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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #12721
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    Thanks Selfsim I read that various new theories challenge causality at the quantum level in the sense of bidirectional time and also suggest quantum entanglement as a cause of gravity. At the personal level the issue of free will challenges causality, or else causality challenges freewill, that's one of the most interesting unknowables about our human experience. Anyone who believes in MIR would I think have to come down on one side or the other. Could it be both a mechanism and include human agency?

    I found this long thread honed my ideas, it's very good discipline to try to explain a standpoint in the face of relentless questioning. Of course KenG has been very clear.

    Whilst I would have though the reality issue sorted after a few pages , I am more interested in creativity and agency as a topic. And I have been lucky during this thread to hang out with clinical neuro psychologists probing consciousness although that is only a peripheral to reality modelling within this thread, it has clarified my model at least! Cheers in return.
    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

  2. #12722
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    Maybe the problem is due to terminology. If you say that the term “reality” is a construct of the mind and that there is an external stimulus which feeds our senses, feeding the brain, which creates what we term as “reality”, elimimating the terms “mind independent reality” and “mind dependent reality”, what objections are there? We would be dealing with just one reality.

  3. #12723
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Maybe the problem is due to terminology. If you say that the term “reality” is a construct of the mind and that there is an external stimulus which feeds our senses, feeding the brain, which creates what we term as “reality”, elimimating the terms “mind independent reality” and “mind dependent reality”, what objections are there? We would be dealing with just one reality.
    The problem is you are saying two different things that need to be addressed separately:
    1) the term reality is a construct of the mind which is subject to many constraints, some common to a population of similar minds and some more dependent on the individual mind.
    2) there is a mind-independent external source that feeds the brain, which leads to the brain creating the mind-dependent "reality" concept.
    Here are the questions to ask: Which one of those statements is tested scientifically? Which one needs the other, and which one doesn't need the other?

  4. #12724
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    Easiest to just eliminate all terms and enjoy life... >

    P.S. Science can not prove anything. https://www.thoughtco.com/can-scienc...ything-3973922
    Last edited by gzhpcu; 2018-Mar-27 at 06:22 PM.

  5. #12725
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    So, since science can not prove anything, and to quote KenG "this is a science forum", we need to revert to common sense.

  6. #12726
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    So, since science can not prove anything, and to quote KenG "this is a science forum", we need to revert to common sense.
    That does not follow. Science is not intended to prove things, that is the role of mathematics. Science doesn't write poetry either, but neither of those justify "reverting to common sense." That would be a backward step.

  7. #12727
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    Science needs math. Math is an system we created to try to model and explain what we observe.

  8. #12728
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    Well, lets just say the discussion of reality does not belong in a science forum. More a philosophy forum. Guess we said this somewhere before in this huge thread.

  9. #12729
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Science needs math. Math is an system we created to try to model and explain what we observe.
    So is science.
    Well, lets just say the discussion of reality does not belong in a science forum.
    I can't agree, the entire point of science forums is to discuss reality. So we kind of need to understand what kind of reality science accesses, to know what we are talking about in any corner of a science forum. We can choose to just believe we know, or we can apply science. It's the usual choice.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2018-Mar-28 at 08:51 PM.

  10. #12730
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    Its a big mistake to think science is just maths. Maths is a great tool for making predictions but science is also about understanding your models. If you look at DNA and the current science of epigenetics for example, you see what a huge leap in understanding that is. The study of DNA is now part of our reality and it colours history as well as medicine. Our models get more detailed. That raises questions for futiure study. But to say discussion of reality is not science is to misunderstand the whole point!
    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

  11. #12731
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Its a big mistake to think science is just maths. Maths is a great tool for making predictions but science is also about understanding your models. If you look at DNA and the current science of epigenetics for example, you see what a huge leap in understanding that is. The study of DNA is now part of our reality and it colours history as well as medicine. Our models get more detailed. That raises questions for futiure study. But to say discussion of reality is not science is to misunderstand the whole point!
    I said science needs math. Never said science is just math.

  12. #12732
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    So is science.I can't agree, the entire point of science forums is to discuss reality. So we kind of need to understand what kind of reality science accesses, to know what we are talking about in any corner of a science forum. We can choose to just believe we know, or we can apply science. It's the usual choice.
    Define your understanding of reality in this context please.

    I thought we use science with our minds to build models of reality. These change with time.

