Is What Is, Is?

What is, isn’t, as in ironies; and what isn’t, is, as in paradoxes. And what’s real is unreal in that they dont exist, for example what’s really said is that left unsaid. And so is knowing merely what is, knowledge at all?


Yeah, this is why I’m a skeptic. Perhaps I’m a fool, but I see no harm in doubting all that you see. It’s when you stop participating in the world (no matter what form it may come in) that you have a problem.

IS IT A VASE OR IS IT TWO HUMAN FACES?! :unamused: first i roll the eyes… :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: …then i laugh heartily. :sunglasses:

Ok, going to try at this one. I would say no. For what is, isn’t always what it is. Yet, to some, what is, is because it is based in knowledge. So if knowledge is based on what is, it then becomes that which isn’t.

I think I do get what you are saying but in order to understand what is, you have to remove knowledge because knowledge is the irony and what is real, the thing that dosen’t exist is the paradox.

oh this is a really great paradox. it was huge, HUGE, until a philosopher called plato came along. heard of him? he solved it. to even post this question is ridiculous, have we been reading too much paramenides and forget the rest of the western tradition?

Nah. Just a series of category mistakes.

“Is” means “a presence to a being.” That simple.

Is the being “real?” Doesn’t matter, because if it wasn’t, then the illusion is real as being. That is, what Is is the illusion.

Could the Is become a Was? Doesn’t matter, because the being of which one is present is changing anyway. Present and past tenses are mistakes.

“Knowledge” is nothing more than the “reflective ability to doubt what is knowledgeable.” Do you “know” that red ball? No, but you know that you are in the presence of a being of which you could doubt.

You say “yeah, I know the red ball.”

I say “alright then, what is red and what is a ball.”

You say “red is refracted light, the ball is a solid mass composed of atoms and particles.”

I say “okay then, what is refracted light, and what are atoms and particles.”

Do you see where this is going?

You don’t know anything other than that you can doubt what are only conceptual approximations in the first place.

The only thing that remains an “Is” is the dialectical process of experience and doubt.

"Is that real? Is it a [insert favorite it]?

What does it matter? The point is that there is some being which you are doubting. This event only requires a presence and a world.

“Is” is this event.

Wow. Is is a verb relating to time, or not? or i kesh am now naive. i think nanook’s a genius anyways.

The question is Isn’t?

Thanks, Kesh, but don’t mention it. Genius is over rated(is that one word?).

See, if I were a genius I’d know that, right?

no, i still think it’s a good paradox. and i’ll tell you why, but here’s the thing, i’ll be able to tell you why without giving a cheeky pseudo-script of dialogue by way of explaination. whlie i can do this, as i can do many things – even understand technical pieces of writing that are not condenscending – i find that in general, posts that do this have much empty space both textually and in the ideas presented.

there is an overlap existing since the presocratics with epistemology grounded metaphysics; essentially, the idea was that if the world was made up of X, we have to be made up of X to have knowledge.

paramenides took this to the extreme by saying hey, we’re being. the world’s being, everything we know is being, thus, everything we know must be being. i.o.w → to know what is not is to know what is, and if what is is, what is not is.

as a categorical mistake, well, you can make that claim but you haven’t argued it.

this academic sceptic arguement is still holding the epistemolgical basis of metaphysics, but arguing that we can never transcend our own expereince to make adequet claims about the world. thus, being becomes, as was crudely stated, an event that occurs in us.

notice that if and when we transcend this partition of being, and introduce different levels of being, we can develop a much more robust theory of existence.

Plato, Sophist, 259d

in other words, existence is best to be considered NOT as contaries, as an event or not event, but as a continuum in which each thing is placed on at varying points.

really, a more careful post would have caught this. there is no way that the internal expereince i feel of flying a pink elephant over the moon is more real (or more 'is) than the immediate expereince of typing on a keyboard.

reality is a continuum, being as a the scale on the continuum, with everything existing somewhere on it.

so… in order to know what something is, you have to know its opposite, and for that to be possible, its opposite must exist? I dunno about that…

What is the opposite of a … dkjfa;sldjf;ljas? It is a question that has plagued me since the first time I typed it (just a second ago)… If I don’t know its opposite, then dkjfa;sldjf;ljas must not exist? But it’s right there! Determining the opposite of dkjfa;sldjf;ljas makes necessary that we know what dkjfa;sldjf;ljas ‘means’ to us, in order to know what it does ‘not’ mean. If I don’t know what it means, I can’t determine its opposite, and it therefore does not exist?

