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Thread: Philosophical musings of science, reality, blind men and elephants

  1. #1561
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    Quote Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
    A lot of ways, still doesn't make it true though. Not even sure how you'd arrive at a statement that "MDR can be tested but MIR not", it's clearly false. In as much as testing means testing a specific instance of it, as Ken seems to imply, both can do that equally well. You both seem to be conflating testing a specific theory with testing a philosphical stance as to where that theory originates (mind or independent reality).
    NO. we are brain based. (my assumption and not denied I think) We build and we test our reality using all sorts of experiments. We can never know more about MIR although we can believe in it, various versions of it and most of us do. But the key is to realise we hold beliefs that are generated from our experiences, from our MDR.
    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. #1562
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    We certainly can, and do, test this tool. The test looks like an experiment that comes out A if the the tool passed the test, and not A if it didn't.
    Right. So, you are using binary logic to verify itself. Perfect circular reasoning.
    Obviously, you can't do that. Therefore you have to believe it.

    That means at the very foundation of science is a meta-tool you have to believe in in order to do science.
    Science rests on a fundamental belief.

  3. #1563
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    It is clear you can do science believing in MIR or you can do science not believing, just looking at evidence. But in either case, the evidence is locked in MDR. We share the experience of mind. We share many sets of evidence that stays for the time being consistent so MDR is a powerful set of consensus and personal experience. This is not a logical circle, it is just living inside MDR. Logic is part of a language we also use within MDR.

    We cannot use logic to justify our experience of mind, what we do is build a model which includes our living body and the world we live in. We test in many ways without even planning to do so. What we never can know is what underlies all of it. You are free to believe there must be an MIR very like your MDR or you can believe your ideas are put into your mind by an external agent, that used to be a very common belief. You can believe in your free will or you can believe in the illusion of free will.

    You can also come to realise everything you can ever think or know is in MDR and MIR remains unknowable or you can deny this and say MIR just is because my mind just is.
    The difference is not a philosophy trick question, it is a realisation. It just happens to matter to physics to realise that.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Would a change in terminology help at all, it seems to me we're trying to define two completely different things with the same term.

    The reality in MDR refers to the actual experience of the universe we develop in life. The reality in MIR is referring to a hypothetical substructure that allows MDR to exist. In the same way that some people believe it's the existence an infinite number of universes that explains why we happen to be in one with the properties that allow life to exist.

    How about MIS(substrate), MIM(matrix) or MIF(framework)?
    Last edited by starcanuck64; 2014-May-23 at 12:03 AM. Reason: clarification

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    It is clear you can do science believing in MIR or you can do science not believing, just looking at evidence. But in either case, the evidence is locked in MDR. We share the experience of mind. We share many sets of evidence that stays for the time being consistent so MDR is a powerful set of consensus and personal experience. This is not a logical circle, it is just living inside MDR. Logic is part of a language we also use within MDR.

    We cannot use logic to justify our experience of mind, what we do is build a model which includes our living body and the world we live in. We test in many ways without even planning to do so. What we never can know is what underlies all of it. You are free to believe there must be an MIR very like your MDR or you can believe your ideas are put into your mind by an external agent, that used to be a very common belief. You can believe in your free will or you can believe in the illusion of free will.

    You can also come to realise everything you can ever think or know is in MDR and MIR remains unknowable or you can deny this and say MIR just is because my mind just is.
    The difference is not a philosophy trick question, it is a realisation. It just happens to matter to physics to realise that.
    I agree with everything you said and I am not sure why you reiterated your position on MDR vs MIR. I think my posts made clear that I am in full agreement about the fundamental distinction and that we cannot say anything at all about MIR. I don't believe in an MIR at all.

    I am only in disgreement with Ken's notion that he doesn't need belief or otherwise can avoid it and rest on evidence alone, which allegedly doesn't require any belief whatsoever.
    That is of course false.

    Binary logic and reasoning based on it is at the very foundation of any evidence gathering.
    We use logic to devise experiments to test something and we use logic to interpret the results.

