Facts and ideas are dead in themselves and it is the imagination that gives life to them

October 9, 2016, 9:34 pm

Agree13 Disagree23

36%
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The debate "Facts and ideas are dead in themselves and it is the imagination that gives life to them" was started by neveralone on October 9, 2016, 9:34 pm. 13 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 23 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most people are against to this statement.

neveralone posted 22 arguments to the agreers part.
neveralone posted 2 arguments, TheExistentialist posted 7 arguments, Nemiroff posted 14 arguments, PsychDave posted 3 arguments to the disagreers part.

razzy00, ComradeStalin, neveralone, monikofos and 9 visitors agree.
TheExistentialist, Brady, PsychDave, Nemiroff, thereal, Yanksxx21 and 17 visitors disagree.

logic will get u from A to B. imagination can take u everywhere. Albert Einstein

2 years, 7 months ago
neveralone
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I did it to see people's thoughts alone. I think it's one of many things u need to make facts and ideas useful. or else children would rule the world:-)

2 years, 7 months ago
davidsmiley
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its a creative quote but, it holds no water. ideas, facts, imaginings. they all exist Only within the domain of our own abstractions of whats before us.

2 years, 7 months ago

it's a quote from a guy that I put in the beginning to see what people thought about it. I didn't make it but I agree with it

2 years, 8 months ago
davidsmiley
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his proposal, though, seems to suggest that the fact, while existent, is dead within itself. Facts cannot have any effect on themselves. they simply are the case.

i agree that one can argue facts( the case) dead, as any event in a timeline recedes into the past as soon as it occurs.

what brings life to facts is our action, not imagination. action is not mutually exclusive to imagination, but imagination is not a necessity to action

2 years, 8 months ago
PsychDave
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See, that is where you are mistaken. Facts are objectively true whether observed or not. The current temperature outside your house is a fact. If you go outside and observe it, or look up what it is, you in no way change it.

Meridian Webster's dictionary definition of fact;
:something that truly exists or happens. :something that has actual existence

:a true piece of information

Your interpretation of the information, what you do with it and about it involves imagination, but the fact exists independently of that.

2 years, 8 months ago
RogueAmerican
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They possess instinct. They cannot acknowledge fact.

Fact is an abstraction--a true observation. You must be able to define facts to observe facts.

2 years, 8 months ago
PsychDave
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But if their lives are impacted by the fact, it cannot be dead. So are facts not dead, or do trees posses imagination?

2 years, 8 months ago
RogueAmerican
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In those regards, facts would be an abstraction beyond the helm of a squirrel.

2 years, 8 months ago

The temperature change in fall is a fact. The behaviors of plants and animals is informed by this fact. Would you argue that trees and squirrels posses imagination?

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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perhaps in this case, but what about more pressing facts, like buildup in your veins? we don't even know it's there, but the fact of its existence and growth is if major significance.

2 years, 8 months ago
RogueAmerican
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They are, but alone they are dead. They require our imaginative interpretation to mean anything significant.

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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but they are facts. meaningless or not.

2 years, 8 months ago
RogueAmerican
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There is no relation between them. Slippery cliff means nothing. 5 people fell means nothing. Them being idiots means nothing.

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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the context doesn't change the fact that 5 people fell of a cliff.

the fact that it was slippery, or that they were idiots could be another fact.

2 years, 8 months ago

You guys are misrepresenting the quote. It only claims to say that even if there is a fact, it alone is meaningless. Say 5 people fall of a cliff per year. It means nothing and is ambiguous in depth. But in context, I can say they fell because it was slippery. Another may say they fell because they were idiots. The fact doesnt differentiate and say which is true. We only know people fell, end of story. Where life comes into the fact is when we add meaning for the fact. Our imagination creates causes that give the fact some context.

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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such slogans are meant to express an emotion. the terms, like alive, are not meant to be taken seriously. there is little emotion when it comes to facts.

