A quiz: Are you a materialist or idealist?

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Interesting Ian
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Re: A quiz: Are you a materialist or idealist?

Post by Interesting Ian »

rwald wrote:1. a
2. c
3. b
4. d (though possibly c)
5. b
6. b
7. c
8. d
9. a
10. d
11. c

I'd like to state that I actually thought the test was fairly good, considering the original poster. (With the possible exception of question 8.) However, I would like to see the test's author's definitions of materialist, naturalist, semi-idealist, and idealist. By any chance is there a way we could see that?
A materialist, but only just.
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Interesting Ian
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Re: A quiz: Are you a materialist or idealist?

Post by Interesting Ian »

rwald wrote:
Interesting Ian wrote:This original poster is more likely to recognise a good test of ones metaphysical interpretation of reality than yourself.
Well, I'll admit that you did end up telling us your definitions of materialism and naturalism. I was happy, and somewhat amazed, to see this. If I say anything else, I will certainly derail this thread. Before I do so, I'll give the rest of the forum a couple of days to plead for its salvation. It's survived surprisingly long...
Huh?? What?? :? What's survived long?
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Interesting Ian
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Post by Interesting Ian »

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos wrote:Ooh, a quiz.

1. b
2. c
3. b
4. c
5. b
6. a
7. c
8. d
9. a
10. d
11. a

Some of the questions were quite confoozled.

~~ Paul
I can't understand why people find all the questions confusing. The only one which I'm slightly unhappy about is the democracy energy one.

You're a naturalist but only just missed being a materialist (by one point).
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Stimpson J. Cat
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Post by Stimpson J. Cat »

Ian,
I can't understand why people find all the questions confusing. The only one which I'm slightly unhappy about is the democracy energy one.
That is because there is nothing ambiguous or self-contradictory about the questions when they are considered only from within your own view of the world, and you are apparently incapable of considering anything from anybody else's point of view.


Dr. Stupid
A poke in the eye makes Baby Jesus cry.
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Interesting Ian
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Post by Interesting Ian »

Stimpson J. Cat wrote:Ian,
I can't understand why people find all the questions confusing. The only one which I'm slightly unhappy about is the democracy energy one.
That is because there is nothing ambiguous or self-contradictory about the questions when they are considered only from within your own view of the world, and you are apparently incapable of considering anything from anybody else's point of view.


Dr. Stupid
Don't be so patently absurd. Please point to any question which presupposes an idealist perspective :roll: There is nothing ambiguous about them full stop. Not by any means perfect of course, but fairly unambigious as to their meaning. If people are incapable of understanding the questions they must be impressively stupid. How do they actually manage to carry out an everyday conversation?

BTW, are you going to supply all your answers to this quiz or not?
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Post by Stimpson J. Cat »

Ian,
Don't be so patently absurd. Please point to any question which presupposes an idealist perspective
I did not say that they presuppose an idealist perspective. I said that they are not ambiguous or self-contradictory when considered from within your worldview. There is a difference, although it does not surprise me in the slightest that the difference is not apparent to you.
There is nothing ambiguous about them full stop. Not by any means perfect of course, but fairly unambigious as to their meaning. If people are incapable of understanding the questions they must be impressively stupid. How do they actually manage to carry out an everyday conversation?


There you go again. Anybody who doesn't agree with you is just stupid. Like I said, you are so utterly incapable of considering anything from a point of view that contradicts your own, that you cannot even imagine how a reasonably intelligent person could not see how obvious it is that you are right. The fact that there are many very intelligent people who you seem to think are so stupid that they should not even be able to carry on a conversation, should serve as an indication to you that maybe, just maybe, the problem lies with you. But your own ego won't let you see that.
BTW, are you going to supply all your answers to this quiz or not?
I gave my answers. I am sorry if the answers I gave don't fit into your little algorithm for pigeon-holing people.


Dr. Stupid
A poke in the eye makes Baby Jesus cry.
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Interesting Ian
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Post by Interesting Ian »

Stimpson J. Cat wrote:Ian,
Don't be so patently absurd. Please point to any question which presupposes an idealist perspective
I did not say that they presuppose an idealist perspective. I said that they are not ambiguous or self-contradictory when considered from within your worldview.
Either the questions are ambiguous or they are not. Your suggestion that their ambiguity depends upon ones world view is utterly absurd. But then you always were a complete dumbfuck so what else to expect :roll:
Anybody who doesn't agree with you is just stupid.
No! Anyone who is a materialist is fucking stupid. Anyone who doesn't understand the questions is not normal.

