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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #5431
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frog march View Post
    *jumps into the thread without reading I T A L L*

    Does the mind dependent reality apply to maths as well?..........

    Things like pi.
    Very much so, but you have to realise what we mean by MDR. It's not a statement of idealism, it's the acknowledgement of the role our setup plays in our experience and concepts and that reality, as used in a practical manner, is a concept we have constructed, not whatever is the case in actuality beyond our experience.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Jun-12 at 08:12 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

  2. #5432
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    He shouldn't be always there lurking then

    Anyway, what I was going to add in yet another way is as follows. MIR exists for us a conclusion we have drawn, based upon soon set of criteria. From such the argument twists back on itself in a circular fashion, to say that if there were no MIR we couldn't have reached such a conclusion in the first place. The thing is both are based upon the same set of subjective criteria. Given them the only conclusion that can be reached is MIR, but that doesn't demonstrate that the conclusion is right, only that it follows on from the initial assumptions. It is these assumptions that we are unable to objectively test. You cannot use the conclusion to justify itself.
    So you see the concept of a MIR (excluding any descriptive notions in any manner) as a consistent belief structure based upon initial assumptions.

    Do you make any distinction (on a personal level) between the concept of a MIR and a descriptive account of a MIR, or do you lump both the concept and a description in the same melting pot of pure belief?

    What I have noticed is that many of us say we cannot know what "underlies" phenomena, thus completely accepting the nature of a structure of MIR as being pure belief, but somehow, that same inference of belief doesn't get applied to the concept of a MIR to the same degree. We seem to start with the premise of "that which underlies phenomena" cannot be known, forgetting (perhaps) that neither can we know if there is a concept of such a something as "that which underlies phenomena".

    I hasten to add that I include myself in this category (of starting with a premise of "that which underlies phenomena cannot be known)", but I'm not wholly clear as to why I think like this. I like to think it is based upon consistent subjective reasoning, but I'm not sure of that.
    Last edited by Len Moran; 2015-Jun-12 at 08:31 AM.

  3. #5433
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    When talking about MIR I am always clear in my own ontology that such relate to subjective probabilities rather than absolutes. It is clear that these again are based upon assumptions, so I also determine these as a probability, which I accept leads to more assumptions etc... vis the infinite regression that rationalism falls foul of. It s this problem that ensures that MIR is a belief.

    It just happens that the criteria I use for a none descriptive MIR end up subjectively much more probable than a descriptive notion.
    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. #5434
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    because the something concept can potentially work in a lot of different ways that allow us to imagine it is representing a whole lot of different possible "things", whereas the nothing concept works in only one way
    I recently read about that line of thought. Simply put, there is only one way to have nothing but there are potentially an infinite number of ways to have something. So, using that logic, it would seem that the odds are in favour of there being the concept of something.
    Far away is close at hand in images of elsewhere...

  5. #5435
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    Got lost... Something or nothing? How can nothing exist? This thread is getting weird.. To quote the great philiosopher John McEnroe, "You can't be serious!"
    Last edited by gzhpcu; 2015-Jun-12 at 12:20 PM.

  6. #5436
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin1981 View Post
    Simply put, there is only one way to have nothing but there are potentially an infinite number of ways to have something. So, using that logic, it would seem that the odds are in favour of there being the concept of something.
    It is difficult to use probabilistic arguments without knowledge of the probability distribution. For example, imagine that in one hand, I have the number "2", and in the other hand, I have a line segment between zero and 1. That latter object can signify an infinite number of numbers (in principle), if you select a random distance along that line segment and associate a number with it. So in some sense, I am holding a single number in one hand, and an infinite number of numbers in the other hand. Yet if you select one of my hands, you still have a 50% chance of getting the number "2", even though it is just one outcome out of an infinity of possibilities.

    My approach throws out the whole idea that we are talking about the way things are, and we are wondering if the way things are corresponds to "something" versus "nothing", as if those were words in some universal language are trying to figure out. Instead, those words correspond to our concepts, they are our attempts to make sense. Whenever we try to make sense, a concept that is more versatile and more flexible will likely be more useful. It's not so much an issue of probability, as the purpose that we have for these words.