2 years, 8 months ago

kind of like how people say that some books make the words come alive. therefore there dead beforehand.
that's fine on the AI thing I'm just not sure how they matter when I'm talking about in a human sense

2 years, 8 months ago

I think the original debate was pretty settled.

your analogy to a dead, no energy, song is subjective. even a no energy song is not dead, in not 100% sure how you are defining dead, but facts are facts.

also, just cause you are comparing something to human intelligence doesn't mean it has to reach human intelligence. in fact according to your definition, it just has to appear like human intelligence, which siri and video game mobs generally do.

2 years, 8 months ago
neveralone
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so a weak AIs isn't one because AI means artificial intelligence and if u only base intelligence on human then this doesn't even compare. also it wasn't even what this debate is about. we should if u want to discuss AIs get a diff. thread going

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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it's the only intelligence we know of and can understand. there is nothing else to compare it too.

2 years, 8 months ago
neveralone
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my point was that we gauge it's intelligence by humans.

2 years, 8 months ago

"area of computer science that deals with giving machines the ability to seem like they have human intelligence-i'm right to say it needs at least human intelligence."

"seem like" appears to be the key words. in this case you don't even need any intelligence. like video game ai, which is in no way intelligence of any kind, hard or soft.

2 years, 8 months ago

that is what I mean on the statement.
on AIs I'm been going by the def. of the Merriam Webster dictionary which is below. in this def. what u call weak AIs doesn't count by this def so can u provide one and a site where u got it? I would be interested and have a better idea of what you are saying.
on the painting one ur wrong in the way that if u want to put that painting where it will look best then u will have to be creative to find that perfect spot.

2 years, 8 months ago
TheExistentialist
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I certainly read it. It's just a vague statement about comparing facts to "music without energy". I take it to mean that facts are meaningless in the absence of imagination to contextualize it just like music is meaningless if it doesn't invoke some sense of joy or promote an emotional connection. So, I think we're mostly on the same page.

As for the AI: You're not using MY strongest argument, you're using the strongest version of the technology I'm discussing. There is a distinct difference. Weak AI, having no faculty for imagination, being able to use information and contextualize it, means that facts are not "dead" in the absence of imagination. It connects to the raw data and turns it into something useful, something tangible, into work.

As for the adds; the content of the add is irrelevant to the use of the data pointing to location. You're conflating the issue again here. The fact that imagination had to be used to produce the add has nothing to do with using data to place the add. The two use very distinctly different data points and sets. You therefore, can't and shouldn't equate the two processes. If I painted a beautiful imaginary scene of something and sold it, you wouldn't say the person who chose to hang it in a good location had an amazing imagination. Why would you credit the use of pedestrian data for hanging an add with the creation of the add? That simply makes no sense.

I'll also re-assert that facts/data have meaning in and of themselves when there is a practical use for them. I.e. vital signs, wind speed for electrical grid management, etc... This is similar to the national anthem.....it's not a very catchy song in and of itself, however, the use of it imbues it with meaning and context evoking certain emotions. The same can be said for data/facts. Their use for doing work gives them meaning. Work, however, is not dependent on the faculty of imagination, it's a measure of productivity.

2 years, 8 months ago
neveralone
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def. by Merriam Webster dictionary

2 years, 8 months ago

area of computer science that deals with giving machines the ability to seem like they have human intelligence-i'm right to say it needs at least human intelligence.

2 years, 8 months ago

how did AIs come in the story anyways? I never said it applaid to them. which when I said shoot for something higher I mean when I make a argument I'm going with the best it possibly can be not second best just to prove a point.
but to have made ads in the first place u have to have imagine that there has to be a better way to do it.
also I think u didn't read my last statement and have been arguing a dif. kind of death than the one I'm talking about.