  13. #12733
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Define your understanding of reality in this context please.
    Here I am talking about what one might call "scientific reality," which means a useful understanding of the consistencies in our observations that allows us to make successful predictions and gain a testable sense of power and insight about our condition.
    I thought we use science with our minds to build models of reality.
    Yes, we do build models "of reality." Of course, reality is also a model.
    These change with time.
    Yes, our understanding "of reality" changes. And when that happens, we retroactively apply our current understanding to everything that has happened. We used to think we lived in a universe with the Earth a very different place at its center, now we think we live in a universe where the Earth has no special place or difference. We could say our reality has changed, but we must be clear that both of those models are applied retroactively to everything that happened on Earth. So the new model doesn't only apply to times after it was developed. So that's all we mean when we say "our understanding of reality has changed," we don't require that our understanding is independent of the reality concept, we just mean that the way the reality concept works requires that it apply to everything that has happened, so is not a concept about what happens after we develop the concept. That is the sense to which our reality changes when we develop a new model of it, along with the sense to which the new reality has not changed-- it will be a concept that applies to everything that happens and has happened. Of course, concepts like past and future are also models.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2018-Mar-29 at 12:50 PM.

  14. #12734
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    I said science needs math. Never said science is just math.
    No science does not need maths necessarily. Just observation, speculation, hypothesis, prediction, test, compare results with prediction.
    Some predictions use simple maths, some complex maths, some statistics, some just a yes or no result.
    do you remember Mendel with his peas? Beautiful science.
    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

  15. #12735
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    If “scientific reality” is meant, then it should always be referred to as such. In the third paragraph, for example.

  16. #12736
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    No science does not need maths necessarily. Just observation, speculation, hypothesis, prediction, test, compare results with prediction.
    Some predictions use simple maths, some complex maths, some statistics, some just a yes or no result.
    do you remember Mendel with his peas? Beautiful science.
    Yes, but GR and QM can not do without it. Whenever you deal with scientific reality.

  17. #12737
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    If “scientific reality” is meant, then it should always be referred to as such. In the third paragraph, for example.
    You may assume I always mean "scientific reality" every single time I mention the term "reality" anywhere in a science forum. Everyone else should too, because that's how language works. This is more or less the point of this entire thread. Scientific reality is the only thing this forum is about, which is the whole reason that we don't need to discuss anyone's religion, and their philosophies are only relevant insofar as they relate to scientific thinking.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2018-Mar-30 at 12:56 PM.

  18. #12738
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    You may assume I always mean "scientific reality" every single time I mention the term "reality" anywhere in a science forum. Everyone else should too, because that's how language works. This is more or less the point of this entire thread. Scientific reality is the only thing this forum is about, which is the whole reason that we don't need to discuss anyone's religion, and their philosophies are only relevant insofar as they relate to scientific thinking.
    I can not assume anything. You may always mean it, but anyone just coming into the thread may not know what to assume. Creates less confusion to always be precise. For the sake of others it is best to term it precisely.

  19. #12739
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    I can not assume anything. You may always mean it, but anyone just coming into the thread may not know what to assume. Creates less confusion to always be precise. For the sake of others it is best to term it precisely.
    Well I'm all for clarity. So when I talk about "electrons", I mean a scientific model. When I talk about "acceleration", I mean the mathematical definition used in science. Rather than go through every single term I ever use, let it be known that I always take the scientific meaning.

  20. #12740
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Well I'm all for clarity. So when I talk about "electrons", I mean a scientific model. When I talk about "acceleration", I mean the mathematical definition used in science. Rather than go through every single term I ever use, let it be known that I always take the scientific meaning.
    You know it, but not the casual reader of this thread. I suggest the title of the thread be changed, replacing "reality" with "scientific reality" then.

  21. #12741
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    So lets say existence is what is out there. All of it. Scientific reality is existence grasped by consciousness.

  22. #12742
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    So lets say existence is what is out there. All of it. Scientific reality is existence grasped by consciousness.
    Am I alone in finding that a very poor summary of these more than 12000 exchanges? you casually embrace the words existence, scientific reality and consciousness as if you found a new aphorism. I feel I tried, we tried, many times to put you on the right path.
    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. #12743
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Am I alone in finding that a very poor summary of these more than 12000 exchanges? you casually embrace the words existence, scientific reality and consciousness as if you found a new aphorism. I feel I tried, we tried, many times to put you on the right path.
    I can not help it if you have not convinced me. I think this thread will never end to everyones satisfaction.

  24. #12744
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    You know it, but not the casual reader of this thread. I suggest the title of the thread be changed, replacing "reality" with "scientific reality" then.
    Yes, I'm fine with that, and when I talk about the "mind-dependent reality" hypothesis, it can be taken as the "mind-dependent scientific reality" hypothesis.

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