    Ken suggested it was possible to experimentally test logic.
    And of course, one cannot. Binary logic and reasoning based on it is part of the very language and meta-toolset we use (and must use because of the way our minds operate).
    Any experiment to test the validty of logic must necessarily use the very logic it is testing. Circular reasoning is unavoidable.

    We must therefore declare the validity of binary logic as an axiom, i.e. a belief for which no evidence can be consulted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Consciousness is a property of mind (in my opinion) so there is a circular definition involving both "mind" and "conscious" but I cannot see how anyone could do an experiment in the normal scientific meaning of experiment, without having a working mind and being conscious of what they are doing.
    That circular definition is one of my key problems with your concept. I see "mind" as a very general representation of the result of physical processes that are not distinct from any other physical processes. It is something that can be used in conversation, much like "stone," but I don't see any reason to talk about "stone dependent reality" versus "stone independent reality." I can entertain the concept that reality is dependent on stones, but I don't see it as being a useful concept.

    Further, the evolutionary process is all about experiments and tests of experiments. It doesn't require a brain to do experiments. I consider science to simply be a refinement of processes that are not unique to humans.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    It doesn't require a brain to do experiments.
    Fascinating!
    Can you point me to an experiment (meaning: devising a setup to test something and interpreting the results) that is done all by itself?
    Last edited by NoChoice; 2014-May-23 at 12:32 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Further, the evolutionary process is all about experiments and tests of experiments. It doesn't require a brain to do experiments. I consider science to simply be a refinement of processes that are not unique to humans.
    Evolution has also been about developing higher levels of mind resulting in one with the ability to question the definition and limits of reality.

    As we expand our knowledge I don't think we're discovering MIR, we're mapping out the limits of MDR. We're discovering ourselves, not something separate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starcanuck64 View Post
    As we expand our knowledge I don't think we're discovering MIR, we're mapping out the limits of MDR. We're discovering ourselves, not something separate.
    I agree. Well said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    The mind model is what you make of your sensory inputs and conscious and subconscious thinking processes. You start from nothing as a baby and accumulate your mind model as experience continues. If you tend toward science you learn how experiment has forced us into the theories we have. At some point, it seems, your mind starts to make assumptions about how you came to be. Beliefs begin to form. It is demonstrable from this thread that beliefs can be very hard to accept as beliefs as opposed to evidence that can be tested.
    Fine, that is how the mind model (MDR) is built. But what I am asking is sensory input from what? The sensory input must sense something. It can't be a closed loop... What is it that is being detected?

  11. #1571
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    No one has any idea, of course. Do you think you have a better idea of the answer of that question, simply because you have chosen to believe in an MIR? No, you don't, you just have a choice of a belief. I do not choose to believe that, there is no additional knowledge conveyed to you by your choice.
    So you are saying, something is out there and we have no idea. Then you go on to say that I am just "believing in MIR". I have termed what is out there as MIR, even though I am not qualifying what MIR is.

  12. #1572
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    NO. we are brain based. (my assumption and not denied I think) We build and we test our reality using all sorts of experiments. We can never know more about MIR although we can believe in it, various versions of it and most of us do. But the key is to realise we hold beliefs that are generated from our experiences, from our MDR.
    I would like to ask you the say question I asked Ken: What is MDR modelling?

  13. #1573
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    It is clear you can do science believing in MIR or you can do science not believing, just looking at evidence. But in either case, the evidence is locked in MDR. We share the experience of mind. We share many sets of evidence that stays for the time being consistent so MDR is a powerful set of consensus and personal experience. This is not a logical circle, it is just living inside MDR. Logic is part of a language we also use within MDR.
    MIR makes us aware that our MDR is partial and elusive. We do not need to believe in MIR to do science. MDR is a partial (and perhaps distorted) view of MIR.