Now fuck off you complete tit and stop bothering me with your asinine posts.
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Post by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos »

Let's take this question, for example:

(3) Suppose there were statistical evidence that the positions of the planets influence human fate. Would this be because of (a) an accident, (b) unknown causal processes, (c) something beyond our understanding, or (d) the truth of astrology?

These answers are not orthogonal. The evidence could be an accident, even if there is something to astrology. Answer (d) is compatible with (b) or (c), since astrology includes no explanation of how it works.

Furthermore, how can (c) be supportive of any philosophy? If we don't understand it, it refutes idealism just as much as naturalism. Unless idealism is defined as "a bunch of gobbledegook we don't understand."

Finally, how about (e) a relation between the seasons in which people are born and the path of their lives?

The idea that 11 simple questions can determine my life's philosophy is utterly absurd.

~~ Paul
[size=84]It is a sterile stratagem to insert miracles to bridge the unknown. ---A. G. Cairns-Smith[/size]
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Post by Interesting Ian »

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos wrote:Let's take this question, for example:

(3) Suppose there were statistical evidence that the positions of the planets influence human fate. Would this be because of (a) an accident, (b) unknown causal processes, (c) something beyond our understanding, or (d) the truth of astrology?

These answers are not orthogonal. The evidence could be an accident, even if there is something to astrology. Answer (d) is compatible with (b) or (c), since astrology includes no explanation of how it works.
Yup.

Furthermore, how can (c) be supportive of any philosophy? If we don't understand it, it refutes idealism just as much as naturalism. Unless idealism is defined as "a bunch of gobbledegook we don't understand."
A correlation between the positions of the planets and human fate doesn't prove anything. I'm in agreement that it doesn't support idealism anymore than materialism.

Finally, how about (e) a relation between the seasons in which people are born and the path of their lives?

The idea that 11 simple questions can determine my life's philosophy is utterly absurd.
I agree that the questionnaire is far from perfect.
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Post by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos »

But before you said:
If people are incapable of understanding the questions they must be impressively stupid.
Hello?

~~ Paul
[size=84]It is a sterile stratagem to insert miracles to bridge the unknown. ---A. G. Cairns-Smith[/size]
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Interesting Ian
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Post by Interesting Ian »

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos wrote:But before you said:
If people are incapable of understanding the questions they must be impressively stupid.
Hello?

~~ Paul
I don't agree with the astrology question. {shrugs} So what?

And certainly this has nothing to do with how easy the question is to understand.
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Post by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos »

Ian wrote:And certainly this has nothing to do with how easy the question is to understand.
Surely you're joking. If one cannot get at what the author is trying to present in terms of choices, then the question is difficult to understand.

~~ Paul
[size=84]It is a sterile stratagem to insert miracles to bridge the unknown. ---A. G. Cairns-Smith[/size]
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Post by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos »

Now let's consider this question:

(6) Where are rainbows: (a) in the sky, (b) in people's minds, (c) in raindrops, (d) nowhere?

This is one of those silly philosophical plays on the broad meaning of words. The light reflecting off raindrops is in the sky and in the raindrops. The perception of the resulting rainbow is in my eyes and brain. The pure concept of a rainbow is in my mind, but is also a sort of meme that is really everywhere and nowhere.

I guess the idea is that forcing me to choose one location narrows down my metaphysic. :/

~~ Paul
[size=84]It is a sterile stratagem to insert miracles to bridge the unknown. ---A. G. Cairns-Smith[/size]
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Post by viscousmemories »

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos wrote:I guess the idea is that forcing me to choose one location narrows down my metaphysic. :/
Yeah, to be honest I got stuck on the first one because I think the ability to communicate thoughts to someone without speaking or using a machine is 'actual', despite not believing in telepathy. For example, if you were here with me right now I bet I could easily communicate "Give me that soda on the counter" using only hand gestures.

After thinking too hard about that for awhile I just flew through the rest without giving them a whole lot of thought. But I came out a naturalist, which is a fairly accurate characterization of my beliefs. Oddly.
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wollery
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Re: A quiz: Are you a materialist or idealist?

Post by wollery »

Interesting Ian wrote: (1) Telepathy would occur when one person could receive another person's thoughts, without speech or electronics. On present evidence is telepathy (a) impossible, (b.) unlikely, (c) possible, or (d) actual?

b, but as pointed out by someone else, the question is poorly phrased as it does not state that other intermediaries are not available.