2 years, 8 months ago
TheExistentialist
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Weak AI is perfectly usable and in fact most of us use some version currently (siri, google assistant, echo, etc...) Strong AI has not yet been developed so saying that "if it was me I would rather shoot for something better" is a non-sequitur. There is simply no reason to discuss strong AI when weak AI is able to disseminate information without the use of imagination. If we had strong AI you could certainly make the case that it would be capable of imagination, but you can't make that case with weak AI. Therefore, it proves that not all data is dead in the absence of imagination

Simply because a scientist has the faculty of imagination doesn't mean it is being used with every discovery. You're conflating the presence of a faculty with it's use. Alexander Fleming never had the idea to grow out the samples, they grew while he was on vacation. He returned and saw that his samples were contaminated and was in the process of throwing his samples out when he discovered the fact that bacteria didn't grow in the presence of a certain fungus.

There is nothing "creative" about using data to pinpoint optimal locations. If we look at ArcGIS data, we are fed raw data on population, movement, traffic, terrain, etc.... all of this can be used to tell marketers where to place advertisement, which neighborhoods have the demographic for which a product is intended, etc... It also tells us how to close streets for construction in order to create the least amount of traffic jams, where to place round-abouts, stop signs, etc... There is nothing creative about this. It's simple system management. They are reacting to data rather than looking to find new solutions using data.

If we look at electrical grids, engineers look at wind data to shut off certain portions of the grid if an overload is coming, they contact factories and ask them to use more electricity if a they see a surge coming, etc... These people use data, they don't use their imagination to process that data and put it into context, they use it with existing processes.

Going back to medicine, if I have a patient with a head injury, I monitor their vitals for a certain pattern (cushing's triad). If I see an increase in blood pressure, a decrease in heart rate, and irregular respirations, I can safely conclude that my patient has a brain bleed. I don't have to use any creative thinking, no creative problems solving, no imagination in order to contextualize that data.

2 years, 8 months ago

by dead I mean like how u would call a song with no energy or life to it.not like literal death.

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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no, where much alive. electricity runs throughout earth constantly even before we knew about it. bacteria existed and most definitely alive before we knew about it.

your thinking in a very personal perspective. just cause you don't know about it or can't use it doesn't mean it has no use at all and is dead.

sharks used electricity for millions of years. I don't understand your usage of the word. I think you mean, dead to you.

2 years, 8 months ago
neveralone
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but therefore dead

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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they may be useless, but they still exist. they are still true.

2 years, 8 months ago
neveralone
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but facts are useless if they can't be used. from what I understand they took all the traits that people we call geniuses have and found common traits. one being imagination.

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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can u elaborate on the genius code

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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I agreed about ideas. I disagree on facts. just cause Noone ever imagined of cancer doesn't mean it wasn't killing them. facts are facts.

2 years, 8 months ago

no but that wasn't even the main point. it was that imagination makes facts and ideas come alive.also none of u said anything about the genius code. did u miss it?

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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I wasn't asking about the striving better, I asked if we should keep what we have under lock and key until we reach perfection no one knows how far into the future?

2 years, 8 months ago
neveralone
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no we should continue to strive for better

2 years, 8 months ago

shall we keep it in a lab until it's absolutely perfect and not allow any release of it until competition?

2 years, 8 months ago
neveralone
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I don't.
I think we can tremendously improve on it

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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I don't believe he did based on the official accounts, but that's another debate.

why do you believe we are finished with our ai research?

2 years, 8 months ago

He did though. we just messed it up.
that is true but I'm not saying it had to be that high of intelligence. I just think your side is shooting lower than it could on AIs. idk where the line for me would be. maybe if I can have a real conversation with it where I don't have to say a command word or it being constantly connected to the internet or predetermined answers. it really depends on what it is created to do

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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he didn't make us perfect was my original statement much like our imperfect ai.

the creation does not have to match the creator to qualify is the point.

2 years, 8 months ago

yes He made us perfect but he also gave us free will which we messed up. and He still thinks we are good. how does this pertain to the debate?

2 years, 8 months ago

I disagree on our thumbs being our main asset. look at monkeys they have the same thumbs but they haven't made anything close to us.

on the aliens (which I don't believe in but will answer) I will be glad to prove them wrong.

