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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #6271
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    I'm sorry, but post #6258 does not help me a bit. I accept the opinion that MIR is not needed by science, and I think I understand the logic behind that opinion. What I still do not see is how to specify an observation to try to convince a doubter of the validity of that opinion. An observation of what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    That's why it is similar to the phases of the Moon issue. I would not say people think the phases of the Moon are caused by the shadow of the Earth because of misinformation-- they have true observations, and they have an interpretation that works for them if they don't dig into it too much.
    I cannot imagine a plausible model in any detail that would make someone infer the Earth's shadow as the cause of a half moon phase when the Sun and Moon are both above the horizon. Can you demonstrate a hypothetical thought exercise that would lead to such a false inference? Until I see such an exercise I stand by my educated guess that adults who think the Earth's shadow causes the phases are usually taking someone else's word for it.

  2. #6272
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    I'm sorry, but post #6258 does not help me a bit. I accept the opinion that MIR is not needed by science, and I think I understand the logic behind that opinion.
    Do you think it is an "opinion" that the phases of the Moon are caused by the shadow of the Moon as it orbits Earth? I'm trying to understand what you intend by your use of the word "opinion."
    What I still do not see is how to specify an observation to try to convince a doubter of the validity of that opinion. An observation of what?
    An observation of how scientific thinking invokes the concept of "reality." Perhaps an example would help. Can you tell me a situation where you invoke the concept of reality in any scientific context of your choosing, perhaps an area you have a lot of scientific knowledge about?

    I cannot imagine a plausible model in any detail that would make someone infer the Earth's shadow as the cause of a half moon phase when the Sun and Moon are both above the horizon.
    Neither can I-- because of your words "in any detail." But I can imagine models that work fine in no detail-- those are the models people use to come up with that idea in the first place. The model is basically, "it looks like a shadow, it must be the shadow of something big that is blocking sunlight, and the Earth is big." So it's a model with several correct elements, and it satisfies people-- as long as they don't dig into it, or check it against any kind of body of observational evidence-- and that's just what people do not do.

    Until I see such an exercise I stand by my educated guess that adults who think the Earth's shadow causes the phases are usually taking someone else's word for it.
    I am confident that the majority who accept that model come to it entirely on their own. No one tells anyone else that is the truth, because they usually don't feel very secure in that model, it's very vague to them and they don't confront it at all-- they just don't ask and they don't get asked.

  3. #6273
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    So a believer in philosophical Idealism ( whether in the form of a "MDR hypothesis" or some other variant) must be selective about when the Idealism is applied if he wants to advocate any particular position.
    One point that has been fleshed out in excruciating detail is that nothing in this thread has anything whatever to do with philosophical idealism. There are zero proponents of that philosophy on this thread, and it certainly has nothing at all to do with the MDR hypothesis. Read the hypothesis again, and see where it has nothing to do with any philosophical axioms whatsoever.

    For example, he can let the thread proceed as if Fukushima nuclear powerstations are "real" and then when some more abstract topic comes up (e.g. the safety of nuclear power) he can whip out the Idealism to attack the opposition (e.g. "Safety" is just your own mental conception of safety!).
    Essentially every sentence you write involves misconceptions that require correction. Another aspect of this thread is that no one here objects to regarding powerstations as "real", the issue is entirely around what do we mean, and in what context, when we say the powerstation is real. I've lost all hope you can see the distinction there, nevertheless that distinction is crucial. So if you don't see it, you cannot say anything relevant to the thread.

  4. #6274
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    At least I will say that we agree on that! Science makes predictions, and tests them. MIR is a belief, because it doesn't. So we agree, you just call your own belief "truth", which is a common thing for people to do, when they are not thinking scientifically. No one said you had to think scientifically, my entire goal from the start was to get you to see that you were not, and this has been accomplished. The purpose of the thread is to establish two things:
    1) scientific thinking reserves the term "truth" to mean what has testable evidence to support it, not beliefs.
    2) MIR is not one of the things that the term "scientific truth" can correctly be used to mean.
    But you don't use that meaning of "truth", you use your own personal meaning, so we have here several different meanings of "truth." This is natural, truth is our word in the first place. This thread is all about understanding that.
    Thinking this statement over:
    • You can not compare science (a mental tool) to MIR. That is comparing apples with oranges.
    • Science is a product of the mind, deriving conclusions from sensorial input, in some instances, using mathematics
    • MIR is not a "belief" or a "truth". MIR simply is.

  5. #6275
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    If the goal of a thread is to discuss a specific topic (for example, the status of the Fukushima nuclear powerstations), then it's completely futile to start applying philosophical Idealism at the ground level. (e.g. Fukushima is just something in your mind. Nuclear power is just a mental construction. Everybody has a different concept of what a power station is.)

    So a believer in philosophical Idealism ( whether in the form of a "MDR hypothesis" or some other variant) must be selective about when the Idealism is applied if he wants to advocate any particular position. For example, he can let the thread proceed as if Fukushima nuclear powerstations are "real" and then when some more abstract topic comes up (e.g. the safety of nuclear power) he can whip out the Idealism to attack the opposition (e.g. "Safety" is just your own mental conception of safety!).

