Define "being"

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Caroline
 
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2009 08:53 pm
@saiboimushi,
Despite what Fido said your posts were far more aggressive. Thank you.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2009 10:11 pm
@Caroline,
Caroline;90481 wrote:
Despite what Fido said your posts were far more aggressive. Thank you.

I heard a band tonight that was a drum and a guitar... I don't know if it was the best music i ever heard...I don't care for that death metal sound... But they had a lot of energy, and went after it hard...I would say of the gentleman what Lincoln told the man who said he should stop his kids from running around the White House: Let them run; There is plenty of time for them to get pokey...If he brings aggression, and it has some energy as well as hatred, then let it go... There was never a good philosopher who was young, but all were young once, and suffering the angst and anger of youth... Everyone learns...And not because we want to...
 
NonSum
 
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 05:15 am
@saiboimushi,
Prothero: The illuison of "being" is created by the influence of the past and incorporation of elements (prehension) of the past on the creation of the present moment.

NS: "Being" is restricted to the present moment as perceptual reality.
While OTOH, "becoming & process" brings imagination into the equation. No one directly 'experiences' the past or future. We selectively recall & reshape the former, and fantasize the latter. The past and future are exclusively mental events, and for all that any of us know, the past (as conceived) may never have happened, and the future (as conceived) never will. This makes the illusion of 'becoming' a sort of sandwitch, with the solid meat of 'being' stuck between two imaginary 'nevers.'

In order for 'Being' to actually 'be,' it must stand well outside, and independent, of anyone's particular "prehension" ('a mental apprehension'). Clearly, the past and future are individual creations, living nowhere in the world except within an individual's conceptual
musings.

In a hypothetical universe where there is only 'becoming,' it too would not 'be.' a non-existent 'becoming' would have no existent beginning, end, nor an in-between. In short, 'becoming' would never 'come' at all. Nor, would there 'be' anything to register its presence or absense, if it came or not.
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 07:23 am
@NonSum,
NonSum;90536 wrote:
Clearly, the past and future are individual creations, living nowhere in the world except within an individual's conceptual
musings.


Possibly a bit more since past and future are often shared experiences where individual influence a shared vision of the past and future. There is entanglement so it is not strictly an individual musing - though it could be.

Rich
 
prothero
 
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 09:20 am
@NonSum,
[QUOTE=NonSum;90536] NS: "Being" is restricted to the present moment as perceptual reality. While OTOH, "becoming & process" brings imagination into the equation. No one directly 'experiences' the past or future. We selectively recall & reshape the former, and fantasize the latter. The past and future are exclusively mental events, and for all that any of us know, the past (as conceived) may never have happened, and the future (as conceived) never will. This makes the illusion of 'becoming' a sort of sandwitch, with the solid meat of 'being' stuck between two imaginary 'nevers.'.[/QUOTE]
Time is not dependent on human perception.
There is a changing reality independent of our perceptions of it.
This is a hard core common sense assumption that everyone presumes in practice even if denying it in theory.
This change "becoming" is continuous and not dependent on sense perception of humans.
It is paradoxical and sophism to assume that time came into being because of human perceptions.
You are beginning with the sense theory of perception and phenomenology and projecting it onto ontology. A form of skepticism I do not share.
Time and space are inseparable aspects of independent reality.


[QUOTE=NonSum;90536] In order for 'Being' to actually 'be,' it must stand well outside, and independent, of anyone's particular "prehension" ('a mental apprehension'). Clearly, the past and future are individual creations, living nowhere in the world except within an individual's conceptual musings. .[/QUOTE]
The planets move, stars explode and worlds come into being independent of any individual's conceptual musings.


[QUOTE=NonSum;90536] In a hypothetical universe where there is only 'becoming,' it too would not 'be.' a non-existent 'becoming' would have no existent beginning, end, nor an in-between. In short, 'becoming' would never 'come' at all. Nor, would there 'be' anything to register its presence or absense, if it came or not.[/QUOTE]
It is process and energy that creates the "illusion of matter". The fundamental atom "indivisible particles inert and insensate" do not exist. Quantum actions are events not particles. What does it mean "to be". There is nothing which is static fixed and immutable. Such notions are illusions. What is matter anyway?
 
