Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

How the Concept of "Logic" contradicts "Consensual Reality"

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How the Concept of "Logic" contradicts "Consensual Reality"

    Has any mage on either side considered the Transcendental Argument for the Non-existence of God (TANG) & how that would apply to them? https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Transcendental_argument_for_God#Transcendental_Arg ument_for_the_Non-existence_of_God_.28TANG.29

    The problem with the idea of consensus reality is that, among other fallacies, it presupposes that belief, and collective belief at that, precludes logic.

    For example, t
    hey truly and honestly believe there is no stable "reality" anywhere despite the fact that their lungs remain working at all times. How did the "consensus" decide breathing may not be optional? It doest help that each faction has a paradigm yet also believes in the consensus. I know cognative dissonance is a thing but you would think they would realize they are limiting themselves.
    Last edited by ryu238; 01-22-2021, 07:16 PM.

  • #2
    This is the kind of thing that a great deal of IC and OOC discussion goes on about and it’s one of the oldest discussions that goes on in Mage. Where does the baseline begin and end.

    My personal understanding is that the baseline factors of reality are the same. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, gravity pulls us down, humans stand upright. Things that are readily observed from the time of the first human beings are accepted as the baseline of reality and forming the basis of common understanding.

    Where consensual reality enters into things is the reasons for things and how those reasons effect the way that people understand the world and live their life’s. Those beliefs form the extrapolated effects and understandings that shape reality and sometimes form the effects of what I’ll call ‘Magick’ for magical, spiritual, and scientific effects. The Magick relies upon the Awakened’s understanding of their world and why it works the way it does with those systems as the toolbox for their magick. The understanding of the world and how people perceiving it effects their realities is at the core of mage’s consensual reality.

    Within mage a scientists understanding of the world as seen through the extrapolation of a scientific paradigm is what allows them to conceive of the energy contained by an atom, the ways of devising great mechanisms to be implements, and the magickal effect of triggering atomic blasts using these ingredients. It works because of the tools available and the consensual acknowledgment of the validity of atom theory and the scientific method and its great potential.

    Simultaneously within mage a Hermetic’s understanding of the world as seen through the extrapolation of a Hermetic paradigm is what allows them to discover the geometry representing elemental fire, the acceptance of the power of human will to effect the world through a Hermetic consequence and their resulting capacity to draw a great geometric circle inscribed with ninety-nine names of Fire to generate an enormous inferno.

    Comment


    • #3
      Except a scientist ostensibly alters his views to fit the facts, a mage can alter the facts to fit his views. On the surface the two look similiar yes, but this ignores that atomic theory was always working in the background of reality as well as the fact that Relativity was always a factor in the universe, but we couldn't fully comprehend it until Einstein. The discovery of these things altered scientific paradigms forever, and our understanding of both has even grew and altered as we learned more. Mages seem more static in this regard, relying more on symbolic logic unique to each faction. Sure you can say that math is symbolic logic too, but it's a hell of a lot more consistent!

      On a side note this makes the Technocratic Union and Etherites a bit hypocritical in this regard. Parts of reality do, or do not exist simply because of experimental results as they seemed to believe regarding Quantum Mechanics and the Ether.

      That said you are right that baseline reality is there irregardless of belief. And that a Mage's "understanding" of the world is what gives them the tools to manipulate it. Still it seems like they think collective belief is everything, despite each factions paradigm contradicting each other in some way, even among individual members. I am curious to see a mage who views things from the perspective of "existence preceeds essehce". The essence being the Spheres.

      It would make more sense that the spheres are formed indirectly from humanity interacting with reality and trying to comprehend it, with mages able to tap into the Spheres directly to affect reality back, a play on "As Above, So Below" as it were.
      Last edited by ryu238; 01-22-2021, 09:19 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have no idea what TAG vs. TANG has to do with this. Kant's logic was always shitty, and a pithy logical refutation of him doesn't mean much.

        As for Mage?

        It's important to remember that Mage has a concept that is currently labels as the Earthly Foundations. What the Foundations are isn't specified directly, but they're classified as such: any aspect of reality that is necessary for the existence of entities that can influence consensual cannot be undone by said entities.

