The Fatal Paradox

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kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 01:33 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;160085 wrote:
Do you have any evidence/examples?


Examples of what? Fatalism not being true? Of course I have. I was fated not to have been born, and here I am! I was fated to have three heads, but look (or rather please take my word for it) I have but one. The falsity of fatalism is all around you!
 
Extrain
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 01:38 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;160096 wrote:
I have no evidence for either/neither, I was merely questioning such certainty that KA displayed.


Yes. Suppose it's true that I will die in a car wreck if I go driving today.

So, "If I go driving today, I will die today" is true.

But the question is whether "I will die today" is necessarily true.

Suppose I decide not to drive today thereby not dying. So I have avoided my own death today. So "I will die today" is not necessarily true. Fatalism is false.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 01:39 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;160096 wrote:
I have no evidence for either/neither, I was merely questioning such certainty that KA displayed.



Oh that. Well, we have just oodles of evidence that somethings we did avoided what would certainly have happened had be not done them. For example, just the other day when I was driving, a child ran into the road. And had I now swerved, sure as shootin' that kid would have been creamed. So, what was fated to happen had I not swerved did not happen. That is one example of what was fated to happen not happening because of something a person did to avoid it.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 01:42 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;160101 wrote:
Oh that. Well, we have just oodles of evidence that somethings we did avoided what would certainly have happened had be not done them. For example, just the other day when I was driving, a child ran into the road. And had I now swerved, sure as shootin' that kid would have been creamed. So, what was fated to happen had I not swerved did not happen. That is one example of what was fated to happen not happening because of something a person did to avoid it.
Oo

Uhmmm, sounds more like superstition to me, but maybe that's just me.
 
Extrain
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 01:45 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;160103 wrote:
Oo

Uhmmm, sounds more like superstition to me, but maybe that's just me.


huh? Fatalism is the superstition, actually. People think things occur because "they were meant to happen" all the time. "It was fate," as they say.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 02:46 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;160103 wrote:
Oo

Uhmmm, sounds more like superstition to me, but maybe that's just me.


I suppose it is-just you. Could you say just why you think that is not an example of the failure of fatalism? I think arguments, not feelings, would be appropriate.

---------- Post added 05-04-2010 at 04:52 PM ----------

Extrain;160105 wrote:
huh? Fatalism is the superstition, actually. People think things occur because "they were meant to happen" all the time. "It was fate," as they say.


Well, just saying it is superstition does not get us very far. "Superstition" is only a dyslogism. I suppose you think it is false. In that case, of course, we need an argument. I think it is pretty clear that to declare that fate is unavoidable is either true, but trivial, or significant, but false. The use of Hume's fork, then, refutes fatalism as calling it superstition does not.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 02:55 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;160115 wrote:
I suppose it is-just you. Could you say just why you think that is not an example of the failure of fatalism? I think arguments, not feelings, would be appropriate.

---------- Post added 05-04-2010 at 04:52 PM ----------



Well, just saying it is superstition does not get us very far. "Superstition" is only a dyslogism. I suppose you think it is false. In that case, of course, we need an argument. I think it is pretty clear that to declare that fate is unavoidable is either true, but trivial, or significant, but false. The use of Hume's fork, then, refutes fatalism as calling it superstition does not.
Seems I confused the wording of your former post as the proof, or whatever it was. You often speak in such puzzeling ways that you confuse me, maybe it is because your have an infinitive greater understanding of philosophy, than me.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 03:08 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;160119 wrote:
Seems I confused the wording of your former post as the proof, or whatever it was. You often speak in such puzzeling ways that you confuse me, maybe it is because your have an infinitive greater understanding of philosophy, than me.


I think that is a very plausible hypothesis. But perhaps I can help if you tell me just what you find so puzzling. What I was saying is that fatalism is either trivially true, or significantly false. Depending, of course, on how fatalism is understood. So, you one can either hold that fatalism is true by definition, and trivial, or just false. One can choose his own poison: true, but trivial; or significant, but false.
 