Do you have to experience the absence of arousal before you can experience arousal?

We’ll have to have a vote.

Im not into writing essays, i have plenty of those on-going. :angry:

In other words, the general theory of relativity.

What about relative theorys and reference points? and what do you mean by different levels? Different feelings setting off those distinguishable levels maybe, im not sure what your conveying (im not sure where im going with this either).

To illaborate on what i understand as a Isn’t. Imagine no movement from the beginning, no reference point, no memory of change, no colour, no taste, indeed, no (or as little) empirical sense as possible. Something along the lines of deep zen buddhism, dolce far niente while floating in space.

Buddist’s monk would claim he does not exist in that state - he no longer is.

I thought this went along the lines of Hegelianism, though im doubtful.
az).rkjhds:aedh – hdea:sdhjkr.(za

Is doesnt indicate the time or form of a state, say “John goes to Paris” or “John is in Paris” the two verbs ‘go’ and ‘is’ dont explain when the event occurs, there tenseless, but they still give me, the subject enough truth-value to understand. You could maybe say that "John is in Paris at (GMT/date/year) as i say this at (GMT/date/year) and he was there (GMT/date/year) which is before the time i said etc… ie, the amount of truth, falsehood or ambiguity.

In other words

nice. trix does it again. :sunglasses:

If you are in a constant state of arousal you may not know you are aroused … :stuck_out_tongue:

There are two issues here: one is of existence, the other is of language or communication.

Before I can tell you - or even you telling yourself - what is “dkjfa;sldjf;ljas”, I need to know what are you talking about. Is it a rabbit in the Tutsi tongue or a carrot in C++ code or what?

If you can tell me what it is, ie communicate, transfer meaning and understanding to me, then I can tell you what is its opposite. Until then “dkjfa;sldjf;ljas” is as good as non-existent, and therefore its opposite is everything that exists.

On the other hand “dkjfa;sldjf;ljas” is just what it is a bunch of gibberish. Then I have already said what it is, namely “gibberish”, and thus its opposite is that which is not, or that which has meaning.

She, you completely misunderstood my post. expalin to me how you drew this conclusion:

when I wrote:

hint: capital letters are a form of emphasis, not a denoucement of the view.

DarkMagus, why thank you. :blush:


have we taken nanook’s position as official spokeperson?

those are your words, not mine. i don’t know if i’ll accept this, you’ll haven’t stipulated what that theory entalies. as it stands, let’s say no, that’s not my position, because i don’t understand why you would make the connection (you haven’t shown me).

the thing about that is this: you have no expereince of non-existence. this was paramenidies point. even to think that we don’t exist, even the buddhist monk’s state, is existence. you know, this french chap named descartes came up with a similar idea. to even doubt the existence by saying this is non-existence, is to exist. so paramendies claimed that everything must exist.

that’s why it’s a good paradox.

being can only be known to exist on a continuum. it’s opposite can’t be known to exist FROM understanding this continuum.

so what does this mean?

okay. i’ll use an anlogly of a temperature by imagining existence (of being) as heat. on a continuum, there’s:
everything exists on this scale, temperature-wise. what’s the opposite of temperature? purple? grass? paperclips? nope. as existing on a continuum, there is no opposite to temperature. even ‘no-temperature’ would probably fall into the lukewarm category. all being, similarily, can only fit on the continuum of existence. some have less, some more, but all have being. the opposite to being, in the same way to the opposite of temperature, isn’t on the continuum and cannot be validly stated.

i won’t deny that the these terms give someone an indication on where they are on the continuum BUT this does not proove that this is all there is to being.

as i stated:

for the record, i think a continuum of being would probably look something like this (roughly):


Ah finally … it has been mind boggling trying to imagine reality as a continuum.

