Page 132 of 447 FirstFirst ... 3282122130131132133134142182232 ... LastLast
Results 3,931 to 3,960 of 13386

Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #3931
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,106
    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    I see no good reason to consider that there isn't something out there though, just equally see that such is pretty irrelevant to us.
    We conveniently return to the useful idea from Len Moran of logical pointers. I certainly do subscribe to the idea that it is nature that informs me, and that are many people and things 'out there.' That's OR. To believe I could know without thinking would be subscribing to MIR.

    The general relevance I see to this topic is that it is a huge check on turning science into religion: a set of dogmatic postulates not subject to falsification or further refinement. Also a check on that hoary enemy of good human nature, hubris, which when possessed of uncontested truth, wears an ugly expression.

  2. #3932
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Posts
    4,223
    Quote Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
    Instead of a single entity, 'universe' is a single concept, here used as a substitute for 'reality.'



    For Ken G, himself, to believe that gzhpcu exists, he must have knowledge of you. This does not mean the existence of gzhpcu is contingent in any way on the existence of Ken G, it only means your existence for Ken G depends on his knowing about you. Knowing means having a mental representation; i.e. MDR.

    I sense some problems with competing definitions of "independence". When we speak of being independent of each other, we mean we are individuals. Not in doubt. Mind independence does not mean free from being known by another, it means some 'thing' is not conceived or modeled by mind, utterly unshaped by human cognition. All knowledge is part of cognition. MIR does not imply we are all mutual voodoo dolls affecting the existence of each other.



    Your individual mind does build a picture of the world for you, but this does not mean it creates the information from whole cloth. The source is objective reality, which is similar to your perceptions but refined by the shared experiences and discoveries of others (culture). Assimilation of this picture is what youthful acculturation is all about, and is practiced by many species.
    Yes, this issue was precisely why I tried to define the 2 different questions some pages back. There is the scientific mdr, which is all about knowledge and scientific meaning and makes no claims to truth beyond the reality of our experience and there is the philosophical question gzhpcu is asking To which scientific MDR has no input because it lies outside the domain of the process used by scientific MDR And this as with all words derived through different processes different meanings , in this case to the words mind independent. The critical thing as I see it within this conversation is to keep the 2 separate.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  3. #3933
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Posts
    4,223
    Quote Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
    We conveniently return to the useful idea from Len Moran of logical pointers. I certainly do subscribe to the idea that it is nature that informs me, and that are many people and things 'out there.' That's OR. To believe I could know without thinking would be subscribing to MIR.

    The general relevance I see to this topic is that it is a huge check on turning science into religion: a set of dogmatic postulates not subject to falsification or further refinement. Also a check on that hoary enemy of good human nature, hubris, which when possessed of uncontested truth, wears an ugly expression.
    I agree. In fact this post was for gzhpcu, it got orphaned , but it applies equally to all.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  4. #3934
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Posts
    4,223
    What we can see however is that plainly whatever personal answer Ken holds to the ontological question posed by gzhpcu has no objective relevance if one subscribes to science as the source of objective knowledge. mind independence within science is a model that doesn't Include the mind modelling it, that is the picture we have of OR. The philosophical meaning is effectively deemed unknowable or an oxymoron occurs.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  5. #3935
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Posts
    4,223
    another illustration gzhpcu, can be my table, is it separate to the floor? Plainly this depends on the meanings I ascribe to the words I used. Plainly science tells me that this is the case, because if I modelled forces as being part of the table and the floor, then the table and floor could not be said to be separate. The words have meaning only to the way we determine our classification based upon what is most useful to our experience.

    Now carry the same principle forwards, let's rephrase the above, is the table independent of the floor? Are phenomena independent of the mind experiencing them?....

    In each case we get the same answer, that it depends upon how we model it. This is the root of MDR and perhaps the most profound truth of all. Everything we think we know, depends upon the way our setup has modelled it, and is constrained by the limitations of that setup. We cannot know a truth independent of the way we choose to model things, that is a mind Independent truth all we can ever know is what works for us.

    There is thus no knowable MIR in the sense you are using the words. We cannot even know if such exists outside of our models. At best we can suggest a model of greatest utility, but that involves us demonstrating such is the case Which has been amply shown to not be the case currently.

    ETA: So yes my personal model contains some kind of MIR, although I ascribe nothing specific to this. Others may choose a different personal model, none of which can be shown to be relevant objectively, because they have no demonstrable advantage.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Apr-07 at 09:01 AM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  6. #3936
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Lugano, Switzerland
    Posts
    7,364
    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    I see no good reason to consider that there isn't something out there though, just equally see that such is pretty irrelevant to us.
    Why irrelevant? If there weren't you wouldn't be here...

  7. #3937
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Posts
    4,223
    We are here, that is the relevant fact. We can hypothesise why this is the case, but seeing as we cannot test the various hypotheses we cannot form a relevant conclusion, I.e. one that provides a demonstrable effect upon our existence. What can be demonstrated is that the reality we experience can be objectively determined to tell a story about a long history but this is still our modelling, it's never something mind independent.

    In my opinion a model containing things external to those things that give rise to me is the most likely to be how we will always see things, simply because it's simpler to consider things that way and that because this best matches what we do experience, it is the most consistent model we have. I don't subscribe to an absolute, just an opinion Because it would seem that such an absolute is without real meaning to me. The truth is simply we don't know, and this to me ism't a problem. It's no different to other unknowns.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Apr-07 at 09:52 AM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  8. #3938
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Lugano, Switzerland
    Posts
    7,364
    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    We are here, that is the relevant fact. We can hypothesise why this is the case, but seeing as we cannot test the various hypotheses we cannot form a relevant conclusion, I.e. one that provides a demonstrable effect upon our existence. What can be demonstrated is that the reality we experience can be objectively determined to tell a story about a long history but this is still our modelling, it's never something mind independent.
    We make a model. But a model must be of something. The model does not give rise to itself spontaneously.

