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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #13561
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    An Antitheist would also oppose the creation of a religious truth table in the first place on the basis of it being counterproductive.

    The model is also misconceived from the get-go:
    Distinguishing The Atheist Agnostic, The Theist Gnostic, The Atheist Gnostic, and The Theist Agnostic;
    What is Agnostic Theism?:

    • Theist: a person who has a belief in God.
    • Atheist: a person who lacks a belief in God.
    • Gnostic: a person who believes that the issue of God's existence (whether they believe or disbelieve) is knowable as a fact.
    • Agnostic: a person who believes that the issue of God's existence (whether they believe or disbelieve) is not knowable as a fact.

    That gives four possibilities:
    1. Gnostic Theist- a person who believes that God exists, and believes they know this for a fact.
    2. Agnostic Theist - a person who believes that God exists, but also believes that they could be mistaken.
    3. Gnostic Atheist - a person who believes that God does not exist, and believes they know this for a fact.
    4. Agnostic Atheist - a person who believes that God does not exist, but also believes that they could be mistaken.

    It's a common mistake to believe that 'an Agnostic' is someone who is 'in the middle'.
    You missed out the Atheist who doesn't believe 'god' exists but also doesn't believe they are mistaken which isn't surprising because this is the same position you take with a MDR+MIR model, you don't believe a SMIR exists outside your SMDR and don't believe you are mistaken. By using warped logic you taint your own argument through omission.

  2. #13562
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    You missed out the Atheist who doesn't believe 'god' exists but also doesn't believe they are mistaken which isn't surprising because this is the same position you take with a MDR+MIR model, you don't believe a SMIR exists outside your SMDR and don't believe you are mistaken.
    1) I view SMIR is an oxymoron because MIR is not linked to any objective evidence;
    2) SMDR is distinguished by its process. SMDR is also referred to in this thread as 'objective reality';
    3) What I believe, or don't believe, is irrelevant when it comes to (1) and (2) above, because both are well evidenced (objectively).
    4) You have not provided any references which demonstrate your claims of: what I believe or don't believe ... so they can be dismissed on the same basis.

  3. #13563
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    An Antitheist would also oppose the creation of a religious truth table in the first place on the basis of it being counterproductive.

    The model is also misconceived from the get-go:
    Distinguishing The Atheist Agnostic, The Theist Gnostic, The Atheist Gnostic, and The Theist Agnostic;
    What is Agnostic Theism?:

    • Theist: a person who has a belief in God.
    • Atheist: a person who lacks a belief in God.
    • Gnostic: a person who believes that the issue of God's existence (whether they believe or disbelieve) is knowable as a fact.
    • Agnostic: a person who believes that the issue of God's existence (whether they believe or disbelieve) is not knowable as a fact.

    That gives four possibilities:
    1. Gnostic Theist- a person who believes that God exists, and believes they know this for a fact.
    2. Agnostic Theist - a person who believes that God exists, but also believes that they could be mistaken.
    3. Gnostic Atheist - a person who believes that God does not exist, and believes they know this for a fact.
    4. Agnostic Atheist - a person who believes that God does not exist, but also believes that they could be mistaken.

    It's a common mistake to believe that 'an Agnostic' is someone who is 'in the middle'.
    agreed. The liberation , or freedom to believe in various unknowables, is the reward of being clear about what the mind can never know while the objective evidence of mind and how it evolves and works is valid science and therefore a growing part of our knowledge.

    to expand on that, the agnostic can never condemn a belief but can try to be clear about why that belief is not, and can never be, knowledge. That leaves a space for understandings we do not have yet, namely better models, better tested predictions, which we know will never leap free of being models.

    Many years ago, at school, the definition of agnostic was mixed up with weak atheism and for me, the concept had to grow with introspection and discussion. Facing the strength of opposition in this thread, plus the clarity of, in particular, KenG's scientific perspective, has been most helpful.
    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

  4. #13564
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    Yes I see a connection with this thread, in the sense that the key issue here is keeping track of the processes that bring us to regard any particular statement as a truth. This is related to the process of giving our word "truth" its meaning, and noticing all the different meanings that word can be given-- depending on all the different possible paths to arrive at different "truths". Agnosticism is related to this in the sense that the first rule of the agnostic is to keep track of what can be known, versus what requires a kind of leap of faith.