        The majority of mages are not "limiting" themselves, but rather structuring themselves. Intellectually acknowledging that reality in subjective and there is a consensus based expression of it is not the same as understanding how to influence that reality (both in the short term of performing effects, and in the long term of modifying reality though manipulating consensus). They need a Focus to engage with reality in a way the human mind can handle, and over time (as Arete/Enlightenment goes up) they become more and more capable of engaging with reality with less of the structure because they understand the process more fully.

        The Etherites (as best written up in their Revised Traditionbook) are actually the truest scientists among mages because Ether science adapts to a subjective reality rather than imposing a specific form of science on reality like the Hermetics and Technocracy want to do. The Etherites are, effectively, attempting to study the Earthly Foundations as a constant to hang science off of, by studying what doesn't change when phenomena are subjected to a multitude of localized Reality zones. Since each Etherite has their own unique formulation or reality in their own Focus, as they share their papers, and study other mages in the field, they're creating an ever expanding body of data to understand how the subjective reality that still has some constants functions.

        Comment


        • #5
          How strongly do the Traditions believe in these Earthly Foundations? I mean there might be quite a bit of wiggle room there. What would sentient minds need with a body for example.

          This is why I invoked TANG here, becase per Rationalwiki: "With TAG's argument, God created everything, including logic; or at least everything, including logic, is dependent on God. However, if logic is created by or contingent on God, it is not necessary--it is contingent on God. And if principles of logic are contingent on God, they are not logically necessary, and God can change them on God's fiat. Thus God can change the laws of identity to make them invalid at some point, making statements not the same as themselves. Since logic is contingent on God as one of His creations, to argue that God cannot change the laws of logic blows away God's omnipotence. As a result, the claim that logic is dependent on God is false."

          Replace God with Consensual Reality and you'll understand what I am getting at. And while I agree with the necessity of Structure as you put it, that should put the idea of Consensual reality into question. After all if reality was as subjective as a typical mage thinks then why need structure? And let's not forget structure was still necessary even back when magic was easier to perform.

          As I said above:

          "It would make more sense that the spheres are formed indirectly from humanity interacting with reality and trying to comprehend it, with mages able to tap into the
          Spheres directly to influence reality back, a play on "As Above, So Below" as it were."

          Does that make sense?

          Also don't the Etherites cling onto the idea of Ether and other pulpy sci-fi concepts? Heck their back story has them break away from the Union because the latter pushed for the experiment that ended up disproving it? I mean it sounds like I was right about the Union and at least the Hermetics,

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ryu238 View Post
            How strongly do the Traditions believe in these Earthly Foundations?
            That's left rather vague, but it doesn't matter because the Earthly Foundations don't care about belief, they exist as axiomatic principles of the universe.

            I mean there might be quite a bit of wiggle room there.
            While that's true in the abstract, it's less true in the specifics of the Mage setting.

            Replace God with Consensual Reality and you'll understand what I am getting at.
            Not really because the way Mage constructs Consensual Reality is significantly different enough from Kant's construction of divinity that TANG refutation of TAG has no really meaningful statement on Mage's setting.

            And while I agree with the necessity of Structure as you put it, that should put the idea of Consensual reality into question.
            Not really. Structure is a personal method of actualizing a mage's ability to alter things from their current state. Consensus, in Mage, is not rigid. The Consensus is not a hard constant truth, it doesn't actually manifest on all of Earth or beyond the Earthly plane into the rest of the universe. Consensus is a small part of the total reality of Mage's metaphysics, but it's the total reality that Sleepers experience without supernatural intervention.

            After all if reality was as subjective as a typical mage thinks then why need structure? And let's not forget structure was still necessary even back when magic was easier to perform.
            Why can't anyone that's passed highschool biology use CRISPR to custom design their own ideal pets? Because knowing about DNA and that it can be modified, doesn't mean you actually know how to do it. The subjectivity of reality is irrelevant to the need to learn how to manipulate it. The subjectivity of reality in Mage actually makes it harder to learn how to manipulate it, hence the need for structure, even in the Mythic Age when magic was easier (and structure was to an extent even more important because the ease of magic meant magic went awry very easily without a high attention to detail).

            Does that make sense?
            Not really? Though it sounds like you might want to look at Mage: the Awakening for the CofD for a metaphysical setup that seems like it would be more appealing to your interests as you're stating them.

