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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #13081
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    It sounds like the idea will blossom more and more as neurological studies become more intimately connected with the study of how we build our MDR. The question will always be in the background, why do we experience similarities of perception? Our point is that "because there is a mind independent reality" doesn't make sense because it doesn't actually explain anything (there could be an MIR that everyone perceives differently, so similarities prove nothing), it cannot be tested (it makes no predictions we can't get without it), and worse, it is internally inconsistent (it involves defining a concept as mind independent even though all the words in the definition acquire mind dependent meanings). So we either need a better explanation, or perhaps it belongs in the same category as questions like "why do the parameters of our universe take on the values they do" or "why is there gravity"-- questions that simply don't require explanation, we don't explain our models we just propose them and test them.

  2. #13082
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    We perceive with our senses and our brain/mind creates models into an evolving MDR. That I would agree with.

  3. #13083
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    If two or more people perceive something differently, perhaps they could examine the subject matter further and come to a closer agreement. It wouldn't prove a mind independent reality, but science doesn't need absolute proof. We don't know that all electrons have the same charge, but it's close enough for our purposes. It would be surprising to learn differently. If examining things more closely has a high rate of success in narrowing the perceptual differences it would be the same for mind independent reality, unproven but close enough and surprising if we found something for which it couldn't be done.

  4. #13084
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    It does raise the interesting question that when two people perceive something similar but not quite the same, if they could explore more deeply what is the source of the difference. You imagine the difference might narrow with more scrutiny, but that has not been tested, maybe the differences widen as people relax their common assumption that everyone else is perceiving the same things they are. It is certainly testable, though it does not test MIR, and it does not require MIR belief to hypothesize whether the differences will widen, narrow, or remain constant with scrutiny. Indeed, the MIR believer won't stop believing in MIR if the differences do not narrow, there is nothing that could cause them to release their belief in MIR because MIR does not make the prediction that the differences will narrow. In fact, it makes no predictions that any experimental outcome cannot easily accommodate in the mind of the believer. That's why it's a belief.

  5. #13085
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    We perceive with our senses and our brain/mind creates models into an evolving MDR. That I would agree with.
    Ok, then that is our common ground here.

  6. #13086
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    If I claim that there are four chairs on my front porch and my neighbor claims that there are only three and no amount of investigation can resolve our different counts, that would certainly destroy my notion of mind independent reality. But I never seem to hear of cases like this actually happening. Wouldn't people have noticed by now in a mind dependent reality world? But there are confirming cases, like if I think I put six bottles of Pepsi on a store counter and get charged for seven, an investigation always leads to an agreement. I've never had such a disagreement remain unresolved when further investigation was possible. Is it just coincidence that all of our minds make up the same things? Or maybe from the store clerk's point of view I do pay for seven bottles of Pepsi and it's only my mental model of him that sold me six. Would I end up with six bottle in my refrigerator while seven are missing from his shelf?

    In cases where mistakes can be detected and corrected, I never experience any of these discrepancies. Isn't that what Mind Independence means, when it doesn't matter whose mind is doing the minding?

  7. #13087
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    If I claim that there are four chairs on my front porch and my neighbor claims that there are only three and no amount of investigation can resolve our different counts, that would certainly destroy my notion of mind independent reality.
    Well then that's the easiest thing in the world. You could have four objects that you regard as chairs, and your neighbor can think one of them is not a chair but a loveseat. Or three sandwiches and a hot dog, versus four sandwiches.

    Now you will probably think that's a semantic technicality, but that's the very nature of language, and the mind dependence of meaning that goes into the MDR hypothesis. So, do you now drop your faith in MIR? Of course not. So that's my whole point-- you have failed the test, but you hold to MIR anyway, as you would with every so-called "test" you could confront it with. You will simply find a technicality that allows you to continue to hold to your belief, which you can always do-- because it was never testable in the first place.