  5. #13565
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    Quote Originally Posted by SelfSim
    Actually in the 2010 sequel, it was revealed that:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiki
    HAL's crisis was caused by a programming contradiction: he was constructed for "the accurate processing of information without distortion or concealment", yet his orders, directly from Dr. Heywood Floyd at the National Council on Astronautics, required him to keep the discovery of the Monolith TMA-1 a secret for reasons of national security. This contradiction created a "Hofstadter-Moebius loop", reducing HAL to paranoia. Therefore, HAL made the decision to kill the crew, thereby allowing him to obey both his hardwired instructions to report data truthfully and in full, and his orders to keep the monolith a secret. In essence: if the crew were dead, he would no longer have to keep the information secret.
    The way I read this is that the logic itself, produced 'the evil' (a logical contradiction).. or in other words; 'the evil' was the product of HAL's logical process, (yet HAL had no basis for perceiving that).
    I thought I remembered that the "evil" was not in HAL's logic, it was in the unjust goals of HAL's programmers...
    There's still something left 'lingering' in the above conversation .. I think we could agree that HAL's absent sense of morality ultimately directly produced the deaths here, I think(?)
    Surely this then, is pointing us towards how morality is necessary for anchoring logic in human philosophy? (It also underpins inheritance, variation and selection in Evolution theory as well).
    I think there's some kind of imperative implication for logic's effectiveness as a tool here(?) (I mean Spock was always second-in-charge to Kirk .. and, as his character unfolded, this was shown to be for a good reason, too).

    I get the point about pure logic not necessarily needing belief based prerequisites .. but look what the outcome was for the crew of the Discovery!
    (Some would also argue the same effect was present behind the eugenics programs during the Second World War .. and still happens).
    The science behind nuclear weapons may have facilitated their production but the decision to use them I think, was a logical one?

    Science's base purpose is usefulness .. but logic seems to be closer to needing, (perhaps satisfying?), the human sense of morality in order to produce analogous usefulness.
    (Arnie/Terminator V1.0 was missing morality also).

    It might be a thin-line of (evidence based) argument; but logic's roots in philosophical origins, still appear more deeply embedded in 'human-ness' to me, because of its relationship with the truth concept, when compared with science's(?) Science 'truth' seems more distant from human concepts such as morality(?)
    Whilst I accept that formal logic creates a distancing effect, logic's predominant usage more directly impacts human minds than science .. (eg: logic is used as the basis of the Judicial system .. and not science?)

  6. #13566
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    1) I view SMIR is an oxymoron because MIR is not linked to any objective evidence;
    2) SMDR is distinguished by its process. SMDR is also referred to in this thread as 'objective reality';
    3) What I believe, or don't believe, is irrelevant when it comes to (1) and (2) above, because both are well evidenced (objectively).
    4) You have not provided any references which demonstrate your claims of: what I believe or don't believe ... so they can be dismissed on the same basis.
    1. From Google http://www.ict.griffith.edu.au/joan/atheism/reality.php

    The objective reality is the collection of things that we are sure exist independently of us. Every person is able, in principle, to verify every aspect of the objective reality. Anything that cannot be verified in this way is not part of the objective reality.
    It appears that you are conflating quantum concepts and classical concepts to make your point.

    2. Through your quantum/classic chimera maybe, refer above.
    3. Refer to 1 and 2 above.
    4. The only reference you quote is Ken G.

    https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...89#post2499589

    I recently read an article (below, pay wall) that stated while most religious people initially thought that Atheists were morally depraved, adding the information based on the subjects view to promiscuity (Atheist, Theist or Agnostic), removed the initial misconception and made promiscuity the main factor with regards to morality regardless of religious 'beliefs'. I distinctly get the impression that Theists and Agnostics have one thing in common, that they are not certain if there is a 'god' or not, while Atheists do not have that type of belief system.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article...-defies-logic/

    Also, as profloater introduced the term 'soft' to identify the difference between 'hard' Atheists (that you omitted and I highlighted) and Agnostics this conversation should also introduce the terms 'soft' SMDR model and 'hard' SMDR model to acknowledge people who recognize the SMDR as absolute without any SMDIR and those who don't.
    Last edited by LaurieAG; 2019-Dec-24 at 07:37 AM.

