#1
I was watching Scrubs, and Dr. Cox was talking, and he said "Barbie, I'm relatively certain ....." and I began to wonder; Can certainty be a relative concept?

Post your thoughts.
#2
"burn the house down! go on it needs to be done... they won't even know you did it!"
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"what a nice thread"

ahem, those are my thoughts
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#3
From a nihilistic standpoint, you can't be certain about anything in the universe. But you can use deductive/inductive reasoning/logic to reach a conclusion that works for the moment.

edit: p.s. im really drunk rigtht not so hope this makes sense
#4
wat?

I'm fairly certain that if I got hit by a large truck, I would certainly be injured.

Make sense?
Nope, no sig here.
#5
Quote by Mutant Corn
wat?

I'm fairly certain that if I got hit by a large truck, I would certainly be injured.

Make sense?


can you be certain on the definition of injured though, or even if that experience happened in the first place
#6
Quote by sxymnky777
From a nihilistic standpoint, you can't be certain about anything in the universe. But you can use deductive/inductive reasoning/logic to reach a conclusion that works for the moment.
Sort of what I'm asking. A conclusion reached through inductive logic can leave some room for someone to be wrong, and I wouldn't call a conclusion reached through inductive reasoning certain. Deductive is a bit different and I in a way am asking if a conclusion reached through deductive logic (Ex. If A, then B. X is A, therefore X is B.) be a relative concept.
#7
Quote by The Madcap
Sort of what I'm asking. A conclusion reached through inductive logic can leave some room for someone to be wrong, and I wouldn't call a conclusion reached through inductive reasoning certain. Deductive is a bit different and I in a way am asking if a conclusion reached through deductive logic (Ex. If A, then B. X is A, therefore X is B.) be a relative concept.


I guess you can never truly be certain about anything, because we are sentient beings and our ability to sense and perceive are bound to subjectivity. Like, the way you perceive something may be completely different than someone else's perception.

edit: i guess what im trying to say is the only beings that can be certain about anything are those that are omniscient. and of course we know those dont exist

edit2: "and of course we know those dont exist" this was a crack at irony, btw.
Last edited by sxymnky777 at Dec 16, 2008,
#9
certainty is defined by the people who is certain. it is relative because people may have different ideas of how certain someone is. because no one else can tell you how certain you are, it cant be objective. it has to be relative.
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I have no opinion on this matter.
#10
Quote by sxymnky777
I guess you can never truly be certain about anything, because we are sentient beings and our ability to sense and perceive are bound to subjectivity. Like, the way you perceive something may be completely different than someone else's perception.

edit: i guess what im trying to say is the only beings that can be certain about anything are those that are omniscient. and of course we know those dont exist
Well, I think you can be certain and bias definitely can't exist in Mathematics.
#11
Eh, my winter break just started, I'm not about to go ahead and ruin it by actually thinking about something.

*Eats potato chips*
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#12
Quote by sxymnky777
can you be certain on the definition of injured though, or even if that experience happened in the first place

Yep

I'm thinking that "I think, therefore I am" will come into play fairly soon.
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#13
Quote by Gunpowder
Eh, my winter break just started, I'm not about to go ahead and ruin it by actually thinking about something.

*Eats potato chips*
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#14
Quote by The Madcap
Well, I think you can be certain and bias definitely can't exist in Mathematics.



Well I tend to agree. But to play devil's advocate, math is just a human-made concept. Numbers, counting, adding, subtracting are all human concepts. Say a being of higher consciousness exists on a higher plane in the universe. It exists as neither matter or energy, and recognizes the universe as a a single object, and all numbers become irrelavent; making math useless. its all subjective

like I said, Im pretty drunk so this probably doesnt make as much sense as I want it to
#15
Quote by Mutant Corn
Yep

I'm thinking that "I think, therefore I am" will come into play fairly soon.


I think this is kind of besides the point. The quote basically says (imo) that because you are self-aware, you exist. But its really all preception. If you percieve yourself to be self-aware, how do you percieve other people around you? Can you be certain that they are self-aware as well; therefore even being certain that they exist or are really just a construct of your mind?
#16
Quote by sxymnky777
Well I tend to agree. But to play devil's advocate, math is just a human-made concept. Numbers, counting, adding, subtracting are all human concepts. Say a being of higher consciousness exists on a higher plane in the universe. It exists as neither matter or energy, and recognizes the universe as a a single object, and all numbers become irrelavent; making math useless. its all subjective

like I said, Im pretty drunk so this probably doesnt make as much sense as I want it to
It didn't really conflict with what I said. Nor would thatmake Math useless.
#17
In a sense, you can never be 100% certain of anything, because you could be dreaming all of this right now and not know it. Everything you see could be a misinterpretation due to some weird hallucination.

Hell, I could be a figment of your imagination and you are subconsciously typing posts to yourself.

Assuming that you are a sane, normal person, however, you can be certain on things.
#18
Quote by SeveralSpecies
In a sense, you can never be 100% certain of anything, because you could be dreaming all of this right now and not know it. Everything you see could be a misinterpretation due to some weird hallucination.

Hell, I could be a figment of your imagination and you are subconsciously typing posts to yourself.