    Now of course you can reformulate that "test" to make it more difficult for people to disagree with your assessment of the situation, like you can have two pennies in or on your hand and everyone agrees you have two pennies in or on your hand. Except for the child who does not yet know what the number two is, or someone unfamiliar with your currency who doesn't know what a penny is, or who does not speak your language so it all sounds like gibberish to them. You can always discount all those people, they are not the ones you restrict your "test" to including. And you don't count your dog, who is unable to have any idea what you mean by two pennies, and you don't count the ultra-intelligent pan-dimensional aliens who scoff at your childishly na´ve concept of what you think you have in your hand. But you see all that is happening there-- the minds that are similar enough to agree that you have two pennies in or on your hand are simply choosing to not count any mind not similar enough to agree with them. That's how "objectivity" works, it is a class of consistencies perceived by enough people to make it a working concept to base science on. But we already know there are consistencies in perception, none of this is any kind of test of MIR because those who believe in MIR can always just not count any mind that doesn't agree with them. In what other contexts do we find people discounting everyone who cannot agree with them for whatever reason? MDR building is a communal task for like-minded individuals, and so is MIR belief, but only the former is testable because it makes predictions that you can't get from any competing model, whereas we have seen MIR belief fail tests over and over because it can't include the need to use similar minds if it is supposed to be MIR.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Aug-08 at 04:47 AM.

  8. #13088
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    If my neighbor and I investigated we'd find out that I'm calling something a chair that he isn't and agree that there are four of what I'm calling chairs. We'd find that our observations did match now that the source of the confusion was found.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    If my neighbor and I investigated we'd find out that I'm calling something a chair that he isn't and agree that there are four of what I'm calling chairs. We'd find that our observations did match now that the source of the confusion was found.
    That there is agreement is not definitive evidence for some mind independent reality because there is another alternative more consistent with the observation that human minds are at play in reaching the concensus .. and none for an MIR.

  10. #13090
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    If my neighbor and I investigated we'd find out that I'm calling something a chair that he isn't and agree that there are four of what I'm calling chairs.
    Yes, he'd disagree with your version of reality, in regard to how many chairs you have on your porch. You said that couldn't happen, so you were wrong.
    We'd find that our observations did match now that the source of the confusion was found.
    The observations do not match. The source of confusion is that you don't agree about the reality.

  11. #13091
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    We disagreed about what something is called, not about reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    We disagreed about what something is called, not about reality.
    And in what situation where two people disagree on the reality would you not be able to say exactly that, if you were so inclined? Do we have something other than words to use to describe what we mean by our word reality? And are words something different from "what something is called"? If I say something is blue, and you say it is green, the MIR believer will say it's the same thing we just use different words to describe it. But if we use different words, and we explore why we use different words, we encounter differences in our minds that cause us to form different ideas about the nature of things. You can always ignore evidence of those differences and say what you just said, and that's why MIR belief cannot be tested.

    That's my point, if you are inclined to believe in MIR, you can always say the MIR is the same, but people use different meanings to talk about it. I'm saying the meanings are what we mean, we don't mean anything other than what we mean by a chair when we choose to use the word "chair." What we see from the evidence is that people mean different things when they talk about reality, that's the MDR hypothesis. You can always say "but that's just people meaning different things when they talk about reality, it's still the same reality." Yes, I know you are an MIR believer, and your argument for MIR is nothing more than you believe in MIR, to the point that you can cite a test, fail the test, and say it doesn't matter that you failed the test because it's just people using different words to describe the same reality. If I say wrong is right, how are we not disagreeing about what something is called? When people disagree about what something is called, it matters, it can be the difference between freedom and incarceration for example.

    This was all covered early in the thread. A model was suggested in this type of sentence:
    MIR interacts with minds to produce perceptions and opinions about reality that exhibit both consistencies and differences for different minds.

    The claim was then made that if you drop the first part of that sentence, you cannot explain a second half that now just looks like "perceptions and opinions about reality exhibit both consistencies and differences for different minds", a testable statement that includes the MDR hypothesis. The counterpoint was made that the second half could be anything and you could still have the first part, so the second part is not predicted by the first. In addition, the first part could be replaced by competing ideas, and you could still have that second part-- all it says is there are consistencies and differences. How do you know you couldn't have consistencies and differences if there was not an MIR? How does belief in MIR help you predict what will be consistent and what will be different? And here's the biggie: if people's limited minds and limited evolved abilities to perceive cause them to get a very incomplete or even completely wrong view of the true MIR, then how is the MIR concept helping them in any way at all, other than the usual thing that a faith gives us: an untestable sense of the existence of a truth even if we don't know that truth.

