If it can be interpreted, it exists. Therefore, everything exists.
Not everything is real, though - unicorns exist but they're not real. The thing I just made up in my head exists but isn't real.
The point is that if you say something doesn't exist, your definition of `exist` is wrong (or you meant to use a different word than `exist`). You can even say that things not yet thought of exist - just because they have not yet been conceived does not mean that they can not be interpreted.
I'm pretty firm on this thinking, it will take a lot to convince me otherwise. I will accept though that maybe I should be using a different word than `exist`, but it is closest to what I mean.
Also, please don't call out a technicality about definition of `interpret` - hopefully by now you know what I mean.
I was just in a conversation with someone who said that some things don't exist, and he would just keep changing the subject when I said that his definition of `exist` was not correct or hat there was a better word for what I meant. Specifically, he said the universe may or may not exist.
I don't know what the universe is, but I sure know it exists :p
The meaning depends on context: Unicorns exist as made up mythical creature, they exist in legends, but they does not exist as concrete animal in flesh and blood. Also word "contemptible" exist (any dictionary will prove it) but it does not exist in most people vocabulary.
Still that's quite a straw to be clutching on to in an argument,
I know of lots of things people have accept don't exist and wont sound clever when they argue that it does in some way, like dinosaurs.
There's good words to add on to things to make things that are not true, true, take physics for example, pretty robust, put the word 'meta' in front of it and BAM you can argue focusing mind power can cure cancer
Unicorns exist as made up mythical creature, they exist in legends, but they does not exist as concrete animal in flesh and blood
But in that context you should say "it is not real", not "it does not exist". Because many things that aren't real, do exists in fabricated 3d environment like games, movies or even, to a lesser degree; paintings. Also to in the concept of God creating the universe, this would make the universe also a fabricated 3d environment. Which brings the fact of existence based on environment it belongs to.
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we are just discussing semantics and use of the english language, its not deep.
I read something by a guy called lyal watson, he was talking about a beetle sensing something "beyond" its natural perceptions in its universe;
he describes its only sense being able to pick up on vibrations through its legs, however its climbing up a tuning fork that is humming in harmonic sympathy with a larger tuning fork upstairs, suddenly this simple beetle is picking up on the impossible to perceive dimension "upstairs"
everything exists in its context, i wonder howm many contexts there is and how many things can exist in each one, and is this the entire universe? or more than the entire universe? (or less)
why are paintings lesser than games? are you some sort of philistine?
In the context of my explanation, paintings aren't really a 3d environment, they are just a 2d representation of a possible 3d environment. The real 3d environment of a painting is in the artists mind... which does not make it a fabricated environment of which other people can really experience its existence like a game.
I don't really get the philistine thing... I don't lack artistic appreciation. your comment made no sense in the context of this discussion.
Maybe it's all about perspective. The existence of something, be it something real or just an idea, only exist when there is a sentient being capable of manifesting it. To say something doesn't exist, you're proclaiming that it has no root in reality or fantasy, across space and time and across all sentient beings. Then again this is philosophical.
What about practical existence?
My thoughts exist, but only to me. There is no practically it in. It has no effect on society or nature on even the tiniest scale, does it really exist? To 7bil+ people in the world, no it doesn't.
I suppose it comes down to belief/ignorance/denial. The person you were having a conversation with didn't belief/know/denied that something can exist, leading them to say "this cannot exist".
Then it goes down a notch and falls on the definition of 'exist'. Are you referring to the dictionary? Are you taking a practical approach to your argument or philosophically?
a 3d enviroment is about as real as a 3d painting, neither are actually 3d they just look it
That could be debated. I actually do paint occasionally and much enjoy it, and I've also worked on many 3D game environments (I've made maps for half-life, and mods for Morrowind and Oblivion). However I have only felt the ability to work in a 3D environment in games (moving objects around and placing them).
Hmm... Well, if we are going to use the definition that if something can be interpreted, that it must exist... well, how do we know whether there is a "something" anyway? If I may borrow from Descartes' meditations here, it could easily be assumed that, if there is no sure way to determine whether you are dreaming or you are conscious, and that in a dream you can think that you are conscious, then there is no possible way to determine whether the reality around you is either real or not. Now, this does not mean that such manifestations do not exist- after all, they are (possibly) manifestations of your own mind, but they cannot be determined whether to be real or not. Of course, all objects release some source of sense-data- information released by an object as to create a personal bond with it, allowing us to be aware of our perception of a manifestation of a single trait (as in what we see as its color or feel as its texture being personal in the sense that no one else will ever experience it the same, and nor will we after experiencing it at that very moment). Due to this, we must be certain that the objects "exist" when we are aware of their sense-data, for it is the conceptualization of it that allows it to exist. However, what of when we are no longer aware of the sense data of an object? What then? We cannot be certain it exists simply because the only way to be sure is to be aware of its sense data. However, we know that objects don't just disappear when we can't see them, so there must be something continually observing the reality of which we are in for anything to actually exist beyond us (though at this point, the only thing that we can be certain is real is that we exist, not as a body but as a mind, for if our input of sense data can be tricked by hallucinations, we can not be certain that the reality of the sense data of which we are taking in right now, which includes things such as a kinesthetic sense (sense of body position). Thus, the only thing real is our mind). Here, Descartes concluded that it must be God of which is observing the very universe and everything in it, and manifesting everything in it as perceived sense data for us to interpret upon acceptance thereof. However, if God can be considered to be truthful, and this reality deceptive, then reality must not exist in the mind of God, but of a demon. Thus, while everything may exist in the mind of this demon, nothing but our own minds are real, trapped in this false reality of which it has created around us...
Mind you, that is only the first of several of Descartes' meditations. I'd go into the others, but that will likely reach the maximum number of characters in a single post in no time at all.
Now, for something that Bertrand Russell concluded later on: if you were to have a table, and covered it from the top to the ground in a tablecloth, it can be said that we can no longer take in any sense data from that table, when standing at a distance. However, we can still see the effects of the table on the tablecloth, which implies that there is an element of an object beyond the sense data that composes it that allows it to exist (reality notwithstanding). Therefore, the criteria for an object to exist is not only that it can be interpreted, but that it influences other objects which have other means to be known to exist- effectively, everything must exist, for nothing exists in a vacuum (though, again, it need not be real- the thought of a circle in my head influences the chemicals in my brain, which are known to exist, therefore confirming the existence of that circle). If it exists, it influences- even if the existence isn't known. Unconscious thoughts influence us as much as conscious ones do, even if we are not aware of them. Thus, they too exist. Since we cannot know the exact content of our unconscious, and that it can contain anything, and since we just confirmed that the contents of our unconscious must exist, then everything must exist- for our unconscious holds the possibility of anything existing, and thus everything must exist since it can be contained in our unconscious.
...well, that was a verbose and long-winded way to approach that. Sorry for those who see that and feel like a brick was driven through their conscious mind. That wasn't quite what I was going for, but you get my point- Everything exists.