Thursday, September 12, 2019

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: The Connection of Existence and Reality

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: What is the connection between existence and reality?

Below are the links to Ruel's and my essay:

The Connection of Existence and Reality
https://ruelfpepa.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/the-connection-of-existence-and-reality/

What is the connection between existence and reality?
https://www.philomadrid.com/2019/09/what-is-connection-between-existence.html

Finally, just to remind you that we meet at 6.30pm, Downstairs at the Gran Clavel (Café-Bar): Gran vía 11, esquina C/ Clavel, 28013—Madrid. Please bring your drink down with you because we don't have bar service there.

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
MeetUp https://www.meetup.com/PhiloMadrid-philosophy-group/
Gran Clavel (Café-Bar): Gran vía 11, esquina C/ Clavel, 28013—Madrid


from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: The Connection of Existence and Reality



What is the connection between existence and reality?


What is the connection between existence and reality?

Today we accept that objects that exist do not have some property called “existence” that gives them some privilege of those “things” that do not exist. This brings us immediately to the question: how can we know anything about something that does not exist? I don’t mean no longer exists but that has never and will never exist.

Up to an extent, we can even know about things that have not happened yet. For example the expansion of our sun that will swallow the Earth and more. We can even make reasonable predictions about the past. For example, when the ice melted at the end of the ice age many coastal areas were flooded under water. So, just because today we do not have access to things that existed or will exist, we can still be satisfied that they exist.

Whilst these things might be interesting, we are more likely to be concerned and involved with a different class of “things” that cannot be found in three dimensional space. I am thinking of our ideas, our mental creations, our beliefs, our plans, our hates, our likes, our imaginary friends and so on. Do they exist? Someone like me would argue that sure these non-things in our head still exist in three dimensional space: they just have the form for brain cells, synapses, electrical and chemical events, and so on.

Without any doubt it is this observation of non-thing objects in our brain that cause all the concern about existence. By definition, a unicorn cannot fit in my brain, even a small one, this will never happen. But, however, we are convinced that unicorns exist because we easily give a full and coherent definition of a unicorn using our language without any problems. Our language can cope with us describing a thing that doesn’t exist in the three dimensional world.

Our everyday use of the word “exist” must therefore refer to things that may also include properties that in and of themselves are not physical. The computer I am writing this essay on is physical and it does exist, but the unicorn I have in my mind only exists, as far as it exists, as an idea in my brain that manifests its self in cells, electricity, chemicals and much more.

As far as we are concerned, I mean physical human beings, we live in a physical world and all information that we need to access this information must also be in a physical form. Hence the cells in my brain, the chemicals and electricity in my brain that make up my idea of a unicorn.

The electricity in my brain et al is the carrier of the information that helps me communicate (pass on information) my idea of unicorn to myself and more importantly to others. What is even more important is that what matters for us as social beings, is not the electricity et al but the idea of the unicorn. People who understand English and know the concept of unicorn can ask me such interesting question as what do you feed it? How high is it?

At best what exists, or existences of things, is what we can know, and if we can articulate that knowledge into some form of language we can interact with other people more intelligently. Sometimes we cannot articulate what we can know in a natural language so we developed artificial languages such as logic, mathematics, music and so on.

So far so good: I will also venture to argue that what exists is what we can know about and preferably we can even articulate it into a form of language which others understand, hopefully most will understand. Thus if I said I feed my unicorn green grass you’ll probably be happy with that. Now image how you would feel if I said I feed my unicorn a load of bull shit!

We are happy to talk about existence, to talk about things that exist and we are even better with non-things existing in our brain. The issue is that we tended and, maybe still do, to assume that if certain things exist in the real world than everything has the propensity of existing out there in the world. And from there treating our non-thing objects in our brain as if they were objects in the world or universe: this fallacy may also be called “history by Hollywood”. It will take some effort to keep track of what we know about the world and what was created in our brain or someone else’s brain.  Mind you existence is a state of our brain and nothing to do with the state of the world out there.

This issues led to the problem of reality: what is real? What are we saying when we say that xyz is real, or reality is xyz?  How do we distinguish between the unicorn in my head and a horse in the meadows? If existence is about us, then surely reality is about how the world out there. Reality is the world of science and life itself. My unicorn will never die or gets sick, but my pet cat, when I had one, did get sick and did die from cat flu. We can say that reality is what we can confirm by objective means with verifiable methods that are sound.

One implication of this mix up with language, exist vs real,  is that language itself might lead us into a false sense of reality by believing that what can be described can also exist and thus is real. Just because some things that can exists and be verified as real, it does not follow that all things that exist and described can also be objectively real.

This is then compounded by unscrupulous people who use their position of influence in society. The argument from authority is a fallacy that relies on the person arguing for something existing and is real not from evidence or methodology, but merely because they hold a position of authority. This abuse of concepts has lead to religious wars, racial conflict, and world wars. Politicians use the terms existence and reality to formulate policies that abuse human rights and rob the wealth of the nation. Patriotism is a very powerful argument from authority not to mention brimstones from hell.