Caroline
 
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 09:34 am
@saiboimushi,
Matter is what binds us, our bodies.
 
prothero
 
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 11:01 am
@Caroline,
Caroline;90623 wrote:
Matter is what binds us, our bodies.

gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear forces are what bind you.
Matter in the classical sense is an illusion mostly empty space and continuously changing. Both a wave and a particle depending on the method of observation.
Matter and being are are best secondary manifestations of process or events.
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 11:51 am
@prothero,
prothero;90617 wrote:
It is paradoxical and sophism to assume that time came into being because of human perceptions.
You are beginning with the sense theory of perception and phenomenology and projecting it onto ontology. A form of skepticism I do not share.
Time and space are inseparable aspects of independent reality.


Is this your understanding of Special Relativity in which Einstein clearly showed that time is relative to the observer's frame of reference - i.e. time slows down the faster I move?

Apparently, Whitehead agreed:

Whitehead, Special Relativity and Simultaneity

Whiteheadian and Einsteinian relativity both embody views of time which stipulate that time measurement is to some degree observer-dependent. This enables both views to claim equally that what is a simultaneous set of occurrences for one observer may not be for another. But what is very distinct in these views is the manner in which simultaneity is defined and the assumptions which underlie these definitions.

Rich
 
NonSum
 
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 12:16 pm
@saiboimushi,
Rich: Possibly a bit more since past and future are often shared experiences where individual influence a shared vision of the past and future. There is entanglement so it is not strictly an individual musing - though it could be.

NS: Possibly a bit more, yes. But, the common unreliability of witness testimony illustrates just how little agreement that shared memories actually do have.

Prothero: Time is not dependent on human perception.

NS: This begs the question of who perceived this fact, if it be a fact at all? And if it has not been perceived, then it is equivalent to not existing. I take time as very much a relative and subjective affair, much like Albert.

P: There is a changing reality independent of our perceptions of it.

NS: How does one go about proving something like that? Especially, since no one has ever perceived the un-perceived.

P: This change “becoming” is continuous and not dependent on sense perception of humans.

NS: A memory requires a mind to recall it. It does not walk about on its own, and tap you on the shoulder. And, without that essential memory, a present phenomena has no history to tell me, ‘before it was this, and now it is that.’ Ergo, no ‘becoming’ this or that; only now ‘being’ this or that.

P: It is paradoxical and sophism to assume that time came into being because of human perceptions.

NS: That is a characterization of Your impressions, not an argument. Besides, a ‘paradox’ is only the admission that something merely ‘appears’ to contradict, rather than actually does contradict.

P: You are beginning with the sense theory of perception and phenomenology and projecting it onto ontology.

NS: You’ve just defined ‘Empiricism,’ one of the most basic tools of science.

P: Time and space are inseparable aspects of independent reality.

NS: Yet, according to you, none of that has any ‘being.’ In your earlier post, you were describing a reality that never ‘comes’ at all. Now, you grant real ‘Being’ to: “time-space, indivisibility, distinct aspects (i.e. qualities), and to reality itself.” Is this a “paradox” or an actual ‘contradiction’?

P: The planets move, stars explode and worlds come into being independent of any individual’s conceptual musings.

NS: All of that, and yet no one has ever perceived, or even conceived, of it. Amazing!

P: It is process and energy that creates the “illusion of matter”.

NS: And yet, “the illusion of matter” is commonly “processed” into real energy. And, energy has been known to be turned into (“the illusion of”) matter as well.

P: What does it mean “to be”. There is nothing which is static fixed and immutable.

NS: If there were “nothing,” there would be nothing to change. Without a state of Being, however brief, we can never say that its state has altered in any way from that original state.