    Therefore, the first part of that sentence, the MIR part, is simply tacked on, it's not doing anything at all and makes no predictions that could cause you to reject the first part if you are inclined to believe it, and it does nothing for helping you understand when you are going to get consistency and when you are not. Instead, scientists have to notice when they get consistency, from experience like science always uses, and take advantage of the observed consistencies to build an operational meaning for the concept of objectivity. Nothing about MIR belief helps in that process, it's the same process with or without MIR belief, much as science works the same with and without faith in a deity that "explains" why the theories that work are the way they are. Saying science is about knowing the "mind of god" is just like saying it is the "study of MIR."

    And let us also keep focused on the point of recognizing all this. The point is not solipsism, a claim on truth that says we cannot have a working concept of truth. But we can have a working concept of truth, we just have to notice its actual attributes. In short, we need to notice it has the attribute of depending on the mind that is creating that concept of truth. Studying minds helps us understand how different minds arrive at different concepts of truth, and helps us understand how science generates a crucial working concept of objectivity, which will center around similarities in the minds that share whatever attributes we are taking advantage of to generate our concept of objectivity. At no point in the scientific process does the concept of "objective truth" need to be equated with "knowledge of some MIR", those two concepts are quite different and have been found over and over in the history of science to be quite different. The only question is whether we choose to recognize that evidence, or ignore it. And what is the harm of ignoring it? Ask Galileo how he liked living out his life under house arrest.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Aug-08 at 10:52 AM.

  13. #13093
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    I think the way in which minds form is a very interesting separate subject. There seems to be little doubt that the brain is an engine for prediction which enhances the chances of survival in several ways. The big brain strategy of humans has been so successful compared with other mammals and the reasons seem to be that you need a large brain to have enough neurons to form
    A) The theory of mind which helps predictt what your fellow humans and other animals are going to do next
    B) The ability to form language for communication of complex ideas and knowledge
    C) The sophisticated leadership/followship personality which enables hundreds and thousands of individuals to work towards common goals which benefit the whole group more than the individuals.

    So we are left with a highly predictive mind , a large part of which is subconscious even to the point of our language which although obviously learned becomes automatic to us, and leaves us questioning whether the sorts all the words come first.

    Our predictive minds use the cause-and-effect model as well as the imagination of things that are not actually there. If we consider the tiger issue, we spend far more time anticipating and avoiding dangers like tigers then we do actually looking at them. In order to survive we imagine The Tigers and adjust our behaviour to take precautions when there may be no tigers around. In this way our model of potential tigers is more powerful in our mind than any actual tiger; and in this example the imagination of dangers and rewards seems to be a higher mind function that has served human beings so well.

    The ability of the mind to imagine things that we have not ever experienced does raise interesting questions about our reality because we can imagine futures where we have changed our own conditions. We can set about changing our environment as we perceive it and experience it and although we take this as second nature as humans it is a spectacular example of the power of mind. We can build castles in the air just as we can construct so-called real castles that never existed before. I am using the word exist loosely in the context of this thread.

    That is why people studying the mind are so interested in the quantum models that we have the structure of things. There are actually questions about existence which ask how change can occur. That is why people studying the mind are so interested in the quantum model that we have the structure of things. There are actually questions about existence which ask how change can occur . How evolution can occur, which is a prime example of change. Plato started this off with his idea of the archetypes in the mind of God but we can see now this is just an MDR model which still leaves the questions unanswered .
    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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    To elaborate on that last point, because it is the whole point of the thread, I've given significant examples of the difference between "objective truth in science" and "knowledge of some MIR." For example, for over a thousand years scientists regarded it as objective truth that the Sun orbits the Earth. Then for a few hundred, it was held to be an objective truth that the Earth orbits the Sun, and we still teach that objective truth to children today without hesitation. But about a hundred years ago, a better theory was suggested that makes it merely a matter of chosen coordinate system, a language of perspective, as to which object orbits which. So now we must decide which theory about reality we are choosing to inform our thinking as to whether we even regard it as an objective truth that the Earth orbits the Sun. Since most people are not privy to Einstein's general relativity, they don't even have that option-- in their MDR, it is still an objective truth that the Earth orbits the Sun, and many people on this very forum still hold to that view.