  9. #3939
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    426
    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    Also, by your argument above we just push the answer back by one step, at some point we need to deal with zero or infinity. Whether MIR
    exists or not.
    It's interesting maliaidas, when you compare mathematical structures/conceptions that contain infinity and how their use has evolved in the modern scientific MDR.

    In standard calculus If you have an integral that does not converge at its limits you have an indefinite integral and regard the result as undefined while if it does converge you can call it an improper integral and can use the result.

    Nina Byers wrote a very informative paper in 1998 titled "E. Noether’s Discovery of the Deep Connection Between Symmetries and Conservation Laws:". Unfortunately
    the normal arXiv link in the PDF of the paper links to a different paper called "Dimensional Reduction" for some reason so try http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/physics/9807044.

    In the early days, Hilbert wrote about this problem as ‘the failure of the energy theorem ’. In a correspondence with Klein [3], he asserted that this ‘failure’ is a
    characteristic feature of the general theory, and that instead of ‘proper energy theorems’ one had ‘improper energy theorems’ in such a theory. This conjecture was
    clarified, quantified and proved correct by Emmy Noether.
    On the other hand, in standard calculus, you can also have a sub function of a higher level function that cycles between + infinity and - infinity
    (symmetric) over one cycle, you can then regard this as an improper integral and use the result even if the sub function does not converge (and may be indefinite in isolation).

    This is guaranteed by the equivalence principle which states that one can always choose a coordinate system such that spacetime in the neighborhood of a
    given point is Minkowski (flat). Thus one may see why it is not meaningful to speak of a localized energy density for gravitational fields.
    The physics of these relations is somewhat complicated. In regions of spacetime near gravitating sources, where the Riemann curvature is non-vanishing, there is failure of a principle of local energy conservation. The energy balance locally cannot be discussed independently of the coordinates one uses to calculate it, and
    consequently different results are obtained in various different coordinate frames - some being artifacts of the calculation itself.
    ...
    However, though local energy conservation fails, there is a large scale principle of energy momentum conservation in the general theory.
    If there's a failure of a principle local energy conservation which is different at higher scales then the default energy conservation symmetry comes from a controlling
    function that is universal in scope from the bb to the end of the universe? Can you break your symmetries if your highest level controlling function only ever has one
    cycle, nearly one cycle or nearly half a cycle?

    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    Eta: this is one reason why I say realism and idealism are basically 2 sides of the same coin. At some point you end up with either infinite
    regression or 'it just is'
    Charles Dodgson had a slightly different take on that one with Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. The thing I always liked was that his tales took the
    reader from 'reality' into either wonderland or the looking glass world, examined and took part in the strange goings on, and always returned them back to 'reality' at the end of the story. That's why I wonder if the Dirac equation etc from 10 years later in 1928, where m is rest mass and h_bar is the reduced Planck constant, requires another step, i.e. to transform from an infinite wonderland coordinant system back to a finite 'reality' coordinant system where h = h_bar * 2 * Pi. To me the 2 * Pi represents the minimum one full cycle required to qualify what would be an infinite indefinite integral as an improper integral (regardless of what its polar coordinants were) and retain the integrity of the functional symmetry's underpinning the model.

  10. #3940
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Lugano, Switzerland
    Posts
    7,364
    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    another illustration gzhpcu, can be my table, is it separate to the floor? Plainly this depends on the meanings I ascribe to the words I used. Plainly science tells me that this is the case, because if I modelled forces as being part of the table and the floor, then the table and floor could not be said to be separate. The words have meaning only to the way we determine our classification based upon what is most useful to our experience.

    Now carry the same principle forwards, let's rephrase the above, is the table independent of the floor? Are phenomena independent of the mind experiencing them?....
    The source of the phenomena is independent of the mind experiencing them. The mind, however, builds a model of the source, and this is what we work with.

    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    There is thus no knowable MIR in the sense you are using the words. We cannot even know if such exists outside of our models. At best we can suggest a model of greatest utility, but that involves us demonstrating such is the case Which has been amply shown to not be the case currently.
    I just referring to it as "MIR". Again, if nothing outside of our mental models exists, what is the source?

  11. #3941
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Posts
    4,223
    ok, lets move into a potentially controversial topic, so I will be circumspect in what I am saying