    Take for example the words "thermal" and "nonthermal." Strictly speaking, "thermal" means only one thing, exact thermodynamic equilibrium, which is essentially impossible. So if it is strictly impossible, we should never use the word "thermal", right? Not so-- we use the word "thermal" all the time, because we don't have the strict meaning in mind, we have a kind of generic approximation in mind, and that comes up a lot. Same for "nothing"-- strictly speaking, the formal definition of "nothing" is too restrictive to ever be used, especially now that we have found vacuum isn't even "nothing." Yet we also use the word "nothing" all the time (as answer to questions like "what are you doing," or "what do you have in your pocket"), and we can see why-- because we have a more versatile and flexible meaning in mind when we use it. But when you ask "why is there something instead of nothing", you are using a flexible meaning of "something" but a restrictive meaning of "nothing." As usual, it is the meanings you are adopting for the words that force their answer-- we have "something" and not "nothing" simply because the meaning you are taking for "nothing" is vastly more restrictive than the meaning you are taking for "something", so restrictive in fact that it is essentially impossible to satisfy it.

    If you do the same thing with "something", then the question turns into "why do we have exactly this universe, with every atom and field in the precise configuration we experience, and not some other universe, no matter how minutely different?" That question doesn't seem to have the same impact as the something vs. nothing question, we don't see why we should wonder why the universe is exactly this because we wouldn't particularly care if one atom was displaced one Angstrom. Yet it isn't so displaced-- it is where it is, so why? My point is, the answers we obtain depend on the way we frame our questions, and the way we frame our questions depend on what we choose to care about-- it all depends on how our minds work, and what our goals are for doing thought.

  7. #5437
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran View Post
    What about the concept of a MIR - are you strongly agnostic about that, or do you start with a premise of a strong belief in the concept but are agnostic over a descriptive account of the starting premise that there is "something" underlying phenomena?

    I only ask out of interest, I am a firm believer in the concept but entirely agnostic over a descriptive notion. But I have difficulty in understanding why I make such a strong distinction between belief in the concept and belief in a descriptive structure. I wondered if you have similar qualms.
    No I am confident of concepts, they are models in my mind. I am personally clear that I cannot know beyond phenomena. It allows me to entertain many concepts not covered by science, which is a release from dogma of many kinds. I define dogma as certain prescriptive knowledge, sometimes it's people who know what God wants, sometimes people who know there is none. To be agnostic is to know you cannot test beliefs about reality.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  8. #5438
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin1981 View Post
    I recently read about that line of thought. Simply put, there is only one way to have nothing but there are potentially an infinite number of ways to have something. So, using that logic, it would seem that the odds are in favour of there being the concept of something.
    This is off topic but it is an a priori definition to say there is only one nothing, you can alternatively define an infinity of nothings if you want, and it is not the same as non existence! So you cannot use logic to say something is more likely than nothing, that is meaningless. Ok an example , imagine a straight line or plane that you define as something, it's a wall in space. So now each side of the wall there is nothing, that's two nothing's!
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  9. #5439
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran View Post
    But I have difficulty in understanding why I make such a strong distinction between belief in the concept and belief in a descriptive structure.
    I was going to ask you the same thing-- what distinction can you draw between a concept and a description of that concept? I see it only as levels of vagueness. For example, most people have in their minds a concept of what a "planet" is, yet if we asked them to give a complete description of everything they mean by a "planet", most people would not give the same description. A professional astronomer might give the formally accepted meaning, but even many professional astronomers find that description lacking, and prefer a different one because they find it more useful to their purpose in using the word. This is normal-- we communicate using words that we all mean something slightly different by, so our communications miss the mark slightly, but we muddle along as long as we take each others' meanings in a "close enough" approximation. When I invoke a "cat", you imagine something and I imagine something, and what we imagine is not the same, but we can hope that the differences in what we are imagining don't interfere with the purpose of our invoking the notion of a cat.

    So that's what I see as the relation between a concept, and a description of a concept. The concept is vague and inclusive, the descriptive structure pointed at that concept is specific and exclusive. We must navigate these ambiguities, because if we always use completely specific and exclusive meanings, we cannot communicate because we won't have the same specific meaning in mind. And if we always use vague and inclusive meanings, we cannot really say anything.