  7. #13567
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    My introduction of soft atheism was to highlight its lack of rigour. Many people do seem to see agnostic as merely undecided or timid about the consequences of boldly declaring faith or atheism. I saw this and still see this as an unjustified assumption that morality derives from a supernatural source. But there are alternative interpretations of morality. I suggest morality is probabalistic and not logical. There is obvious group survival value in group morality, as espoused by religion, and codified into law in most societies. Yet there are easy to define situations where individual survival requires breaking with those morals and laws. The chance of those situations is a probability exercise and the ratio of amoral and criminal individuals may well demonstrate the probability numbers. Therefore I see no defence of MIR in either logic or morality as observations. What we see is the huge variation in mind strategies for survival and we can find these variations within one individual. The mind is plastic as the brain is plastic, an adaptive organ of survival. Therefore there are many realities.
    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 suggest morality is probabalistic and not logical.
    Well, that's interesting feedback .. ie: that you see morality and logic as being clearly distinct from eachother (I agree).

    Quote Originally Posted by profloater
    .. Yet there are easy to define situations where individual survival requires breaking with those morals and laws. The chance of those situations is a probability exercise and the ratio of amoral and criminal individuals may well demonstrate the probability numbers.
    So you see morality as not necessarily having a binary attribute (like: 'true/false') .. Ie: its more like a sliding scale attribute, across a population. (I would agree).

    Quote Originally Posted by profloater
    Therefore I see no defence of MIR in either logic or morality as observations.
    Yes .. where the outcome of morality can be conceived (and tested) objectively, then where would be the overlap with the 'mind independent' part of MIR(?) .. I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by profloater
    What we see is the huge variation in mind strategies for survival and we can find these variations within one individual. The mind is plastic as the brain is plastic, an adaptive organ of survival.
    The variations produced by different minds, is all addressed in the MDR hypothesis, for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by profloater
    Therefore there are many realities.
    Ie: many variants of what minds mean by 'reality'.

    As distinct from what you say above here, my personal query lies in what I see (perhaps) as being an apparent need for morality, in order for us to produce value for humans, from logic. Eg: logic is almost intrinsic to decision making. Decisions are clearly very mind dependent .. but the value emerging from those decisions is almost inseparable from the plasticity of meanings humans would assign to 'truth' (or morality) across the population(?)

    I'm not so sure that science is as dependent on the plasticity of meanings for morality (or truth), when it comes to its utility value assessments, as compared with logic(?)
    I'm still seeing more evidence of a hand-in-glove relationship between logic, morality and truth, than there might be between science, morality and what science defines as truth(?)
    I'm looking for some useful distinctions here, I suppose because logic is not science, so there must be some kind of useful distinctions along these above lines?

  9. #13569
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    There's still something left 'lingering' in the above conversation .. I think we could agree that HAL's absent sense of morality ultimately directly produced the deaths here, I think(?)
    Surely this then, is pointing us towards how morality is necessary for anchoring logic in human philosophy? (It also underpins inheritance, variation and selection in Evolution theory as well).
    I think there's some kind of imperative implication for logic's effectiveness as a tool here(?) (I mean Spock was always second-in-charge to Kirk .. and, as his character unfolded, this was shown to be for a good reason, too).

    I get the point about pure logic not necessarily needing belief based prerequisites .. but look what the outcome was for the crew of the Discovery!
    (Some would also argue the same effect was present behind the eugenics programs during the Second World War .. and still happens).
    The science behind nuclear weapons may have facilitated their production but the decision to use them I think, was a logical one?

    Science's base purpose is usefulness .. but logic seems to be closer to needing, (perhaps satisfying?), the human sense of morality in order to produce analogous usefulness.
    (Arnie/Terminator V1.0 was missing morality also).

    It might be a thin-line of (evidence based) argument; but logic's roots in philosophical origins, still appear more deeply embedded in 'human-ness' to me, because of its relationship with the truth concept, when compared with science's(?) Science 'truth' seems more distant from human concepts such as morality(?)
    Whilst I accept that formal logic creates a distancing effect, logic's predominant usage more directly impacts human minds than science .. (eg: logic is used as the basis of the Judicial system .. and not science?)
    You were correct about the embedded 'human-ness' as shown by HAL (IBM offset by 1 character) as even Isaac Asimov's Laws of Robotics are essentially 'fictional devices' used to move the plot forward. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_o...of_Robotics%22

    At present there is no computer technology, either hardware or software, that can enable these 'fictional devices' to become any part of the SMDR because they are basically rules and orders that a human can understand and obey, to a certain extent depending on the morality of the individual. While quantum computers may be touted as the next best thing in computing and science, that will solve all of our current problems, they are only good at doing a specific complex calculation faster than current computers. They are purpose built for each specific calculation and any particular QC can be 'scaled' only for the problem it was designed. As such they are incapable of evolving to become a HAL, Terminator or any other sentient AI that can behave like a human, soft or hard, and are entirely products of a fertile human imagination.

