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 Glen Rosenberg on March 24, 2011 at 11:40pm
And the winner by a landslide is Vince.
Comment by Clarence Dember on March 24, 2011 at 2:54am
Hi Alice. For my own satisfaction I think the standard for truth to some degree lies in a given truths resonance within the being of the one weighing the truth or falsehood of a particular statement, process or way of being. The bronze age idea that there must always be some external standard bearer for truth be it a judge or Pharaoh or a monarch or clergy person only holds validity as the literacy of the one questioning truth lapses into illiteracy .
Comment by Alice on March 24, 2011 at 2:50am
And so ends the 11 hour marathon with the American's going to bed! : )  Perhaps I need to go shopping now - lucky others have got lives and limits - otherwise I'd go on into the night... : )
Comment by Alice on March 24, 2011 at 2:28am

Michael – you qualified that statement by saying that ‘a brain can imagine’ and it made sense.

Comment by Alice on March 24, 2011 at 2:26am

I think what’s going on here is this:

 

I see myself as a causal agent in a larger causal web – thus I have some power in that causal web – which is important to me, as the power I have effects myself most of all – and this power comes from my causal influence.  The fact that this causal influence is fully caused is irrelevant, because – it’s in my DNA that I want what I want.  Therefore my preferences lead me to what I want – a significant part of my caused-ness is my DNA in the way that I can move, think and be motivated.  This means that I can be quite happy in this fully caused state – because it naturally meets my needs.

 

Whereas others seem to be caught up with thinking that we are somehow caused by the big bang and they are overlooking the complexity of how the causal web works and the outcomes of our significant causal factors – that lead to our naturally needs being met.  In other words, being fully caused doesn’t make us redundant to meet our needs – it simply is describing what is – and what ‘is’ is perfect according to our being naturally caused to meet our own needs.

Comment by MCT on March 24, 2011 at 2:20am
Alice,
Again, I consider your qualification unnecessary. A brain can imagine plausible scenarios of the unknowable not yet determined future. I believe this to be implicit in saying logically plausible future scenarios. I am not suggesting things that are merely plausible exist as determined events, only logically plausible. Plausibility is dependent on a singular perspective. I don't understand what you think is not true.
Comment by Vince Watkins on March 24, 2011 at 2:20am
Choice most certainly means that there are at least two possible courses. Otherwise, there is no choice.

It doesn't matter the person perceiving or their perspective.
Comment by Vince Watkins on March 24, 2011 at 2:15am
Alice, it doesn't matter whether or not anyone has predetermined the future or not. It only matters what that one path is that any given particle can take. All else is not merely speculation but craziness.
Comment by Alice on March 24, 2011 at 2:14am

Michael – I don’t know what others think – but to me plausibility does not imply a perspective – I need more qualification of perspective than the use of the word plausibility.

 

Vince – you said: ‘choice means that there are at least two possible paths’ – we’ll qualify that statement by saying that – choice means that there are at least two possible paths from the perspective of the person who is making the choice.

 

Michael – Vince likes the idea of pretending to choose – so lets just let him pretend and move on – OK nudge nudge wink wink… : )

Comment by MCT on March 24, 2011 at 2:12am
Vince,
Choice does not mean that there is more than one determined effect of a cause. It is the determined effect of causation.

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