    OK Atheism is not a belief system but it is a belief. So why do I hold such. The answer is extremely complex and doesn't stem directly from science. Science certainly doesn't support a belief in god, but it denies such neither. It always falls to rationalisation and thus the mental model we hold as our ontology. One of the problems an atheist has to come to terms with is existence because unlike in a theist model one has to deal with the certainty of your own mortality, this lends itself to handling such through a realism set of eyes, that is that we are part of a reality independent of my mind thus I can be born into existence and fade from existence when I die, reality will carry on regardless. On the other hand one can be an atheist and not hold onto this other belief. What is plain in all these things is that we have a mental model which stems from our own personal sense making rather than something we can show to be objectively true for all of us. Atheism is a choice its not something imposed upon us. It makes sense to me for a lot of reasons, and it stems a great deal from both my personal experience and from my own rationalising of such, for instance the fact I still feel guilty at times and worry about stuff from the Christian faith, because that was how I was brought up, I counter with the fact that I don;t feel equal guilt for not following the Quran or the Hindu texts etc. The fact is I was conditioned into believing such as a child and I have had to recondition myself into other ways of thinking, and such is hard. The key point here, is that this is true for all things and seems to be true for all humans. We are programmed to find it easier to believe than doubt and once we believe something its hard to push that belief aside. This is true of MIR, like it or not your belief in such is born of early conditioning from your experiences to think about it in these ways, to see causality as an absolute etc. Its possible that a certain element of this is preprogrammed into us, in fact given that such processing is kind of a prequisite for prediction and thus cogitative thought it would be likely such is at a certain level, but that doesn't make it mind independent just a limitation/feature of the system we exist as.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  12. #3942
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Posts
    4,223
    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    The source of the phenomena is independent of the mind experiencing them. The mind, however, builds a model of the source, and this is what we work with.
    the very concept of a source is a mental model though based upon the way we view things, this is the point. We have a predilection to see cause and effect, thus we see something there must be a cause, but logically this doesn't have to be the case, its just that we 'need' this concept as part of our sense making in order to make meaningful predictions. It is equally likely a factor of our mind as real in a deeper sense. There are many ways to argue this fact, but one way to look at it is this. We may only deal consciously with a small amount of data from random noise created by our subconscious, such that it provides a causal world for our awareness. It seems unlikely but we cannot rule it out because we have no way to do so, and in fact if we were programmed to see things causally then the natural conclusion is it is unlikely but not because that is truth, just because we are programmed to see it as unlikely... However it is important to note that all one has done is exchanged the word subconscious for mind independent reality. What ever be the truth it is impossible to argue that it is a factor of our conscious thoughts, because reality is often different than how we think it is.

    I just referring to it as "MIR". Again, if nothing outside of our mental models exists, what is the source?
    And I say again, that source is unknown, they could just happen, although I don't personally think that is the case. But there is no way to say this with certainty.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  13. #3943
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Posts
    4,223
    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    It's interesting maliaidas, when you compare mathematical structures/conceptions that contain infinity and how their use has evolved in the modern scientific MDR.

    In standard calculus If you have an integral that does not converge at its limits you have an indefinite integral and regard the result as undefined while if it does converge you can call it an improper integral and can use the result.

    Nina Byers wrote a very informative paper in 1998 titled "E. Noether’s Discovery of the Deep Connection Between Symmetries and Conservation Laws:". Unfortunately
    the normal arXiv link in the PDF of the paper links to a different paper called "Dimensional Reduction" for some reason so try http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/physics/9807044.



    On the other hand, in standard calculus, you can also have a sub function of a higher level function that cycles between + infinity and - infinity
    (symmetric) over one cycle, you can then regard this as an improper integral and use the result even if the sub function does not converge (and may be indefinite in isolation).



    If there's a failure of a principle local energy conservation which is different at higher scales then the default energy conservation symmetry comes from a controlling
    function that is universal in scope from the bb to the end of the universe? Can you break your symmetries if your highest level controlling function only ever has one
    cycle, nearly one cycle or nearly half a cycle?



    Charles Dodgson had a slightly different take on that one with Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. The thing I always liked was that his tales took the
    reader from 'reality' into either wonderland or the looking glass world, examined and took part in the strange goings on, and always returned them back to 'reality' at the end of the story. That's why I wonder if the Dirac equation etc from 10 years later in 1928, where m is rest mass and h_bar is the reduced Planck constant, requires another step, i.e. to transform from an infinite wonderland coordinant system back to a finite 'reality' coordinant system where h = h_bar * 2 * Pi. To me the 2 * Pi represents the minimum one full cycle required to qualify what would be an infinite indefinite integral as an improper integral (regardless of what its polar coordinants were) and retain the integrity of the functional symmetry's underpinning the model.
    thanks Laurie I'll have a read of the paper and then get back to you.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  14. #3944
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Lugano, Switzerland
    Posts
    7,364
    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post

    And I say again, that source is unknown, they could just happen, although I don't personally think that is the case. But there is no way to say this with certainty.
    Again, I ask what is the alternative?

  15. #3945
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Posts
    4,223
    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Again, I ask what is the alternative?
    Its a tricky one isn't it. But then as Ken will no doubt say in one form or another, 1000 years ago scientists of the time would have argued the same for a supreme being. The fact we cannot think of one right now doesn't mean there isn't one. I proposed a hypothetical one above, although I admit this (to me) seems like playing around with meanings of words, rather than something of demonstrable different meaning. The only game in town is not a reasonable argument for an absolute truth.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  16. #3946
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Posts
    4,223
    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    It's interesting maliaidas, when you compare mathematical structures/conceptions that contain infinity and how their use has evolved in the modern scientific MDR.

    In standard calculus If you have an integral that does not converge at its limits you have an indefinite integral and regard the result as undefined while if it does converge you can call it an improper integral and can use the result.

    Nina Byers wrote a very informative paper in 1998 titled "E. Noether’s Discovery of the Deep Connection Between Symmetries and Conservation Laws:". Unfortunately
    the normal arXiv link in the PDF of the paper links to a different paper called "Dimensional Reduction" for some reason so try http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/physics/9807044.



    On the other hand, in standard calculus, you can also have a sub function of a higher level function that cycles between + infinity and - infinity
    (symmetric) over one cycle, you can then regard this as an improper integral and use the result even if the sub function does not converge (and may be indefinite in isolation).



    If there's a failure of a principle local energy conservation which is different at higher scales then the default energy conservation symmetry comes from a controlling
    function that is universal in scope from the bb to the end of the universe? Can you break your symmetries if your highest level controlling function only ever has one
    cycle, nearly one cycle or nearly half a cycle?