    So unlike HG Wells 'First Men in the Moon', which provides an extension to an existing technology of the time that is more than just a literary device, HAL and the Terminator have no current scientific or technological link with our current SMDR and therefore can exist nowhere within our current SMDR in any way shape or form.

    Why discuss these concepts if you don't think there is a SMIR that contains the things we don't know yet?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    You were correct about the embedded 'human-ness' as shown by HAL (IBM offset by 1 character) as even Isaac Asimov's Laws of Robotics are essentially 'fictional devices' used to move the plot forward. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_o...of_Robotics%22

    At present there is no computer technology, either hardware or software, that can enable these 'fictional devices' to become any part of the SMDR because they are basically rules and orders that a human can understand and obey, to a certain extent depending on the morality of the individual.

    While quantum computers may be touted as the next best thing in computing and science, that will solve all of our current problems, they are only good at doing a specific complex calculation faster than current computers. They are purpose built for each specific calculation and any particular QC can be 'scaled' only for the problem it was designed. As such they are incapable of evolving to become a HAL, Terminator or any other sentient AI that can behave like a human, soft or hard, and are entirely products of a fertile human imagination.

    So unlike HG Wells 'First Men in the Moon', which provides an extension to an existing technology of the time that is more than just a literary device, HAL and the Terminator have no current scientific or technological link with our current SMDR and therefore can exist nowhere within our current SMDR in any way shape or form.
    The issue I'm raising has nothing to do with whether 'embedded 'human-ness' as shown by HAL' can be programmed into present (or future) computing technology, or not.
    That being said, Automated Reasoning is a field of cognitive science which:
    helps produce computer programs that allow computers to reason completely, or nearly completely, automatically. Although automated reasoning is considered a sub-field of artificial intelligence, it also has connections with theoretical computer science, and even philosophy.

    The most developed subareas of automated reasoning are automated theorem proving (and the less automated but more pragmatic subfield of interactive theorem proving) and automated proof checking (viewed as guaranteed correct reasoning under fixed assumptions).Extensive work has also been done in reasoning by analogy using induction and abduction.
    The point I'm raising however is that such automated reasoning (exhibited by the fictional HAL) led to mission defeating actions such as killing the crew of the Discovery. We see in this scenario, that inductive and abductive logic, when applied in isolation of a sense of morality, led to a logical contradiction which produced an outcome that was clearly not useful.

    The notion I'm putting forward is that science (as distinct from logic), appears to need no such external references to human principles, in order to produce usefulness, because usefulness is the whole purpose for doing science from the outset .. Doing science will always be useful, by operational definition, whereas the usefulness of logic appears to be dependent on references to external human principles, such as the search for truth(?) I only raise this as a query I have .. I'm open to considering new distinctions which may counter that notion.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG
    Why discuss these concepts if you don't think there is a SMIR that contains the things we don't know yet?
    Because that would have nothing to do with my query, SMIR is an oxymoron, so why would I bother myself with any of that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    There's still something left 'lingering' in the above conversation .. I think we could agree that HAL's absent sense of morality ultimately directly produced the deaths here, I think(?)
    Yes, I think you're right, it sounds like there is an intended message that high intelligence and technological power can lead to evil if it is not curtailed by a strong sense of morality. Asimov tried to address that with his laws of robotics, but perhaps what is also needed is some kind of failsafe for dealing with logical contradictions. Like the computerized aliens on Star Trek, who either went into safe mode, or self-destructed!
    Surely this then, is pointing us towards how morality is necessary for anchoring logic in human philosophy?
    Yes, that relates to the fact that all logic can do is discern equivalence classes of theorems and postulates, it can never "judge the postulates." About the best logic can do is notice when postulates are not internally consistent, but it can't tell what to do when that problem is encountered.
    I get the point about pure logic not necessarily needing belief based prerequisites .. but look what the outcome was for the crew of the Discovery!
    I completely agree that logic by itself is empty, it's a tool like a hammer. You need some kind of plan for it. That's one reason I never denigrate beliefs-- I only say that logic and belief are two separate things and create problems when one gets confused with the other.
    Science's base purpose is usefulness .. but logic seems to be closer to needing, (perhaps satisfying?), the human sense of morality in order to produce analogous usefulness.
    Even the usefulness of science is a choice we make, it doesn't really follow from logic. Once you decide the goal is usefulness, then logic can guide what to do next, but it can't tell you that usefulness is a good thing-- or what to sacrifice for it.
    (Arnie/Terminator V1.0 was missing morality also).
    It's certainly a fertile sci fi trope to explore when the immoral find morality!