    As another example, in a Life In Space thread, we can accept that NASA is real, that space is real and that other planets are real and then begin the questioning when we reach the concept of "Life".

    The practical difficulty with the view that "reality" is "mind dependent" is that if you were to apply it consistently then discussions would never get out of the starting gate. The only practical way to apply that view is to turn it off for awhile till things get going and then turn it back on. However, when this is done, it appears to be bias and discrimination by means of selective enforcement.

    The theory that reality is mind dependent is simple and straightforward. Accepting that theory and then trying to argue for anything else is extremely complicated. We have to add other content to the theory in order to explain why we take certain mind dependent aspects of a topic as "given" and portray other aspects of the topic as ambiguous, controversial, or meaningless.
    I understand your 'point of view'. But the whole issue is that MDR and the way science works, is not about accreditiing some 'point of view'. MDR is not idealism and science is not absolutism 'points of view'. (Ken has provided you with the distinctions for keeping these separated in thought, repeatedly, in this thread). In the exploration of the unknown, it is easy to fill in the blanks with one's personally adopted 'point of view'. But science has been carefully developed to distinguish where 'points of view' have turned up in lieu of what is not yet known. The mind responsible for having filled in the blanks is usually the first to complain when the scientific method has uncovered a belief based substitution going under the guise of a 'point of view'.

    Personally speaking, I quite often find myself flipping to what appears to be the MIR perspective. I notice this when it happens and if others do, they are most welcomed to point it out so that the discussion can continue. Do you notice when you speak from the MDR perspective? How?

  6. #6276
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    You can not compare science (a mental tool) to MIR. That is comparing apples with oranges.
    I'm certainly glad we agree that MIR and science are like apples and oranges. However, there is no fallacy involved in contrasting them, to make the point that they are very different. Indeed that's the point of the thread. I think we've seen a lot of advance here, where many people have gone from thinking they were apples and apples to seeing they are indeed apples and oranges. We are thus in agreement on the main point here.
    MIR is not a "belief" or a "truth". MIR simply is.
    Spoken like a true believer. This is the place where we do not have agreement, but I have often found this to be something of a blind spot for sufficiently fervent believers, regardless of the nature of that belief.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Aug-13 at 10:48 PM.

  7. #6277
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Thinking this statement over:
    • You can not compare science (a mental tool) to MIR. That is comparing apples with oranges.
    Nonetheless it has been done!

    If you reject the distinctions, then you also reject the generation of wisdom.

  8. #6278
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Personally speaking, I quite often find myself flipping to what appears to be the MIR perspective. I notice this when it happens and if others do, they are most welcomed to point it out so that the discussion can continue. Do you notice when you speak from the MDR perspective? How?
    Yes this is an important point-- we all often speak from the MIR perspective, it is a kind of shortcut of language. There's nothing wrong in it, as long as we don't take it too seriously, or mistake it for a scientific conclusion. It's analogous to using anthropomorphisms in science, like saying electrons "have an affinity" for positive charges, or saying that laws "govern" the behavior of particles. We do use this language because it makes these phenomena seem more familiar, but we must realize that the language is not precisely what we mean. The strange thing about MIR language is, for some reason, people do take that more seriously than anthropomorphisms in science. No one thinks you couldn't have science without anthropomorphisms, but despite no additional evidence, they do tend to think that about MIR belief.

  9. #6279
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    This all raises the larger issue of, what's the big deal if people mistakenly equate MIR belief with scientific thinking?

    The big deal is that it is pretty close to the antithesis of scientific thinking, and thus it can be a barrier to scientific advance. It is the antithesis because it starts with a metaphysical assertion about what must be, without making any effort to test that assertion. A key feature we can see throughout the history of science is that we are not allowed to say what "must be" true, we instead have to actually look and see what we should regard as true. The first time we learned this in science was with the ancient Greeks, who felt that heavenly objects "must be" perfect spheres. As it happens, they often are indeed remarkably close to perfect spheres, but not because they had to be-- there were good reasons for them to be spherical, and there were also good reasons for them not to be spherical. What this really means is, models that treat them as spherical have their place, and models that recognize their deviations from sphericity have their place as well. It's all about proper context.

    And so it is with MIR belief. It is only if we elevate this belief to some kind of truth about what "must be" that we make a scientific error. If we simply decide to make models that do not explicitly refer to the minds using the models, then we do good science. But we can also recognize that better models may need to relax that idealization. It is only if we think there would never be any good reason to relax that idealization that we make the same error as claiming that heavenly objects "must be" spheres. We already have excellent evidence from quite a few branches of physics where mind dependence plays an important role, so the only question that remains is whether we feel ready to take on the models that include this, or if we think our understanding of the mind, like the understanding of the shapes of heavenly objects in ancient Greek times, is still too rudimentary to make headway on those deeper questions.

