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5/12/2017 3:37:37 PM
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A philosophical ramble

I've recently been playing The Talos Principle, like, [i]a lot[/i], and have written down some philosophical ramblings I've considered, after themes in the game such as artificial intelligence, the nature of humanity, truth and objectivity, and dogma. If this should go in #gaming, I guess it should be moved, but I wanted to talk more about philosophy than the game. So: The aim of the game is first-person puzzle-solving, involving lasers, pressure switches, boxes, energy doors, etc. Each puzzle has a Tetris shape to collect as the objective. But when you seek to accomplish an such an arbitrary goal in real life, what do you hope to achieve? When the objective is as pointless as a tetromino , surely the primary aim is to overcome an obstacle. And in doing so, you must adapt your thought process to shift the world from one state to another. So is the goal a trinket... or self-improvement? But what good is puzzle-solving without a puzzle? It is not solely contextual situations with arbitrary mechanics that we are helped with, but improving cognitive functions: an awareness of one's physical surroundings, the tools at one's disposal, how to turn obstacles to one's advantage. These can be applied to any number of problems in life. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Throughout the game it occurred to me that I was manipulating mechanisms to solve problems, moving through each component like a machine simply walking and clicking through the game world. But if the only distinguishing factor between a human and a machine solving problems, is the human takes time and makes errors, is imperfection a defining human trait? What about a machine with imperfections, intentional or otherwise? Should we instead look to emotion to rise above? Though a machine too can receive efficiency chemicals in its fuel source, and can feel the benefits, can they feel the 'goodness'? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For the longest time, I was convinced that will made a person. But now I realise will is just motivation to enact change. Any machine can engage with attempting to enact change. And what flicks that switch? A judgement: will this action benefit me and ultimately make me happier? And most of these decisions feed a loop as infinite as our lives. We want to be happy because that makes us healthy. And healthiness is an inalterable biological desire based on our DNA's purpose of self-continuation. But... is it inalterable? That might be wanting to change something for the sake of it, but slavery to self-perpetuation may be chains we wish to break. Perhaps for our children, or the environment and planet. Though one cannot blame a sensitive body for wanting to avoid pain. But feeling is simply registration of what's good and bad. And a machine can do that. So what makes our registration transcendent? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Perhaps the biggest question in existence is: why? What is the meaning of life, the purpose for which we live? I thought it was obvious - we should make every effort to be happy. But still, people struggle, and they struggle because we don't fully understand how the world works. I don't just mean natural cycles and systems. I mean, that reality has no meaning. It has no purpose. In this context, those words mean intended future role. Intention - everything points to a distinct lack thereof. So no. Only artificial events happen 'for a reason'. Everything else is the calamity of a trillion particles colliding, nature taking its course. Humanity is doomed to seek meaning in a meaningless universe. That is our curse. So we must break free. When bad things happen, shrug it off. I mean, sure, grieve, get angry, react with the appropriate moral outrage, but don't chalk it up to 'design' when bad things happen as well as good things. Don't look for a pattern that doesn't exist. Recognise where to draw the line. Then maybe we'll be closer to personal peace. So yeah. My thoughts. Yours?

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  • Read up on absurdism, I think you'll find it interesting.

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    • tl;dr?

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      • I'll add this as a comment so people see it a little more easily. Because unfortunately for some of you, I've arrived at the conclusion that religion is not a good thing. I mean, I already didn't think it was useful for much more than comforting grieving families, but the problem is in the last paragraph of the OP: don't look for a pattern that doesn't exist. Unfortunately, people do this, all too often. They'll say that bad things happen to them because their deity wills it. Worse, they may [i]act[/i] on that belief. I can't fault altruism, but reading your holy book, praying, or committing some ritual is just like dimming the lights to knock over some dominoes (random analogy, I know). Sure, it may give you a placebo effect, but it will do nothing practical otherwise, and hoping that it does is a recipe for frustration. Just my two pence. No offence intended, I'm being objective.

