Prove my existence.

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kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 10:49 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;156450 wrote:
Now, i know the tradition that for statement to have truth values is for that something to exist. I don` t think this always applies.

---------- Post added 04-25-2010 at 11:30 AM ----------



You need to go back to school. (ie: you are wrong)


Well, the fact that you don't think something is true is not usually considered a good reason to suppose that it isn't true. Unless, of course, you are an authority on the subject.

Intuitionists in mathematics are not Platonists, but they think the number 3 exists. I.e. That something is the number three. But not that the number three is a Platonic entity.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 04:39 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;156462 wrote:
Well, the fact that you don't think something is true


But they are not true. There is no evidence at all for it.


Quote:
is not usually considered a good reason to suppose that it isn't true. Unless, of course, you are an authority on the subject.


I actually did talk to one authority in the subject matter. People like that normally do not have such a fixed view even if they support it. Very open minded people.

Quote:
Intuitionists in mathematics are not Platonists, but they think the number 3 exists. I.e. That something is the number three. But not that the number three is a Platonic entity.


Intuitionism is like idealism, or positivism. No one really believes it any more.

Besides of saying that numbers are mental. I doubt you find any ant-platonist view that support your case here.
 
north
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 04:46 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
what properties does non-existence have ?

do you bleed when cut ?
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 04:57 pm
@north,
north;156546 wrote:
what properties does non-existence have ?

do you bleed when cut ?



I think you are claiming too much if you think every propositions about something commits to existence of that something. A clear case is that when people say "3 is prime", they do not at all commit to the existence of 3( as abstract object).
 
north
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 05:30 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;156548 wrote:
I think you are claiming too much if you think every propositions about something commits to existence of that something. A clear case is that when people say "3 is prime", they do not at all commit to the existence of 3( as abstract object).


and yet when cut , you do bleed

and bleed to much ......regretfully the end of your existence
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 06:06 pm
@north,
north;156556 wrote:
and yet when cut , you do bleed

and bleed to much ......regretfully the end of your existence


what is the got to do with what i said? Your metaphor is not instructive to the discussion.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 06:11 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;156548 wrote:
I think you are claiming too much if you think every propositions about something commits to existence of that something. A clear case is that when people say "3 is prime", they do not at all commit to the existence of 3( as abstract object).


Of course not every proposition about X implies the existence of X. A good example is, "X does not exist", which does not imply that X exists (to say the least).
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 06:27 pm
@kennethamy,
Prove your existence.
Only you can believe.
Only you can trust.
Only you can see.
I can hold a mirror,
i can reflect,
i can not see for you,
i can not shine for you.
Only you can see,
only you can shine.
Sorry.

What sort of glass would you have me forge for you to be able to find yourself?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 06:41 pm
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;156578 wrote:

What sort of glass would you have me forge for you to be able to find yourself?


For some, a magnifying glass.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 06:44 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;156572 wrote:
Of course not every proposition about X implies the existence of X. A good example is, "X does not exist", which does not imply that X exists (to say the least).




That is what i am saying all along!
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 06:54 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;156592 wrote:
That is what i am saying all along!


To whom? I never stated that every proposition that mentions X implies that X exists. That is simply false. Another example is, "If Santa exists, then an elf exists". That does not imply that either Santa or an elf exists. But I knew that, of course.
 
Novice phil
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 08:04 pm
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;156578 wrote:
Prove your existence.
Only you can believe.
Only you can trust.
Only you can see.
I can hold a mirror,
i can reflect,
i can not see for you,
i can not shine for you.
Only you can see,
only you can shine.
Sorry.

What sort of glass would you have me forge for you to be able to find yourself?

Senses can be deceptive for example situation like hallucination or dream. I don't think seeing yourself is solid proof of existence.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 08:14 pm
@Novice phil,
Novice;156612 wrote:
Senses can be deceptive for example situation like hallucination or dream. I don't think seeing yourself is solid proof of existence.


How about thinking that you see yourself (in the mirror?). How could you do that unless you existed? Even if your senses deceive you, and you don't really see yourself, how could you even be deceived into thinking you see yourself, unless you exist. So, whether you really see yourself, or you only believe you see yourself (but don't) you exist. Isn't that true?
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 12:41 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;155456 wrote:
X exists = X instantiates some properties. And X does not exist =X instantiates no properties.

What that means is that to say of X that it exists is to say that something has certain properties. For example, to say that God exists is to say that the properties of omnipotence, omniscience, creator of the universe, etc. etc. are properties of someone (something). Now is that is true, then God exists. But if that is false, then God does not exist. Simple.