Emil
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 04:58 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;160120 wrote:
I think that is a very plausible hypothesis. But perhaps I can help if you tell me just what you find so puzzling. What I was saying is that fatalism is either trivially true, or significantly false. Depending, of course, on how fatalism is understood. So, you one can either hold that fatalism is true by definition, and trivial, or just false. One can choose his own poison: true, but trivial; or significant, but false.


You do indeed talk in puzzling ways! But your knowledge is probably also much greater, even than mine and I've not been doing much else than studying since I was born (it feels like).

Are there other things in philosophy that are either trivially true or significantly false or, conversely, trivially false or significantly true?
 
Extrain
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 10:00 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;160115 wrote:
Well, just saying it is superstition does not get us very far. "Superstition" is only a dyslogism. I suppose you think it is false. In that case, of course, we need an argument. I think it is pretty clear that to declare that fate is unavoidable is either true, but trivial, or significant, but false. The use of Hume's fork, then, refutes fatalism as calling it superstition does not.


I thought I already did give a reason against thinking it is true in #22--it is prima facie false. Further, I am not aware of any arguments for it, as it stands. It seems to be just another groundless philosophical hypothesis not even determinists maintain. So I see no good reason for thinking it is true. As philosophers, we are not always obligated to "refute" every view proposed, if there aren't any reasons to hold it. At most, we can give reasons for thinking it is false--just as we have been doing.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 10:31 pm
@Extrain,
Extrain;160205 wrote:
I thought I already did give a reason against thinking it is true in #22--it is prima facie false. Further, I am not aware of any arguments for it, as it stands. It seems to be just another groundless philosophical hypothesis not even determinists maintain. So I see no good reason for thinking it is true. As philosophers, we are not always obligated to "refute" every view proposed, if there aren't any reasons to hold it. At most, we can give reasons for thinking it is false--just as we have been doing.





But is it not a necessary truth that our fate cannot be avoided, since if an event has been avoided, it cannot have been our fate? So how can it be false?
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 10:45 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;160210 wrote:
But is it not a necessary truth that our fate cannot be avoided, since if an event has been avoided, it cannot have been our fate.


Do you mean that the sentence regarding avoidance of fate or not does not even make sense right ?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 10:51 pm
@Emil,
Emil;160149 wrote:
You do indeed talk in puzzling ways! But your knowledge is probably also much greater, even than mine and I've not been doing much else than studying since I was born (it feels like).

Are there other things in philosophy that are either trivially true or significantly false or, conversely, trivially false or significantly true?


But what puzzles me about what you just wrote is now I don't know whether you understood what I wrote when I said that fatalism is either trivially true, or it is significantly false. You did not seem to find that puzzling before. Isn't fatalism true if it is understood as the view that necessarily, whatever will be, will be. But if understood as the view that whatever will be will necessarily be, it is clearly false? Or do you find what I have just written, puzzling? If you do not, then it puzzles me why you just wrote that you found what I wrote before puzzling, because it is that I also wrote before. (David Hume points out exactly the same thing. Do you find that puzzling? It was not very long ago that I explained Hume's point to you, and you seemed to understand it, and admire it. It is often called, "Hume's fork").

Another instance is psychological egoism. All our actions are selfish. If that is understood as meaning that whenever we do anything we want to do it, that is trivially true. But it is not trivially true, that we never do anything we do not want to do. At least that is not "true for me". Is it "true for you"?

Another obvious case is, "War is War". Trivially true, and, of course, significantly false (like, "Business is Business")

---------- Post added 05-05-2010 at 01:28 AM ----------

Fil. Albuquerque;160215 wrote:
Do you mean that the sentence regarding avoidance of fate or not does not even make sense right ?


But what sentence are you talking about? If the sentence is, "You cannot avoid your fate", that is (trivially and necessarily) true in one sense, and (significantly and contingently) false in a different sense, so not only does it make sense. It makes two senses.
 
Extrain
 
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 09:22 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;160210 wrote:
But is it not a necessary truth that our fate cannot be avoided, since if an event has been avoided, it cannot have been our fate? So how can it be false?