P: What is matter anyway?

NS: I’m not defending “matter.” I’m defending “Being.” Even if matter is just as much of an illusion as “becoming,” the ‘illusion’ would still have Being, or it would not exist at all. “Being,” is-ness, supercedes, and underlies, all processes, all phenomena, all noumena. If it did not, none of it would ‘be’ at all.

P: Matter and being are at best secondary manifestations of process.

NS: That would be similar to the ‘process’ of making a cake, without there actually ‘being’ any ingredients to make it with.
“How then will I make it,” you ask?
“I have the recipe (process), and that’s all that I require,” I answer. “What need have I of illusory ingredients, when they are secondary at best to my recipe.”
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 12:30 pm
@NonSum,
NonSum;90673 wrote:
NS: Possibly a bit more, yes. But, the common unreliability of witness testimony illustrates just how little agreement that shared memories actually do have.


Yes, I agree. I think humans, for practical reasons, assume there is agreement, but when they actually begin talking to each other they realize how little agreement there is, and the discussion itself begins to affect all personal perceptions.

Rich
 
prothero
 
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 01:06 pm
@richrf,
[QUOTE=richrf;90663] Is this your understanding of Special Relativity in which Einstein clearly showed that time is relative to the observer's frame of reference - i.e. time slows down the faster I move? [/QUOTE]The measurement of time does vary according to frame of reference. As does the measurement of mass and other spatial properties and dimensions. There is no frame of reference in which time stops, does not exist or process does not occur.

[QUOTE=richrf;90663] Apparently, Whitehead agreed:Whitehead, Special Relativity and Simultaneity[/QUOTE]
Whitehead's process philosophy is the source for the notion that process is primary ontology. So no, Whitehead would not agree that time is created by human perception only that the passage of time (the rate of process) is variable.
The traveler on the spaceship at close to the speed of light still ages albeit not as quickly as his twin left behind on the earth. There is still a past, present and a future. There is no frame of reference where there is no time.

[QUOTE=richrf;90663] Whiteheadian and Einsteinian relativity both embody views of time which stipulate that time measurement is to some degree observer-dependent. This enables both views to claim equally that what is a simultaneous set of occurrences for one observer may not be for another. But what is very distinct in these views is the manner in which simultaneity is defined and the assumptions which underlie these definitions.Rich[/QUOTE] The observer dependency of "simultaneous events" does not affect the notion that reality is composed of events.
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 01:29 pm
@prothero,
prothero;90689 wrote:
The measurement of time does vary according to frame of reference.

So no, Whitehead would not agree that time is created by human perception only that the passage of time (the rate of process) is variable.


I think this is key. I think when one tries to separate time from passage of time, things start getting very wobbly. Can time do anything other than pass?

Once you get here, you either have to begin to ponder the entanglement of time and the observer or just ignore it. This is up to each individual to decide.

Rich
 
prothero
 
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 01:58 pm
@NonSum,
Let us try to make this a polite exchange of views since it is clear we have vastly different worldviews.


[QUOTE=NonSum;90673] Prothero: Time is not dependent on human perception.[/QUOTE]
NonSum;90673 wrote:


NS: This begs the question of who perceived this fact, if it be a fact at all? And if it has not been perceived, then it is equivalent to not existing. I take time as very much a relative and subjective affair, much like Albert.

The measurement of time is very much a relative and subjective affair. The perception of time is very much a relative and subjective affair. The rate of process is condition dependent. The existence of process is not.

[QUOTE=NonSum;90673] P: There is a changing reality independent of our perceptions of it.[/QUOTE]
NonSum;90673 wrote:


NS: How does one go about proving something like that? Especially, since no one has ever perceived the un-perceived.
Although one can (Kant and Hume) be skeptical of our perfect knowledge of an independent reality trapped within our bodies and our minds as we are, imperfect knowledge does not translate to non existence. Science is pretty much based on the notion that independent observers can make the same measurements and obtain the same results. There is something independent of observation that is being investigated.