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    Well, along the lines of 'larger issues' and just returning to both tashirosgt's opinion about MDR as being 'seen', (apparently by MIR believers), as being 'selective enforcement' of a conversation and; gzhpcu's rejection of distinguishing between MIR and MDR outright, its interesting to note that gzhpcu's point appears to be an active demonstration of tashirosgt's concerns (and Noclevername's attempt of 'quaranting' the discussion about how science works in a science forum)!

    Just sayin' ....

    Also, from what I see everyday on this site, is that the adoption of the MIR belief provides a very, very low friction path to inconsistency, fallacy and outright denial of related, but 'secondary', objective evidence. And yet, these same accusations are constantly directed at ATM proponents, who then complain about some strange form of apparent hypocrisy displayed by their CQ 'reviewers'!

    I say there is more than an ounce of truth in ATM proponents' complaints. And of course, such complaints are met with total rejection when raised in the Faqs/Feedback Forum, (whose basis for rejection of such complaints there, also stems from an inconsistent, selective interpretation of how science 'really' works). I point to the complete absence of moderation in this thread, on the basis of dogmatically argued, ideologically held MIR beliefs ... as evidence of such inconsistent interpretation.

    The way I see it, the whole MDR/MIR distinction, represents a necessary evolutionary step in the development of the mindset here at CQ .. which also makes absolutely no explicit exclusions for how ATM, conspiracy theories and pseudoscience should be dealt with here at CQ. The currently adopted principles of exclusion of 'ideas', by way of demonstrating inconsistencies stemming from tightly held ideological beliefs, upon comparison with objective scientific thinking and evidence, frequently also has the unexpected effect of exposing the belief held in MIR, as being at the core of the analysis by the ATM (etc) 'opponent/falsifier/reviewer' ... which simply marginalises science, and CQ members wishing to post elsewhere, (beyond just the CQ website), and I believe its 'high time' for members here to acknowledge, accept and make changes to that.

    If the only counter for such an argument is that it sounds like 'idealistic soapboxing', (.. yes ..I heard you from before, tashirosgt), then I'm personally prepared to accept that .. because it doesn't detract from the import of what is a fundamental inconsistency and it doesn't make the real issue go away, and is totally independent from those who choose to highlight it.

  11. #6281
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Well, along the lines of 'larger issues' and just returning to both tashirosgt's opinion about MDR as being 'seen', (apparently by MIR believers), as being 'selective enforcement' of a conversation and; gzhpcu's rejection of distinguishing between MIR and MDR outright, its interesting to note that gzhpcu's point appears to be an active demonstration of tashirosgt's concerns (and Noclevername's attempt of 'quaranting' the discussion about how science works in a science forum)!

    Just sayin' ....

    Also, from what I see everyday on this site, is that the adoption of the MIR belief provides a very, very low friction path to inconsistency, fallacy and outright denial of related, but 'secondary', objective evidence. And yet, these same accusations are constantly directed at ATM proponents, who then complain about some strange form of apparent hypocrisy displayed by their CQ 'reviewers'!

    I say there is more than an ounce of truth in ATM proponents' complaints. And of course, such complaints are met with total rejection when raised in the Faqs/Feedback Forum, (whose basis for rejection of such complaints there, also stems from an inconsistent, selective interpretation of how science 'really' works). I point to the complete absence of moderation in this thread, on the basis of dogmatically argued, ideologically held MIR beliefs ... as evidence of such inconsistent interpretation.

    The way I see it, the whole MDR/MIR distinction, represents a necessary evolutionary step in the development of the mindset here at CQ .. which also makes absolutely no explicit exclusions for how ATM, conspiracy theories and pseudoscience should be dealt with here at CQ. The currently adopted principles of exclusion of 'ideas', by way of demonstrating inconsistencies stemming from tightly held ideological beliefs, upon comparison with objective scientific thinking and evidence, frequently also has the unexpected effect of exposing the belief held in MIR, as being at the core of the analysis by the ATM (etc) 'opponent/falsifier/reviewer' ... which simply marginalises science, and CQ members wishing to post elsewhere, (beyond just the CQ website), and I believe its 'high time' for members here to acknowledge, accept and make changes to that.

    If the only counter for such an argument is that it sounds like 'idealistic soapboxing', (.. yes ..I heard you from before, tashirosgt), then I'm personally prepared to accept that .. because it doesn't detract from the import of what is a fundamental inconsistency and it doesn't make the real issue go away, and is totally independent from those who choose to highlight it.
    The issue with idealism hfere though is as stated by tashiroagt that he sees MDR as trivial without that additional assertion which is not being made by anyone.

    I just thought I'd point that out. I disagree I see it as anything but trivial that the sense we make of things depends upon the way we work, but each to their own beliefs
    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. #6282
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    The issue with idealism hfere though is as stated by tashiroagt that he sees MDR as trivial without that additional assertion which is not being made by anyone.