But that's a tautology. You are saying if fatalism is true then I cannot avoid X. But that's just a definition of what fatalism is, not a reason for thinking fatalism is true. X is my fate if and only if X is my fate. This is a necessary truth. But the question is whether X is avoidable, or X is my fate, or X is a necessary truth. I see no reason to think "I will die in a car wreck today" is necessarily true even if I do, in fact, die in a car wreck today. We have more reason to think it is a contingent truth than a necessary truth.

I can set it up this way, too:

If fatalism is true, then event X cannot be avoided. X has been avoided, so fatalism is false. How is one supposed to argue against it other than suggest there is no good reason for thinking we cannot avoid X? I thought that's what you've been doing.

Fatalism is one of those empty philosophical theses which fail to say anything if it were true because it doesn't say whether X, Y, or Z is my fate. Why should I take it seriously? It is compatible with anything you say against it. That's not a virtue, but a vice. It is the same problem G.E. Moore had with skepticism. So to say "fatalism is true" is to beg the question just as saying "we are brains in a vat is true" begs the question.
 
salima
 
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 09:51 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;160101 wrote:
Oh that. Well, we have just oodles of evidence that somethings we did avoided what would certainly have happened had be not done them. For example, just the other day when I was driving, a child ran into the road. And had I now swerved, sure as shootin' that kid would have been creamed. So, what was fated to happen had I not swerved did not happen. That is one example of what was fated to happen not happening because of something a person did to avoid it.


no, maybe it means that what you did-swerving to avoid the child-is what was fated to happen! maybe all that can be known is some things were not fated to happen-in other words, it was not fated that the child would die that particular day being hit by your car.
 
Extrain
 
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 09:58 am
@salima,
salima;160410 wrote:
no, maybe it means that what you did-swerving to avoid the child-is what was fated to happen! maybe all that can be known is some things were not fated to happen-in other words, it was not fated that the child would die that particular day being hit by your car.


But that just begs the question.

What makes you think "Ken swerved to avoid hitting the child" is necessarily true, or "the child did not die that day" is necessarily true? Both sound like contingent truths to me.
 
salima
 
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 10:06 am
@Extrain,
Extrain;160416 wrote:
But that just begs the question.

What makes you think "Ken swerved to avoid hitting the child" is necessarily true? Sounds like a contingent truth to me.


sorry, the skill that kenneth has at logic is way over my head. it is really awesome, and i probably shouldnt try to comment. so i have to admit that i dont inderstand the difference between necessarily true or contingently true. to me, it was absolutely true because kenneth said that's what happened and i believe him.

---------- Post added 05-05-2010 at 09:36 PM ----------

but sometimes i almost understand you, extrain!
 
Extrain
 
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 10:08 am
@salima,
salima;160420 wrote:
sorry, the skill that kenneth has at logic is way over my head. it is really awesome, and i probably shouldnt try to comment. so i have to admit that i dont inderstand the difference between necessarily true or contingently true. to me, it was absolutely true because kenneth said that's what happened and i believe him.


"2+2=4" is necessarily true, meaning, it is never false. "The child did not die that day" is a contingent truth because it is also true that the child could have died that day. Fatalism denies it is even possible Ken could have not swerved the car and hit the child instead. So you think it is false that the child could have died that day? Seems true to me that the child could have died that day if Ken did not swerve his car.
 
salima
 
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 10:14 am
@kennethamy,
but once ken swerved to avoid hitting the child, isnt it necessarily true because it cant be changed? what's done is done, and that's the way it happened. and 2+2 could have equaled 5 if when the language was created the names of the numbers were different, and in fact that can even be changed...

ow, my head hurts...
 
Extrain
 
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 10:22 am
@salima,
salima;160424 wrote:
but once ken swerved to avoid hitting the child, isnt it necessarily true because it cant be changed
what's done is done, and that's the way it happened.


No, that doesn't mean what happened is "necessarily true." "X happened" just means X happened. "X happens" doesn't entail X necessarily happened. That's a logical fallacy. "P" does not entail "necessarily that P."

salima;160424 wrote:
and 2+2 could have equaled 5 if when the language was created the names of the numbers were different, and in fact that can even be changed...


Numbers are not numerals. Numerals are names of numbers.

So now you think "the child did not day that day" is necessarily true but "2+2=4" is not necessarily true because "2+2" could have equalled 5?
 
 

 
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