[QUOTE=NonSum;90673] P: This change "becoming" is continuous and not dependent on sense perception of humans.[/QUOTE]
NonSum;90673 wrote:


NS: A memory requires a mind to recall it. It does not walk about on its own, and tap you on the shoulder. And, without that essential memory, a present phenomena has no history to tell me, 'before it was this, and now it is that.' Ergo, no 'becoming' this or that; only now 'being' this or that.
Again talking about human perceptions versus independent reality. Does nature have a memory? Yes, the present and the future are dependent on past events. Process (nature as a sequence of events) depends on incorporating elements of the past (memory or prehension as Whitehead would term it) and the existence of future possibilities. None of this is "dependent" on humans except our perceptions of it.


[QUOTE=NonSum;90673] P: You are beginning with the sense theory of perception and phenomenology and projecting it onto ontology.[/QUOTE]
NonSum;90673 wrote:


NS: You've just defined 'Empiricism,' one of the most basic tools of science.
And empiricism is fine and a useful tool, but reason is a more powerful tool. I am a rationalist not an empiricist. Epistomology is fine until it takes precedence over ontology. The program of starting from epistemology "What can I know for certain" has brought philosophy to a standstill made it the handmaiden of science, empiricism and epistemology. The answer is "there is nothing you can know for certain" all systems (mathematics, logic) start from one or more unprovable axioms. The real question is pragmatic how well does this or that system correlate with the total sum of human experience and intuition.

[QUOTE=NonSum;90673] P: The planets move, stars explode and worlds come into being independent of any individual's conceptual musings.[/QUOTE]
NonSum;90673 wrote:


NS: All of that, and yet no one has ever perceived, or even conceived, of it. Amazing!
Hardly anyone doubts the existence of independent reality. Although it is possible to construct a logical argument to doubt independent reality everyone assumes its "existence" in "the process of living", "presupposed in practice", "hard core common sense",. Granted our knowledge of such "reality" is imperfect and limited but it does not depend on us or on being perceivied for its "independent existence"


[QUOTE=NonSum;90673] P: It is process and energy that creates the "illusion of matter".[/QUOTE]
NonSum;90673 wrote:


NS: And yet, "the illusion of matter" is commonly "processed" into real energy. And, energy has been known to be turned into ("the illusion of") matter as well.

"matter" is condensed energy. Energy is composed of "quanta". Quanta can have wave or particle properties but are neither particles nor waves they are events.


[QUOTE=NonSum;90673] P: What does it mean "to be". There is nothing which is static fixed and immutable.[/QUOTE]
NonSum;90673 wrote:


NS: If there were "nothing," there would be nothing to change. Without a state of Being, however brief, we can never say that its state has altered in any way from that original state.
What you perceive are events. A sequence of events which are not entirely independent. At its deepest level reality is composed of events.


[QUOTE=NonSum;90673] P: What is matter anyway?[/QUOTE]
NonSum;90673 wrote:


NS: I'm not defending "matter." I'm defending "Being." Even if matter is just as much of an illusion as "becoming," the 'illusion' would still have Being, or it would not exist at all. "Being," is-ness, supercedes, and underlies, all processes, all phenomena, all noumena. If it did not, none of it would 'be' at all.
One can not define being in terms of "being". One starts with ontology not with empiricism. Ontology is a deeper explanation of ultimate reality not a series of sense impressions and empirical observations.


[QUOTE=NonSum;90673] P: Matter and being are at best secondary manifestations of process.[/QUOTE]
NonSum;90673 wrote:


NS: That would be similar to the 'process' of making a cake, without there actually 'being' any ingredients to make it with.
"How then will I make it," you ask?
"I have the recipe (process), and that's all that I require," I answer. "What need have I of illusory ingredients, when they are secondary at best to my recipe."
Making a cake is a series of events and so are the "ingredients" one uses to make the cake. Materialism in all its forms inevitably splits the world in two: into (inner and outer experience, subjective and objective experience or mind and matter).