    I just thought I'd point that out. I disagree I see it as anything but trivial that the sense we make of things depends upon the way we work, but each to their own beliefs
    And he's entitled to hold his opinion about that. But let me also say that he would be unable to express that opinion here, if the technology he so freely uses to express it, had such a trivialisation at its basis. Consistency is the fundamental principle permitting his trivialisation to be so expressed .. without it, there is no relatedness .. just overwhelming discordant ramblings.

    PS: And in this instance, that consistency has to come from him ... anywhere else, simply isn't relevant .. otherwise his argument would then be trivial, itself.
    Last edited by Selfsim; 2015-Aug-14 at 02:00 AM. Reason: PS

  13. #6283
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Nonetheless it has been done!

    If you reject the distinctions, then you also reject the generation of wisdom.
    I repeat: science is mental tool used for analysis. MIR is not a mental tool used for analysis. Hope this is clear enough. Your saying "it has been done", does not make it right.

  14. #6284
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Well, along the lines of 'larger issues' and just returning to both tashirosgt's opinion about MDR as being 'seen', (apparently by MIR believers), as being 'selective enforcement' of a conversation and; gzhpcu's rejection of distinguishing between MIR and MDR outright, its interesting to note that gzhpcu's point appears to be an active demonstration of tashirosgt's concerns (and Noclevername's attempt of 'quaranting' the discussion about how science works in a science forum)!

    Just sayin' ....
    Thanks for rephrasing what I am saying in an erroneous fashion. I reject comparing science to MIR, not MDR to MIR, that is your distorting interpretation.

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    gzhpcu;

    I think we have a disconnect in our understandings of what I mean when I use the term: 'distinction'. I use this term in a very particular way, so to be fair, I should explain.
    To me a 'distinction' differs from a 'definition'. Science uses 'definitions' based on past empirical evidence aimed at giving meaning to the differences or similarities in observables arising from a (controlled) and objectified comparison. I apply a 'distinction' however, as a way of testing for the presence (or absence) of something in perceptions. It is not pre-defined in the same way science does this .. but it can be invoked in the present, where perceptions 'live'. It acts on perceptions sourced from your 'sensorial inputs' (ie: your MIR). If a particular distinction is not accessible to me, say because it is unknown to me, (or rejected by me), then I have no way of knowing whether something is present or not. When I assert that you reject the distinctions of: 'science' (with 'science' being an agreed construct of MDR), and 'MIR'; I am asserting that you have rejected the means for testing perceptions for the presence (or absence) of MIR, 'over and above' a plethora of other inescapable mental (MDR) constructs (of which science is just one).

    Thus far, the distinctions put before you for your consideration are: 'a belief' and 'a truth' and you have rejected both of these:
    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu
    MIR is not a "belief" or a "truth". MIR simply is.
    I cannot apply 'MIR simply is' as a test for what is present, (or absent), as you offer no support for what you mean by 'MIR simply is'. I can also therefore reject it on the same basis under which it is asserted .. ie: no explanations necessary. (I don't want to do that either ... particularly when I'm thinking scientifically, because when I'm doing that, I'm quite content to let the MIR concept kind of 'float' around .. as in 'being neither here, nor there'. Either way, at the end of the day, MIR basically means not much at all).

    Put simply, you have not distinguished MIR and you reject the distinction of 'belief' and 'truth' which can be applied as a test of perceptions.
    You thus also reject 'wisdom', when you go about deliberately rejecting distinctions.

  16. #6286
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    And he's entitled to hold his opinion about that. But let me also say that he would be unable to express that opinion here, if the technology he so freely uses to express it, had such a trivialisation at its basis. Consistency is the fundamental principle permitting his trivialisation to be so expressed .. without it, there is no relatedness .. just overwhelming discordant ramblings.

    PS: And in this instance, that consistency has to come from him ... anywhere else, simply isn't relevant .. otherwise his argument would then be trivial, itself.
    oh I agree, but I am merely stating why IMO he is consistently adding to idealism to MDR. It is a fundamental flaw because nobody (my old nemesis KlausH aside ) has made any such claim and the importance of the distinction we are making doesn't ring with him. Obviously to us it does matter because of the way our minds work in making sense of things.

    The key difference for me with my comedy partner is that he does see the distinction, but has an unquestionable certainty in his mind about the existence of MIR, so there is no point to me in questioning this, such is his right and so long as people see it as outside of science I have no problems with this. The issue the thread is focused on is whether or not MIR has any scientific utility and I think the evidence is plain that it does not, any more that claims about 'finding life but not as we know it' have utility unless we can actually define what it is we are going to look for in our characterisation of life.
    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. #6287
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Put simply, you have not distinguished MIR and you reject the distinction of 'belief' and 'truth' which can be applied as a test of perceptions.
    You thus also reject 'wisdom', when you go about deliberately rejecting distinctions.
    It may look that way.
    But that suggests some kind of intent.

    I have had many such discussions about the nature of reality and the fact that it cannot be known beyond what is accessible by the mind.
    Since it cannot be known its very existence cannot be confirmed.