            Also don't the Etherites cling onto the idea of Ether and other pulpy sci-fi concepts?
            You're conflating that trappings for the method. The Etherites do this to a large extent as a cultural statement than a matter of methodology. And since they don't actually care about whether or not your form of "science" is no longer viable in the Consensus, they're happy to let their members express themselves as they wish. The more individualized the better, because the more data about what's the mage and what's the truth that exists beyond.

            Heck their back story has them break away from the Union because the latter pushed for the experiment that ended up disproving it?
            That was the last straw yes. That was the final action as the Union had been suppressing the more idealistic members that wanted to study reality on reality's terms instead of shaping Consensus towards the Technocracy's goals. The Etherites were also well aware of the purges that had happened in the past to similar dissenters as the Order of Reason and then the Union has a long history of a cycle of those pursuing power getting those pursing exploration of reality to create, but them purging them when creations distract from the goal of power.

            Comment


            • #7
              It's debatable as to who between the Technocracy and the Etherites builds on Earthly Foundations; a case could be made that the Union builds on them while the Etherites try to get around them. But what isn't debatable is that Earthly Foundations exist, and the setting of Mage: the Ascension isn't purely consensual reality. It's the difference between reality being defined by belief and reality being influenced by it.

              As for the Etherites: saying that they cling to various pulpy sci-fi concepts is like saying that Hermetics wear long robes and pointy hats; it's a stereotype, and there are Etherites who embrace every branch of science that's out there, ranging from stuff that's virtually indistinguishable from what the Technocracy practices to did that's virtually indistinguishable from what the Order of Hermes practices.


              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                It's debatable as to who between the Technocracy and the Etherites builds on Earthly Foundations; a case could be made that the Union builds on them while the Etherites try to get around them. But what isn't debatable is that Earthly Foundations exist, and the setting of Mage: the Ascension isn't purely consensual reality. It's the difference between reality being defined by belief and reality being influenced by it.
                I see, this was never really clear. It always seemed like it was a pure Consensual reality from what I read online. Do any of the Traditions really see things that way?

                Also you say that I was invoking stereotypes, but you ignored the rest of my statement.

                Heck their back story has them break away from the Union because the latter pushed for the experiment that ended up disproving it?
                Do they not still cling onto that?
                Last edited by ryu238; 01-23-2021, 03:32 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think even if you ignore or deny the premise of "Earthly Foundations" as objective constants, this whole "TANG" argument still doesn't seem especially relevant? I'm more sympathetic to a variation of the Anthropic Principle, where the emergence of rational entities that require stable conditions to exist might prove that those conditions currently exist, but not that they are objective or eternal.

                  Correct me if I don't understand, but your argument seems to be that "The concept of Consensual Reality undermines the premise that logic expresses objective or necessary truth" Or that other concepts like morality can have an objective or necessary truth in such a reality?

                  Outside of Mage, in actual Real Life, I'm pretty on board with at least questioning those premises, so I don't see how questioning them within the context of a fantasy game, where the interplay between subjective Belief and objective Truth is intended and designed to be far more fluid, is a good argument?

                  One of the interesting things about Mage is the way that different factions offer a range of responses to this question, from the Sahajiya believing that Reality is an Illusion/Prison that we can overcome, to the large number of Technocrats that do believe their are static objective truths to be discovered 'beneath' the muckery of Consensual Reality.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ryu238 View Post

                    I see, this was never really clear. It always seemed like it was a pure Consensual reality from what I read online. Do any of the Traditions really see things that way?
                    Not really, no. But on the other hand, the Traditions aren't the only mages in the setting.

                    Originally posted by ryu238 View Post
                    Also you say that I was invoking stereotypes, but you ignored the rest of my statement.

                    Do they not still cling onto that?
                    I “ignored” this because Heavy Arms had already addressed it, and I had nothing to add to what he said.


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                      Not really, no. But on the other hand, the Traditions aren't the only mages in the setting.
                      Traditions may not believe in scientific parlance so much, but you would be ignoring a lot by thinking they believe reality it's purely consensual

                      The Choristers seem to believe the One predates humanity. And the whole story of the Pure Ones it's central to the Verbena Wyck mytology...all those seem like believing in Constants to me. At the very least believing in things that long predate the Consensus

                      Some Traditions (like the Akashicks) are more prone to see the world as an illusion, which it's more compatible with the idea of a Consensual reality (but not only with that idea). Others (like most Dreamspeakers) clearly believe in forces that are very distinct from humanity driving and defining the universe - *that* is more "problematic" for a purely Consensual reality than the Anthropic Principle would ever be.