    This is the scientific problem with the MIR concept, it is self-contradictory unless it is made so vague that it doesn't mean anything that science could ever use. MIR believers think they mean the same things when they talk about the "mind independent reality" that needs to be there for us to ask about it, but if you force them to give as complete as possible a description of what they are talking about, they will either no longer agree with each other, or they will be relegated to saying something like, whatever it is that is truly there but which we can say nothing about. The problem is, in science at least, truth is all about saying things, it is about what we can say passes a test. And when the "truth" notion isn't that, it becomes a kind of subjective Tower of Babel, where nobody really means the same thing as anyone else. The irony is, because they are actually using the same words, they think they do mean the same things-- it's more like a camouflaged Tower of Babel. But the very act of saying "I know what you mean" when discussing MIR requires the use of the mind in ways that clearly depend on the mind, so the claim that we can all talk about the same "MIR" is fundamentally impossible to establish.

  10. #5440
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    To be agnostic is to know you cannot test beliefs about reality.
    Bingo, and it can be very personally liberating. What we are interested in here is the ways it can be scientifically liberating, because in science, we don't call it agnosticism, we call it skepticism. But agnosticism is closer to the true spirit of science-- it's not important for scientists to doubt claims on truth, it is only important for them to keep track of the evidence that supports and such claim, knowing that no amount of evidence is ever completely decisive. Science always holds surprises, even in places where scientists are (nearly) sure it does not. In science, truth never transcends the evidence, there is never a point where we get to say "OK, that's enough evidence, we don't have to call it an inference based on evidence any more, we can now regard it as some kind of absolute truth that transcends all evidence." That's really just a fundamental mistake about what science is, yet it is a common one to make.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Jun-12 at 01:11 PM.

  11. #5441
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I was going to ask you the same thing-- what distinction can you draw between a concept and a description of that concept? I see it only as levels of vagueness. For example, most people have in their minds a concept of what a "planet" is, yet if we asked them to give a complete description of everything they mean by a "planet", most people would not give the same description. A professional astronomer might give the formally accepted meaning, but even many professional astronomers find that description lacking, and prefer a different one because they find it more useful to their purpose in using the word. This is normal-- we communicate using words that we all mean something slightly different by, so our communications miss the mark slightly, but we muddle along as long as we take each others' meanings in a "close enough" approximation. When I invoke a "cat", you imagine something and I imagine something, and what we imagine is not the same, but we can hope that the differences in what we are imagining don't interfere with the purpose of our invoking the notion of a cat.

    So that's what I see as the relation between a concept, and a description of a concept. The concept is vague and inclusive, the descriptive structure pointed at that concept is specific and exclusive. We must navigate these ambiguities, because if we always use completely specific and exclusive meanings, we cannot communicate because we won't have the same specific meaning in mind. And if we always use vague and inclusive meanings, we cannot really say anything.

    This is the scientific problem with the MIR concept, it is self-contradictory unless it is made so vague that it doesn't mean anything that science could ever use. MIR believers think they mean the same things when they talk about the "mind independent reality" that needs to be there for us to ask about it, but if you force them to give as complete as possible a description of what they are talking about, they will either no longer agree with each other, or they will be relegated to saying something like, whatever it is that is truly there but which we can say nothing about. The problem is, in science at least, truth is all about saying things, it is about what we can say passes a test. And when the "truth" notion isn't that, it becomes a kind of subjective Tower of Babel, where nobody really means the same thing as anyone else. The irony is, because they are actually using the same words, they think they do mean the same things-- it's more like a camouflaged Tower of Babel. But the very act of saying "I know what you mean" when discussing MIR requires the use of the mind in ways that clearly depend on the mind, so the claim that we can all talk about the same "MIR" is fundamentally impossible to establish.
    I agree, when I am invoking the MIR concept it relates solely to what is to me a subjective likelihood in addressing questions for which we have no testable answer relating to the shared properties of our existence. The requirements of the MIR concept are no more than they allow for the patterns we observe and this seems more likely to be the case as a result of some shared source to which we all have access, than it happening simply as individual experiences with no shared state. It is a very different concept to say gzhpcu's idea of MIR.
    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. #5442
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frog march View Post
    Does the mind dependent reality apply to maths as well?..........
    That's a very hard question-- it's one reason why we've restricted the issue of MDR to science! In science, at least, we can observe the process, we can use science on the question. What we see is that the science we do depends on our goals for science, and we see that our theories keep getting superceded by new ones. But math is designed to be self-contained-- it's a syntactic manipulation, it's purely structural. A different mind might do very different mathematics, but it would just be a different structure. If a mind used some different kind of logic, it could still explain the rules of logic that it is using, in some syntactic form. We might say "that's not how logic works," but that would only mean we would not see the value in that mathematical structure, we could still see that it is a structure, just one based on different logic. So is that mind independent or mind dependent? Some would say math is quintessentially mind dependent, because it is a mental exercise in the first place. Others might counter that the whole point of math is to be self-organized, in the sense that you state the postulates and the logical rules, and do syntactic manipulations on it, and that's it, it's all self-contained. So although a mind is needed to do math, and to understand math, it does not leave any mark on the math, because the math is a self-contained structure when it is finished.