(2) Suppose that there were firm evidence of telepathy. Would this mean that physics ought to be (a) abandoned, (b) supplemented with a very different discipline, (c) expanded, (d) left as it is?

c, why would we need to abandon or create a scientific discipline

(3) Suppose there were statistical evidence that the positions of the planets influence human fate. Would this be because of (a) an accident, (b) unknown causal processes, (c) something beyond our understanding, or (d) the truth of astrology?

a, correlation does not imply causation (and besides, all of the statistical evidence shows absolutely no correlation between planetary positions and human behaviour or fate).

(4) That human beings can survive death is (a) likely, (b) possible, (c) unlikely, (d) impossible.

c, again poorly worded, it should say something like, "some essence of a human (eg spirit) survives the death of the physical body".

(5) That today's physics may someday be seen as wildly inaccurate myth is (a) impossible, (b) unlikely, (c) possible, (d) probable.

a, the physics we have today may someday be seen as insufficient, but not innacurate (let alone wildly so) and certainly not myth. None of the actual science that has ever been done is seen in those terms.

(6) Where are rainbows: (a) in the sky, (b) in people's minds, (c) in raindrops, (d) nowhere?

c, but the question (again!!) is poorly phrased and the answers practically irrelevant. A rainbow is formed by a complex interaction of light and raindrops. The rainbow itself exists in a unique place for each observer, but cannot be said to not exist anywhere. The question is fundamentally flawed, probably by the questioner not understanding the physics involved.

(7) Numbers are (a) fictions, (b) marks on paper, (c) ideas in our minds, (d) objects independent of us.

c, that's the closest to what I think, but b and d could also be good answers. If the question were more specifically about maths then I'd be happier with my answer.

(8) Compare democracy (in politics) and energy (in science): (a) energy and democracy are both just concepts we use to describe our experiences; (b) both energy and democracy are dubious concepts; (c) energy is a useful concept and democracy a dubious one; (d) energy is real and democracy is just an idea.

d, unlike others I'm actually perfectly happy with this, democracy is a concept which has never been truly practised anywhere by any state or nation.

(9) A factor in many diseases is 'stress', which in part depends on a person's experiences and emotions. The suggestion that stress might one day be understood in purely physical terms is (a) likely, (b) possible, (c) improbable, (d) impossible.

a, we already understand the physical and biochemical interactions that manifest as "stress"

(10) Brain chemistry seems to be connected with some severe mental disorders. The possibility that a person's personality might be completely explicable in terms of their brain chemistry is (a) crazy, (b) far-fetched, (c) likely, (d) probable.

c, personality? maybe, mental illness or health, already known.

(11) People who believe that they are biological organisms governed by biological principles are likely to treat other people in a way that is (a) more understanding than, (b) different from, (c) the same as, (d) less understanding than those who believe that humans are exceptions to the principles governing other animals behaviour.

c, it makes no difference. Why should it?
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Post by CHARLEY_BIGTIME »

Interesting Ian wrote: Now fuck off you complete tit and stop bothering me with your asinine posts.
Stimpson J. Cat wrote:
As usual, when you run out of meaningless platitudes and circular arguments, and your claims are shown unambiguously to be false, you result to personal attacks and insults.

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Post by Interesting Ian »

CHARLEY_BIGTIME wrote:
Interesting Ian wrote: Now fuck off you complete tit and stop bothering me with your asinine posts.
Stimpson J. Cat wrote:
As usual, when you run out of meaningless platitudes and circular arguments, and your claims are shown unambiguously to be false, you result to personal attacks and insults.

Point out any circular arguments I have ever made. Point out any errors in my arguments. Otherwise desist repeating Mr Stupid's comments.
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Interesting Ian
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Re: A quiz: Are you a materialist or idealist?

Post by Interesting Ian »

A materialist just to say. Now to make some comments on your comments.
wollery wrote:
Interesting Ian wrote: (1) Telepathy would occur when one person could receive another person's thoughts, without speech or electronics. On present evidence is telepathy (a) impossible, (b.) unlikely, (c) possible, or (d) actual?

b, but as pointed out by someone else, the question is poorly phrased as it does not state that other intermediaries are not available.
Needless nitpicking.

(2) Suppose that there were firm evidence of telepathy. Would this mean that physics ought to be (a) abandoned, (b) supplemented with a very different discipline, (c) expanded, (d) left as it is?

c, why would we need to abandon or create a scientific discipline

(3) Suppose there were statistical evidence that the positions of the planets influence human fate. Would this be because of (a) an accident, (b) unknown causal processes, (c) something beyond our understanding, or (d) the truth of astrology?

a, correlation does not imply causation (and besides, all of the statistical evidence shows absolutely no correlation between planetary positions and human behaviour or fate).
How come peoples' personalities correspond so closely to their star sign then?

