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Fether

When philosophy loses its utility

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I’m looking for a term of some sort that describes this.

When you engage in a conversation on a difficult topic, you are bound to enter the realm of philosophy. Philosophy, when in the hands of some, can take the question of “can we really know there is a God? Or do we have to live on faith?”  to    “What do you mean by know?”   and then on to  “Can you even know you exist?”. The first being a genuine question with merit. The second being a great qualifier of what the person means. The third being a waste of conversation in a practical world, the utility of the philosophical approach is lost.

 

Edited by Fether

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25 minutes ago, Fether said:

I’m looking for a term of some sort that describes this.

When you engage in a conversation on a difficult topic, you are bound to enter the realm of philosophy. Philosophy, when in the hands of some, can take the question of “can we really know there is a God? Or do we have to live on faith?”  to    “What do you mean by know?”   and then on to  “Can you even know you exist?”. The first being a genuine question with merit. The second being a great qualifier of what the person means. The third being a waste of conversation in a practical world, the utility of the philosophical approach is lost.

 

The second question, like you mentioned, is rubbish. In college we called it much worse. Simply put, you can’t debate your existence without existing. So the premise is naturally flawed. It’s like complaining about Facebook from....your Facebook page. 
 

I’m unsure if it has a technical term. 

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1 hour ago, LDSGator said:

I’m unsure if it has a technical term. 

There has to be. I remember talking about this is school to, how eventually there has to be a practical application. And I see this trap of going too far being sprung in almost every discussion that involves epistemology. It’s normally the people who are losing or cornered in the discussion that spring it.

Its common enough of an event that I imagine there must be a term for it.

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13 minutes ago, Fether said:

There has to be. I remember talking about this is school to, how eventually there has to be a practical application. And I see this trap of going too far being sprung in almost every discussion that involves epistemology. It’s normally the people who are losing or cornered in the discussion that spring it.

Its common enough of an event that I imagine there must be a term for it.

If you find one, let me know. 

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I'm not an expert in logical fallacies. What I see in your description is a kind of distraction, which, I think, is a Red Herring fallacy. The idea is that the one who wants to argue about existence is using that argument as a "red herring" -- a distraction from the real issue that you want to discuss. https://www.logicalfallacies.org/red-herring.html

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On 10/6/2021 at 9:29 AM, Fether said:

I’m looking for a term of some sort that describes this.

When you engage in a conversation on a difficult topic, you are bound to enter the realm of philosophy. Philosophy, when in the hands of some, can take the question of “can we really know there is a God? Or do we have to live on faith?”  to    “What do you mean by know?”   and then on to  “Can you even know you exist?”. The first being a genuine question with merit. The second being a great qualifier of what the person means. The third being a waste of conversation in a practical world, the utility of the philosophical approach is lost.

 

I do not think the logic your are refencing has to do with a single term.   I believe the problem you are facing has to do with the definition of terms and acceptable pre (unproven) notions.  It appears to me that there are 3 terms that are ambiguous (not well defined).  #1: G-d.  #2: Faith. #3  Knowledge or knowing.

Often when I am faced with such discussions - I respond by referencing electrons.  The reason is because the definition of electrons are as ambiguous as our definitions of G-d.  And yet we seem (despite of lack of knowledge) to be able to have faith in electrons that allows us to use electronics.  Even though we may not be able to define electrons such that someone unfamiliar with the pre notions necessary to define electrons can have any possible reference.  The only method to possibly convince them electrons are possible is to demonstrate the consistent and intelligent behaviors of electrons that can correspond to the final ambiguous reference to knowing something "exists".   

 

The Traveler

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7 hours ago, Traveler said:

I do not think the logic your are refencing has to do with a single term.   I believe the problem you are facing has to do with the definition of terms and acceptable pre (unproven) notions.  It appears to me that there are 3 terms that are ambiguous (not well defined).  #1: G-d.  #2: Faith. #3  Knowledge or knowing.

Often when I am faced with such discussions - I respond by referencing electrons.  The reason is because the definition of electrons are as ambiguous as our definitions of G-d.  And yet we seem (despite of lack of knowledge) to be able to have faith in electrons that allows us to use electronics.  Even though we may not be able to define electrons such that someone unfamiliar with the pre notions necessary to define electrons can have any possible reference.  The only method to possibly convince them electrons are possible is to demonstrate the consistent and intelligent behaviors of electrons that can correspond to the final ambiguous reference to knowing something "exists".   

 

The Traveler

Sorry, my post is not about the question in the example. My question is more about whether there is a term for when someone uses a philosophical approach to derail a question into a realm of discussion that is no longer useful (ei "Can we know God exists" (a useful questions) and "Can we even know you and I exist" (a question with no real applicable use))

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2 hours ago, Fether said:

Sorry, my post is not about the question in the example. My question is more about whether there is a term for when someone uses a philosophical approach to derail a question into a realm of discussion that is no longer useful (ei "Can we know God exists" (a useful questions) and "Can we even know you and I exist" (a question with no real applicable use))

I do not believe you are looking for a singular term.  Rather it is the definition of terms and counter examples of common employed logic.   A philosophical study of the Gospel of John in the New Testament scriptures shows how Christ utilized the definition of terms and examples of common employed logic to frustrate the arguments of the Pharisees. 

 

The Traveler

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