    Charles Dodgson had a slightly different take on that one with Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. The thing I always liked was that his tales took the
    reader from 'reality' into either wonderland or the looking glass world, examined and took part in the strange goings on, and always returned them back to 'reality' at the end of the story. That's why I wonder if the Dirac equation etc from 10 years later in 1928, where m is rest mass and h_bar is the reduced Planck constant, requires another step, i.e. to transform from an infinite wonderland coordinant system back to a finite 'reality' coordinant system where h = h_bar * 2 * Pi. To me the 2 * Pi represents the minimum one full cycle required to qualify what would be an infinite indefinite integral as an improper integral (regardless of what its polar coordinants were) and retain the integrity of the functional symmetry's underpinning the model.
    I must also humbly ask, if you mean Lewis Carrol here? or are you referring to somebody who used Lewis' work?
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  17. #3947
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Lugano, Switzerland
    Posts
    7,364
    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    Its a tricky one isn't it. But then as Ken will no doubt say in one form or another, 1000 years ago scientists of the time would have argued the same for a supreme being. The fact we cannot think of one right now doesn't mean there isn't one. I proposed a hypothetical one above, although I admit this (to me) seems like playing around with meanings of words, rather than something of demonstrable different meaning. The only game in town is not a reasonable argument for an absolute truth.
    The question remains, even if being dodged...

  18. #3948
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Posts
    4,223
    yes the question remains I agree. Its just that we cannot in fact objectively answer it right now, if we ever will be able to.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  19. #3949
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    26,743
    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Embedded in your text is the answer I was looking for. You can't say I am not a figment of your imagination.
    Actually, I certainly can say that, indeed this is the whole point of realizing that we are talking about my MDR, not my beliefs about MIR. I regard your existence as something that depends on my mind, not because there is something fundamental about the absolute truth of your existence that depends on my mind, but because I need my mind to give meaning to words that simply don't have an absolute truth associated with them. I also need my mind to give meaning to the words "you are not a figment of my imagination," and my mind does give meaning to those words, and thus I certainly can state "you are not a figment of my imagination." So your reasoning is incorrect, I can indeed reach the conclusion you are claiming I cannot reach, yet I reach it all the same. Now, like all of my scientific inferences, I may need to change my conclusion based on future evidence. Perhaps someday I will have evidence that you are indeed a figment of my imagination. But today is not that day-- I have plenty of evidence to reach the scientific conclusion that you are not a figment of my imagination, and thus I have no difficulty whatsoever reaching that conclusion. This is the power of scientific MDR.

    MIR believers, on the other hand, do not have the power I do. They must wonder, "does he really exist, or is he really a figment of my imagination, in some MIR that I cannot know?" What a predicament, sure glad I have no such problem-- I just reach the scientific conclusion that you are not a figment of my imagination, in my MDR, and I'm done, no muss no fuss.

    It is obvious that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is a concept we invent with our minds, the universe does not know it.
    Yes, we agree there, and so this is the example I use to expose the logical inconsistencies in the "problems" you think you are exposing. You ask me "do I exist independently of your mind", as if there were two choices-- either there is an MIR in which you exist, or there is not an MIR in which you exist. The flaw in that reasoning is exposed by the beauty concept-- is there an MIR in which beauty exists, or is there not an MIR in which beauty exists? See? It is the logical fallacy of not including all the possibilities-- existence is a concept, so depends on our minds, and thus your either/or thinking about existence is not responsive to the meaning of the term.

    I have also repeatedly said that I accept the fact that our mind creates our reality based on our senses/brain/mind.
    I must have missed that, between all the proclamations that rocks are just real and so on. Since we agree that "our mind creates our reality based on our senses/brain/mind", and we agree that science is about creating a working MDR, then we're actually in complete agreement-- we are not arguing about anything.
    You seem to accept the possibility of a spirit-like dream state imagining everything.
    No, do you see how your language keeps going back to the picture that the reality is just there, and my mind is trying to figure out if that reality is of a spirit-like dream state? That's just not how it works in the scientific MDR, my mind is trying to figure out what it will regard as reality, given what it means by reality, it is not trying to figure out some "true reality". My mind concludes that reality is not a spirit-like dream state, because dream states are something different from what I mean by reality. This is the whole point of MDR, my MDR is precisely the reason that I do not accept the possibility of a spirit-like dream state being reality. It is only MIR believers who must wrestle with that possibility, like "is that the true MIR, a dream state?". Since I don't believe in a true MIR at all, I am quite free to simply say that my MDR distinguishes reality from dream states. I have no idea if my future MDR might conclude it is a dream state, but that's not my MDR now-- my MDR now rejects the idea that reality is a spirit-like dream state, and I get to do that based on evidence weighed by my mind. MIR believers have to just decide what they want to believe about dream states, and if they want to decide that MIR is actually a spirit-like dream state, then they just go ahead and believe that.
    You just dodge the uncomfortable question of the source.
    The evidence is quite contrary to your claim. It is easy to observe that I don't dodge that question at all, I take it head on because it's not uncomfortable for me at all. I don't have a "source", reality is a process of making sense that my mind does applied to its perceptions. There's no point in putting in some "source" that I cannot test anyway, the whole idea of "sources" are also elements of my MDR, which I put in when there is evidence it makes sense to do so-- and not when there is no point in doing so. Claiming "there always has to be a source" is just magical thinking. Your words are exactly like believers in a supreme being who regard it as an "uncomfortable question" as to how the universe originated. But I'm not uncomfortable with that either-- it's a mystery. Life is full of mysteries, and all science ever does is replace superficial mysteries with much more profound ones. Mystery is awesome, not uncomfortable at all. Magical thinking does not save us from mystery either, it's just that magical thinking, and science, generate their profound mysteries via different processes, the latter being the one that responds to objective testing.
    Maybe, maybe not you say.
    Indeed I do, I apply scientific skepticism, everywhere that it is perfectly appropriate to apply scientific skepticism. You find that "uncomfortable", but I don't-- what I find uncomfortable, indeed distasteful, is the pretense of claiming to know something that is actually just a chosen belief, which gives me the same sensation that creationism does.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Apr-07 at 01:03 PM.