    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    We cannot use logic to justify our experience of mind, what we do is build a model which includes our living body and the world we live in. We test in many ways without even planning to do so. What we never can know is what underlies all of it. You are free to believe there must be an MIR very like your MDR or you can believe your ideas are put into your mind by an external agent, that used to be a very common belief. You can believe in your free will or you can believe in the illusion of free will.
    Yes, yes, I know you will say it can't be proven "logically", but to maintain that ideas are feed by an external agent is ludicrous (yes, I know you aren't saying that). But what is the difference to an "external agent" and MIR to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    You can also come to realise everything you can ever think or know is in MDR and MIR remains unknowable or you can deny this and say MIR just is because my mind just is.
    The difference is not a philosophy trick question, it is a realisation. It just happens to matter to physics to realise that.
    Parts of the MIR can be modelled through our senses, resulting in MDR. So we gain a partial understanding of the MIR.

  14. #1574
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    Quote Originally Posted by starcanuck64 View Post
    Evolution has also been about developing higher levels of mind resulting in one with the ability to question the definition and limits of reality.

    As we expand our knowledge I don't think we're discovering MIR, we're mapping out the limits of MDR. We're discovering ourselves, not something separate.
    We humans are really very arrogant, thinking we are the center of the universe, just like in the Middle Ages. Everything has to center around us. Are we just studying our belly button? Are you saying we are bootstrapping ourselves? Circular logic?
    Last edited by gzhpcu; 2014-May-23 at 05:31 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    We humans are really very arrogant, thinking we are the center of the universe, just like in the Middle Ages. Everything has to center around us. Are we just studying our belly button?
    The value judgement you seem to be placing on my post is your's not mine.

    My thoughts on the matter are that being in the position we are at the endpoint of a billions year long chain of life and able to appreciate the universe in the way we do is an incredible gift.

  16. #1576
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    Quote Originally Posted by starcanuck64 View Post
    The value judgement you seem to be placing on my post is your's not mine.

    My thoughts on the matter are that being in the position we are at the endpoint of a billions year long chain of life and able to appreciate the universe in the way we do is an incredible gift.
    Nobody is contesting the incredible progress we made. I am contesting the fact you say we are discovering ourselves (human centric), whereas we are using our brains to understand what is out there in our context.

  17. #1577
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    Quote Originally Posted by starcanuck64 View Post
    Would a change in terminology help at all, it seems to me we're trying to define two completely different things with the same term.

    The reality in MDR refers to the actual experience of the universe we develop in life. The reality in MIR is referring to a hypothetical substructure that allows MDR to exist. In the same way that some people believe it's the existence an infinite number of universes that explains why we happen to be in one with the properties that allow life to exist.

    How about MIS(substrate), MIM(matrix) or MIF(framework)?
    I prefer "Mind depedent MIR"? MDMIR

  18. #1578
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    It can't be a closed loop...
    Why not?

    (I hope you'll have more to say than "it's just silly" or "it's nonsense".)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Nobody is contesting the incredible progress we made. I am contesting the fact you say we are discovering ourselves (human centric), whereas we are using our brains to understand what is out there in our context.
    Out where, our reality is firmly rooted in our consciousness, not in some abstract location we have no access to.

    And as a species we're in the process of waking from a state of very limited awareness to one of growing sophistication, it seems more than obvious to me that what's expanding is that consciousness, not some abstract reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starcanuck64 View Post
    ...it seems more than obvious to me that what's expanding is that consciousness, not some abstract reality.
    Indeed. More and more people are catching on to this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoChoice View Post
    Why not?

    (I hope you'll have more to say than "it's just silly" or "it's nonsense".)
    Before I try to answer, I want to see if I understand your premise: You are saying our thought processes create thought processes which we term MDR. Otherwise, if not, please explain what your premise is...