    It might be a thin-line of (evidence based) argument; but logic's roots in philosophical origins, still appear more deeply embedded in 'human-ness' to me, because of its relationship with the truth concept, when compared with science's(?) Science 'truth' seems more distant from human concepts such as morality(?)
    It's all a question of which type of truth you mean-- it's important that truth is not all one thing, that leads to problems (indeed, horrific ones).
    Whilst I accept that formal logic creates a distancing effect, logic's predominant usage more directly impacts human minds than science .. (eg: logic is used as the basis of the Judicial system .. and not science?)
    It would be interesting to explore whether people in general rely more often on logic, or on belief. The answer might surprise.

  12. #13572
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    Also, as profloater introduced the term 'soft' to identify the difference between 'hard' Atheists (that you omitted and I highlighted) and Agnostics this conversation should also introduce the terms 'soft' SMDR model and 'hard' SMDR model to acknowledge people who recognize the SMDR as absolute without any SMDIR and those who don't.
    The way you can tell you don't understand what we are talking about, when we talk about MDR (or SMDR, they are the same thing here), is that you keep thinking MDR and MIR are two competing belief systems. This is completely wrong. MIR is a belief, MDR is purely evidence-based, no belief required. That's why it would make no sense whatsoever to talk about "soft" or "hard" MDR-- we have no interest at all in what anyone who is building an MDR believes about anything.

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    To repeat, the purposes of recognizing the mind's role do not involve building a new belief system. It is to:
    1) relax the artificial distinction between observer and what is observed, to build more sophisticated theories of physics
    2) motivate advances in understanding how the brain works, to identify its role in the process of science
    3) connect the individual with their own responsibility for what they regard as being true
    4) add insight into current physics models that afford a surprising role to the observer, including the entropy concept in thermodynamics, the uncertainty concept in quantum mechanics, and the frame of reference concept in relativity.
    Those are all evidence-based goals, none of them have anything to do with belief systems., and no MDR thinker has any reason to care if anyone else does, or does not, choose to believe in the existence of an MIR (which means, choose to believe the terms "exist" and "mind-independent" and "reality" have any meaningful overlap that falls outside the purvey of attributes of demonstrably mind-dependent models).
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Dec-25 at 06:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    ...4) add insight into current physics models that afford a surprising role to the observer, including the entropy concept in thermodynamics, the uncertainty concept in quantum mechanics, and the frame of reference concept in relativity.
    .. which is easily summarised by Physics' Observer Effect. I think this particular theory articulates the physical observation basis of we've been talking about in this thread.

    The fact that such a theory is already recognised in maninstream science, also demonstrates that what we've been talking about is not just some kind of 'out there airy fairy concept developed for the purposes of raving on about philosophies and claiming bragging rights about that, in some web forum thread (as some seem to want to imply).

    Happy and safe Christmas/Holidays to all, by the way ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I completely agree that logic by itself is empty, it's a tool like a hammer. You need some kind of plan for it. That's one reason I never denigrate beliefs-- I only say that logic and belief are two separate things and create problems when one gets confused with the other.
    I think there is value in distinguishing reasoned (or informed) beliefs, from unreasoned or uninformed ones. (This is also consistent with your updated definition of truth: '"that which I hold to be true out of preference that does not follow from objective tests and is not beholden to the rules of logic.")