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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you are taking a very arbitrary definition of intelligence, we may not even be the most intelligent creatures on the planet. our main asset is our opposable thumbs allowing us to delicately manipulate complex tools which allowed us to develop writing and compile information across generations. it's not our intelligence that makes us superior, it's the intelligence of all our ancestors working together well past their deaths.

how would you feel about the possibility that an advanced alien civilization has visited our planet, surveyed our species, our behavior, and our history, and determined that there is no intelligent life on this planet?

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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God created us in his image, and despite falling well short of his perfection, he gazed upon his work and declared it good.

2 years, 8 months ago
neveralone
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some but a dog isn't an AI and I'm not creating a dog. if u make something do u accept anything below ur best abilities?

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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do you believe dogs do not have intelligence because it is not equal to or exceed human level?

2 years, 8 months ago
neveralone
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that is true about AIs but when I shoot for a goal I want to try to do the best I can. sure they have some intelligence but if it was me I would rather shoot for something better.

u had to have the idea to check it not drop it. by that I mean u drop the snot accidentally in there then in ur head u had to have the idea to check it. ideas roots are in multiple things one being imagination. plus u would be nowhere near a petri dish unless ur a scientist and imagination is something u need though it's reworded as creative.

without being creative enough that data is useless because being creative is what is going to make u have the idea to use this data for something for example I may know how to add but unless I was creative enough to use this in my life that data is useless.

2 years, 8 months ago
TheExistentialist
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I'm not trying to argue that all ideas, or even most ideas are generated in the absence of imagination. I'm arguing that not all ideas or facts are a product or derive meaning from imagination.

Just because you have a misunderstanding of the term "AI" doesn't mean that weak AI isn't AI. Just because you think there is a majority opinion doesn't mean there is nor does it mean that it's a valid point (that is a fallacy known as argumentum ad populum or fallacy of appeal to popularity). It's not a valid argument. If there is anything that can disseminate information and use it without the faculty of imagination, then it shows us that information is not "dead" without imagination. It doesn't matter how rudimentary that process is. In fact, the more rudimentary, the stronger the point as it can't be conflated with being attributed to imagination.

In the PCN example; dropping the snot in the petri dish was an accident. There was no intentionality behind it, so there was no idea to check the snot in the first place, it was simply an idea derived from observation. So no, not one piece of the discovery of PCN was due to imagination. It was pure accident followed by deductive reasoning.

Illustrating that someone conceived of the idea of a certain machine that measures the wind, doesn't mean that the data which that machine produces is somehow imbued with "life" from the imagination of the inventor. Would you say that data which is produced from LIGO was somehow "alive" simply because someone built LIGO? no, you'd say that someone imagined gravitational waves and the data in that context is given "life" by the virtue of someone imagining a concept which would produce such data.
However, the data I receive from wind measurements don't need imagination to be interpreted for an optimal wind farm location. Solar data does not require an imagination to be useful in determining the location of a new solar plant.

2 years, 8 months ago
neveralone
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when most people think AI they are thinking full fledged not the beginning of something great which AI could become. so when I say AI I mean the strong not weak. so it's not bias.

to make that data to see the weather somone had to have the idea to make a machine that could do that and that had to take ingenuity which had to take creativity which had to take imagination.

u had to have the idea to check that ur booger wasn't spreading therefore as explained above had to take imagination.

there was a study by dr. Alfred barrios showed that the people we see as genius have certain traits in common and called it the genius code. one of these things is imagination.

2 years, 8 months ago
TheExistentialist
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Weak/Narrow AI is incredibly well defined and considered such in the tech field. Simply because you believe that the only AI worth considering is "strong" AI doesn't mean that it's invalid to point out that weak AI can disseminate information without the ability to imagine. You're dismissing an argument based on bias not reason.

Let's look at the definition again, because you're equating every idea to being a direct result of imagination and imagination only and I'd like to dispute that
Imagination: the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images, or concepts of external objects not present to the senses

I can look at objects present to the senses and form ideas about them and thus not have to invoke the faculty of imagination. I can see weather data for example (wind direction, speed, frequency, etc...) and I can get an idea of where the optimal place would be for a wind-farm in that region. I don't have to conceptualize anything that isn't present to the senses or a product of sensory measurement. I can look at raw sunlight data and get an idea of where to place a solar farm.