This is a bi-conditional statement. If X exists then it has properties. If X has certain properties then it exists. Truth table for bi-conditional with the two conditionals displayed looks like this:

Let p = has properties
Let e = exists

---p-----e-----p->e-----e->p-----e=p

1--T-----T-----T----------T----------T
2--T-----F-----F----------T----------F
3--F-----T-----T----------F----------F
4--F-----F-----T----------T----------T

So far the arguments about God and Santa seem to focus on one of the conditionals rather than both conditionals at once. If Santa is fat then Santa exists. But to flip this around If Santa exists then Santa is fat doesn't make sense. I suppose it is possible that Santa lost some weight recently. In which case we could say if Santa is thin then Santa exists but it's still not quite right to say if Santa exists then Santa is thin. The weirdness comes about because existence is being taken to be a certain property in the same way that fatness or thinness is a certain property.

Is existence a certain property? If existence is not a certain property then what sort of property is it? Is existence a property?

Of course this isn't a new question though some of the answers to the question are relatively new.

From Standford article on Existence (which I'm still perusing).
Existence (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Quote:
Many would hold that 'exists' is indeed a predicate, but would hasten to add some qualification - either that it was 'peculiar', had 'special characteristics', was 'redundant', was a second-level predicate, of that it was a metalinguistic predicate. The dominant view is that 'exists' is a second-level predicate, and it is grounded largely on the contention that to admit 'exists' as a property of individuals would lead on the one hand to the absurdity of regarding existence as a property, and on the other hand to the paradox supposedly generated by negative existential propositions.
 
Razzleg
 
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 02:25 am
@kennethamy,
Novice;156414 wrote:
I find existence to be very ambiguous so maybe this will help the discussion.

How to refute I'm not a "brain in a vat"? That I and everything exist as a solid physical entity in time and space and not hallucinated by a hallucination.


I think that you are right to point out the ambiguity inherent in the original question, and I think the ambiguity involved is the reason that this thread has lasted so long. Questions like the OP's attempt to breach the ontological gap that separates what is possible from what is the case. It is framed as a question of what is the case, since it asks for proof, but it asks after something that must be understood as given before questions of the case can be determined. To paraphrase Kant (I'm not going to look it up,) existence is not a predicate.

I think that this fundamental ambiguity cannot be alleviated by logical means, because ontological statements involve questions of identity. Questions of ontological identity are, I think, almost always ambiguous regardless of the methods of proof at one's disposal.

Take Descartes' proof of God's existence (not the best example of this sort of proof, but one of the most simple):

  1. Whatever I clearly and distinctly perceive to be contained in the idea of something is true of that thing.
  2. I clearly and distinctly perceive that necessary existence is contained in the idea of God.
  3. Therefore, God exists.

The acceptance of the identity between idea and object is a necessary prerequisite for accepting the later statements as true or false. There is no proof within the syllogism that requires 1. to be true, and in fact the identity proposed is subject to all sorts of historical objections. It doesn't help that 1. in Descartes' proof is a contingent statement.

However, even necessary statements, like tautologies, the negation of which involve a contradiction, are somewhat indefinite. They cannot be questioned effectively, for when we attempt to do so their supporting arguments tend to be circular. Or at least they tend to be subject to the regress argument, and adopt a circular argument as a defense. All in all, necessary ontological statements are ambiguous, because of the gap that separates statements of identity involved and any other predicate one would like to attribute to them. And of course, arguments regarding non-identities can be equally equivocal. If one says that there is a clear distinction between reality and appearance, then one can exploit this ambiguity to support either belief of skepticism.

I think that the most one can probably hope from ontological statements is that they are not self-contradictory, do not contradict contingent facts, and that they act as an organizational premise to prevent the appearance of contradiction between different contingent facts. In other words, perhaps it is less important that they be certain than that they are handy.

I am curious if Diogenes has been convinced of their own existence yet. I'm not entirely sure that they do exist. But I wonder, if they do, whether or not they were one of those kids that shook their ant farm for amusement.

Edit: Deckard posted while I was typing up my rambling attempt at a contribution. The point regarding existence's predicate status goes to him.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 02:29 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;156599 wrote:
To whom? I never stated that every proposition that mentions X implies that X exists. That is simply false. Another example is, "If Santa exists, then an elf exists". That does not imply that either Santa or an elf exists. But I knew that, of course.