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    Even the usefulness of science is a choice we make, it doesn't really follow from logic.
    I'm not so sure about that yet .. there must be reasons for doing science .. its certainly not intuitive to do science, whereas intuitiveness is a distinguishing feature of 'a choice' for me.
    Eg: asking a kid whether they would like chocolate ice cream or vanilla? The query as to why they made one particular choice over the other, might typically be met with a shoulder-shrug: 'dunno' (which I take as meaning - 'No reason' - ie: it was a choice).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    Once you decide the goal is usefulness,
    A 'decision' implies reasoning too, eh?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    ..then logic can guide what to do next, but it can't tell you that usefulness is a good thing-- or what to sacrifice for it.
    I think reasoning and logic are intertwined here .. which links back to my query/contention that logic (or reasoning) and truth, (whatever particular variant of the meaning of truth we wish to assign to that word within the scope of whatever the concept was always broadly intended to cover), are themselves, very closely related .. moreso than: science and its concept of truth - science can still proceed ignoring its concepts of truth .. in fact, its also continually retesting its scientific 'truths' with each new testing step(?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    It's all a question of which type of truth you mean-- it's important that truth is not all one thing, that leads to problems (indeed, horrific ones).It would be interesting to explore whether people in general rely more often on logic, or on belief. The answer might surprise.
    I think the distinction of reasoned vs unreasoned belief is valuable here .. and 'truth' would then be whatever people believe .. (reasoned or unreasoned)? This notion then gets close to providing some objectivity (or operationality) behind truth(?)
    Last edited by Selfsim; 2019-Dec-25 at 09:19 PM.

  16. #13576
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Well, that's interesting feedback .. ie: that you see morality and logic as being clearly distinct from eachother (I agree).

    So you see morality as not necessarily having a binary attribute (like: 'true/false') .. Ie: its more like a sliding scale attribute, across a population. (I would agree).

    Yes .. where the outcome of morality can be conceived (and tested) objectively, then where would be the overlap with the 'mind independent' part of MIR(?) .. I agree.

    The variations produced by different minds, is all addressed in the MDR hypothesis, for sure.

    Ie: many variants of what minds mean by 'reality'.

    As distinct from what you say above here, my personal query lies in what I see (perhaps) as being an apparent need for morality, in order for us to produce value for humans, from logic. Eg: logic is almost intrinsic to decision making. Decisions are clearly very mind dependent .. but the value emerging from those decisions is almost inseparable from the plasticity of meanings humans would assign to 'truth' (or morality) across the population(?)