    It seems such a simple thing to see.
    And yet, I have seen it again and again that some people simple cannot see it, no matter how logically consistent and convincing the reasoning may be. Or how many of the participants see it and cannot fathom how it could not be seen.
    I don't think there is any kind of refusal going on, and I am certainly not suggesting that those people are stupid in any way.
    Maybe it has to do with a certain wiring in the brain, I don't know.

    All I can say is that in my experience there are virtually always a few participants in those kind of ontological discussions who simply cannot get their head around the fact that (what this thread calls) MIR is inaccessible. Utterly inaccessible. In principle.
    They are always in the minority but they are usually quite argument-resistant.

    Maybe people in this thread are at the point where this can be accepted?
    It's the only way I can see to deal with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KlausH View Post
    It may look that way.
    But that suggests some kind of intent.

    I have had many such discussions about the nature of reality and the fact that it cannot be known beyond what is accessible by the mind.
    Since it cannot be known its very existence cannot be confirmed.

    It seems such a simple thing to see.
    And yet, I have seen it again and again that some people simple cannot see it, no matter how logically consistent and convincing the reasoning may be.
    See yet again, even the process of skeptical enquiry and reason runs in completely counter to this .. (that is of course, if this is actually how such minds are attempting to realise the MIR belief). Hitchens once put it:

    "To say that you believe in the process of reason, inquiry skepticism and the measurement of evidence against interest, so that you doubt most of all, something that favoured your own conclusion and you'd subject that to more scrutiny ..."

    Well, if the process of reason, inquiry, skepticism {etc} were at play in the build-up to the notion of MIR, then its profile, as projected by its proponents, would would be way more substantial than: 'MIR is not a "belief" or a "truth". MIR simply is', no?

    Quote Originally Posted by KlausH
    Or how many of the participants see it and cannot fathom how it could not be seen.
    I, personally, can think of several reasons for 'fathoming how it could not be seen'. I suspect at least some of those reasons might also be shared by others here .. but I've already said enough in that vein, and I don't feel it would be productive to say more on it .. That is admittedly .. another discussion, for another time, perhaps(?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    .. The key difference for me with my comedy partner is that he does see the distinction, but has an unquestionable certainty in his mind about the existence of MIR, so there is no point to me in questioning this,
    Well then if you see it this way, then you must also see evidence of an avoidance of: "the process of reason, inquiry skepticism and the measurement of evidence against interest, so that you doubt most of all, something that favoured your own conclusion and you'd subject that to more scrutiny ..."

    I'm not so sure I can see all of that(?) ... Hence my highlighting of, perhaps, inconsistency(?) (I guess we'll found out soon .. ie: directly from tashirosgt)?

    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas
    The issue the thread is focused on is whether or not MIR has any scientific utility and I think the evidence is plain that it does not, any more that claims about 'finding life but not as we know it' have utility unless we can actually define what it is we are going to look for in our characterisation of life.
    I know of no claims about 'finding life but not as we know it', but I do see a process for distinguishing it, which has substantial 'scientific utility'. That process has already shown to have made numerous discoveries of 'unknowns' .. it is the process of scientific discovery.

    As KlausH points out however, MIR is simply beyond the reach of of that, and unless consistency in thinking is viewed as a priority, it may also even be, perhaps, beyond the process of 'reasoned thought', as well(?)

  20. #6290
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    To me, the key point is that there are multiple paths people can use to access what they regard as truth. The Hitchens quote is all about the scientific path to truth. On a science forum, we normally assume people are using that path, but this is not guaranteed to be true. So if we can at least establish that the "truth" of MIR is not something that emerges from the scientific path, rather it is the building of an MDR that is the outcome of scientific inquiry, then this is all we can do. The choice about what path to truth to take, in regard to the reality notion, is personal. So if gzhpcu wishes to regard MIR as a truth, then all we can do is convince him that this is not the kind of truth that scientific thinking results in. He does agree with that, so I don't think there's much more to do there. He won't label that "truth" to be a "personal belief", but many people won't, it feels like a compromise to them and the last thing you will find with fervent belief is a willingness to compromise on that belief! I think Selfsim is more concerned about people who export their beliefs, in the guise of scientific authority, than simply those who won't accept that they hold a belief.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    oh I agree, but I am merely stating why IMO he is consistently adding to idealism to MDR. It is a fundamental flaw because nobody (my old nemesis KlausH aside ) has made any such claim and the importance of the distinction we are making doesn't ring with him.
    It would interesting to hear about any distinction between "MDR" and philsophical Idealism. From the discussion of the noun "Model Depedent Reality" in this thread, different participants have different ways of turning it into an assertion.

    Taking the pedestrian approach, we have a Wikipedia definition of "Idealism":

    In philosophy, idealism is the group of philosophies which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing.
    Which, I think, is similar to KlausH's view:

    I have had many such discussions about the nature of reality and the fact that it cannot be known beyond what is accessible by the mind.
    Since it cannot be known its very existence cannot be confirmed.
    I don't see any important distinction between the thought "Different Minds make sense of their perceptions in different ways" and Epistemological Idealism.