    So how is the concept of the "objective truth of the Earth's motion" in any way connected with the concept of a "true absolute reality that does not depend on our minds"? The evidence is that these two concepts are quite different and are used to do quite different things, and the tests of the former don't look at all like the tests of the latter (especially since the latter is never tested at all). Understanding the differences here is an important step in understanding what science does well versus what it doesn't do at all, which is why this topic is not some philosophical flight of fancy of no significance, it is central to everything else that happens on this forum. That fact is simply not widely recognized, even among scientists-- which is different from it not being in evidence.

  15. #13095
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    There seems to be little doubt that the brain is an engine for prediction which enhances the chances of survival in several ways.
    Believe it or not, I would say the jury is very much still out on that, if one takes the long view on the concept of survival. So far the longevity of survival of big-brain apes is not particularly different from the longevity of survival of a wide class of small-brain creatures. If our species goes extinct in the next billion years or so, our record of longevity will remain forever unimpressive. It's even possible that our big brains could be the cause of our own extinction, in which case any claim that big brains offered a survival advantage (in the long run) will be on very shaky ground!

    But what is certainly clear, and what is the only thing your point requires, is that our big brains have aided us in achieving a kind of short-term dominance of the planet. Mostly what big brains seem to do is speed up the timetable on which a given species can have a widespread impact on the rest of the planet. We went from small bands of isolated tribes to being able to change the climate of the planet in only a few tens of thousands of years, I don't know of any other species being able to do that (for better or worse) in such a short time. But then, I don't know enough to be able to rule out that other species might have done that too, like prairies and prairie dogs for example.

    In this way our model of potential tigers is more powerful in our mind than any actual tiger; and in this example the imagination of dangers and rewards seems to be a higher mind function that has served human beings so well.
    Yes, I agree the concept of the hypothetical is an important aspect of higher intelligence. We can try out different "what if" scenarios and rehearse our strategies in advance of danger, that has had significant short-term benefits in our survival (but also has enabled us to arm the planet with the capability of blowing up its surface, and has enabled us to develop technologies that alter the atmospheric temperature in ways we are not always responsible about managing.)
    We can set about changing our environment as we perceive it and experience it and although we take this as second nature as humans it is a spectacular example of the power of mind.
    Yes, the ability to have feedback onto our condition is quite powerful, and might even lead to a "singularity" in the future where we use our ability to visualize hypotheticals to completely transform the very existence of our species into something quite different (like cyborg entities that essentially live forever, or that go extinct in centuries rather than eons.) And if we focus not on the lifespan of the individuals, but rather the quality of their existence, we might be able to obtain the ability to create our own reality.

    There was a classic Star Trek episode where mind control was used to create a kind of fantasy reality for subjects to live in, and whether or not that was a good thing because it wasn't actually real was explored in that episode in remarkably sophisticated ways. But here we are not talking about a mind-controlled fantasy, we are talking about changing the true reality for an individual, taking virtual reality to its logical completion where we obtain the power to actually transform the physical reality in which the individual presides. And the flip side of that possibility is the potential for an essentially eternal existence under conditions that are horrendous-- imagine removing that longstanding promise that no matter how awful things get, "this too shall pass." If we achieve a transformative "singularity" where our consciousnesses can be carried over into physical structures that can replace and rejuvenate themselves on the timescale of the lifetime of a galaxy rather than a human, will that provide individuals with the ability to live for billions of years in a paradise of their own making, or will it end up being a uncommutable sentence for living billions of years in unbearable conditions? What happens when "this too shall pass" doesn't mean "tough it out for a few years and it's bound to end," and is transformed into "you are stuck with this for the next five billion years, sorry."

