, there's a strong argument for choosing to believe in something if it improves your life, even if you can't prove it to be true. If your goal is just to have the most fulfilling and happiest life, that could be the most practical choice for many people.

I don't think it so easy as anyone chooses their beliefs. To "choose" a belief would be insincere would it not? As you are either convinced, or you are not. You believe, or don't. I don't just mean in matters of god(s)/religions either. 

How can one sincerely choose to be convinced of something? If you are choosing to be convinced of something then it is kinda apparent that the priority of it being true is significantly diminished. Hints the detriment to its sincerity. 

 

I get that when people say things like "I don't believe in abortion" what they are really saying is they don't support it. Supporting something, and believing in it are two separate things, often convoluted.  (I was using that as an example, not to move the discussion to abortion at all)

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