Re: 137: Sheer blank-minded stupidity

From: Darin Sunley (
Date: Sat Nov 25 2000 - 00:28:43 MST

It's not so much that I want to acknowledge the possibility of imaginary
things existing, but to simply note the fact that if a matter/energy complex
is in a causal relationship with me, it quite obviously exists.

On looking at what I wrote, I see the word "potentially" is somewhat
redundant. I use it to underscore the fact that the definition includes
matter/energy complexes that are not in any kind of causal relationship with
me now, (for example the hypothetical electrons carrying the hypothetical
thoughts in the hypothetical "brains" of the hypothetical crystal beings of
Antares 3) but that COULD enter into a causal relationship with me in the
future (by building hypothetical spaceships, hypothetically invading earth,
and hypothetically enslaving me in their hypothetical neutron mines, for
example. :))

Conversely, as concerns a matter energy complex that has NO potential to
share a causal chain with me, I do not feel I can say that it exists in any
reasonable sense of the word. Existence, for me, implies at least the
potential for interaction. If no such potential is present, the two
complexes do not mutually exist.

Scerir: Yes. That is exactly what I mean. Unidirectional observation is the
most non-interfering form of sharing a causal chain. When I observe a thing,
changes happen in my brain. Those changes are in response to a pattern of
photons hitting my eyes, which may be doing so in response to physical
effects impacting some sort of sensor, which are caused by those physical
effects interacting with the thing I am observing. There is a causal chain
that leads from their atoms to my visual cortex.

Even if i am not percieving a thing right now, there is a certain class of
things that I could percieve in the future (the aforementioned aliens) and a
class of things I could not (a square circle, or other similarly logically
impossible oxymorons). The former, I feel, can be said to exist. The latter
do not.

J.R. Molloy: this definition is designed, while not eliminating metaphysical
speculation out-of-hand, to firmly ground said speculation in a decidedly
materialistic and scientific model of human perception. (I.E. Angels may
exist, but if we can see them it is because they are either creating photons
in the outside world or twiddling neurons in my visual cortex.) Does that

-----Original Message-----
From: J. R. Molloy <>
To: <>
Date: Friday, November 24, 2000 5:43 PM
Subject: Re: 137: Sheer blank-minded stupidity

>> My personal definition of existence is "all complexes of matter/energy
>> their direct analogues) that could potentially exist in a causal chain
>> me."
>I like that definition, except for the word "potentially" -- that opens
>the possibility of imaginary elements in existence (not part of reality).
>--J. R.

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