---------- Post added 09-16-2009 at 02:27 PM ----------

richrf;90697 wrote:
I think this is key. I think when one tries to separate time from passage of time, things start getting very wobbly. Can time do anything other than pass?

Once you get here, you either have to begin to ponder the entanglement of time and the observer or just ignore it. This is up to each individual to decide.

Rich
I am not the one who introduced "time" into this discussion. I was promoting process, change, becoming as primary ontology. Process or change is perceived as "time" but it is the underlying process which is ontology not the human perception "time". For process philosophy reality consists of sequential events not "time". "Time and matter" would both be derived perceptions, empirical and sensory perceptions, not reality.
 
NonSum
 
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 06:50 pm
@saiboimushi,
Hi
Prothero: Let us try to make this a polite exchange of views since it is clear we have vastly different worldviews.

NS: I don't recall either of us being less than polite(?).
Yes, you are a "rationalist," and I am more the "idealist," though I was taking an "empiricist's" position here for the most part.

P: empiricism is fine and a useful tool, but reason is a more powerful tool.

NS: Lol, Well, of course as a rationalist, you would claim this to be the case. What do we gain if I now do what you just did, and assert the contrapositive? Right, 'nothing.'

You appear to be repeating your earlier assertions, and if I were to counter them by examining their knowledge basis, you will charge me with making an epistomological argument rather than a 'faith based' rationalist's assertion.

So, my opposing position (according to you) is inappropriate to an ontological discussion, though I doubt Kant, and other empiricists, would agree with you. And, your position appears to me as the stuff of faith, holding, as is their way, that any inquiry concerning a real basis in knowledge is irrelevant, and I'm sure other famous rationalists would agree with you.

I suggest we have both made a fair case for our particular camps, and spare ourselves, and others, our intransigence and repetition. For myself, I have no desire to wage an unprofitable war on the relative merits of rationalism v empiricism. But, I do want to wish you well, Prothero, and thank you for the fun of the debate. Be well,
NS
 
darshanchande
 
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 03:29 am
@saiboimushi,
Being as noun: Whatever that exists is a "being."
Being as verb: Being is "existing."
 
SammDickens
 
Reply Tue 22 Sep, 2009 08:31 pm
@saiboimushi,
I should suppose that existence (or interchangeably "being"), as far as I may know it, is this great complex of experiences that plays, all at a time, upon my consciousness.

I see and hear, smell and taste, feel degrees of heat and contact. All these particular experiences I attribute either to my senses or to my imagination which mimics my senses, at times quite well.

I also experience my thoughts and desires and emotions. My thoughts seem to transmit through my imagination because I "hear" words that I am not speaking aloud. How is it, do you suppose, that one hears so clearly the silent words one is only thinking to oneself?

The facility of imagination to mimic my senses also appears to be a necessary function in my recollection of memories. Certainly, whatever memory may be, it serves to store and retain my previous experiences in a manner that allows me to recall them either by intent or by some catalytic experience. But it is into my imagination that memories seem to be recalled, for there they play in whatever mimicked sensations they may retain, seeing and hearing what had long passed from my immediate experience, smelling and tasting some long finished mealtime delight, feeling an old and forgotten pain or pleasure.

I wonder how one might still think if the facility of imagination to speak unspoken words were not to exist? Can there be thought without real or imagined hearing, seeing, and other sensations? Can there be reason without thought, logic without reason? How might intelligence be expressed in a mind absent of all imagination?

Before I can further explore being, I must ask if indeed any knowledge of my existence would be possible were I to be incapable of ALL experience. Are there any avenues for the acquisition of knowledge that are not imposed upon our consciousness by some manner of experience?

