OK now we're getting somewhere. I like what this guy is on about. A bit from Wik below - but there is lots more on the wik page. I like this stuff, and wouldn't mind having a discussion about this further from those interested or who can express their own understanding of this philosophical perspective - and it's implications for life generally and personally.

This from Wik:

Sextus Empiricus raised concerns which applied to all types of knowledge. He doubted the validity of induction[2] long before its best known critic David Hume, and raised the regress argument against all forms of reasoning:

Those who claim for themselves to judge the truth are bound to possess a criterion of truth. This criterion, then, either is without a judge's approval or has been approved. But if it is without approval, whence comes it that it is truthworthy? For no matter of dispute is to be trusted without judging. And, if it has been approved, that which approves it, in turn, either has been approved or has not been approved, and so on ad infinitum.[3]
Because of these and other barriers to acquiring true beliefs, Sextus Empiricus advises[4] that we should suspend judgment about virtually all beliefs, that is, we should neither affirm any belief as true nor deny any belief as false. This view is known as Pyrrhonian skepticism, as distinguished from Academic skepticism, as practiced by Carneades, which, according to Sextus, denies knowledge altogether. Sextus did not deny the possibility of knowledge. He criticizes the Academic skeptic's claim that nothing is knowable as being an affirmative belief. Instead, Sextus advocates simply giving up belief: that is, suspending judgment about whether or not anything is knowable.[5] Only by suspending judgment can we attain a state of ataraxia (roughly, 'peace of mind'). Sextus did not think such a general suspension of judgment to be impractical, since we may live without any beliefs, acting by habit.

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Comment by Vince Watkins on March 24, 2011 at 1:26am
"What's precognition? Thinking before one thinks? Nothing can preclude what will happen. No one is contesting this. But, the impossibility of foreknowledge makes room for logically plausible futures scenarios."

Nonsense. Total non-sequitur. I can imagine that tomorrow I will have the power of flight and omnipotence. That does not bring such a thing into the path of converging particles... merely the thought.
Comment by Alice on March 24, 2011 at 1:25am

Michael – OK I missed it, when did Vince acknowledge choice?

Comment by Vince Watkins on March 24, 2011 at 1:24am
Alice, I realize that you were destined to view my comments as slurs or slights, but I assure you they were not.

I suspect that your destiny to accept your destiny is inevitable. :)
Comment by Alice on March 24, 2011 at 1:23am

OK – perhaps this is connected to the making of meaning in our lives as humans.  If we go about in life thinking in terms of not having choice – does it change how we act?

 

And by the way – have you been able to go about life for the last 10 minutes without making a choice?

Comment by Vince Watkins on March 24, 2011 at 1:19am
"So Vince recognizes and acknowledges choice. He just won't call it that. Because he is convinced that it means freewill."

Nonsense. "Freewill" is redundant. Either there is more than one possibility or there is not.

I do not see that there is.
Comment by Vince Watkins on March 24, 2011 at 1:17am

"we can’t see all partials or have an ultimate view of reality and all things as they move along" Which does not in any way endorse a less complete point of view.

 

"...this is a god position and we’re all here because we know that’s not possible. So why hold onto the notion of a god position?"

As you know, this is not an actual rebuttal or argument.

 

"Because we’re trying to seem clever? Wouldn’t it be more useful in a practical sense to see what it is from our own position? And go from there?"

I leave you to argue your own position. Alas, I can only argue mine, godlike as it may seem. :)

 

"Going back to the Easter egg metaphor – what he means is that you are trying to give out the gift of choice to people who don’t see you as having anything to give, as they are convinced that we don’t have choice because it’s all determined."

 

I am not going to explain the Easter egg thing... though I shouldn't need to do so.

 

"The blade runner bit, just adds to the notion of hero. With the domino metaphor – the domino is struck and as it is struck it thinks – wow, what should I do now? Should I fall left right or straight on – because the domino doesn’t know that it has a square bottom and will fall straight forward – but it has an imagination and can imagine all 3 possibilities – then the domino finds that it prefers falling straight, and so continues to fall straight forward."

 

Just as you prefer your own straight forward path... refusing to admit/recognize that your preference is not an actual choice... since there are no other options.

Comment by Alice on March 24, 2011 at 1:15am

Vince - It’s interesting to hear your slurs on my apparent inability to accept determinism.  When I read about determinism about 4 years ago, I immediately embraced the notion.  I don’t have any attachment to choice as such.  But I can see the sense in Michael’s argument – and so have followed his logic and come to where I find myself now.  So I find it quite amusing to hear your jibes.

 

The way I see it – we are determined as humans with brains as such, to imagine possibilities and then act according to our preference.  I’m pretty sure this is the order in which it happens and not that the action happens first followed by our imagining our possibilities.  If this is the case then we really should just drink more, because our brains are quite useless and become more intelligent to the reality of all things determined, when they have less brain cells.

 

My husband beliefs in all sorts of fanciful things like God and souls and reincarnation.  He also likes to indulge his sense when ever possible.  He has 4 boys and has good strong genetics, he is arrogant, physically well built, tall and he has inherited his grand fathers strength (grandfather was a pig thrower of some discretion).  He has similar intelligence to me, so we are well match on that count.  But our beliefs about the world and our natural abilities to reason are totally different – we have totally different base points.  I am pleased to say that our 9 year old has the sensibility to realise that is no such thing as God despite his fathers fanciful notions to the contrary.

Comment by MCT on March 24, 2011 at 1:13am
What's precognition? Thinking before one thinks? Nothing can preclude what will happen. No one is contesting this. But, the impossibility of foreknowledge makes room for logically plausible futures scenarios.
Comment by Vince Watkins on March 24, 2011 at 1:09am
"you just try stop making choices and see how far you get."

I don't think I'm destined to stop pretending to make choices.

"but no-one knew that what I would say now was an inevitability until after I just said it."

The lack of precognition doesn't preclude the inevitable.
Comment by MCT on March 24, 2011 at 1:07am
So Vince recognizes and acknowledges choice. He just won't call it that. Because he is convinced that it means freewill.

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