    This may sound scarily pessimistic, and perhaps the whole idea of a transformative "singularity" is just science fiction, but my point is only that the sword cuts both ways when we make it our goal to use our brains to completely alter the reality in which we live. MDR as a technological strategy rather than an exercise in model building would present us with the core problem with being a god: you might not have any real idea the ramifications of your own actions. Or as Douglas Adams put it in the creator's final message to his creation in So Long and Thanks for All the Fish:

    (spoiler alert, don't continue if you intend to read that book....)

    ….





    "We apologize for the inconvenience."
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Aug-08 at 11:52 AM.

  16. #13096
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    Why bring up possible explanations for the apparent motion of the sun? Proposed explanations for something are not the same as observations. The observation is that the sun changes its position in the sky over time. That's what everyone sees. What would be convincing would be actual differences in observations of something that could not be resolved by any reasonable amount of further investigation.

  17. #13097
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    Why bring up possible explanations for the apparent motion of the sun?
    Because they are part of what many people mean by "reality", just ask them.
    Proposed explanations for something are not the same as observations.
    Ah, so you envision a line in the sand that separates a "proposed explanation" from an "observation." It's certainly a distinction that many people make when building an MDR, but there is no hard and fast line there. Where you put that line will depend on your mind, and that will be quite easy to demonstrate. For example, when you see a tiger, is that an observation or a proposed explanation?
    The observation is that the sun changes its position in the sky over time. That's what everyone sees.
    Blind people don't see that. But even if you restrict to those with sight, you are going to be talking about a very small part of what people call "reality" if you restrict to "what everyone sees." Everyone sees mirages in the desert, for example. Hence, what people generally mean by "reality" is certainly not restricted to "what everyone sees" leaving out everything that has explanatory character and goes beyond "what everyone sees."
    What would be convincing would be actual differences in observations of something that could not be resolved by any reasonable amount of further investigation.
    Another test then: the color of this dress: https://twitter.com/TheEllenShow/sta...Fid%3D29261175
    It is said to be either blue and black or white and gold. I see blue and gold myself, so I'm not even in the two camps! What's more, I can't even begin to understand why anyone sees blue and black, or white and gold, it's absolutely obvious that it's blue and gold.

    Now, all this does not mean there is no such thing as an objective observation. Science has worked very hard to reduce what counts as an observation to a set of possibilities that can be quantified in objective ways. For example, we could put this dress through a spectrometer and spatially resolve its different components into intensity as a function of frequency, and we could use various different spectrometers with different resolutions and we could understand the differences in outcomes based on the different capabilities of the instruments. But the issue is, if we restrict our meaning of "reality" to only what shows up as objective aspects of scientific observations, you are going to end up with a version of reality that is certainly not what many people mean when the use the term-- especially people who don't give a hoot about spectrometers or scientific observations that use them. Like, most of the human minds on this planet. And even scientists will often be found using the term "reality" in ways that go beyond objectively quantifiable instrumental outputs, for example they might be caught using language that suggests the color of dresses is part of what they mean by "reality" in certain contexts in which they use that term.

    What is easy to see is that if you look at how people are using the term "reality" in various contexts, you will find their meanings are quite fluid. We might wish to identify various different levels of use of that word, which is not at all uncommon in how language works (just look at the way dictionary definitions are inclusive of many different shades of meaning for the same word). We could have one level of "reality" that is "only what comes out of quantitative and objective outcomes of observations." Then we could have another level that includes the outcomes of sense experiences that are not quantitative and not identical for all people, or even easily translated from one person to the next. Then we could have yet another level that includes explanatory content like "that's really a tiger." That latter is what gzhpcu has used in this very thread, for example. Then we could have yet another level that is inclusive of explanatory content that is privileged knowledge that only experts have access to. Then we could have yet another level that is inclusive of controversial explanatory content that even experts don't agree on, like interpretations of quantum mechanics-- you will definitely find some experts whose version of "reality" includes controversial aspects that most other minds can't even begin to understand, and other experts won't even agree with. These are all observable facts, so in your own meaning of "reality", you must accommodate them. So ask yourself: which is the real "reality" that you are talking about?
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Aug-08 at 02:41 PM.