    That's the double-edged sword of math-- "truth" means "can be proved", it does not mean "works in the real world." If you want the latter meaning, you have to leave the realm of formal provability, and into the messy realm of applying your mind in ways that depend on your goals and attitudes, and on what you want the words to mean. It's the realm of semantics, and that is where I see the MDR concept as being most important.
    I'm curious if an observer could affect maths.

    Like Pi to the googolplex+1 decimal place; could it exist in a multistate of 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8&9 like the Schroedinger cat?.......err
    That's a scientific question, and calls for an experimental investigation. So far, we have no evidence for that-- but if we found such evidence, it would be remarkable indeed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    That's a scientific question, and calls for an experimental investigation. So far, we have no evidence for that-- but if we found such evidence, it would be remarkable indeed.
    you wouldn't even need a googolpex place in pi....I think that pi may exist in a multistate for most people...some people don't even know it starts with a 3...so if one could devise an experiment that could affect the way that the multistate collapsed when observed, you could probably use the 1000th decimal place.....

    I'm not sure that that experiment would be possible...

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    I think we forget how we arrive at something like maths. First it starts with the big bang; we spend millions of years evolving within this framework(which may be dependent on us!), when we are conceived, we spend years growing, and developing, the connections in our brains forming....there may be unlimited number of ways that maths could be constructed; the language of maths, the logic, the assumptions, and it all be mind dependent......even from individual to individual.....if pi were 4 then that would mean that circles are bigger for some people...we simply do not know how other people experience reality.....we, or I, just know that other people exist; I don't know for sure that footballs have greater volume for them or not, or if football is something else entirely.
    Last edited by WaxRubiks; 2015-Jun-12 at 02:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran View Post
    ... I only ask out of interest, I am a firm believer in the concept but entirely agnostic over a descriptive notion. But I have difficulty in understanding why I make such a strong distinction between belief in the concept and belief in a descriptive structure. I wondered if you have similar qualms.
    I lost the links and train of thought on a philosophical approach to this I, er, promised ages ago. PC madness turned my house and systems upside down. I meanwhile made another promise of sorts to mention a slightly newish framework I'm playing with. I should get around to it by the end of the weekend (I just have to read up on some guy's approach to an area of physics to see if (a) it applies/is worth mentioning, and (b) it is not woo/wildly niche.) But to tease anyway: I think I may have a description of sorts for the structure; at least, where it is conceptually. (Posting this'll give me the nagging guilt needed to get off my butt, hopefully. Don't want to stay long in Broken Promise Land.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frog march View Post
    I don't know for sure that footballs have greater volume for them or not, or if football is something else entirely.
    One of the great beauties of science is that we can (and must!) use operational and evidence-based meanings for our words. That applies not only to "footballs" and "volume", but also to "knowing." We create some meaning of "football shape", that is precise enough that other people can mean the same thing we do, but vague enough that we can actually find ones to do the test on. (In science, what I mean by "vagueness" translates into the concept of "experimental error" or "tolerance" for uncertainty.) Then we have our mathematics for calculating its volume, and we have our physical experiments for testing our outcomes. If enough different people have similar enough minds (not including several of the New England Patriots, apparently) to carry out these tests and get suitably consistent answers, we say we have an "objective truth" about the volume of footballs. It's all in how it tests out, that's what distinguishes it from the pure mathematics. The connection between mathematics, and what tests out, has been a profound question from the time of Pythagorus. Pythagorus looked at abstract proofs of the theorem that bears his name, and looked at demonstrations that it works in practice, and said the Greek equivalent of "holy mackerel, abstract thinking can be used to establish ground truths." For thousands of years we've been grappling with that discovery, but we still don't "get it" any better today than he did then, we only get a sense that it is important somehow.