                      (Heck, I would even say the NWO may be closer to believe in a purely consensual reality than most Traditions)
                      Last edited by Aleph; 01-23-2021, 06:00 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ryu238 View Post
                        It always seemed like it was a pure Consensual reality from what I read online.
                        I don't want to be rude about this, but for the sake of this conversation being constructive:

                        Have you actually read the books instead of just reading about the game online?

                        I think it should be clear that just reading about stuff online is rarely going to give you a complete picture of the subject.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kharnov View Post
                          I think even if you ignore or deny the premise of "Earthly Foundations" as objective constants, this whole "TANG" argument still doesn't seem especially relevant? I'm more sympathetic to a variation of the Anthropic Principle, where the emergence of rational entities that require stable conditions to exist might prove that those conditions currently exist, but not that they are objective or eternal.

                          Correct me if I don't understand, but your argument seems to be that "The concept of Consensual Reality undermines the premise that logic expresses objective or necessary truth" Or that other concepts like morality can have an objective or necessary truth in such a reality?

                          Outside of Mage, in actual Real Life, I'm pretty on board with at least questioning those premises, so I don't see how questioning them within the context of a fantasy game, where the interplay between subjective Belief and objective Truth is intended and designed to be far more fluid, is a good argument?

                          One of the interesting things about Mage is the way that different factions offer a range of responses to this question, from the Sahajiya believing that Reality is an Illusion/Prison that we can overcome, to the large number of Technocrats that do believe their are static objective truths to be discovered 'beneath' the muckery of Consensual Reality.
                          I agree that the Anthropic Principle works here as well. But my point about TANG was that mages set up a Paradigm and Worldview in order to justify and work their Magic. Now these obviously need to be logically consistent to the Mage in order to work. However in the light of Consensual Reality and Paradox, that reality seems to be subjective, on what grounds could their logic in particular, let alone any sort, rely on? There seems to be a presupposition that consistent logic is secondary to the fiat of the Consensus. Would 2+2=Fish if the Consensus believed it fully, rendering mathematics meaningless? Would Last Thursdayism be a thing? I ask because I am taking the implications of the Consensus to their logical conclusion, and wonder if any mage ever considered this.

                          @Aleph: The Chloisters and the Verbena seem to be invoking a variant of the Transcendental Argument for God, or a Deist interpretation(?) but then we get into the problems with the Stong Anthropic Principle and so on... its kinda like they are moving the goalposts.

                          Heavy Arms said that the nature of Consensual Reality makes a Mage's Structure all the more important...but as we see with the Traditions and other mages that makes any idea of consistent internal logic more absurd since any worldview is valid! The Marauders seem to the logical conclusion to this. What then is the point of the different factiins proclaiming their Paradigm to be "THE TRUTH" if it is technically determined by shared belief? He also mentions this only implies on Earth so, citation needed please.

                          While yes I didn't read the books, there are so many, how would I know where to look?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            While it's big, I'd suggest starting with the 20th Anniversary edition of the core book. It includes most of the relevant concepts in their most defined form to date.

                            And again, Mage is not a purely consensual reality as written; so arguments based on that premise are flawed.
                            Last edited by Dataweaver; 01-23-2021, 09:38 PM.


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              “Let no man (or woman) ignorant of geometry enter here.” - Sign over Plato’s Academy

                              With only slight exaggeration, this is the extent of what I remember from a philosophy course I took when I was like 12. I basically ignore the philosophical part of M:tAs and treat it like D&D magic but a lot more flexible and with lots of non-Western magick and scientific stuff thrown in, depending on what kind of mage you’re playing. But you guys have fun debating 😊. Your interpretation of the game is really cool too.

                              I guess what I’m tryna say is that I don’t really worry about philosophy when I play Mage. In the unlikely event I or the people I game with even notice any of these conundrums, we just use suspension of disbelief to ignore them and move on with the game. But I also get that you guys like talking about this stuff, so I apologize if I sound negative.
                              Last edited by Penelope; 01-23-2021, 10:01 PM.


                              “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X