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Poll: Do you exist?

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Thread: I may not exist

  1. #1
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    I may not exist

    "I think, therefore I exist"

    You only think, if you exist in the first place.

    "I made this thread, so I exist"

    You only made this thread, if you exist in the first place.

    You're assuming a premise (I exist) of the conclusion (therefor, I exist) to support its first premise (I made this thread).

    You must assume you exist, to have the premise, "I made this thread."

    You're arguments will always be circular.

    A circular argument..

    Premises in which the truth of the conclusion is claimed or the truth of the conclusion is assumed.
    The premise, "I created this thread," assumes the conclusion is true, "I exist."
    Claim C (the conclusion) is true.
    The claim is that, "I exist," is true.

  2. #2
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    Re: I may not exist

    It's not circular, it's deductive.

    To think is a property of to exist (for rational agents). In order for an agent to utilize one's cognition, there must be an agent. It's elementary really.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  3. #3
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    Re: I may not exist

    IMO, someone needs to define 'agent', 'cognition' (think), and 'exist'. Then we might get somewhere. These sorts of philosophical discussions require very exacting, precise definitions.
    Freedom is you choosing for yourself. Law is the government choosing for you. The two are opposites.

    Pray - To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy - Ambrose Bierce
    Faith - Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge about things without parallel - Ambrose Bierce

  4. #4
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    Re: I may not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    It's not circular, it's deductive.

    To think is a property of to exist (for rational agents). In order for an agent to utilize one's cognition, there must be an agent. It's elementary really.
    No, that has nothing to do with anything. If you'd read correctly, you'd know that.

    Thinking is a property of existing, obviously. So is anything else.

    Now, please go back to my argument, and think more thoroughly.

    The typical argument is, "I think, therefore I am."

    It doesn't matter whether it's thinking, observing, conducting, or diminishing; so please don't try to make it so. It also doesn't matter, that thinking implies existence, as you can plainly see in my argument.

    What matters is the form of this argument.

    I'll try to explain this more carefully.

    "I think, therefore I am."

    I think, is a premise. It seems reasonable, but not with regards to the conclusion.

    I think, is a premise that assumes the conclusion is true. What does that mean? It means, the premise is only true if you exist. Coincidentally, that is also the conclusion. "I exist," is an assumption when presenting the premise, "I think." Then the argument tries to reach the conclusion, "I exist," using the premise, "I think." THAT, my friend, is circular.

    The basic inference, "thinking implies existence," is fundamentally valid and no one is disputing that, no matter how much easier that would make things for you.

  5. #5
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    Re: I may not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Tek Nectar
    The basic inference, "thinking implies existence," is fundamentally valid and no one is disputing that
    Actually, I might be (depending on how Apok (or anyone else) defines the terms listed in post #3).
    Freedom is you choosing for yourself. Law is the government choosing for you. The two are opposites.

    Pray - To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy - Ambrose Bierce
    Faith - Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge about things without parallel - Ambrose Bierce

  6. #6
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    Re: I may not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    IMO, someone needs to define 'agent', 'cognition' (think), and 'exist'. Then we might get somewhere. These sorts of philosophical discussions require very exacting, precise definitions.
    Actually, those are irrelevant to this thread. It isn't a matter of "thought implies existence."

    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    Actually, I might be (depending on how Apok (or anyone else) defines the terms listed in post #3).
    Very well, I'd be delighted to debate that right along side you. I just hope everyone, and now Apokalupsis, understands that this thread, unlike others, is not concerned with such things in the OP, as you can see by the argument.
    Last edited by Tek Nectar; November 20th, 2006 at 06:20 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  7. #7
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    Re: I may not exist

    Thinking is predicated on existence (as Apok pointed out), but not the other way around. You can exist - and not think. Which is why I think the capability to think (or furthermore, the ability to think introspectively to the extent that you are aware that you are thinking) is a weak standard for establishing existence.

    But then again, there is always the claim that really the only thing you can infer from "I think" is "I think I think."
    I rebel - therefore we exist.

