Thaddea Thompson

This conversation is closed.

How do we define existence?

What is existing?

  • thumb
    Mar 23 2013: Cogito ergo sum.
    • thumb
      Mar 27 2013: Even if your mind is in the matrix, lol, we still have to be conscious even if we are just pulled in and aware of what reality is...
      • thumb
        Mar 27 2013: There is no other logical way but to recognize that consciousness is a differentiating process, the first ever difference being that between self and the external world.
        I'd argue if everything is essentially One, that ONE will have no consciousness. This is simply because there is just nothing outside of the One for the differentiation to work on.
        • thumb
          Mar 27 2013: I get it.

          But I would rather waste time arguing that the first step/stage of enlightenment will come from realizing that the self (humans) is a dependent creature - relies on nature, others and self awareness. Communication inspection, to me, is the difference between realizing you exist or not.

          Screw ONE lol, we are THREE - body, mind and brain. We will never know ONE, why bother saying "we are all the same, but different" - it's obvious!

          The universe is conscious aye! But, all that means to me is there are degrees and plateaus of consciousness, and in extension reality. To assume we can know the singular thread of 'cosmic consciousness' is absurd! Lol, we're being philosophical playwrights with the very question of existence, let alone "what is singularity!?" The oneness of all.... Crazy to conceptualize! Fun to debate. Like the question of exist, effort can be put else where with 'existential dissection' perhaps towards one of the many sciences!

          My point is, I love to talk existence, but at the same time - you got to exist. We hardly understand our individual minds in objective terms, who is to say what 'one' is that is human? Because, without other humanoids, we cannot know if our absolutes are overlapped at all with any other collective objective species...

          There are people who deny aliens and insist we are a creature of divine design... While we are as one species not in sync with each other collectively. So, while you can talk about ONE or the ONENESS, you shouldn't. Because we aren't even one species yet in every individuals mind. We are still a divide planet, even our knowledge. How can any human honestly suggest they understand the unifying thread of the universe? We can have GREAT guesses, but we may never know, even if/when we begin to exchange intelligence with other species... IF we do not blow ourselves up first.
      • thumb
        Mar 28 2013: Dear Nicholas. There is no time, there is no place, there simply is no last word.
        The same human consciousness that perceives reality by differentiation also integrates. We are keen to see oneness too. First between two persons, then between families, then societies, nations and in world. The consciousness makes us feel oneness and otherness as two sides of reality. I can jolly well see everything in a continuum, as energy and matter flows in physical world, see all of civilization as an unbroken continuous process and science looking for that ONE force field, that ONE particle that gives rise to everything. But I can see everything in discreteness, all time as moments in suspended animation, all things distinct and different from other from cosmic to quantum scale, from humanity to beautiful ways that make Nicholas and Pabitra different.

        Can it be so that we are ONE and MANY simultaneously? We exist and not exist at the same time?
        I mean if the same electron can be there in two slits at the same time, why not?
        I loved and hated the same person simultaneously once. I made mistakes and did things correct. I went away and came back. :)
        Does any of it makes sense to you Nicholas? :)
        Cheers!!
    • thumb
      Mar 28 2013: I abslutely love this quote.
  • thumb
    Mar 27 2013: Who is "we"? The definition will depend on the ideology and/or belief system of an individual, or communal-based entities like society, culture or religion (for example).

    What is existing?
    Obviously you exist because you are asking me this question. I exist because if I didn't, TED.com wouldn't have my face and name on a profile. Which allows me to respond to your question. At the same time I don't know of your existence, are you really Thaddea Thompson? Sure you maybe, but their exist doubt of existence... Which, to me, proves existence, the ability to doubt existence. "I think, therefore I am." classic existentialism for a reason.

    The question of existence is a big thing lol.

    Where to start? Beginning, end?

    How to look at it? Relative, subjective, objective?

    What to take from it? No idea! But, you should definitely learn about it more, if you want a better 'whatever IT IS that allows us to be happy or know things or experience or love.'

    We exist, humans exist, we do REAL damage to the planet, each other and ourselves without FULL AWARENESS of the actions we do collectively. Nevertheless the evidence we do harm to other animals is apparent, we as a species make collective foot prints in history.

    I love this question as much as you should never ask it. More stress should be on the aspects of our human existence more so than questioning what EVERYTHING you can and cannot perceive as a human, depends on. The idea of questioning our existence seems more so atheistically pleasing rather than practical individual development. In my opinion of course.

    Of course we exist, how we define it also depends on "we." But no matter the definition, it will involve qualities and categories which align with 'existing' as in process and not static. We exist, yeah, so we live in an existence, which is existing... the fact we can concept and define says...

    Everything is constantly moving forward, it may or may not be linear-or-circular, but it's not stopping for questions.
  • Mar 23 2013: Something that can be verified by animal senses, natural or enhanced by artificial means.
    • Mar 27 2013: What about a dream you see it you hear it and sometimes feel it. how is that not real.
      sorry if it feels like I am picking on you, I am not.
      • Mar 27 2013: A dream or idea can be recounted and spoken or written...it exists.
  • thumb
    Mar 22 2013: Exist: To be verifiable as actual in reality (Grand Canyon, frogs), or in the mind (Unicorns, Fountain of Youth).
  • thumb

    Gail .

    • 0
    Mar 22 2013: Depends on the context. My father used to tell me that those who merely exist do not know how to live.

    But MY existence is my consciousness. Having concluded that, I began exploring it - how it works, what it consists of. Years later, I can say that I learned how to live.
  • Mar 22 2013: The answer is in the word itself.
    Something is.
    When you are aware of awareness, even aware of consciousness, you simply "is".
    Lying there, dead to the world, you exist.
    Once aware, you no longer exist.
    You just "is" (are, are, are, are, are) (=)
  • Mar 22 2013: It's somewhat trivial to say the opposite of nonexistence. That is true. It's sort of like ponography - You know it when you see it. Thank you Justice Stewart I believe.
  • thumb
    Mar 22 2013: "..nothing is real...nothing to get hung about. Strawberry fields forever"

    You are here, now. And that's more than enough. I know I keep quoting Beatles but:

    "there's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be. It's easy"...
  • Mar 21 2013: This may not be the answer you are looking for, but it is the best I have to offer.

    The American Heritage Dictionary that I use has five definitions for existence. The first is : to have actual being, be real.

    So, by this dictionary definition, existence is basically reality.

    The value of a word has as much to do with the way it is used as with its definition, perhaps more. In most cases existence is used to express everything that actually exists, excluding fictional stuff like vampires. Often it is used as an attribute of something, as in "the existence of the river depends on the snow melting."

    A single definition of a word like "existence" is not very helpful. Words are tools, and some words are very flexible tools. It is easy to get caught up in word games revolving around definitions, but arguments of that sort leave most people very unsatisfied. Learning and logic are more concerned with meaning than definitions.
    • thumb
      Mar 22 2013: Greg, I ask this question b/c I want to hear your p.o.v.
      I hope you are not answering with what you think I want to hear.