I think i know why we disagree. Can you summarize the point of disagreement between us in this thread?
 
salima
 
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 05:01 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;156668 wrote:
I think i know why we disagree. Can you summarize the point of disagreement between us in this thread?


you both disagree because you exist?


has anyone been able to define existence yet? does existence exist?
it seems to me everything exists, everything we think, imagine, etc...but it means very little.

so santa, god, elves, flying pink elephants, all exist-but whether or not they are 'real' or are they more than a concept is closer to the question trying to be answered. hallucinations also exist...so another question would be, does it matter if something exists or not? i would say sometimes it does and sometimes it doesnt.

i am getting a bit wordy here...didnt mean to do this. obviously in the case of hallucinations, we might want to ask are they real or not because if we are reacting to things that are not real we ought to know it. or should we? if we react in a good way, helpful to ourselves and others, then it is good. then we have to define good...i am beginning to hate language.

does existentialism exist? suppose i dont care if i exist or not, because it really doesnt change my life either way. if someone could prove to me that i dont exist, i wouldnt disappear in a puff of smoke, i would go on living my life anyway probably exactly the same way as i do now.

of all the philosophical issues or questions in life, this one doesnt seem to cause me any angst. maybe it is because i dont exist...
 
William
 
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 05:25 am
@Diogenes phil,
Diogenes;155416 wrote:
Disregarding the fact that typing this requires my thinking, which requires my existence; please do not use that argument.


Outstanding thread! You make one statement and then leave and observe the others trying to prove "nothing". Kudo"s. I find that so amusing. Laughing

William
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 07:18 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;156655 wrote:
But to flip this around If Santa exists then Santa is fat doesn't make sense.

Is existence a certain property? If existence is not a certain property then what sort of property is it? Is existence a property?

Of course this isn't a new question though some of the answers to the question are relatively new.

From Standford article on Existence (which I'm still perusing).
Existence (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)


But to flip this around If Santa exists then Santa is fat doesn't make sense.

It makes sense, all right. And it is true. If an emaciated Santa claimed to be Santa, we would not believe him. Any Santa would be fat, since that is how Santa is depicted; as a fat jolly old elf. Of course, Santa need not be fat, but unless he were, we would think him an imposter (or maybe that he had had a hard night).

But, of course, what is a necessary truth is that if Santa exists, then Santa has properties. Not necessarily being fat, as I explained, but necessarily as have some properties. For "nothing has no properties" (Descartes).

As for "exist". "Exist" is, of course, grammatically a predicate. Everyone knows that. But that is surface grammar. The question is whether "exist" is a predicate, deep grammar. Kant and Hume both agreed it was not. But it is arguable that although "exist" is not a predicate of objects, as are ordinary predicates, it is a meta-predicate. That is to say, it is a predicate of predicates. And it is a predicate that all predicates that are instantiated have. Thus, for example, to say that God exists is to say that the predicates of omnipotence, omniscience, etc. etc. are instantiated. That seems to me to be a reasonable thing to say. So, is existence a predicate? Yes. But it is not a predicate of objects. It is a predicate of predicates.

---------- Post added 04-26-2010 at 09:31 AM ----------

salima;156679 wrote:



has anyone been able to define existence yet? .


Yes, certainly. To say that X exists is to say that X has properties. So to say that God exists is to say that something has such properties as, omnipotence, omniscience, creator, all just, etc. etc. And to say that God does not exist is just to deny that.

Does everything exist? Of course. But elves do not, since elves are not anything. There are no elves, so elves do not exist. But everything that exists, of course, exists.

Yes, we could not disagree unless we existed. Don't you agree? (Of course, we do not disagree because we exist).
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 08:20 am
@salima,
salima;156679 wrote:
you both disagree because you exist?


has anyone been able to define existence yet? does existence exist?
it seems to me everything exists, everything we think, imagine, etc...but it means very little.

so santa, god, elves, flying pink elephants, all exist-but whether or not they are 'real' or are they more than a concept is closer to the question trying to be answered. hallucinations also exist...so another question would be, does it matter if something exists or not? i would say sometimes it does and sometimes it doesnt.

i am getting a bit wordy here...didnt mean to do this. obviously in the case of hallucinations, we might want to ask are they real or not because if we are reacting to things that are not real we ought to know it. or should we? if we react in a good way, helpful to ourselves and others, then it is good. then we have to define good...i am beginning to hate language.

does existentialism exist? suppose i dont care if i exist or not, because it really doesnt change my life either way. if someone could prove to me that i dont exist, i wouldnt disappear in a puff of smoke, i would go on living my life anyway probably exactly the same way as i do now.

of all the philosophical issues or questions in life, this one doesnt seem to cause me any angst. maybe it is because i dont exist...


You know you exist because you are thinking, reflecting on what want to do, or ought to do for yourself. When you get up from your chair, it is your choice. You made the choice to get up from the chair, and do something else. Those many choices you made will remind you that you exist, and that your life is in your control, and no one else.
 
 

 
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