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      • [quote]...I was convinced that will made a person. But now I realise will is just motivation to enact change. Any machine can engage with attempting to enact change. And what flicks that switch? A judgement: will this action benefit me and ultimately make me happier? And most of these decisions feed a loop as infinite as our lives.[/quote] i think thats a good place to start in defining a person: one's will. u associate one's will with enacting change..perhaps its inevitable change occurs, but i associate the will with the mind/intellect, for the purpose of making judgements..without a will or push, our minds would lack direction..humans r to be filled with knowledge, knowledge passes thru our judgements; our conclusions, whether right or wrong, r affirmed by our reasoning process. [quote]But feeling is simply registration of what's good and bad. And a machine can do that. So what makes our registration transcendent?[/quote] I would hesitate in attributing machine's with feelings and the ability to distinguish between right from wrong. What do u mean by registration being transcendent? [quote]What is the meaning of life, the purpose for which we live?[/quote] I'd imagine that question must be asked thru a particular lens that each individual determines for him/herself at the time - for we change in time. [quote]...reality has no meaning. It has no purpose.[/quote] u may be called to study metaphysics..and not the modern trash (dudes like Nietzche r bold, however) but real metaphysics..Aristotle is always a popular start, or pre-Socratics..or look into some journals. [quote]...but don't chalk it up to 'design' when bad things happen as well as good things. Don't look for a pattern that doesn't exist.[/quote] Not chalking it up to design probably goes hand-in-hand with free will..but regarding patterns, how about distinguishing between patterns, or causes? some patterns r a matter of realistic consequences.

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        • Edited by Fear Perfection: 5/12/2017 11:02:19 PM
          The meaning of life? Everyone wishes to spread happiness, except for some people. I'm not sure what to even think of questioning the natural desire to spread happiness, even though I used to be like this, because if people naturally desired anger or sadness... what would people do? Kill each other? But wait. That wouldn't make sense in the first place, because that bothers most people since it's "wrong". So I guess nature is sort of self defining. I'm learning here as I'm typing lol. But I'm seeing here, a connection between justice and happiness. I think that's pretty important. Of course, there's always a religious aspect to this. Most of them are "disguised" as a means of a way to find happiness. Religion is popular in humans because it provides a potential pathway to pure happiness. Some people that think about this end up getting serious with religion. If that becomes you, then it becomes a matter of finding answers. Will you go to religion to find this hidden potential? Or will you go to atheism assuming it's hindering social progress? That's what I ended up asking myself

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          • Edited by Agent Wyoming: 5/13/2017 12:42:08 AM
            [quote]Perhaps the biggest question in existence is: why? What is the meaning of life, the purpose for which we live?[/quote] I Disagree. I believe the biggest question in existence is not this why that everyone is so fond of asking (As the question is self solving, as by asking the question, you successfully answer the question) but instead the greatest question of existence does not fall under the simple why, when, what, where, and how, but instead is fundamentally more complex (Complex in it's simplicity, that is). I propose that the fundamental question of existence is not a question, but rather a statement. Something akin to "You exist, and therefore, you wish to exist." All other 'big questions' either ask of this statement or are answered by this statement. Think about it.

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            • Bump for later.

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              • Edited by Murph Tha Smurf: 5/14/2017 9:37:41 PM
                I agree. Randomness (put simply, anyway) will drive our drives. Where you're born, what mood you're in when certain events occur, etc. I simply embrace it. If there is no meaning, and there is no real control or answer, just agree with the mind and what it wants. Actively absorb experiences, knowing you did what you would've done in the past, and will do what you're going to do in the future, no matter how you think you can really manipulate it. In trying to manipulate results, you simply cause the results that were already going to happen. It's a lot like watching a movie, though it doesn't ever feel like it.

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              • What heresy is this! Talos guides mankind from Sovenguard that we might all achieve divinity one day. Death to the Thalmor who spread this nonsensical nihilism!

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              • There are so many replies that are essays on this thread 0-0

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              • I'll get back to you all next week, I'm working all weekend. D: Be sure to keep the comments coming, though.

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              • Nihilism feels for you

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              • 'member when games were just 4 kids on an N64 playing Mario Kart? What a time to be alive.

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              • So long as the last daughter of humanity hums happily while walking along a warm summer coast, I don't give a -blam!- about the question; merely the answer.

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              • Any spoilers in the thread?

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                • Eat, shit & -blam!-. Try and stop me from doing any of those and I'll will end you. Your existence is only as complex as you make it, and even then you'll expire like the rest. #edgelord

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                • Bump

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                • I remember playing this game. I have it actually. Sadly my good computer needed to get fixed and i did that. Now waiting for an OS.

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