But you have begged the question here: what is reality?

Like you’ve asked, is the direct experience of you typing the keyboard more real than a pink elephant flying over the moon? To me reality is still discrete, real or unreal, and not a continuum, and reality is that which exist, be it in the mind or in the world, an abstract or a physical entity. And something of the past is no less unreal than something in the present. You can of course further discriminate reality by either you have direct or indirect experience of it, such as testimonies. But these are all in the space of whats real.

Thus I do not agree that there are degrees of reality, like a thing being 50% real and 50% unreal. I cannot imagined such a thing at all, and thus it’s unreal and dont exist.

(But am I shooting myself in my foot here? For did I not say what’s real dont exist? :confused: )

My reality doesnt go by day-by-day seeing “as a continuum in which each thing is placed on at varying points.” A continuum is a theory (the general theory of realitivity), i wouldnt deny a continuum but it is not my everyday reality. Look up Einsteins thesis and thats what you’ll find, or even just the defintion of ‘general relativity’; he himself quoted this fact, i think someone here in the ILP has it as there “quote”; It goes along the lines of a theory is not the reality of a thing. Though you can continue saying it is.

Then you have to pose the question about the future: is it real?

Polemarchus’s signature, maybe?

“Time and space are modes by which we think, not conditions in which we live”- Albert

i don’t think it’s begging the question for this reason. there is a difference btw remembered and immediate existence. to grasp being is not a passive event in which we can rely on stated fact. existence can only be attained by striving to actively grasp the totality of the expereinces we have, in the context that they have occured.

heads up, kesh. i think that i might be misunderstood by saying that all of existence of everything in the world can fit unto this continuum. i’m not sure it can, and wouldn’t posit that b/c i have no expereince of everything in the world.

rather, i do have the experience of my being. and it must necessarily exist on this continuum. why necessarily? because i cannot fathom the opposite of my existence – if i choose to doubt that i don’t exist, i’m prooving that i don’t existence. so when something doesn’t have a contrary, it is said to consist as necessary.

it is a continuum b/c i think that, as chan points out, there are a lot of things we can expereince and, there are a lot of things that we can bring into existence. and this has implications for being beyong simply me sitting here right now.

so, personally, my continuum of existence, at any given moment, would probably look like this:

parent’s conceiving me/birth…certain memories from childhood…memories of past dreams/fantasies…actively creating pieces of writing…actively creating a loving relationship with a previous boyfriend…physical presnece here and now, in front of this computer.

i do think that a person lives with (or wears) this continuum of his existence with him at all times, and all present at all times.

why do i have to kesh? the future is going to become real, but is not yet actualized. perhaps i can solve this by placing on the continuum potiential expereinces? i don’t know…does it solve the problem?

Actually, what you quoted me saying… was not a summary of what I perceived you said. But, thanks for the hint anyway, as it shows you were willing to help me understand, rather than leave me far behind in the discussion. I appreciate that.


yeah, I thought of that after I posted it, lol :stuck_out_tongue: ah well hehe A better example may be good sex and bad sex. If you’ve never had bad sex, does that mean you can’t possibly know what good sex is – Even though you’re pretty sure it’s good sex, you can’t be /really/ sure until you’ve had bad sex – even though you can’t even at that point conceive of such a thing as bad sex? Lord I was born a ramblin’ wo-man, yeah… Tell me, what is the opposite of good sex if you’ve never had bad sex? How can one conceive of a bad version of something that is just plain good? Like… damn, that was a bad sunset. The word bad sounds like it means good, like when folks say, “That car’s SO bad-ass!”

By the way, dkjfa;sldjf;ljas was not meant to be a word. It was meant to represent some phenomena [ insert noun/event ] we encounter which we have no context from which to interpret its meaning. We do not know what it is not, we do not know what it is… we know neither of these things… and yet it exists regardless, and we know this because we experience it somehow.

Perhaps the only distinction to be made would to call it an Other, and to suggest its opposite is the one observing it?