    What this thread is saying is that nature doesn't hand us right triangles, we find right triangles in nature, and fit to them our concepts like the Pythagorean theorem. So what is "working" there is that we have an ability to use our minds to "fit" what we perceive, not that what we perceive is mind independent. If we are comparing the circumference to a diameter of a shape that we regard as circular, then to a good approximation we will get pi for that ratio, but at some point our algorithm for calculating the digits of pi will no longer agree with our measured result for that ratio. So our ability to "fit" our perceptions reaches a limit. If we could ever actually produce a circle that was so precise, and a measurement technique that was so accurate, that we could measure digits of pi before they have ever been calculated, then we could use the measurement to check the calculation once it was finally done. But we could never say that the ratio of circumference to diameter of an actual circle (rather than the abstract notion of a circle) was established to an arbitrary number of digits until some experiment was actually carried out that was capable of doing that (whether the "experiment" was set up by humans or not), nor could we say that the mathematical algorithm used to calculate said digits has any physical meaning until such an experiment actually occurs and tests out.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Jun-12 at 04:12 PM.

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    but object truths, object reality implies a mind independent reality, doesn't it?

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    and welcome to the nux and crux of the sticking point in this debate

    In fact all we mean by objectivity in practice is that if I experience it, you will also. It's objectivity by consensus. However MIR is a different question all together
    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

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    I have heard Lawrence Krauss talk about how the total energy value for the universe is zero. He says, if the universe is flat, which it seems to be, then the gravitational energy which is
    negative, cancels out the positive energy of the universe, thus, the total energy of the universe is zero.

    How plausible is this idea ? I mean, i can make sense out of that thinking, i can see how the universe could "pop" into existence, if the total value was zero because it does not break any conservation laws. I understand that at the start, it is born from a quantum fluctuation and it involves the uncertainly principle.
    Far away is close at hand in images of elsewhere...

  20. #5450
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    I'll stick my neck out and say that is an untestable belief.
    Thousands of posts ago relating to circles I pointed out there is never an actual circle, a true circle is a math idea. A circle made from atoms has all those uncertainties that we know atoms have, so at a level of accuracy the measurement becomes one with an error band. So asking if maths breaks down is a silly question, maths is a model and a language allowing predictions.

    An actual experiment would make many measurements and apply statistics to find if pi works, that is what a lot of cutting edge experiments do.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    I'll stick my neck out and say that is an untestable belief.
    Thousands of posts ago relating to circles I pointed out there is never an actual circle, a true circle is a math idea. A circle made from atoms has all those uncertainties that we know atoms have, so at a level of accuracy the measurement becomes one with an error band. So asking if maths breaks down is a silly question, maths is a model and a language allowing predictions.

    An actual experiment would make many measurements and apply statistics to find if pi works, that is what a lot of cutting edge experiments do.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frog march View Post
    but object truths, object reality implies a mind independent reality, doesn't it?
    You'd think, but it doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Objectivity is a crucial element of science, so the scientist must be able to say what constitutes an objective fact. How would they do that? Would they look for a fact that they thought was true when they were two years old? Would they look for a fact they will think is true if they get old and suffer from dementia? Would they look for a fact that is regarded as true by the patients in an insane asylum? No to all of those-- they would look for something regarded as true by their own adult well-educated mind in different places and times, and by other people with adult well-educated minds as well. So what we mean by what is "objective" is quite demonstrably mind dependent, and stems from a consistency that we observe in similar minds.

  23. #5453
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    You'd think, but it doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Objectivity is a crucial element of science, so the scientist must be able to say what constitutes an objective fact. How would they do that? Would they look for a fact that they thought was true when they were two years old? Would they look for a fact they will think is true if they get old and suffer from dementia? Would they look for a fact that is regarded as true by the patients in an insane asylum? No to all of those-- they would look for something regarded as true by their own adult well-educated mind in different places and times, and by other people with adult well-educated minds as well. So what we mean by what is "objective" is quite demonstrably mind dependent, and stems from a consistency that we observe in similar minds.
    So, is pi mind dependent?