  20. #3950
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,106
    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    We make a model. But a model must be of something. The model does not give rise to itself spontaneously.
    Objective reality is the source of models, or could be said to be the conceptual sum of all models. The only problem is that these models cannot be used without cognition. There is most certainly 'reality,' as the word is used commonly, and it is comprised of us and everything else. What that reality is, in some truest sense with no interpretation, is impossible to contemplate. Take the example of gravity a few pages back, or any theory, and it refers to observations that largely remain similar to original perception (apples fall), but are vastly changed in interpretation by how we model them.

    Models need not be complex. Ostensibly, carnivorous predators have notions of prey, friend/family and enemy, and never hunt a piece of plant matter that is moving in the wind (unless for play). OTOH, a simple paper-maché owl placed in the garden can attract crows, who will attack it. In this case, imitation of partial model attributes is enough to elicit behavior, and so crows have MDR, or they would quickly determine that it is no 'true' or MIR owl and leave it alone. Following this train of thought, one might claim microbes to be 'truly in touch' with reality, since their behavior is purely chemically derived. Then again, what can they actually tell us? Nothing, and we could also feel that their 'vision' of reality would be highly circumscribed and incomplete.

    That there is anything at all in the broadest sense is an ontological question. Science does not care at all about this; philosophy cares greatly. If any of us wishes to make the preferential choice of considering there to be, indeed, a physical reality that can be called mind-independent, this is fine if stated as a belief, and there are logical pointers and so on that seem to support it. What we never have is a scientific means for testing any such hypothesis, so such a belief is not scientific. That rubs the wrong way, as normally we'd detest holding an 'unscientific' opinion, but in this particular case, it is more 'a-scientific,' and relies on an axiomatic tautology. Foundational postulates derived from reductionism or other methods do not rest on the bedrock of a 'truest' independent reality, rather on the regularities and relations we ourselves determine to exist, and whose description we modify in response to new data or alternate interpretation.

  21. #3951
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,165
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    It is not only clear that scientists don't use "existence" the way you claim, it is actually essential to the practice of everyday science that they do not. It is very important for science that when it wants to model a binary star system, for example, it must be able to say things like "now let us consider the force of gravity between the two masses, and see what it will do." There is no claim at all that there Really Exists such a force as an "absolute truth" when its existence is invoked in science. Quite the opposite, good science is highly skeptical that there is absolute truth in a force of gravity, and that should have been true before Einstein, but is even more obviously true post-Einstein! Yet there is a claim that the force exists, because that's what existence is in science-- a device used to stress a connection between our concept of reality, and some basic mathematical or otherwise predictive model we wish to apply for practical gain. All of science is just exactly like that, in fact. Take any example at random, and see for yourself.
    Your extrapolation here is fallacious. You use an invalid method of considering something that has some strong change or uncertainty in its use in science, such as the concept of force, and extrapolating to a false general principle about reality for science being dependent on the mind. If we took a different and much simpler example, such as that night follows day, it is far harder to say that this perception, which is wired into our blood, is mind-dependent.

    My concern with the MDR hypothesis about reality is that it takes a word, ‘reality’, which has a clear meaning of everything that is real, and gives it a different meaning, our descriptions. The reason for this shift of meaning is to supply a coherent explanation of scientific method, by saying that science consists only of descriptions of perceptions and we have no way of talking about anything we cannot describe and perceive. But can this approach be coherent as an explanation of reality? Does it make any more sense to call our descriptions ‘reality’ than to say gravity is a force, considered against relativistic understanding?

    Prominent traditions of thought would say no, our descriptions are not reality. The debate goes back to ancient times, for example with Plato’s comment in his dialogue The Sophist that ‘we who thought we understood the meaning of reality (being) are perplexed’. (244a) Some might say that such old work is no longer relevant, but this same problem of the meaning of reality, or being, has given rise to conflicting views whose rival status is still by no means clear.

    Kant said we only know things as they appear to perception, not as they really are in reality. And yet he held that logical analysis can explore the necessary conditions of experience, the a priori foundations which must exist in order for our understanding to be possible. MDR advocates can observe that Kant wrongly used this aprioristic reasoning to assume Newton’s cosmology was accurate, showing that any claimed synthetic a priori judgements are open to doubt. But I would rather say that Kant correctly observed that knowledge from sense data rests upon axioms of the existence of reality, time, space, matter and causality, none of which are contained within sense data but which together provide the form of sense. The difficult question here is the validity of a use of reasoning about reality that extends beyond physics, to talk about abstract concepts such as reality in a coherent and useful way.

    A way to describe how reality has been understood as independent of the mind is how Chinese thought included MIR through the axiom that the way that can be described is not the real way. This idea is at the foundation of Taoist traditions about nature, which claim to be highly rational. The teaching of a way that cannot be described asserts that the universe has a stable and orderly nature, of which any descriptions provide only partial and distorted glimpses. In Western thought this distinction between appearance and reality, between what Parmenides called the way of seeming and the way of truth, suggested that sense data is unreliable while logic is absolute. This method has been used in religious traditions to support claims that are untrue, but that does not mean, in the words of a famous saying, that just because we now see as through a glass darkly we will never be able to see face to face.