  18. #13098
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    Yes big brains may have long term problems, one being overpopulation, our dramatic success has not included much wisdom but as a species evolving that is not a surprise. At least science has given us a metaunderstanding to detect those problems even if our social development has not progressed fast enough to act wisely as a total group. The freedom of MDR has allowed new technologies which have themselves shown old MIR assumptions to be wrong. That is hopeful. But then as an individual mind should I worry about extinction, other than my own? Thinking of Douglas’s conscious puddle, my MDR might be rather unimportant to anyone else, and that’s if they are puddles too.
    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

  19. #13099
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    In the case of the dress color, of course people who don't care to investigate further are going to have their discrepancies remain in place. Those who make efforts to resolve discrepancies like this will be more consistent with each other in a MIR world, but not necessarily in a MDR world. That's why I'd like to see some well-tested discrepancies that have held up, so I'd know that MIR is wrong.

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    It seems to me that MIR can never be demonstrated to be true, but could easily be demonstrated to be likely false by my standards of evidence, which don't seem excessively high. But this is never done, leading me to take MIR seriously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    But then as an individual mind should I worry about extinction, other than my own?
    An interesting question, but I think the horse is already out of the barn in terms of the "singularity" happening to our consciousnesses!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    It seems to me that MIR can never be demonstrated to be true, but could easily be demonstrated to be likely false by my standards of evidence, which don't seem excessively high. But this is never done, leading me to take MIR seriously.
    What if we were talking about a person's faith in a supreme being. Would you then say their belief could be proven false, but not true, but since it is not proven false, you should "take it seriously"? It's always a choice to believe something on the grounds that it has "not been proven false." But that is never the standard used in scientific thinking. There, the model has to make useful predictions you cannot get unless you understand the model, that's why we have to teach the models.

  23. #13103
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    I can think of experiments that would disprove MIR. No such experiments for a supreme being come to mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    It seems to me that MIR can never be demonstrated to be true, but could easily be demonstrated to be likely false by my standards of evidence, which don't seem excessively high. But this is never done, leading me to take MIR seriously.
    MIR can never be demonstrated to be anything because you would have to use MDR to make the attempt. I can't see how a remote possibility that something may be false, while being impossible to prove true, would lead you to believe in it. That's two negatives already and no possible hope of a positive.
    Above all, whatever you choose to believe makes no difference whatsoever to your reality, which can be demonstrated to be purely MDR. Why even worry about MIR?

    That seems to me like imagining an extraterrestrial civilisation somewhere in the universe which is so far away there will never be any chance of observing or communicating with them. All you have is a nice story.

  25. #13105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    I can think of experiments that would disprove MIR. No such experiments for a supreme being come to mind.
    Let's hear them. Are you aware that some people have had faith in a supreme being, and then lost it based on experiences? To them, that was an experiment that refuted their belief, so it must be possible to disprove it-- at least for them.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Aug-08 at 04:05 PM.

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    If I count 14 dominos on a table and someone else says he counts 15, and after clarifying what we mean by domino and on the table, and doing many recounts, we aren't able to resolve discrepancy then that would be evidence against MIR. If this kind of thing were happening often all over the place then MIR would be almost certainly wrong. But I never hear about anything like this in spite of so much opportunity.

  27. #13107
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    We perceive with our senses and our brain/mind creates models into an evolving MDR. That I would agree with.