Assuming that you are a sane, normal person, however, you can be certain on things.



haha yeah i agreed up untill that last part. Sane/normal are subjective words. How do you know that you aren't the only one seeing the world around you for what it truly is?

i guess to sum up my argument: we are sentient. Because of that, our senses/perceptions are bound to subjectiveness (if thats even a word,) making nothing certain.
#19
Quote by sxymnky777
haha yeah i agreed up untill that last part. Sane/normal are subjective words. How do you know that you aren't the only one seeing the world around you for what it truly is?

i guess to sum up my argument: we are sentient. Because of that, our senses/perceptions are bound to subjectiveness (if thats even a word,) making nothing certain.



That's my point, though.


If we ASSUME that what we see is as it is, and that others are actually as we see them, we can base certainties off of that.


If I get too much into this, my heads gonna fall off so try not to bewilder me
#20
I believe I can. It is the interpretation of the language. Relatively can also mean 'pretty much'
and you can for sure be 'pretty much' certain (meaning 'not completely certain')

sigh, I hate our language
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#21
Quote by sxymnky777
I think this is kind of besides the point. The quote basically says (imo) that because you are self-aware, you exist. But its really all preception. If you percieve yourself to be self-aware, how do you percieve other people around you? Can you be certain that they are self-aware as well; therefore even being certain that they exist or are really just a construct of your mind?


I am able to rationally conclude that I exist. If I exist, then the senses of my body exist. I'm using that as a reference point, nit the point of my argument. If I watch myself be hit by a truck, and feel/hear/taste/smell all of the sensations that are associated with said incident, then I can logically conclude that yes, I was indeed just hit by a truck....unless, of course, I was hit by a very large truck, in which case I'm dead and it doesn't matter anyway.
Nope, no sig here.
#22
Quote by SeveralSpecies
That's my point, though.


If we ASSUME that what we see is as it is, and that others are actually as we see them, we can base certainties off of that.


If I get too much into this, my heads gonna fall off so try not to bewilder me



well i kinda disagree. what you described pretty much (as i understand it) is circular logic. or in other words you can't base a certainty off of a assumption
#23
Quote by sxymnky777
well i kinda disagree. what you described pretty much (as i understand it) is circular logic. or in other words you can't base a certainty off of a assumption



This is where my head just falls off.

I'll try and reword it again and see if it sounds better. I'm acknowledging the possibility of me being completely delusional and am perhaps hallucinating in my perspective of the world.

However, what I am saying is that if my perspective is not deceiving me, and if things are as they seem to be, than any certainties within that perspective are indeed certain. But that is a substantial IF.


...so yea, I guess you can't say anything is 100% certain, because there's still that if. The certainty within that perspective, however, is certain in relation to anything else within that perspective.


Do I make sense or am I blatantly insane?
#24
Quote by The Madcap
I was watching Scrubs, and Dr. Cox was talking, and he said "Barbie, I'm relatively certain ....." and I began to wonder; Can certainty be a relative concept?

Post your thoughts.

I think you're using the word 'relative' in a different way to how Dr. Cox uses it. Obviously, what he said doesn't really make sense, but it's just an easier way to say 'really really probably'. When you say it's a relative concept, relative to what? It can be relative to anything, why not?
#25
Quote by SeveralSpecies


Do I make sense or am I blatantly insane?



Nah man I get what you're saying, and tend to agree with you. Im pretty much agnostic religiously and philosophically speaking, and tend to think that stuff like this is inherently unknowable, and is impossible to prove or disprove (from a human standpoint)

but hey, makes for an interesting conversation
#26
Quote by sxymnky777
Nah man I get what you're saying, and tend to agree with you. Im pretty much agnostic religiously and philosophically speaking, and tend to think that stuff like this is inherently unknowable, and is impossible to prove or disprove (from a human standpoint)



It is absolutely impossible to know.

That's why I pull a Richard Dawkins and say I'm 6/7 sure there is not God.


I am always out to find more information towards one side, however.

After all, I could say that we don't know if it is impossible to know.


....ok NOW my head just fell off
#27
Quote by SeveralSpecies


That's why I pull a Richard Dawkins and say I'm 6/7 sure there is not God.





haha dont get me started
#29
Quote by SeveralSpecies
This is where my head just falls off.

I'll try and reword it again and see if it sounds better. I'm acknowledging the possibility of me being completely delusional and am perhaps hallucinating in my perspective of the world.

However, what I am saying is that if my perspective is not deceiving me, and if things are as they seem to be, than any certainties within that perspective are indeed certain. But that is a substantial IF.


...so yea, I guess you can't say anything is 100% certain, because there's still that if. The certainty within that perspective, however, is certain in relation to anything else within that perspective.


Do I make sense or am I blatantly insane?


it doesn't matter if you are wrong, if you are 100% sure about something you are certain, if you are <100% you are not certain
at least that is the correct use, but its common to use it relatively
#30
To use a strict (scientific) sense of relativity, certainty can be relative to the observer. Quantum mechanics indicates that observation creates reality, while Einsteinien relativity shows that space and time are relative to the observer's frame of reference. This creates multiple, certainly true answers to questions such as 'when?', 'where?', and 'how fast?', with different observers having different (correct) answers, assuming that these two theories are in fact true, and not just a model that explains events.

Edit: to be 100% accurate there, QM is irrelevant to my point. Special relativity covers everything.
#31
Yes..


No..


I mean..





Winterbreak has almost begun.

*Takes some of Gunpowders potato chips*