  22. #3952
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    26,743
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Tulip View Post
    Your extrapolation here is fallacious. You use an invalid method of considering something that has some strong change or uncertainty in its use in science, such as the concept of force, and extrapolating to a false general principle about reality for science being dependent on the mind. If we took a different and much simpler example, such as that night follows day, it is far harder to say that this perception, which is wired into our blood, is mind-dependent.
    With each example you give, I demonstrate specifically why your pre-conceived conclusion is wrong, as I will do again here. You claim it is hard to say that "night follows day" is a mind-dependent statement, by which you imply it is instead some kind of claim on Absolute Truth. Not in science it isn't, and I can show you why.

    In science, or indeed in any evidence-based pursuit that isn't purely a belief system like yours, "night follows day" actually means "we have observed with great consistency that night follows day, and have a model of reality that accounts for this consistency, and together we use these things as evidence to predict that night will follow today's day, but of course it is these models that infuse the words night and day with the meanings our minds intend by those words." That's all good science, as I said science is all about informing us to make good bets dealing with objectively demonstrable outcomes. But it is very clearly not a claim on some absolute truth, because as with all your examples, I can show why they have to be of the nature I just said, and not of the nature you claim for them. All I have to do is give an example of a situation when night does not follow day, which is as easy as falling off a log. Here are a few of the many examples:

    1) I'm in a plane flying against the rotation of the Earth to be constantly in sunlight. For me, light does not follow day. Of course, you now object that "that's not what you meant", but that's exactly my point: your mind meant something. Without using your mind to mean what you meant by those words, "night follows day" simply does not mean what you think it means, in fact it doesn't mean anything at all.

    2) The Earth undergoes a catastrophe that synchronizes its spin to its orbit. Poof, night does not follow day any more, so this is no kind of claim on absolute truth. Again, you will say "but that's not what I meant". I know it's not what you meant, that your mind meant something by your words is again my whole point. That's mind dependence in a nutshell.

    So keep providing examples, like "night follows day," and I will keep showing the mind dependence, that's how an evidence-based argument proceeds. The result of the process refutes your claims that my argument is "fallacious." The beauty of logic is that it is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of objective evidence that all can see.
    My concern with the MDR hypothesis about reality is that it takes a word, ‘reality’, which has a clear meaning of everything that is real, and gives it a different meaning, our descriptions.
    As I have pointed out many times, our descriptions is what it means, and the evidence is this: look in a science book. You still insist on imagining that my hypothesis is something like:
    "The absolute truth of reality is that it is mind dependent," and this claim gives you "concern." But that is not my hypothesis, this is:
    "When a scientist or science book refers to reality, either explicitly or implicitly, it can be observed to be referring to a mind-dependent construct that represents a way in which our minds make sense of our perceptions, in ways that demonstrably depend on our minds."
    Now, there is no need to ask if we have a "concern" about a hypothesis, there is only one thing to do with hypotheses: test them. The non-scientist is worried about concerns, they are concerned that a planet that is 4.5 billion years old contradicts a religious text, they are concerned that humans evolving from apes seems profane, they are concerned that carbon dioxide emissions are some kind of manifest destiny of humanity. But the scientist does not ask "do I have concerns about my hypothesis", the scientist just does the test. So do the test: pick up a science book, turn to a random page, find a reference that implies something about reality, and look for the place where the mind is being used to make sense of our perceptions in ways that depend on that mind. It's just that simple.
    But can this approach be coherent as an explanation of reality?
    An important question, but easily answered: Yes. The history of science shows this quite clearly, the history of science is providing a coherent explanation of reality by using our minds to make sense of our perceptions in ways that depend on our minds. Does this process lead to Absolute Truth? Certainly not, it is always a work in progress, it always self-corrects and it is always skeptical of itself. That is exactly how we obtain a coherent explanation of reality if we wish it to be evidence-based, any other means is a belief system.

    Does it make any more sense to call our descriptions ‘reality’ than to say gravity is a force, considered against relativistic understanding?
    Those both make the same amount of sense, which is exactly why science does both of those things. As soon as you drop the pretense that the goal is to discover Absolute Truth, you are instantly freed to understand science for what it is: our mental effort to make quantitative or practical sense of our objective perceptions. Period.
    Prominent traditions of thought would say no, our descriptions are not reality.
    And are those "prominent traditions" science, or are they something other than science? We have all kinds of "prominent traditions," like the religions of the world. But this is a science forum-- is it not?
    This method has been used in religious traditions to support claims that are untrue, but that does not mean, in the words of a famous saying, that just because we now see as through a glass darkly we will never be able to see face to face.
    You may believe whatever you like about what we will or will not see, what I am talking about is what science is currently seeing, as that is what I view as the primary content of any science forum.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Apr-07 at 02:41 PM.

  23. #3953
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Lugano, Switzerland
    Posts
    7,364
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Actually, I certainly can say that, indeed this is the whole point of realizing that we are talking about my MDR, not my beliefs about MIR. I regard your existence as something that depends on my mind, not because there is something fundamental about the absolute truth of your existence that depends on my mind, but because I need my mind to give meaning to words that simply don't have an absolute truth associated with them. I also need my mind to give meaning to the words "you are not a figment of my imagination," and my mind does give meaning to those words, and thus I certainly can state "you are not a figment of my imagination." So your reasoning is incorrect, I can indeed reach the conclusion you are claiming I cannot reach, yet I reach it all the same. Now, like all of my scientific inferences, I may need to change my conclusion based on future evidence. Perhaps someday I will have evidence that you are indeed a figment of my imagination. But today is not that day-- I have plenty of evidence to reach the scientific conclusion that you are not a figment of my imagination, and thus I have no difficulty whatsoever reaching that conclusion. This is the power of scientific MDR.