  8. #8
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    Re: I may not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Tek Nectar
    Actually, those are irrelevant to this thread. It isn't a matter of "thought implies existence."
    It's simply a matter of "thought", no? But you still have to define what constitutes thought, and what constitutes thought's existence. (bolded terms need definitions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tek Nectar
    Very well, I'd be delighted to debate that right along side you. I just hope everyone, and now Apokalupsis, understands that this thread, unlike others, is not concerned with such things in the OP, as you can see by the argument.
    As you request.

    The below text has been automerged with this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by paintist
    Which is why I think the capability to think (or furthermore, the ability to think introspectively to the extent that you are aware that you are thinking) is a weak standard for establishing existence.
    This is patently not the case (provided, of course, we accept the statement "I think, therefore, I am"). Thinking is sufficient for existence; it is not necessary for existence.

    In slightly more formal terms:
    If A->B and A, then B.
    The above does not require that B->A, which seems to be what you're saying.
    Last edited by Castle; November 20th, 2006 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    Freedom is you choosing for yourself. Law is the government choosing for you. The two are opposites.

    Pray - To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy - Ambrose Bierce
    Faith - Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge about things without parallel - Ambrose Bierce

  9. #9
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    Re: I may not exist

    To address the claim made, assumes that you do in fact exist. Which makes arguing against it pointless.
    To argue against something you are assuming, is being dishonest to yourself.
    To serve man.

  10. #10
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    Re: I may not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    To address the claim made, assumes that you do in fact exist. Which makes arguing against it pointless.
    This is the same argument, same flawed mistake. Here.. read.

    "I addressed the claim, so I exist"

    I only addressed the claim, if I exist in the first place.

    You're assuming a premise (I exist) of the conclusion (therefor, I exist) to support its first premise (I addressed the claim).

    You must assume you exist, to have the premise, "I addressed the claim."

    You're arguments will always be circular.

    A circular argument..

    Premises in which the truth of the conclusion is claimed or the truth of the conclusion is assumed.
    The premise, "I addressed the claim," assumes the conclusion is true, "I exist."
    Claim C (the conclusion) is true.
    The claim is that, "I exist," is true.

    So please, it's fine if you don't agree.. but you haven't presented anything new to this debate. What you need to do is address my argument. All you've done is presented me the same situation I argued against in the OP.

    The below text has been automerged with this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    It's simply a matter of "thought", no? But you still have to define what constitutes thought, and what constitutes thought's existence. (bolded terms need definitions)
    Hm, yes, but what constitutes existence is not important, at least not regarding my argument. IF there is a way to demonstrate existence, whether it be thought or action, then this argument opposes it.
    Last edited by Tek Nectar; November 20th, 2006 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  11. #11
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    Re: I may not exist

    No, I address the claim, so I assume you exist. Because you are the one that posed it.

    If I don't admit that you exist, then I am faced with only two other options.
    1) I exist.. and I'm talking to myself.
    or
    2) I am the product of another beings thought.
    To serve man.

  12. #12
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    Re: I may not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    No, I address the claim, so I assume you exist. Because you are the one that posed it.
    An assumption, and that is all. Don't try to turn it into fancy logic to reach an axiomatic truth. THAT is what my argument opposes, arguments you've made just like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028
    If I don't admit that you exist, then I am faced with only two other options.
    1) I exist.. and I'm talking to myself.
    or
    2) I am the product of another beings thought.
    No, think about YOU. Do you exist, and can you make a single sound logical argument that concludes your, or something else's, existence? Keep in mind, the simple argument of the format, "I think, therefore I am," has already been addressed by me. So address my argument against it, or create a new argument all together.

  13. #13
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    Re: I may not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    This is patently not the case (provided, of course, we accept the statement "I think, therefore, I am"). Thinking is sufficient for existence; it is not necessary for existence.

    In slightly more formal terms:
    If A->B and A, then B.
    The above does not require that B->A, which seems to be what you're saying.
    I don't see how anything what I said contradicts this. I'm simply saying that thinking as a sufficient condition for existence is a "weak" condition, not a false one or that we should support only necessary conditions.
    I rebel - therefore we exist.

  14. #14
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    Re: I may not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by paintist
    I don't see how anything what I said contradicts this. I'm simply saying that thinking as a sufficient condition for existence is a "weak" condition, not a false one or that we should support only necessary conditions.
    The word 'weak' confused me (still does). Perhaps you could clarify what you mean by it?
    Freedom is you choosing for yourself. Law is the government choosing for you. The two are opposites.

