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Thread: What's our most basic assumptions?

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    What's our most basic assumptions?

    What would be our most basic assumption when we try to understand anything about reality?

    Hopefully, all properly articulated answers will be entered in a poll to see which one may be best.

    You can always submit several answers.

    The assumption that there's a reality to begin with doesn't count.

    The assumption that one should be clever enough to understand something doesn't count.

    I won't submit any answer myself to retain some credibility as a fair judge and competent arbiter. I promise to be fair and impartial.
    EB

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    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    The assumption that there's a reality to begin with doesn't count.
    Ok so on a thread asking about our most basic assumptions, you want to exclude what is arguably our single most basic assumption?

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    I guess the first delineation would depend on your belief in a creator

    Code:
    if(iBelieveInGod)
        - everything emanates from God
        - divine plan
    else
        - the universe works on natural, quantifiable laws that we can measure and understand
    endif
    After that point we should be able to understand all observable behavior and phenomena within the framework of our assumptions about natural law

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    Veteran Member phands's Avatar
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    TANSTAAFL . (nod to Robert Heinlein)
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.” Terry Pratchett

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    Quote Originally Posted by phands View Post
    TANSTAAFL . (nod to Robert Heinlein)
    There ain't no such thing as a free lunch? Can't you find something more basic than that? You're not trying.
    EB

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I guess the first delineation would depend on your belief in a creator

    Code:
    if(iBelieveInGod)
        - everything emanates from God
        - divine plan
    else
        - the universe works on natural, quantifiable laws that we can measure and understand
    endif
    After that point we should be able to understand all observable behavior and phenomena within the framework of our assumptions about natural law
    You obviously meant to say that either leg of the alternative could be your basic assumption, and that different people will choose one or the other, but your bit of code says that your most basic assumption before that is the alternative itself, i.e. either I believe in God or I don't...
    EB

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    The assumption that there's a reality to begin with doesn't count.
    Ok so on a thread asking about our most basic assumptions, you want to exclude what is arguably our single most basic assumption?
    Because too easy and whimsical. We're doing serious business here! You have to work for your lunch (TANSTAAFL). I could accept you don't have clue but that would be a bit lax. I'm sure you should be able to elucidate some assumption you make and you would want to insist on. You could start tentatively with one super lame assumption and work backward and see how far you can go. UM is guaranteeing you won't have to go back to any infinite monkey business. Hard work, yeah, but you can do it!
    EB

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    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    The assumption that there's a reality to begin with doesn't count.
    Ok so on a thread asking about our most basic assumptions, you want to exclude what is arguably our single most basic assumption?
    Because too easy and whimsical. We're doing serious business here! You have to work for your lunch (TANSTAAFL). I could accept you don't have clue but that would be a bit lax. I'm sure you should be able to elucidate some assumption you make and you would want to insist on. You could start tentatively with one super lame assumption and work backward and see how far you can go. UM is guaranteeing you won't have to go back to any infinite monkey business. Hard work, yeah, but you can do it!
    EB
    Er......

    Tell you what. Consider changing the thread title to 'which of our most basic assumptions do I, Speakpigeon, personally think are worth talking about?' (subtitle: I am going to leave out what is arguably the single most basic one).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I guess the first delineation would depend on your belief in a creator

    Code:
    if(iBelieveInGod)
        - everything emanates from God
        - divine plan
    else
        - the universe works on natural, quantifiable laws that we can measure and understand
    endif
    After that point we should be able to understand all observable behavior and phenomena within the framework of our assumptions about natural law
    You obviously meant to say that either leg of the alternative could be your basic assumption, and that different people will choose one or the other, but your bit of code says that your most basic assumption before that is the alternative itself, i.e. either I believe in God or I don't...
    EB
    The point of differentiating them that way is to highlight the fact that our basic assumptions about how reality work are contingent on the ontologies we assume about reality. There is no objective 'basic assumption'.. there is a 'basic assumption based on what we believe about the nature of the universe'. That is unless you want to assume materialism for the purpose of this conversation and start from there.

    I bring up this side of the conversation, because from an anthropological perspective the assumptions we make about reality are subjective, and people are a diverse bunch. So I guess it just depends on whether you want to talk about the basic assumptions we make across our species, or the basic assumptions we make starting from the materialist frame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post

    Because too easy and whimsical. We're doing serious business here! You have to work for your lunch (TANSTAAFL). I could accept you don't have clue but that would be a bit lax. I'm sure you should be able to elucidate some assumption you make and you would want to insist on. You could start tentatively with one super lame assumption and work backward and see how far you can go. UM is guaranteeing you won't have to go back to any infinite monkey business. Hard work, yeah, but you can do it!
    EB
    Er......

    Tell you what. Consider changing the thread title to 'which of our most basic assumptions do I, Speakpigeon, personally think are worth talking about?' (subtitle: I am going to leave out what is arguably the single most basic one).
    Hey, that's privilege coming with posting the OP. Seems fair enough. I would hope you're making assumptions by the shitload everyday of your life just enough to survive. Shouldn't be difficult to find one I haven't ruled out that seems more basic than the others.
    EB

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