What is clear is that language can be a powerful instrument in communicating information with others, but it is also a dangerous instrument that can easily be used to influence people to harm themselves and others. In short, linguistic concepts have consequences in the world out there and the terms existence and reality are language concepts first.

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
MeetUp https://www.meetup.com/PhiloMadrid-philosophy-group/
Gran Clavel (Café-Bar): Gran vía 11, esquina C/ Clavel, 28013—Madrid





Thursday, September 05, 2019

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Open Discussion + news

Dear Friends,

This will be the last Sunday when we have an Open discussion. Hence, please submit your topics for the following Sunday if you are not coming to the meeting. I'll vote for your topic of course! Meeting at 18:30pm at Gran Clavel (Café-Bar): Gran vía 11, esquina C/ Clavel, 28013—Madrid

In the meantime David Butler sent me details of the guided tours to the Madrid British Cemetery in SPANISH only! Details here:
https://www.philomadrid.com/2019/09/madrid-british-cemetery.html



Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
MeetUp https://www.meetup.com/PhiloMadrid-philosophy-group/
Gran Clavel (Café-Bar): Gran vía 11, esquina C/ Clavel, 28013—Madrid


from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Open Discussion + news




Madrid British Cemetery

**Me da gusto comunicarles las fechas de las visitas guiadas programadas para el trimestre otoñal. 
 
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
**Programa de visitas guiadas, todos con su comentario en español
++++++++++++
El punto de encuentro, la entrada del Cementerio, y la hora, las 11.00 horas
sábado, día 28 de septiembre
sábado, día 16 de noviembre
sábado, día 14 de diciembre
           ************

**Schedule of guided visits, all in Spanish language.
+++++++++++++
Meeting place, Cemetery entrance. Time, 11.00 am
Saturday 28th September
Saturday 16th November
Saturday 14th December
            **************
 
Si prefiere hacer la visita en una fecha no programada y siempre que formen un grupo de un mínimo de 10 personas, avíseme a................. <butler_d_j@yahoo.es>
 
Grandes acontecimientos : Special Occasions
FUNDACIÓN CEMENTERIOS BRITÁNICOS EN ESPAÑA
Los detalles siguen a continuación tanto en español como en inglés 
Details follow ¡n both languages:
Se ofrece una serie de actos culturales durante los meses de septiembre y octubre:
*jueves, 19 de septiembre, a partir de las 19,00 horas, la comisión gestora del cementerio y sus amigos dan su apoyo a las demás instituciones angloparlantes de Madrid con su presencia en el patio de la Iglesia Anglicana Episcopal de San Jorge, c/ Núñez de Balboa 43 ( esquina c/ Hermosilla) Acceso libre, bar de pago.
*los días viernes, 18 de octubre, sábado, día 19 y domingo, día 20 de octubre la comisión gestora, como participante en el programa del Ayuntamiento de Madrid, Madrid Otra Mirada ( MOM ), ofrecerá visitas guiadas gratuitas en los días señalados, por la mañana, a partir de las 11,00 horas.  

*miércoles, 20 de noviembrea las 19,00 horas, conferencia "Cemetery Stories", pronunciada en inglés por Michael von Stumm de la comisión gestora del Cementerio Británico de Madrid y patrocinada por la Fundación Cementerios Británicos en España. 
Acceso por invitación personal solicitada a los miembros de la comisión gestora del cementerio:<butler_d_j@yahoo.es > o a Michael von Stumm<mvs@michaelvonstumm.jazztel.es>
PLACE TO BE ANNOUNCED, plazas limitadas, hay cupo.
Se ofrece un vino de honor. Agradecemos a los asistentes sus donativos.
++++++++++++++++++
Special occasions to celebrate :
FUNDACIÓN CEMENTERIOS BRITÁNICOS EN ESPAÑA
Cultural activities in September and October :
*Thursday, 19th September, 7 p.m. onwards, the Cemetery committee and friends join other English-speaking institutions in the courtyard of St George’s Anglican and Episcopal Church at c/Núñez de Balboa 43. Open to all. Bar service.
*Friday the 18th, Saturday the 19th & Sunday the 20th October  the Cemetery committee takes part in the city’s cultural programme MOM ( Madrid Otra Mirada ) and offers guided tours free of charge from 11 a.m. onwards.
*Wednesday, 20th November, at 7 p.m., an illustrated talk in English, " Some Cemetery Stories", to be given by Michael von Stumm, member of the Madrid British Cemetery committee. An event arranged by the Foundation British Cemeteries in Spain. LOCATION TO BE ANNOUNCED. Apply for personal invitations to cemetery committee members <butler_d_j@yahoo.es> or Michael von Stumm<mvs@michaelvonstumm.jazztel.es>
Hospitality will be offered. Limited numbers. Donations from those attending will be greatly appreciated.

David J Butler M.B.E.

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Philosophy, Social Issues, Classical Philosophy, Citizen Philosophy, Applied Philosophy, Non Party Political, Non Religious,