    MIR believers, on the other hand, do not have the power I do. They must wonder, "does he really exist, or is he really a figment of my imagination, in some MIR that I cannot know?" What a predicament, sure glad I have no such problem-- I just reach the scientific conclusion that you are not a figment of my imagination, in my MDR, and I'm done, no muss no fuss.
    I don't wonder at all, and certainly not in some MIR I can't know. I don't even pose the question, because the answer is so obvious. I also have no idea as to what evidence you have to reach "the scientific conclusion" that I am not a figment of your imagination...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Yes, we agree there, and so this is the example I use to expose the logical inconsistencies in the "problems" you think you are exposing. You ask me "do I exist independently of your mind", as if there were two choices-- either there is an MIR in which you exist, or there is not an MIR in which you exist. The flaw in that reasoning is exposed by the beauty concept-- is there an MIR in which beauty exists, or is there not an MIR in which beauty exists? See? It is the logical fallacy of not including all the possibilities-- existence is a concept, so depends on our minds, and thus your either/or thinking about existence is not responsive to the meaning of the term.
    Beauty does not exist in MIR.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    No, do you see how your language keeps going back to the picture that the reality is just there, and my mind is trying to figure out if that reality is of a spirit-like dream state? That's just not how it works in the scientific MDR, my mind is trying to figure out what it will regard as reality, given what it means by reality, it is not trying to figure out some "true reality". My mind concludes that reality is not a spirit-like dream state, because dream states are something different from what I mean by reality. This is the whole point of MDR, my MDR is precisely the reason that I do not accept the possibility of a spirit-like dream state being reality. It is only MIR believers who must wrestle with that possibility, like "is that the true MIR, a dream state?". Since I don't believe in a true MIR at all, I am quite free to simply say that my MDR distinguishes reality from dream states. I have no idea if my future MDR might conclude it is a dream state, but that's not my MDR now-- my MDR now rejects the idea that reality is a spirit-like dream state, and I get to do that based on evidence weighed by my mind. MIR believers have to just decide what they want to believe about dream states, and if they want to decide that MIR is actually a spirit-like dream state, then they just go ahead and believe that.
    MIR is not a dream-like state. I don't have to decide on that issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Claiming "there always has to be a source" is just magical thinking. Your words are exactly like believers in a supreme being who regard it as an "uncomfortable question" as to how the universe originated. But I'm not uncomfortable with that either-- it's a mystery. Life is full of mysteries, and all science ever does is replace superficial mysteries with much more profound ones. Mystery is awesome, not uncomfortable at all. Magical thinking does not save us from mystery either, it's just that magical thinking, and science, generate their profound mysteries via different processes, the latter being the one that responds to objective testing.Indeed I do, I apply scientific skepticism, everywhere that it is perfectly appropriate to apply scientific skepticism. You find that "uncomfortable", but I don't-- what I find uncomfortable, indeed distasteful, is the pretense of claiming to know something that is actually just a chosen belief, which gives me the same sensation that creationism does.
    So, if there is no source, what is there??? Do you just conclude it's a mystery, without considering the options?

  24. #3954
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,106
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Tulip View Post
    ...Prominent traditions of thought would say no, our descriptions are not reality. The debate goes back to ancient times, for example with Plato’s comment in his dialogue The Sophist that ‘we who thought we understood the meaning of reality (being) are perplexed’. (244a) Some might say that such old work is no longer relevant, but this same problem of the meaning of reality, or being, has given rise to conflicting views whose rival status is still by no means clear.

    Kant said we only know things as they appear to perception, not as they really are in reality. And yet he held that logical analysis can explore the necessary conditions of experience, the a priori foundations which must exist in order for our understanding to be possible. MDR advocates can observe that Kant wrongly used this aprioristic reasoning to assume Newton’s cosmology was accurate, showing that any claimed synthetic a priori judgements are open to doubt. But I would rather say that Kant correctly observed that knowledge from sense data rests upon axioms of the existence of reality, time, space, matter and causality, none of which are contained within sense data but which together provide the form of sense. The difficult question here is the validity of a use of reasoning about reality that extends beyond physics, to talk about abstract concepts such as reality in a coherent and useful way.

    A way to describe how reality has been understood as independent of the mind is how Chinese thought included MIR through the axiom that the way that can be described is not the real way. This idea is at the foundation of Taoist traditions about nature, which claim to be highly rational. The teaching of a way that cannot be described asserts that the universe has a stable and orderly nature, of which any descriptions provide only partial and distorted glimpses. In Western thought this distinction between appearance and reality, between what Parmenides called the way of seeming and the way of truth, suggested that sense data is unreliable while logic is absolute. This method has been used in religious traditions to support claims that are untrue, but that does not mean, in the words of a famous saying, that just because we now see as through a glass darkly we will never be able to see face to face.
    I quoted this first because in all the above I see no problem. The approaches of logic or Tao or any similar to reach conclusions are satisfying if and when we feel that is proper or enough. As you point out, these could lead to clearly erroneous claims, as well as what I would consider a very intellectually satisfying position, where logic kick-starts understanding of the world, and knowledge is partial yet improving. In any case, the discussion as thus broadly framed is not the purview of science, which must tie to some concrete observations to be the endeavor it is. If you wish, you might prefer to say that scientific understanding is a subset of knowledge. For this discussion of MIR, though, our focus is on that aspect of this debate that most closely adheres to the domain of discourse encouraged by CQ. (Surely we've all strained throughout to do so, and corollary arguments beg constantly.)

    ... My concern with the MDR hypothesis about reality is that it takes a word, ‘reality’, which has a clear meaning of everything that is real, and gives it a different meaning, our descriptions. The reason for this shift of meaning is to supply a coherent explanation of scientific method, by saying that science consists only of descriptions of perceptions and we have no way of talking about anything we cannot describe and perceive. But can this approach be coherent as an explanation of reality? Does it make any more sense to call our descriptions ‘reality’ than to say gravity is a force, considered against relativistic understanding?
    Where does the shift take place? Therein lies the rub: from one definition or meaning to another. I would quibble that it is easy to talk about things we don't perceive, but agree it is impossible to talk without using descriptions, in science or really anything, including meta-physical alternatives.