    (KenG has presented a version of an "MDR hypothesis" that says different people use the word "reality" to mean different things in their scientific thinking. This a specific question about word usage and a matter for the science of linquistics - if science is to be applied. )

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    The fact that some posters in this thread disagree with me, is a proof that there is a MIR... (Just joking folks...)

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    Even if it be jest, I would point to the disagreements as evidence of people having built different MDRs, rather than evidence for an MIR. Some of the disagreements show that even believers in some MIR find that it depends on their minds what they think that MIR is! So if I have ten people who say "MIR is just a truth, there is no process but simple perception needed to establish that", I can then ask them, "OK, then please describe the MIR you are talking about, in as much detail as you can." I will then expect ten rather different descriptions. Then I will ask, "but which of these ten is the one that's just the truth?" So we see, this is why we have science.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Aug-14 at 06:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    I don't see any important distinction between the thought "Different Minds make sense of their perceptions in different ways" and Epistemological Idealism.
    Well, when "idealism" has been mentioned in this thread, what is meant is metaphysical idealism-- a claim on the true nature of reality. Epistemological idealism doesn't have a concept of "reality" in it, so it has no relevance to this thread. This thread is about the scientific concept of reality, and what the evidence shows that concept is, in contrast with various beliefs people hold about the reality concept, and various incorrect ideas they have about how scientific thinking uses the reality concept.
    (KenG has presented a version of an "MDR hypothesis" that says different people use the word "reality" to mean different things in their scientific thinking. This a specific question about word usage and a matter for the science of linquistics - if science is to be applied. )
    Obviously it is relevant to linguistics, that's why I have focused so much attention on the importance of the processes by which our words acquire meaning. Thus it would be much more correct to say this is a scientific linguistics thread, than to say it is a metaphysics thread. I've labored quite hard to make that distinction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Even if it be jest, I would point to the disagreements as evidence of people having built different MDRs, rather than evidence for an MIR. Some of the disagreements show that even believers in some MIR find that it depends on their minds what they think that MIR is! So if I have ten people who say "MIR is just a truth, there is no process but simple perception needed to establish that", I can then ask them, "OK, then please describe the MIR you are talking about, in as much detail as you can." I will then expect ten rather different descriptions. Then I will ask, "but which of these ten is the one that's just the truth?" So we see, this is why we have science.
    Since you bring it up: actually no. There is no clear description of MIR, our attempts to understand it result in MDR. We hope that by refining our MDR we are getting a bit closer to MIR. MDR is a model remember, MIR is not a model. MIR is what we are trying to understand and describe. So there are no multiple descriptions of MIR, just MDR. MDR offers some predictive equations that are useful in coping with MIR.

    The map (MDR) is not the territory (MIR).



    The father of general semantics, Alford Korzybski stated, "A map is not the territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness". What this means is that our perception of reality is not reality itself but our own version of it, or our "map".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Well, when "idealism" has been mentioned in this thread, what is meant is metaphysical idealism-- a claim on the true nature of reality.
    Speaking for myself, I've used "Idealism" to refer to Epistemological Idealism.

    Epistemological idealism doesn't have a concept of "reality" in it, so it has no relevance to this thread.
    I disagree. There is a notion in this thread that our concepts and assertions about anything ( the world and science in particular) are operations of our mind they cannot be shown to have any correspondence with a "Mind Indepedent Reality" which exists independently of all Minds. That is a consequence of Epistemological Idealism. So if the "MDR theory" (or whatever one wishes to call it) is to be a distinct viewpoint that Epistemological Idealism, it needs to specify how it says something less general or more general than Epistemological Idealism. If it says something less general than Epistemological Idealism then does it deny any aspect of Epistemological Idealism?

    The loaded phrase "scientific thinking" might be used to make "MDR" more specific than Epistemological Idealism. The phrase suggests that (in somebody's picture of reality) there exist human scientists, physical experiments, publications of results etc. So perhaps "MDR" implies that we "turn off" the skepticism of Epistemological Idealism up to the point where we are treating scientists, experiments, etc. as "real". To keep our MDR self respect, we can say that scientists, experiments etc. are not part of a Mind Independent Reality. Instead they are commonly accepted concepts held by a community of "similar Minds" (the famous "We, on a science forum"?).

    As I said before, tor the sake of asserting specifics it always necessary to establish some context where participants accept certain assertions without applying Epistemological idealism to them. I don't find it difficult to accept that there are "real" (MDR or otherwise) human scientists, experiments etc. However, "science" and "scientific thinking" are apparently not being used to refer to such specific objects. "Science" and "Scientific Thinking" are being defined as abstractions. Assertions about these abstractions assume that people accept the authority of whatever abstract definitions are offered. Have there been threads on "What is science?", "What is scientific thinking?" Would you expect that "We, on a science forum", would be in agreement on any particular definitions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Since you bring it up: actually no. There is no clear description of MIR, our attempts to understand it result in MDR. We hope that by refining our MDR we are getting a bit closer to MIR. MDR is a model remember, MIR is not a model. MIR is what we are trying to understand and describe. So there are no multiple descriptions of MIR, just MDR. MDR offers some predictive equations that are useful in coping with MIR.

    The map (MDR) is not the territory (MIR).



    The father of general semantics, Alford Korzybski stated, "A map is not the territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness". What this means is that our perception of reality is not reality itself but our own version of it, or our "map".
    Yes but in practice we are always dealing with reality as we perceive it to be.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Since you bring it up: actually no. There is no clear description of MIR, our attempts to understand it result in MDR.
    OK, but this is what I mean. You can say that (and I agree with you), but other MIR believers might not agree with you. They hold that MIR does have a clear description, and it is (whatever they think it is). So there is not a consensus among MIR believers what MIR even means.
    We hope that by refining our MDR we are getting a bit closer to MIR.
    That is certainly true, for MIR believers-- MIR believers hope that refinements on MDR bring it closer to MIR. And there's nothing wrong with framing MDR refinements like that, except that it isn't necessary to frame said refinements like that in science. Science need not refine MDR to get closer to some MIR, it refines MDRs simply because refining MDRs is what science is all about.
    MDR is a model remember, MIR is not a model.
    You believe MIR is not a model, and I don't.
    MIR is what we are trying to understand and describe.
    It is what you are trying to understand and describe. I'm just trying to get a better MDR. Old-time scientists might have said their goal is to try to understand and describe the hand of god, you say it is to understand and describe MIR, I say it is just to get a better MDR. All we can test is that we are getting better MDRs-- all else is personal belief.
    So there are no multiple descriptions of MIR, just MDR.
    Yet what would you say to all those MIR believers who don't agree with your characterization of MIR? For example, we've seen MIR believers on this very thread who hold that MIR is what exists such that we can build MDRs, but that MIR does not have any other describable attributes whatsoever. So they believe a "cat" is not in the MIR, it is in our MDR only-- the MIR is only what allows us to say, using our minds, that "there's a cat". No cat in the MIR! But you think there is a cat in the MIR, so that's what I mean-- when different minds that believe in some concept of MIR don't agree on what MIR is, which one MIR the mind independent one?
    MDR offers some predictive equations that are useful in coping with MIR.
    What we have evidence of is that MDR offers predictive equations, period. You choose to add the belief that this is coping with MIR, I say it's just coping, period. I don't refute your belief, I point out that it is personal. Beliefs are supposed to be personal, there's just no need to misrepresent them.
    Themap (MDR) is not the territory (MIR).
    And I say MIR is just a belief that it makes sense to talk about the existence of anything that is not a map. But my main point is, in science, all claims on existence are references to maps, and that's simply because maps (models) are all we ever test.
    The father of general semantics, Alford Korzybski stated, "A map is not the territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness".
    Exactly. And what can have a "similar structure" to a map? Just one thing: another map.
    What this means is that our perception of reality is not reality itself but our own version of it, or our "map".
    Yes, Korzybski was an MIR believer. Who knows what other beliefs he held, perhaps he was a religious man-- what difference would it make? His contributions to semantics have nothing to do with his personal beliefs. I would say that Korzybski was close to the crucial recognition: what can be meant by "reality itself" is also a map, that's what "semantics" means. But "general semantics" is not quite the same thing as "semantics"-- general semantics includes a healthy dose of belief, and belief that I do not share with Korzybski.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    Speaking for myself, I've used "Idealism" to refer to Epistemological Idealism.
    That's still not what this thread is about, and there are zero proponents of epistemological idealism on this thread. This is because it is defined in the Wiki on that subject as holding that "what one knows about an object exists only in one's mind."[my bold.] That is not an accurate description of the MDR hypothesis at all, read it again!

    Besides, it is blatantly false to claim that you've used "idealism" to refer strictly to epistemological idealism. For example, when you said:
    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt
    The subject matter of the MDR/MIR discussion takes place in Philosophy (or The Philosophy of Science) under the heading of Idealism vs Realism. You can easily find philosophical material about "Idealism" and "Realism" online. This is not the type of material that plays a critical role in science textbooks.
    That's irrelevant, because the MDR hypothesis has nothing to do with juxtaposing idealism and realism, instead it looks at the scientific meaning of words like "exist" and "real." And of course, the latter certainly does play a crucial role in science textbooks! What's more, I clearly demonstrated the role of the mind of the scientist, when I did an actual test of my claim here-- I googled the "Big Bang theory", and gave the very first scientifically authoritative hit I got, and bolded all the explicit references to things that depended on the mind of a scientist.
    There is a notion in this thread that our concepts and assertions about anything ( the world and science in particular) are operations of our mind they cannot be shown to have any correspondence with a "Mind Indepedent Reality" which exists independently of all Minds. That is a consequence of Epistemological Idealism.
    No, that is just not at all how scientific thinking works. When a scientist asserts "X cannot be shown", they never mean "X cannot be shown because of axiom Y that must be true because I've adopted axiom set Z", instead it always means "no one has ever shown X." That's it, that's what those words mean in science, period. And what I have pointed out countless times in this thread is that no one has been able to show any correspondence between our "concepts and assertions about anything" and a "Mind Independent Reality". This is simply a fact, it does not follow from epistemological idealism, it follows from simple observation. It works like this: look at this thread. It's over 200 pages long. Find me a case where someone showed a correspondence between an assertion or concept, and a mind independent reality. Go on, do it-- but remember that "showing" requires meeting a standard in scientific thinking. Citing that "person X believes there is a correspondence" is not showing there is a correspondence.
    So if the "MDR theory" (or whatever one wishes to call it) is to be a distinct viewpoint that Epistemological Idealism, it needs to specify how it says something less general or more general than Epistemological Idealism. If it says something less general than Epistemological Idealism then does it deny any aspect of Epistemological Idealism?
    Epistemological idealism is a claim on everything we experience or know. I never make any claim on everything we experience or know, I say "give me an example of something you experience or know, and I will show you how it depends on your mind." You are welcome to try the test. I don't cite it as a way of "proving" the MDR hypothesis because I don't prove that hypothesis at all-- I test it. This is science-- science never proves, it only tests. But again, I'm repeating.
    The loaded phrase "scientific thinking" might be used to make "MDR" more specific than Epistemological Idealism.
    Spare me, "scientific thinking" is now a "loaded phrase" on a science forum? You've got to be kidding me. What I mean by "scientific thinking" is this: testing hypotheses via objective evidence, and modifying the hypotheses until they work at some useful level of reliability, without adding anything to the hypothesis that is not part of what is being tested, and without ever ceasing to dig into the hypothesis to look for flaws." That's it, that's what I mean. You can call that a "loaded" meaning if you can't find any better way to criticize it, but I will regard your language as sterile and empty. "Argument by attachment of arbitrary adjective."

    So perhaps "MDR" implies that we "turn off" the skepticism of Epistemological Idealism up to the point where we are treating scientists, experiments, etc. as "real".
    There is never any need to "turn off skepticism" when thinking scientifically (just refer to what is meant by that phrase). Are you asking if using models called an "electron" and regarding electrons as "real" implies that we "turn off skepticism" about electrons? The answer to that is, certainly not: the good scientist can use a model that asserts that electrons are "real", while all the while retaining full skepticism, about whether or not electrons "really exist." Indeed, this is precisely the difference between MDR and MIR thinking-- MDR thinking is "electrons are what we mean by real, provisionally and contextually because what we mean by reality is also provisional and contextual." MIR thinking, on the other hand, must wonder "are electrons in the MIR, or aren't they?" The scientific power of the former language, and the scientific sterility of the latter language, should be apparent, and all the moreso as one's understanding of scientific thinking improves.
    To keep our MDR self respect, we can say that scientists, experiments etc. are not part of a Mind Independent Reality.
    Incorrect, you are once again mistaking MDR for metaphysical idealism. Even though you claim you don't! Nothing in the MDR hypothesis makes any assertions whatsoever about what is or is not part of MIR-- instead, it ignores the whole notion of MIR, because it never needs it. This is like any scientific assertion-- none of them ever need to refer to MIR, and this is also an easily observable fact that one can find from any science book.
    I don't find it difficult to accept that there are "real" (MDR or otherwise) human scientists, experiments etc.
    And as I said, the MDR hypothesis is not at all about denying what is "real", it is about establishing what the scientific thinker can mean by that word without departing from scientific thinking.
    However, "science" and "scientific thinking" are apparently not being used to refer to such specific objects.
    And for obvious reasons, those things have clear definitions that don't have anything to do with whatever it is that you believe "reality" is when you are not doing any tests.
    Have there been threads on "What is science?", "What is scientific thinking?" Would you expect that "We, on a science forum", would be in agreement on any particular definitions?
    I imagine there would be some debate, and it might parallel many of the issues on this thread, but that would be a different thread. On here, I am assuming people generally accept the definition I gave above for "scientific thinking." If anyone has significant objections to it, then that could be discussed, as long as it was not just another derail of this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    As KlausH points out however, MIR is simply beyond the reach of of that, and unless consistency in thinking is viewed as a priority, it may also even be, perhaps, beyond the process of 'reasoned thought', as well(?)
    Selfsim, is that the consistency of thinking of a physicist or other scientists? The relatively recent outcome of the CERN/OPERA FTL Neutrino affair leaves me, as a computer scientist, with less than complete satisfaction about the consistency of the details put forward that were purported to be the end of the matter. It seems that, with the lack of transparency about where the 'loose wire' was and how this would impact on the measurements consistency each time despite calibration with different sized packets, there are distinct elements of faith involved in accepting this reason without further information being given.

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