Can you... ?

#1
Can you talk about something that does not exist as a sum of real things?

Example: A unicorn does not exist, but it is the sum of real things.

Obviously the real world that we talk about exists.

A purple cow is the sum of purple and cow, both are real.

So... is there anything that we can talk about that does not exist as a sum of real things? I think not, because our brain ONLY receives information from our 5 senses, which means everything that goes into it is from the REAL world.
 

Bananas

Endangered Species
#2
Yes we can.

Religion and physics both spring to mind. Both are full of theories and probabilities are they are just that, theories and probabilities. It is imaginative, speculative and conjective thinking.


Also worth pointing out we have many more than just 5 senses.
 

KLL76

Registered Member
#3
Yes we can.

Religion and physics both spring to mind. Both are full of theories and probabilities are they are just that, theories and probabilities. It is imaginative, speculative and conjective thinking.


Also worth pointing out we have many more than just 5 senses.
I agree, We can not touch see feel and so on god or our gods, we just have to trust in what is said. Most of our knowledge comes from trust and faith. When we go to school we assume that what we are being told is correct and we dont often question any of it.
I personally find it very hard to believe things unless I have seen it or dont it, I find the whole God thing weird. It has never been proven yet millions of people are prepared to follow a book and their faith, I do not have a problem with these people I just find it weird.
 
#4
You both are not looking at this in a fundamental way:

How do you know what religion is? Is it not because you have read or seen or heard about religion? Religion is a real thing, insofar as religion is a set of beliefs. You know what religion is because you've heard the term used for real actions and real beliefs.

Physics theories are based on data (real) and the theory itself is a guess based on past experience (past theories, laws, fundamentals, etc).

Didn't you both read my example? A unicorn does not exist, but it is the sum of real things. A physics theory might not exist, but it is based on reality, and the theory itself is a sum of real things. Conjectures are real.

Religion is real, physics theories are real. Whether or not they speak truth's is what you are debating. But religion exists, and the theories exist.

String theory may not be correct, and the strings may not exist, but neither does a unicorn. but what the string theory says is based on real things (lol strings) just like a unicorn is based on real things.
 

Mirage

Administrator
Staff member
V.I.P.
#5
So basically you are asking if we can comprehend or even imagine things that are not based (in any way) on aspects of the reality that we live in?

I don't see how we could. Everything that we can't understand would need to be converted/translated for us to be able to wrap our minds around it.

For example, try explaining the concept of the Matrix to somebody 100 years ago. In order for them to understand the concept you would first have to explain how computers work, what they are, among other things.
 

Tucker

Lion Rampant
#6
You both are not looking at this in a fundamental way:

How do you know what religion is? Is it not because you have read or seen or heard about religion? Religion is a real thing, insofar as religion is a set of beliefs. You know what religion is because you've heard the term used for real actions and real beliefs.

Physics theories are based on data (real) and the theory itself is a guess based on past experience (past theories, laws, fundamentals, etc).

Didn't you both read my example? A unicorn does not exist, but it is the sum of real things. A physics theory might not exist, but it is based on reality, and the theory itself is a sum of real things. Conjectures are real.

Religion is real, physics theories are real. Whether or not they speak truth's is what you are debating. But religion exists, and the theories exist.

String theory may not be correct, and the strings may not exist, but neither does a unicorn. but what the string theory says is based on real things (lol strings) just like a unicorn is based on real things.
If you're going to assert that everything which can be conceptualized is real, why bother with the OP question? You've already answered it to your own satisfaction.

More to the point, the concept of a god can be based on observations having nothing to do with metaphysics; for example, the phenomenon of lightning and the way that a parent appears to a very small child. Further, lightning (real)+godlike parents (real)=god (unreal) follows your example purple (real)+cow (real)=purple cow (unreal), whereas religion (real)=god (real) does not.
 
#7
If you're going to assert that everything which can be conceptualized is real, why bother with the OP question?
- Did I ever say that everything that can be conceptualized is real? Unicorns aren't real, I know that.

whereas religion (real)=god (real) does not
- I never asserted that and I DO NOT assert that. I did not mean to imply that either.

I'm wondering if everything we can talk about can be expressed as a sum of real things.

This is obvious for every physical thing. You can't think of a physical thing that isn't at least based on, or is a sum of, real physical things.

But isn't their something that we can think of that isn't a sum of real things?
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Anything at all? This is a pretty profound assertion that I'm suggesting... does everybody agree?
 
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Smelnick

Creeping On You
V.I.P.
#8
So your asking if there's something that is real, that is made up of make believe stuff? I don't see how that is possible. Kinda like working with negatives and positives.

Multiply two negatives, and you get a positive. A real thing plus a real thing can make up a make believe thing.

But a positive times a positive always equals a positive. A fake thing + a fake thing could hardly equal a real thing.

Unless I get really silly or something and say "A unicorn + a magic axe = standard horse"

But even then, any fake item I come up with is going to be based on stuff I already know. Unicorn = horse + narwhal..... magic axe = "magic" + axe. So in the end, you're still using real objects to come up with a real object.

How about if we make up words? It would work, but it would make no sense.

Kadarblung + N'arfadel = car

That's about the only way I can see two make believe things getting you a real thing. But then it's completely up to our own imaginations as to what those things can be, and in the end, we'll still imagine real things that we've experienced, or seen.
 

Stab-o-Matic5000

Cutting Edge in Murder
#9
I would imagine that a schizophrenic whose mental state has deteriorated greatly could imagine things.

Also, what about ghosts? The equation for that looks to me to be Human+X=Ghost right now. What's the other real thing that was added to a human to make the concept of a ghost?
 
#10
Also, what about ghosts? The equation for that looks to me to be Human+X=Ghost right now. What's the other real thing that was added to a human to make the concept of a ghost?
- Probably smoke, or some kind of gas, or water vapor. Although that only gets you the visual, ghosts aren't actually made of gas. Probably from the fact that people talk about humans having "spirits" separate from their bodies, and a semi-transparent gaseous body is probably the closest thing we could think of.

"So your asking if there's something that is real, that is made up of make believe stuff?"

- Smelnick, did you read my first post? That's not what I asked. I asked "Can you talk about something that does not exist as a sum of real things?". A unicorn is not real, but it is a sum of real things. Same with a hippogriff, a dragon, and any mythical creature. I never said "fiction + fiction = real", that's impossible. I'm asking if you can do "fiction1 + fiction2 + ... + fictionn = fiction", meaning is there a fictional thing that is not in any way based on real things, or is not a sum of real things. Obviously, this doesn't work for physical things, because all physical things are made of atoms, which are real.