  24. #5454
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    What do you mean by pi, do you refer to the numbers 3.14......? Or do you refer to the ratio we refer to in our mental idealisation of a circle that as profloater pointed it we can never actually observe in nature. It's demonstrably something that comes out our sense making. However in some sense it could exist outside of which, depending on just what the actuality is.
    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

  25. #5455
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    What do you mean by pi, do you refer to the numbers 3.14......? Or do you refer to the ratio we refer to in our mental idealisation of a circle that as profloater pointed it we can never actually observe in nature. It's demonstrably something that comes out our sense making. However in some sense it could exist outside of which, depending on just what the actuality is.
    I dunno...I mean both maybe.

    Equation for pi don't come out of this air, they come out of the matrix of everything that lead up to them; the understanding of circles, triangles etc, playing football(soccer) in the park, as a kid...everything... I don't think there is mind independent maths, I suppose.

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    But I believe there has always been mind....


    religion, so I can't say much more....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frog march View Post
    So, is pi mind dependent?
    I would also ask, what do you mean when you say pi? Some mean the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of an imaginary perfect circle, and that is certainly mind dependent, because you need to be able to imagine a perfect circle to give that meaning. Others mean the algorithm that is used to grind out its digits, but that requires a mind in a different way, it requires a mind to interpret the meaning of the output. If you work with people who have no math understanding at all, I expect you would begin to understand the mind dependence of all mathematical concepts. The strange thing about pi is that it shows up in some physics theories, in ways that don't seem to reference circles at all. So that brings us into contact with the mind dependence of physical theories. Why pi shows up in so many mind-dependent places is a mystery, but it doesn't make it mind independent.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Jun-12 at 08:22 PM.

  28. #5458
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    What do you mean when you say pi?
    well I guess I mean the product of one of the equations for pi, but it's all part of this universe, so I think it is mind dependent.

    It seems to me if any of reality is mind dependent/observer dependent, then it all is.

  29. #5459
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    No I am confident of concepts, they are models in my mind. I am personally clear that I cannot know beyond phenomena. It allows me to entertain many concepts not covered by science, which is a release from dogma of many kinds. I define dogma as certain prescriptive knowledge, sometimes it's people who know what God wants, sometimes people who know there is none. To be agnostic is to know you cannot test beliefs about reality.
    Ah, I think perhaps I have misinterpreted some of your posts. When you say (for example) "since we cannot know what underlies phenomena, we can put together all sorts or beliefs", what you are saying is that "nothing" can also be believed to underline phenomena.

    I think it's the way that statement can be read that can be misinterpreted - it implies a premise by which phenomena has an underlying "something", the nature of which can only be belief. To specify an "underlying of phenomena" kind of implies "something" rather than "nothing" in that "nothing" cannot really underlay phenomena because "nothing" is "nothing".

    Anyway, I think I understand your use of the sentence "underlying phenomena" now, you are not starting off with a premise that requires an "underlying something" of phenomena but rather, within your agnostic position you hold open the possibility that there is only phenomena and nothing else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran View Post
    Ah, I think perhaps I have misinterpreted some of your posts. When you say (for example) "since we cannot know what underlies phenomena, we can put together all sorts or beliefs", what you are saying is that "nothing" can also be believed to underline phenomena.

    I think it's the way that statement can be read that can be misinterpreted - it implies a premise by which phenomena has an underlying "something", the nature of which can only be belief. To specify an "underlying of phenomena" kind of implies "something" rather than "nothing" in that "nothing" cannot really underlay phenomena because "nothing" is "nothing".

    Anyway, I think I understand your use of the sentence "underlying phenomena" now, you are not starting off with a premise that requires an "underlying something" of phenomena but rather, within your agnostic position you hold open the possibility that there is only phenomena and nothing else.
    Yes that is possible although I tend to believe the MIR is there but it is certainly weird and can no longer be appreciated as rocks and stars. Our MDR reality is subtle and complex and often contradictory. I would like there to be an information universe , you know everything connected, with "real" patterns, not just those we hold up as templates but I always remain clear that all such wishful thinking is untestable. It also seems possible we are the only conscious minds despite the mind boggling numbers of stars and although theoretically feasible I doubt we will encounter any more even when we go places as our reinvented selves. So I believe human MDR is very important and science is worth doing.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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