(4) That human beings can survive death is (a) likely, (b) possible, (c) unlikely, (d) impossible.

c, again poorly worded, it should say something like, "some essence of a human (eg spirit) survives the death of the physical body".
Again needless nitpicking.

(5) That today's physics may someday be seen as wildly inaccurate myth is (a) impossible, (b) unlikely, (c) possible, (d) probable.

a, the physics we have today may someday be seen as insufficient, but not innacurate (let alone wildly so) and certainly not myth. None of the actual science that has ever been done is seen in those terms.
Why not myth? It seems likely to me. Is Aristotelian physics myth?

(6) Where are rainbows: (a) in the sky, (b) in people's minds, (c) in raindrops, (d) nowhere?

c, but the question (again!!) is poorly phrased and the answers practically irrelevant.


I fail to see how.



A rainbow is formed by a complex interaction of light and raindrops.


Ummm . .that's the scientific story. And the question is where rainbows are.

The rainbow itself exists in a unique place for each observer, but cannot be said to not exist anywhere.


What do you mean? Would you say all physical objects exist in a unique place for each observer?


The question is fundamentally flawed, probably by the questioner not understanding the physics involved.
In what way is the question flawed. Seems perfectly fine to me. What is your problem with it??

(7) Numbers are (a) fictions, (b) marks on paper, (c) ideas in our minds, (d) objects independent of us.

c, that's the closest to what I think, but b and d could also be good answers. If the question were more specifically about maths then I'd be happier with my answer.
It is precisely about maths. But I have already witnessed your complete stupidity in this subject area, so it doesn't surprise me you're unable to understand this. BTW, answer D is incompatible with materialism.

(8) Compare democracy (in politics) and energy (in science): (a) energy and democracy are both just concepts we use to describe our experiences; (b) both energy and democracy are dubious concepts; (c) energy is a useful concept and democracy a dubious one; (d) energy is real and democracy is just an idea.

d, unlike others I'm actually perfectly happy with this, democracy is a concept which has never been truly practised anywhere by any state or nation.
{sighs} It depends on what you mean by democracy doesn't it??

(9) A factor in many diseases is 'stress', which in part depends on a person's experiences and emotions. The suggestion that stress might one day be understood in purely physical terms is (a) likely, (b) possible, (c) improbable, (d) impossible.

a, we already understand the physical and biochemical interactions that manifest as "stress"
You misunderstand the question. It is whether stress, a particular conscious experience, can be understood in purely physical terms. How can structure and function imply any particular conscious state? You're an idiot.
(10) Brain chemistry seems to be connected with some severe mental disorders. The possibility that a person's personality might be completely explicable in terms of their brain chemistry is (a) crazy, (b) far-fetched, (c) likely, (d) probable.

c, personality? maybe, mental illness or health, already known.
What's that supposed to mean?? My previous comments apply here.

(11) People who believe that they are biological organisms governed by biological principles are likely to treat other people in a way that is (a) more understanding than, (b) different from, (c) the same as, (d) less understanding than those who believe that humans are exceptions to the principles governing other animals behaviour.

c, it makes no difference. Why should it?
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Post by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos »

Ian wrote:You misunderstand the question. It is whether stress, a particular conscious experience, can be understood in purely physical terms. How can structure and function imply any particular conscious state? You're an idiot.
Stress is not a conscious experience, it is a physical reaction. There are accompanying experiences, such as fear or agitation. In fact, the question actually suggests that stress is partially a result of such experiences. If the author wanted to talk about some conscious experience, he should have used something other than stress.

~~ Paul
[size=84]It is a sterile stratagem to insert miracles to bridge the unknown. ---A. G. Cairns-Smith[/size]
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Post by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos »

Ian wrote:It is precisely about maths. But I have already witnessed your complete stupidity in this subject area, so it doesn't surprise me you're unable to understand this. BTW, answer D is incompatible with materialism.
Oh come on, this is another one of those questions that plays on the broad meaning of words.
(7) Numbers are (a) fictions, (b) marks on paper, (c) ideas in our minds, (d) objects independent of us.
I have no idea what it means to say that numbers are fictions. Here, let me try one: 142. Boo!

They are certainly marks on paper and ideas in our minds.

What about objects independent of us? Does he mean concrete numbers or the abstract concept of a number? Certainly concrete numbers are independent of us; when there are 13 stones lying on the ground, there is the concrete number 13. So I presume he means that the abstract concept of numbers are independent of us. I don't understand what that means. Is it some kind of Platonism?

~~ Paul
[size=84]It is a sterile stratagem to insert miracles to bridge the unknown. ---A. G. Cairns-Smith[/size]