Samm
 
prothero
 
Reply Tue 22 Sep, 2009 11:42 pm
@SammDickens,
Without process (change) there would be no experience and no time.
I am not sure what "being" or "existence' would mean without process?
The notion of static, changless "matter,substance, being" has no meaning?
For that matter the notion of a chnageless, immutable, impassibe, immovable god reallly has no meaning either?
 
SammDickens
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 01:35 am
@prothero,
prothero;92897 wrote:
Without process (change) there would be no experience and no time.
I am not sure what "being" or "existence' would mean without process?
The notion of static, changless "matter,substance, being" has no meaning?
For that matter the notion of a changeless, immutable, impassible, immovable god reallly has no meaning either?


I agree, prothero, that experience cannot occur without process. Experience, it seems to me, IS a process in which that-which-experiences (our consciousnesses for example) responds to the stimulus of that-which-is-experienced (all those sensations and imaginations and desires and emotions we have). All of our experiences may be understood as processes of response to stimulation, and those processes cannot occur unless there EXISTS something-that-experiences and something-that-is-experienced. Therefore, whenever an experience occurs it verifies the existence (or being) of both that-which-experiences AND that-which-is-experienced.

Because I am a conscious being, then, I am unable to deny that I exist without disproving my denial in the process. I experience, therefore I exist. The only problem there is that I can't know that you exist and you can't know that I exist. But we are so alike, us humans at least, that it's a lot easier to accept the existence of each other on faith (and good faith, I think), than to go about dancing the solipsist samba. :bigsmile:

I think we also seem to agree that time is nothing but a measure of change (process, events, actions, etc.). We have developed the concept of time to enable us to measure and order the innumerable processes of change in our experience. But time is only an idea. Action and change are the reality of our being. Don't you think so too?

Samm
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 05:55 am
@richrf,
richrf;90697 wrote:
I think this is key. I think when one tries to separate time from passage of time, things start getting very wobbly. Can time do anything other than pass?

Once you get here, you either have to begin to ponder the entanglement of time and the observer or just ignore it. This is up to each individual to decide.

Rich

It is wrong to think of time as a constant when it is only a constant from a certain perspective...Space too is a constant if no one is moving....The faster you move, the faster time and space change as constants..It is just that, for us, bringing time to a stand still would be like keeping pace with a bobbing body in a boiling river from the river bank...
 
SammDickens
 
Reply Wed 23 Sep, 2009 09:42 am
@Fido,
Fido;92940 wrote:
It is wrong to think of time as a constant when it is only a constant from a certain perspective...Space too is a constant if no one is moving....The faster you move, the faster time and space change as constants..It is just that, for us, bringing time to a stand still would be like keeping pace with a bobbing body in a boiling river from the river bank...


I agree with what you say. I am only trying to look at the passage of time from a different perspective. First let me talk about agreements.

Moving fast does not affect my experience of time, only my experience of space--because I can see across distances of space, the attenuation of space at near-light speeds would at some point become noticeable to me. But time would always seem to be constant in my accelerated frame of reference, would it not?

Only to a stationary observer relative to my acceleration would it appear that I was moving more slowly, that the passage of time was slowing in my frame of reference with respect to his frame of reference. (As if he would be able to see me whiz past him at near-light speed. :perplexed:) The slowing of the passage of time is only perceived between two frames of reference when one is accelerating toward light speed, Isn't that correct? Don't observers within those frames of reference view their own passage of time as normal and unchanged? I ask because I am not a scientist or mathematician and my readings in relativity have been confounded by having people present differing descriptions even in print, as with quantum physics. What is your understanding, more specifically?

I hope you can see agreement with us on the passage of time as affected across frames of reference with acceleration to near-light speeds. I too understand that the passage of time, along with the (shall we say) "density" of space, both lose their constancy (while the speed of light remains unchanged?).

Our only possible differences here, I think, are that I view time as change and the passage of time as a rate of change. This derives from a perspective based on experience. I experience the phenomena of change, but I do not experience time as a dimensional reality. We can discuss this more maybe? But right now I have donkeys to feed. Smile

Samm
 
 

 
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