  25. #3955
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    26,743
    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    I don't wonder at all, and certainly not in some MIR I can't know. I don't even pose the question, because the answer is so obvious.
    And that is the power of fervent faith. It's all in the open here-- I reach an evidence-based conclusion, based on my mind, that you are not figment of my imagination, and you "just know" the answer, perhaps "deep in your bones." That's the difference between scientific inference, and a faith-based system, in a nutshell.
    I also have no idea as to what evidence you have to reach "the scientific conclusion" that I am not a figment of your imagination...
    It is easy to describe the evidence I use for that. I have noticed consistencies in things that are not figment of my imagination, that the things I regard as figments of my imagination are much easier for me to control.
    MIR is not a dream-like state. I don't have to decide on that issue.
    So your position now is, when you just state something that's true, you don't need to decide it's true, it just is. Very convenient, eh?
    So, if there is no source, what is there???
    Really, that's your argument? I can ask you-- if there is no supreme being, what is there? The answer is obvious, if there is no source, then there is no source. That you feel a need to say anything more than that is simply a reflection of your fervent belief in the need of a source.
    Do you just conclude it's a mystery, without considering the options?
    I have considered the options, and concluded that is the evidence-based conclusion.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Apr-07 at 03:09 PM.

  26. #3956
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Lugano, Switzerland
    Posts
    7,364
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    And that is the power of fervent faith. It's all in the open here-- I reach an evidence-based conclusion, based on my mind, that you are not figment of my imagination, and you "just know" the answer, perhaps "deep in your bones." That's the difference between scientific inference, and a faith-based system, in a nutshell. It is easy to describe the evidence I use for that. I have noticed consistencies in things that are not figment of my imagination, that the things I regard as figments of my imagination are much easier for me to control.
    Come, come. You have faith too: in the scientific method. Are opinions are different, with the exception that I do not blow my own horn...

  27. #3957
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Posts
    4,223
    now that depends upon your definition of faith
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  28. #3958
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Lugano, Switzerland
    Posts
    7,364
    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    now that depends upon your definition of faith
    Science has its own faith-based belief system. All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way. You couldn't be a scientist if you thought the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed. When physicists probe to a deeper level of subatomic structure, or astronomers extend the reach of their instruments, they expect to encounter additional elegant mathematical order.
    Both religion and science are founded on faith — namely, on belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of unseen universes, too. For that reason, both monotheistic religion and orthodox science fail to provide a complete account of physical existence.
    The very notion of physical law is a theological one in the first place. Isaac Newton first got the idea of absolute, universal, perfect, immutable laws from the Christian doctrine that God created the world and ordered it in a rational way. Christians envisage God as upholding the natural order from beyond the universe, while physicists think of their laws as inhabiting an abstract transcendent realm of perfect mathematical relationships.

    Until science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, its claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus.

  29. #3959
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Posts
    4,223
    Well yes to an extent, but then this depends upon the meanings of the words. This is part of the tiger chasing its tail thing.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  30. #3960
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,106
    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Science has its own faith-based belief system. All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way. You couldn't be a scientist if you thought the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed. When physicists probe to a deeper level of subatomic structure, or astronomers extend the reach of their instruments, they expect to encounter additional elegant mathematical order.
    Both religion and science are founded on faith — namely, on belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of unseen universes, too. For that reason, both monotheistic religion and orthodox science fail to provide a complete account of physical existence.
    The very notion of physical law is a theological one in the first place. Isaac Newton first got the idea of absolute, universal, perfect, immutable laws from the Christian doctrine that God created the world and ordered it in a rational way. Christians envisage God as upholding the natural order from beyond the universe, while physicists think of their laws as inhabiting an abstract transcendent realm of perfect mathematical relationships.

    Until science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, its claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus.
    Let's see if I can deal with that in a rule-friendly way, but I am sure we'll need to back off any detailed discussion or risk the justified ire of the moderators. I'll stick to the idea of faith in general to be safe. Faith, in my understanding, makes sense in the lexicon as subscribing to an idea that is not supported by normal standards of evidence. Scientific belief, which translates well into "I provisionally subscribe to the notion, given its current best fit," is entirely dependent on evidence. Faith does not lend itself to consensual peer review, while science moves forward via multiple confirmations of an observation. This is the point I was making partially, in general lay terms for a broader audience, in post #3826 (about stones and gravity). This lays the groundwork for later argument (not posted) citing universal law in science as consensual yet needing no enforcement, with other forms of law related to faith and how they are derived or enforced.

    The search for the unknown in science is also easy to differentiate. In science, that search is in done in a manner that considers new information or perspective as extensions or modifications of the natural world; there is no sense of realm-changing, if you will. The idea of multiple universes, for example, is only numerically different from a single one in these terms, and posits no non-natural elements, laws, events. The search for the unknown in non-natural terms, on the other hand, is reserved to matters relating to faith.

    There is indeed a sense in some past and current scientific and other discourse, maybe influenced originally by geometry and its axioms, that at some point science must arrive at some rock bottom, some axiomatic and uncontested basis. This is what I was attempting to address, again in general terms, in post #3913. Science is not involved in any search for Big Meaning, and if any Grand Unified Theory ever is found, it will be glorious, but all MDR. Perhaps it is this difference in the types of unknowns, and remnants in discourse of a centuries long search for a rock-solid bottom we will never reach, that is influencing your preference for MIR (I ask).

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •