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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #12661
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    Yes, we reached the impasse of mind dependence.

  2. #12662
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    Transire suum pectus mundaque potiri. Te nosce. Absumi!
    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

  3. #12663
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    Suum cuique....

  4. #12664
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    as I said before, we can build a model, and philosophy that all we have are models, but sometimes forget that that philosophy is just another model. The idea of mind is just a model as well, what is a mind? Well we usually think of it having something to do with the brain, which seems reasonable given that damage to the brain correlates with damage to the mind, but it is just a correlation and difficult to show causation maybe. We can become lost in ideas, like the model paradigm, blinded to what we see and experience....we have to be careful not to be fooled by wonderful ideas. It is tempting to build towers in the sky but we should be careful how long we spend in them.
    I think we are most likely like the animal looking at itself in a mirror, thinking it sees another animal.
    Formerly Frog march..............

  5. #12665
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    This image has been posted a few times in this thread: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_w...ing_Sphere.jpg

  6. #12666
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    this painting also shows part of what I think may be happening:

    Magritte-Mirror.jpg

    Formerly Frog march..............

  7. #12667
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    I love the quote from MacBeth:

    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.
    Although I don't completely agree with the cynicism in that quote, I think there is great wisdom in it.

    I think truth goes in disguise like the king in another Shakespeare play, among his troops. They don't know who he is, and he can find out what they really think.

    All out attempts at trying to find the truth, are like the walking shadow, that struts and frets....I used to pretend that I didn't like clowns, as the fashion went, but one day I realised that they were the great players in reality. Mocking, self-mocking, falling out of clown cars...but really it is the walking shadow who is the clown, who doesn't even see that he is a clown....and one day he is heard no more.
    Formerly Frog march..............

  8. #12668
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    And the genius of the clown is that he knows he is a clown, thereby freeing him to go where others cannot.

  9. #12669
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    In any event, in my opinion there will eventually be a physics theory that includes the physicist in a fundamental way. After that, all theories that don't will seem childish, and people will snicker at the naivete of the all the past millennia that imagined such a thing was not only unnecessary but somehow violently wrong. Once it's done, however, people will forget it was ever an issue, it will just seem so obvious.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2018-Mar-16 at 02:44 AM.

  10. #12670
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    In any event, in my opinion there will eventually be a physics theory that includes the physicist in a fundamental way. After that, all theories that don't will seem childish, and people will snicker at the naivete of the all the past millennia that imagined such a thing was not only unnecessary but somehow violently wrong. Once it's done, however, people will forget it was ever an issue, it will just seem so obvious.
    first axiom: (assume) there is a creator.

    Object reality requires an observer who is outside reality, therefore the 'creator' isn't an objective observer. So reality for every party is subjective.

    I think if subjective realities are connected, then those realities automatically become more likely to be agreed upon by the parties involved in the union, almost by definition. This doesn't make them less subjective, perhaps it makes them more subjective, as the observed set contains fewer of the parties.

    I dunno.

    I think the assumption of an objective reality for science, is ok when dealing with simple systems.. one rock looks much like another rock, so we can agree that we are looking at a rock, based upon subjective experience. But looking at the finer detail of reality, an observer sees everything but himself, so at some point every observer will have a unique experience of reality, which they might not be aware of. So for one person Schrodinger's cat is alive when the box is opened, for another person it is dead.
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  11. #12671
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    I go back to my dolphin analogy; dolphins don't have many objects to build a mental reality with...they have water, fish, etc, and each other, so maybe they create mental objects, to build a culture from, like a virtual hammer to bang a virtual nail, into some virtual wood.

    Maybe a starting point is to assume that there are only minds; minds that have unique subjective experiences, due to interacting with other minds except their own.
    Perhaps this necessitates the inventing of virtual objects, to create a virtual world in which to live in and interact..let there be light, let there be elementary particles..let there be stars and planets....everything is virtual, and so this virtual matter is imbued with mental life/consciousness which then emerges from the virtual matter in the form of tiny cells, some of which turn out to be self replicating, which leads to evolution..the consciousness then is linked to an increasingly sophisticated organism, which ends up specialising some of its components in the form of organs, nerves and eventually a brain that can co-ordinate the whole structure, to survive, better to pass on its pattern.
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  12. #12672
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    Perhaps we can do away with the idea of there being one reality within which we live; each being has its own reality, in which we interact with other minds that also have their own reality. There might be a group of people observing what you call a cup, and all the people you observe might agree that it is a cup, but these people are also all part of your observation. There is no way to be sure of what the other people's observation actually is; all you know is that you observe a cup and the people you observe agree that it's a cup....but in this scenario there actually is no 'real' cup, only a virtual cup, a form of communication between your mind and the other minds...

    I suppose one could visualise minds in the dark, with little language for communication, but the ability to communicate. They have to develop a language, and this leads to the development of virtual objects...but there is no knowing what the other dolphin may mean by its communications, and no way to be sure what these virtual objects actually are, only that the system serves some function. Perhaps we are all dolphins in the dark and we meet in the virtual reality we have created and interact in..but we have forgotten...we can only see if the cat is alive or dead for ourselves, which perhaps why the cat's state is observer dependent.

    Or something...
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  13. #12673
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    I only brought in the concept of a creator, for the reason he would be the ultimate observer, and if the ultimate observer doesn't have an objective experience, then it seems it might be concluded that no observer does.
    Formerly Frog march..............

  14. #12674
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    I feel sometimes, as I walk around my flat, that I am walking in a virtual world created by all the other minds that have ever existed. And maybe if you walk around your home you are walking around a virtual world that all the other minds(including mine), that have ever existed have created...maybe I should take partial responsibility for all those people walking around houses that are falling to bits....
    Formerly Frog march..............

  15. #12675
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    Seems like all of the above just points to there being something external out there and minds interpret it to come up with what they term reality.


    (And I wanted to stop....)

  16. #12676
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Seems like all of the above just points to there being something external out there and minds interpret it to come up with what they term reality.


    (And I wanted to stop....)
    yes, I think there is self, and then the external, but I am coming to the conclusion that all the external is is other minds, interacting in a virtual reality that they/we all create......what the mind is I'm not so sure. I do believe that there has always been consciousness, and it seeks to understand itself maybe...and more prosaicly just fight boredom....funny thing boredom; seems so innocuous, yet it is responsible for a lot of the ills of the world.
    Formerly Frog march..............

  17. #12677
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    I am kind of reminded of a self deprecating remark by John Lilly who was investigating his own mind using drugs and isolation techniques and wrote popular books about it. At one time he had a note pad to record his mind musings. In a session of altered state of consciousness he experienced a great truth and wrote it down. When he returned to whatever he regarded as a normal state he read his note with excited anticipation, having no recollection: he had written:

    "the banana is big, but the banana skin is always bigger"

    Many people today are experimenting with altered states which they call higher states because of their emotional response, but the scientific validity of their higher view of reality is very questionable. It is unfortunate, I think, not fortunate, that people find these altered states so attractive, it's as if being drunk beats being sober. But then as Douglas Adams said, "think of being drunk from the water's perspective."
    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

  18. #12678
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    hey, I only had a bit of Gin and tonic ...still isolation is the norm with me.....I don't get grounded nearly as often as I should though.
    Formerly Frog march..............

  19. #12679
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    still I think I floated some good ideas, that have been going around my head of late....it's quite a big task to come up with some unified hypothesis about the nature of reality, , but I am happy enough with the rough framework I tried to outline...

    It seems to have some validity to me, anyway, although my ramblings might be a bit too, inarticulate...I am just mainly trying to understand reality for my own benefit mainly.

    A summery maybe:
    We can only really know what we experience, if that..
    I'm not a solipsist, and do believe that there are other consciousnesses out there.
    The main assumption is that there has always been consciousness of some sort, which I used the analogy of the dolphins in the dark to express.
    How language evolved is important, in how we communicate and think, and maybe we are lucky as humans with sight and hands to be able to build a language based upon physical objects, that we can expand to abstract concepts. The consciousness in the dark may not be so lucky, so a language may have to be built on, or build virtual objects, which results in a kind of matrix for the consciousness to live in. And the world we see around us might be that virtual reality.

    So although reality might be mind dependent, it is not just the individual mind at work, it is the interactive goings on between minds that is important.

    Seems a bit more elaborate than the banana skin is always bigger than the banana...although I can see how that might have seemed profound to the guy you mentioned, on drugs.
    Last edited by WaxRubiks; 2018-Mar-17 at 09:42 AM.
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  20. #12680
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    I meet a lot of people who have, for them, profound experiences, because I work with reduced sensory inputs and the research includes clinically anxious folk who get a lot more than less anxious people out of the experience. That has been a revelation for me but confirms the expectations of the clinical psychologists I work with. Now published, the research included many aspects of the anxiety spectrum and continues into longitudinal studies. Whether these people experience realities which are meaningful in any scientific sense is a big question. They do have many common factors. But within the realms of the scientific model there are no testable observations about non human or invisible consciousnesses. Especially no one has ever had what I would call a useful prediction like the lottery numbers. But I can report that the experience seems to be very good for the individuals experiencing the altered state, whether it's just profound relaxation or "out of body" experiences.
    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

  21. #12681
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    Well as I have said before, I have had clairvoyant dreams, even one that involved the lottery, which I think did come true to some extent, and although I did get a ticket, the prediction was too vague to make a penny out of, which didn't surprise me, but there was definitely a predictive element.

    I don't think clairvoyance can be used to win money generally, or make empirically testable claims about the future, well not to a high enough level. The mechanism simply won't allow it, I think partly due to the effect a prediction 'could' have on the future....clairvoyant information is at the consciousness/'supernatural' level, but bringing it up to the 'material' level sort of breaks the mechanism somehow because it would affect the future, and so the loop between past and future doesn't then happen...if that makes sense....I had a dream the other month about being caught in an earthquake, and I felt it was quite likely to be a clairvoyant dream, because of the way it felt. I thought about starting a thread on here about it, but I just couldn't...starting a thread on here would somehow have damaged me. Maybe that seems far out, but that's the way it goes. I couldn't even tell my dad's wife...it sort of feels like it would damage me spiritually; maybe because the material world is so much more powerful than the consciousness world...that's the way it feels anyway....

    If I have a clairvoyant dream, or what felt like one, I just wouldn't tell anyone..

    Such is the realm of the so called supernatural. I read an entry in James Randi encyclopaedia of the occult and supernatural where even he admitted there was a statistical result in one test, but left it at that....like I said, it is testable to some extent, but it wouldn't ever give that significant a result, IMO...that's just the way it is. like a blind person trying to read brail made of soft jelly...they might get some information but most of it would be destroyed, to try to give an analogy for.
    Formerly Frog march..............

  22. #12682
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    our experience can include statistically unlikely events which we kind of predict and they can happen, because the unlikely is not prohibited by the mean, but as humans we tend to suffer from confirmation bias which makes us remember and reinforce the positives but forget the negatives. All that said it does not mean we understand everything that we model. If we model gremlins that make our machines misbehave just as we most need them to work, it's hard to rule them out of reality, maybe we generate them by thought! there are gurus selling books based on positive attitude and if that means you start to notice the positives in life more, then the gurus are right. However it's hard to see how a positive attitude prevents a traffic jam on my way to somewhere or stops it snowing. But then practice improves our luck too does it not?
    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

  23. #12683
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    I have had experience with a sort of confirmation bias, like when you get to know a person for the first time, and say they have a car of a certain colour, and then I start to see the same make of car with the same colour, wherever I go....even with that it would be hard to provide evidence that I wasn't actually coming across that make and colour of car more often, but I accept that it is probably more of a mundane explanation that I simply had no reason to note the sighting of those cars before.

    The clairvoyant stuff is different. These dreams are different to the usual dreams; they are often more colourful rather than the more monochromatic usual dreams, and as I say they have a different feel to them...I can wake up and be fairly sure that the dream had at least clairvoyant features. So it's not like I realise they were clairvoyant after the future event comes to fruition. These are still just dreams with all sorts of stuff going on...
    Formerly Frog march..............

  24. #12684
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Seems like all of the above just points to there being something external out there and minds interpret it to come up with what they term reality.
    Yes, that latter part is especially important-- minds make interpretations and come up with what they term reality. So we already see the well-tested "MDR hypothesis," it asserts how the reality concept emerges, without needing to assert anything metaphysical about why it emerges. You wish to provide that metaphysical content by saying it couldn't emerge consistently among different observers unless there as already something "external," but the term external is similar to the term reality-- they are both concepts the minds themselves come up with. They are good concepts-- we need a concept of external, we need a concept of reality. But we also need concepts like gravity and love and morality. That these are useful and important concepts does not require us to forget where these notions come from, because we can better understand these concepts by noticing how they emerge.

  25. #12685
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaxRubiks View Post
    The consciousness in the dark may not be so lucky, so a language may have to be built on, or build virtual objects, which results in a kind of matrix for the consciousness to live in. And the world we see around us might be that virtual reality.
    Yet we must be careful about the language here. A key point is that "reality" is our word, and we give it its meaning, and the same for "virtual reality." You are saying that you accept that what we mean by reality involves the participation of our minds, which suggests a connection to you between that and what we call virtual reality. But replacing the term "actual reality" with the term "virtual reality" introduces two significant problems. First, it says that if the reality we experience is only virtual, there must be some actual reality that we don't experience, so that's essentially the MIR belief. Second, it requires eliminating the line between a person experiencing their life, and a person playing a computer game. It is valid and important to stress, as we are doing, that the line between those two things is not as clear-cut as we'd like to believe, yet it is clearly still important to be able to draw that line. The person playing a computer game never finds it so realistic that they cannot tell the difference any more, even if they do find it so realistic that they can experience genuine emotion and feel genuinely immersed in the virtual world.

    So I would not say that "actual reality" is really "virtual reality," I would say that neither of those terms is a mind-independent thing-- yet we clearly mean something different by those two phrases. The goal of MDR thinking is not to see virtual and actual reality as the same thing, the goal is to stop pretending what the differences are (stop "marrying the model" as it were), and look more closely to better see the differences and where they come from. There's no need to change the words or when we use them, there's only a need to better understand our own meanings when we do use those words.
    So although reality might be mind dependent, it is not just the individual mind at work, it is the interactive goings on between minds that is important.
    That elevates the sophistication considerably. What has been stressed above is that we are using words, and minds give their words meaning. Normally, we imagine that a single mind is responsible for its own meanings, but I agree that actually we often use words that we don't entirely understand, but we have seen how other people use those words and are in some sense trying to borrow their meaning. For example, we often see this in science, where we can at times emulate scientific language moreso than use it for ourselves if we are not experts in some area. So when minds don't really know what they mean, but are trying to borrow from what other minds meant, then we can see language is indeed a process involving multiple minds, and by association, so is the meaning of reality.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2018-Mar-17 at 01:50 PM.

  26. #12686
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    To me the reality is that there seem to be other minds, other than my own. I can pick up a cup and examine it from all angles, but there is no way for me to know if is real, or if it is virtual, or if there is even any difference between the two.
    But if I interact with another person or animal, then I feel like I am dealing with a being like myself, which seems more real to me than the cup. A cup could be a simulation in a matrix, but another being could may be not be simulated...which brings up the Turing Test..so what actually seems external, to me, is other minds.
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  27. #12687
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    maybe consciousness has always existed, and with it, words. An endless dance between minds and the meaning of words, and the worlds those words create, leading to more words, and more worlds, and more minds..

    "In the beginning was the Word"
    Last edited by WaxRubiks; 2018-Mar-17 at 03:34 PM.
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  28. #12688
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    anyway, I think one of the conclusions I have come to is that, as has been said, MDR doesn't mean our own minds create reality; it is is other minds that create our reality, and that because we observe all of reality, except our selves, our own mind, then this leads us to have a unique, subjective experience...we sort of each have our own reality, which maybe why the cat may appear dead to one person and alive to others, but the people you have around you are part of your own, subjective, unique universe, so they will agree with what you see, that either the cat is alive or dead.....not sure how that ties in with the mechanics of quantum physics, regarding Schrodinger's cat..anyone?
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  29. #12689
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    You are welcome to believe that but I feel it is only a partial explanation. The evidence of watching children develop and using brains scans and other techniques is that the first model made by the mind is internal. there is a structural inheritance from parents but the brain gradually makes sense of inputs by forming an internal model which develops for many years and affects our self awareness for the rest of our lives. That's the first part of unique experience then add all the external influences which agreed use the the minds of others. Now the issue os quantum physics is rather controversial. There are those who maintain it is indeed directly using or resolving super-position but others who refute the possibility of a biological quantum state. If we agree the brain is made from stuff and stuff is all quantum interactions at an indivisible level then it's quantum but we don't see biological semiconductors, at least I don't think so. we certainly each have our own reality and we have no right to assume another's beliefs are impossible when beliefs cannot be fundamentally tested. However we do test predictions, that's a primitive brain function, we use prediction unconsciously to better maintain homeostasis is a changing world.
    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

  30. #12690
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    oh, sure we make models of the world around us, so we perceive and interact with the world in that kind of virtual reality, but I am suggesting that that model is formed from the sensory data we get from an external virtual reality created by everyone else's mind. Even our bodies, and brains are virtual forms, which are part of that virtual reality.

    I have been trying to see what it is like being in this world from that hypothetical perspective, and it does feel sort of right. I live in everyone else's virtual reality created by their collective minds...
    I've sort of had that vague idea for years now, only now trying to bring those ideas together.
    Formerly Frog march..............

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