    Pray - To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy - Ambrose Bierce
    Faith - Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge about things without parallel - Ambrose Bierce

  15. #15
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    Re: I may not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by TEK Nectar
    An assumption, and that is all. Don't try to turn it into fancy logic to reach an axiomatic truth. THAT is what my argument opposes, arguments you've made just like that.
    It is an assumption that you are falling into. How can you stay intellectually honest with yourself, while denying the thing you are assuming.

    You responded to me, so you are admitting that I exist.

    If you want to argue, against.
    Quote Originally Posted by TEC
    "I addressed the claim, so I exist"
    I only addressed the claim, if I exist in the first place.
    You're assuming a premise (I exist) of the conclusion (therefor, I exist) to support its first premise (I addressed the claim).
    You must assume you exist, to have the premise, "I addressed the claim."
    Then stop doing it.

    I do not argue that "I think therefore I am"
    I argue, "you are answering me, therefore I am"

    Unless of course you are crazy and you are talking to yourself....
    Are you crazy?
    To serve man.

  16. #16
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    Re: I may not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    The word 'weak' confused me (still does). Perhaps you could clarify what you mean by it?
    "Weak" in the sense that it doesn't establish existence for a lot of things and isn't entirely helpful for establishing existence from a philosophical point of view.

    It isn't a good argument for proving the existence of all non-human things. So while it might work for establishing the existence of you.. and you only it isn't helpful in establishing whether anything else exists.

    Basically, if we want an argument for existence we should be looking for ones that establish existence for things other than you and only you.
    I rebel - therefore we exist.

  17. #17
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    Re: I may not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by paintist
    Basically, if we want an argument for existence we should be looking for ones that establish existence for things other than you and only you.
    Ah. I understand. I believe the idea behind the utility for this claim is that at least one has a starting point from which to move forward.
    Freedom is you choosing for yourself. Law is the government choosing for you. The two are opposites.

    Pray - To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy - Ambrose Bierce
    Faith - Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge about things without parallel - Ambrose Bierce

  18. #18
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    Re: I may not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    I believe the idea behind the utility for this claim is that at least one has a starting point from which to move forward.
    Yup, that was precisely Descartes motive. Destroy everything and start from scratch.
    I rebel - therefore we exist.

  19. #19
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    Re: I may not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    It is an assumption that you are falling into. How can you stay intellectually honest with yourself, while denying the thing you are assuming.

    You responded to me, so you are admitting that I exist.
    IF I'm responding to you. PLEASE see my argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I do not argue that "I think therefore I am"
    I argue, "you are answering me, therefore I am"

    Unless of course you are crazy and you are talking to yourself....
    Are you crazy?
    What the hell?

    Ok, I'm going to do this one more time.

    "[I'm answering you], so you exist"
    I'm only [answering you], if I exist in the first place.
    You're assuming a premise (I exist) of the conclusion (therefor, I exist) to support its first premise ([I'm answering you]).
    You must assume you exist, to have the premise, "[I'm answering you.]"

    For the last time, respond to my opposing argument, or present another argument. If you're incapable of this for any reason, just stay out of this thread.

  20. #20
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    Re: I may not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Tek Nectar
    "I think, therefore I exist"

    You only think, if you exist in the first place.
    Right. This is the unstated premise we both accept, thus follows the conclusion. If this weren't true, the conclusion would not follow.
    T entails E (the point you just made), T, therefore E.
    It is not the case that I conclude T because I accept E (and E>T - almost certainly false); rather, I conclude E because I accept T (and T>E - we both agree is true).
    I accept T because the posit of its denial is self-refuting.
    T is true (via reductio absurdum).
    T entails E (via mutal agreement).
    Therefore E (via rules of propositional logical inference).
    This argument makes no appeal to E to derive its conclusion E, thus it does not commit a circular argument fallacy.


    I think that your argument is really that one cannot rationally conclude that one is thinking without first assuming that one in fact exists. It seems at least as plausible to me that one cannot rationally conclude that one exists without first thinking.
    I don't see that you've established the superiority of the former view over the latter.

 

 
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