    In the case of the tiger, seems we have a pretty stable MDR model. What is the source of the perception that led our brain/mind to create the MDR tiger?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    If I count 14 dominos on a table and someone else says he counts 15, and after clarifying what we mean by domino and on the table, and doing many recounts, we aren't able to resolve discrepancy then that would be evidence against MIR.
    So now you are restricting to minds that are capable of counting to 15, are you not? So anyone whose mind cannot do that doesn't count in your process of establishing what doesn't depend on minds? What if a theoretical physicist who understands quantum field theory says that he/she only counts other minds that also understand quantum field theory in his/her restrictions about what minds are capable of establishing what belongs in the MIR. They might say that minds counting dominoes are of no significance for testing the MIR, because they don't know the real MIR, which is the realm of quantum fields. How is what they would be doing any different from what you are doing now, beyond simply choosing a different intellectual threshold to count as the minimum requirement for being allowed to participate in your test of MIR?

    Another significant flaw in your position here is that even if you accept the intellectual threshold of being able to count to 15 as the key level at which one can claim to actually be testing the existence of MIR, you have the problem that you often mean things when you talk about "reality" that don't fall under the heading of how many dominoes are on a table. Or are you ready to say that when you imagine the existence of an MIR, you only include in that MIR concept results that are the outcomes of objective quantitative observations, and nothing else? If you say yes, note that you cannot hold the same concept of MIR as gzhpcu does, because he says that tigers are a part of what he means by MIR. And can you see that as soon as you have to admit that you mean something different by your MIR concept than what other people mean by theirs, this shows that your MIR concept depends on your mind? Again you have the question you have not answered: what reality do you mean when you say you have evidence that MIR exists?

    If this kind of thing were happening often all over the place then MIR would be almost certainly wrong. But I never hear about anything like this in spite of so much opportunity.
    One thing we certainly agree on is there is a wide body of shared experience within the set of human perceptions that exhibit enough quantitative consistency that we can have something to call empirical science. So the issue has never been whether or not it is possible to build a successful concept of objective reality and base science around that concept, we have found that this is indeed possible. The question has always been whether or not our minds play a role in what can be included in the process of doing empirical science, and whether or not our minds play a role in deciding what aspects of reality can we successfully interpret from our workable theories. The MDR hypothesis claims that we can see this mind dependence in action pretty easily, we only have to look at how our minds have an effect on what we count as "objective", and how our minds take lessons from those objective outcomes. It is almost always the lessons our minds take, and not the objective observations themselves, that people mean when they invoke their word "reality."

  29. #13109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    ...The MDR hypothesis claims that we can see this mind dependence in action pretty easily, we only have to look at how our minds have an effect on what we count as "objective", and how our minds take lessons from those objective outcomes.
    This looks to me like another one of your nice nutshells -- a simple but lucid highpoint for delineation of the two views.

    The Aristotle/Ptolemy/Thomist vs. Copernican models analogy you used above always gets my interest because of how well that dramatic battle exemplifies things like truth vs. empirical evidence. Galileo's discovery of the phases for Venus that falsified the former model was first seen as subjective; it was his opinion of what he saw. Those important observations, of course, became objective the more others agreed with his findings, though some had trouble confirming his observations based on bad seeing and unwilling minds.

    Yet many, not all, religious leaders held to their dogma, with a touch of obstinance, enough to have them adopt the clumsy Tychonic model, which seemed to have, for a while, a path of less resistance. The elegance and unifying arguments of Copernicus should have been enough to overcome the parallax dilemma, especially when Kepler's laws quickly came along.

    Objectivity is initially like ready-mix -- given enough time and not overly disturbed, it will become concrete. We all like to keep things as simple as possible and we like the idea that we have firm foundations we label as truths, which is okay if we understand the truthful fact is that things can change.

    It is almost always the lessons our minds take, and not the objective observations themselves, that people mean when they invoke their word "reality."
    Many call Ready-mix trucks "Concrete trucks". Whenever they become a concrete truck, they suddenly have a very big problem. It's okay to call them concrete trucks if we all understand we are speaking of goals not conditions.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  30. #13110
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    That was just a sample test. If someone can't count to 15 then something else could be devised.

    Yes, my concept of MIR is in my mind. I can't prove that it's real and I don't need to believe that it's real. Based on my observations over the years, I'll just treat it as likely to be real while awaiting more information. If it's not real, it's close enough at this time.

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