  22. #1582
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoChoice View Post
    Indeed. More and more people are catching on to this.
    We are certainly more intelligent than Australopithecus in formulating what we observe and creating deductions, thereby coming up with a model - MDR. MIR is not an abstract reality. The clearer picture is coming from our brains based on the sensorial input received from outside stimulus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoChoice View Post
    Indeed. More and more people are catching on to this.
    Please provide evidence that this is so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Before I try to answer, I want to see if I understand your premise: You are saying our thought processes create thought processes which we term MDR. Otherwise, if not, please explain what your premise is...
    My premise is that what we observe is perfectly consistent with "sensory input" being a pure mind phenomenon, i.e. without any "external" stimuli. I assume that is what you meant by "closed loop".
    What I am looking for in a response would be a solid reasoning why you think that is not possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Please provide evidence that this is so.
    Why?
    I am not here to play games.
    More and more people I know and meet start to realize that consciousness is primary to what is commonly referred to as the "physical world".
    I don't need a study to confirm this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoChoice View Post
    Why?
    I am not here to play games.
    More and more people I know and meet start to realize that consciousness is primary to what is commonly referred to as the "physical world".
    I don't need a study to confirm this.
    So when I ask for evidence, I am accused of "playing games". Yet when others ask me to present evidence for MIR they aren't. Are you implying I am here playing games?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    So when I ask for evidence, I am accused of "playing games". Yet when others ask me to present evidence for MIR they aren't. Are you implying I am here playing games?
    My statement that "more and more people ..." is not directly related to any evidence pro or con MDR or MIR. It was just a general observation.
    Others in this thread (profloater, starcanuck64 and KlausH) have mentioned something along similar lines.

    To ask for evidence for that seems a bit misplaced. Sorry if I misunderstood you.

  28. #1588
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoChoice View Post
    Fascinating!
    Can you point me to an experiment (meaning: devising a setup to test something and interpreting the results) that is done all by itself?
    I think VanRijn makes a true point there. A non conscious animal can test the waters so to speak and react and form neural pathways to avoid nasty and move toward food, evan slime moulds do that. A human child tests the worls all the time and forms similar neural pathways long before she becomes conscious of deliberate experiment. The point about being conscious is that you can form hypotheses that allow useful predictions based on experiment and thus progress much faster. Part of this advantage is to form a mental model of the world that allows even better predictions That's what MDR is.
    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

  29. #1589
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoChoice View Post
    I agree with everything you said and I am not sure why you reiterated your position on MDR vs MIR. I think my posts made clear that I am in full agreement about the fundamental distinction and that we cannot say anything at all about MIR. I don't believe in an MIR at all.

    I am only in disgreement with Ken's notion that he doesn't need belief or otherwise can avoid it and rest on evidence alone, which allegedly doesn't require any belief whatsoever.
    That is of course false.

    Binary logic and reasoning based on it is at the very foundation of any evidence gathering.
    We use logic to devise experiments to test something and we use logic to interpret the results.

    Ken suggested it was possible to experimentally test logic.
    And of course, one cannot. Binary logic and reasoning based on it is part of the very language and meta-toolset we use (and must use because of the way our minds operate).
    Any experiment to test the validty of logic must necessarily use the very logic it is testing. Circular reasoning is unavoidable.

    We must therefore declare the validity of binary logic as an axiom, i.e. a belief for which no evidence can be consulted.
    OK thanks, but I do not really understand your second point. I said you can do science with or without a belief in MIR so that means you can do science without belief. The only belief implied is "I believe I am not dreaming" however if you started with "I believe I am dreaming but I will still do experiments" you personal MDR would torn out the same. So it seems to me KenG is allowed to say; science does not need belief.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    I think VanRijn makes a true point there. A non conscious animal can test the waters so to speak and react and form neural pathways to avoid nasty and move toward food, evan slime moulds do that. A human child tests the worls all the time and forms similar neural pathways long before she becomes conscious of deliberate experiment. The point about being conscious is that you can form hypotheses that allow useful predictions based on experiment and thus progress much faster. Part of this advantage is to form a mental model of the world that allows even better predictions That's what MDR is.
    The term "experiment" by any definition I am aware of requires an act of planning and carrying out the planned activity. See the wikipedia definition for example or any of the online dictionaries.
    I don't see how that can be done without a mind.

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