I can accidentally drop some snot in a petri dish filled with a certain fungus, see that nothing is growing and infer that there must be something about the fungus or the petri dish that would cause it to kill bacteria. I can then repeat the experiment with various fungi and various condition to figure out which factor killed the bacteria. I can then begin to figure out which chemical that is produced by the fungi kills the bacteria. Once I figure that out, I have an antibiotic called Penicillin (PCN). There is not one aspect of this that forces me to form ideas based on some aspect not present to the senses. In fact, the idea of PCN could only result from concepts which are present and measurable by the senses. So it is in fact an idea born from the antithesis of imagination.

2 years, 8 months ago
neveralone
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a) those AI are pathetic examples because they don't have or exceed human intelligence therefore not true AI no matter what u want to call them
B) for everything u are saying an idea has to be formed and for that u have to imagine it. if u strip away all the window dressing u are putting on it u will see this as well

2 years, 8 months ago
TheExistentialist
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we absolutely have AI. We have what is called "weak" AI like "google assistant" which was given thousands of books to read in order to learn conversational English....These types of AI can learn and problem solve (which is the measure of intelligence) however, they can't emulate human brain power yet. However, to not call it AI is plainly wrong.

I also don't have to imagine the cause of a specific cancer to conceptualize it as coming from a mutation. I simply have to have pattern recognition to see that a mutation is present (even if I'm not looking for it like in the example I gave). I also don't have to have imagination to look for environmental causes, I simply have to recognize a pattern. If I see a certain type of cancer be more prevalent in the presence of a certain pollutant, I don't need to imagine anything in order to try and connect the dots.

Imagination is simply the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images, or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/imagination

So anything I can perceive with my senses don't require any imagination for me to conceptualize. So if I can see the mutation, I can conceptualize that without having to form some idea of it which is not externally present. If I see a data set that is indicative of an economic downturn, I don't have to imagine an economic downturn in order to interpret those numbers correctly. I simply have to associate cause and effect.

2 years, 8 months ago
neveralone
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u had to imagine there where causes and that where they could be.
u don't know that about AIs yet because we have none.

2 years, 8 months ago
TheExistentialist
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That's not really accurate though. Facts, can and do inform facts in the absence of imagination. If we look for causes of a certain cancer, we may have some idea of what we're looking for, an environmental factor for example. As we proceed down this path of inquiry, we may discover a mutation which makes this specific type of cancer more prevalent even in the absence of the environmental factor we were originally looking for. It doesn't take imagination to come to the conclusion that this mutation may be a more telling sign of who is at risk to develop that particular cancer. It simply takes deductive reasoning. The researcher doesn't have to imagine anything.

Artificial intelligence is another great example of facts being disseminated into broader functions without an entity capable of imagination utilizing them.

2 years, 8 months ago
neveralone
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yes therefore they are dead. witch by my meaning is without life as in if no one can tell the facts then they might as well not be there because it's useless until somone can see it for what it could become.

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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you may not be able to read or understand the data / facts, but the facts are still there, unchanged by the personal opinions, perspectives, or imagination of the observer.

2 years, 8 months ago
neveralone
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it's saying there dead without imagination. like if u say some data when u look at it it means nothing to u unless u have imagination.

2 years, 8 months ago

ideas are simply the articulation of the imagination, so the two are somewhat synonymous. Facts on the other hand have nothing to do with imagination. They are data. Data can be used to inform the imagination, but facts are certainly not subject to imagination.

2 years, 8 months ago
Nemiroff
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nope. facts are independent of belief. that is the definition of facts. they are representations of truth. ideas are dependant on the imagination.

2 years, 8 months ago

this is a quote from W.I.B Beveridge. what's are ur thoughts. I agree with it.

2 years, 8 months ago
Discuss "Facts and ideas are dead in themselves and it is the imagination that gives life to them" life philosophy science
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