    I'm not so sure that science is as dependent on the plasticity of meanings for morality (or truth), when it comes to its utility value assessments, as compared with logic(?)
    I'm still seeing more evidence of a hand-in-glove relationship between logic, morality and truth, than there might be between science, morality and what science defines as truth(?)
    I'm looking for some useful distinctions here, I suppose because logic is not science, so there must be some kind of useful distinctions along these above lines?
    In humans decisions are mostly emotional as in all higher animals. Then we use analysis and logic to modify or achieve our decisions. Science may have many decisions to take but i suggest they are mostly emotional. “Because it’s there” for example. Our societies could work very well using engineers, yet we want to go to the moon and understand the cosmos. Stockmarkets for example would not exist if we were logical. Fear and greed are the prime emotions at work. Logic is abstracted into models. The MDR models we talk about are from evidence but even then we judge by emotion, for example preferring simple equations and beauty, as has been discussed earlier.
    How could we use logic in a rigorous way if we agree we cannot know the fundamental basis of phenomena? I think science is Bayesian in its method as is the brain, our predictions evolve with new evidence. Our model of reality in science is a set of probabilities, I should’ve said models of course, as I have just posted that there are as many realities as there are minds!
    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 Selfsim View Post
    The fact that such a theory is already recognised in maninstream science, also demonstrates that what we've been talking about is not just some kind of 'out there airy fairy concept developed for the purposes of raving on about philosophies and claiming bragging rights about that, in some web forum thread (as some seem to want to imply).
    I heartily agree on all counts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    I think there is value in distinguishing reasoned (or informed) beliefs, from unreasoned or uninformed ones.
    The problem I have with the phrase "informed beliefs" is simply that it is generalizing the meaning of "belief" such that it starts to include too many things. I realize that many people do use that word to mean "whatever is held to be true" without much concern for the different paths to that truth. But that's what lets in confusion. If one uses modifiers like "informed" or "uninformed" beliefs, then it starts to invade on the territory of a "leap of faith" type of belief, like saying that the belief is invalid because it is uninformed. Let me take a more specific example-- the belief that the universe was created 6000 years ago. I would not call that an "uninformed belief", I would call it a belief, period. It suffices to call it a belief because what I mean by a belief is always absent of objective evidence. If there is objective evidence, then it is not a belief at all, because it now has a very different goal-- the goal to follow evidence. As soon as one makes it one's goal to follow objective evidence, one has already left the building of belief-- otherwise we have no word to use when one has chosen to follow evidence! One gets into a kind of "Tower of Babel" when one says first that they believe in some particular religion, and then later that they believe they left their keys on the coffee table. Those are just not at all the same things, and should not use any words that suggest they are the same thing and all that differs is the degree of objective evidence. There is never any objective evidence for a leap of faith, none at all-- it's a different thing altogether, very subjective and with very different goals. The problem comes in when the goals are around objective outcomes (like getting cured of cancer) but belief is chosen as the path to truth (like believing in the power of a shaman to cure cancer). There is some objective evidence that a positive mental attitude can improve the prognosis of a disease, but that's a far cry from getting cured of cancer by a shaman instead of by an operation followed by chemotherapy!
    [/I]
    I'm not so sure about that yet .. there must be reasons for doing science .. its certainly not intuitive to do science, whereas intuitiveness is a distinguishing feature of 'a choice' for me.
    No doubt there are reasons, involving the successful track record of science. That isn't logic though, logic doesn't care if science has a track record. If you want to be cured of cancer, you can use logic in the context of scientific predictions about your prognosis, but you cannot use logic to tell you that you don't want to die-- there's no logic in either living or dying, either just is. Also, bear in minds that it was never obvious that science would work at all-- many ancient people thought it couldn't work that way, the only path forward was of the "leap of faith" variety. It turned out that science did work pretty well, but to this day no one knows why. So it isn't logic that makes us choose science, it is simply the choice to follow the evidence, and only then does logic become useful. The theologian need not make that choice, yet can still use the tool of logic in a different way.
    Eg: asking a kid whether they would like chocolate ice cream or vanilla? The query as to why they made one particular choice over the other, might typically be met with a shoulder-shrug: 'dunno' (which I take as meaning - 'No reason' - ie: it was a choice).
    I agree, what we mean by "reasons" for things is a rather vague, bizarre, and often ineffective notion. Yet still many people believe (in the leap of faith kind of way that I use the word) that "things happen for a reason." I think the evidence of that, even in physics, is quite poor, but it depends on how much stock one puts in the concept of a "reason." In the context of MDR thinking, the "reason" things happen is nothing more than the sense we make of why they happen. The things themselves are never beholden to our "reasonings", it's more like a relationship, or dialog, that we have with them.
    A 'decision' implies reasoning too, eh? I think reasoning and logic are intertwined here ..
    I can't say there is much logic in evidence in many decisions people make (as profloater points out, there can be a lot of emotion). We certainly cannot hold that one needs logic to make a decision, though perhaps there are varying degrees to which logic is used. But when it comes to choosing a belief, what I mean by the word is a decision that involves no logic at all. What is the logic behind choosing to believe in MIR? I believe this thread has shown the best such a believer can do is not appeal to logic at all-- for when they try to, it is only fallacy they end up with, which proves it was never actually logic they were using-- they chose a belief first, and back-filled the faulty logic as an attempt at justification after the fact.
    which links back to my query/contention that logic (or reasoning) and truth, (whatever particular variant of the meaning of truth we wish to assign to that word within the scope of whatever the concept was always broadly intended to cover), are themselves, very closely related .. moreso than: science and its concept of truth - science can still proceed ignoring its concepts of truth .. in fact, its also continually retesting its scientific 'truths' with each new testing step(?)
    I would say that's what truth is in science-- it's not that science doesn't need a concept of truth, it's that science needs to define its own concept of scientific truth. It is a definition that is closely related to what can be objectively tested and demonstrated, but it is also contextual and subject to modification.
    I think the distinction of reasoned vs unreasoned belief is valuable here .. and 'truth' would then be whatever people believe .. (reasoned or unreasoned)? This notion then gets close to providing some objectivity (or operationality) behind truth(?)
    I agree that the goal is to put objectivity and operationality into the concept of scientific truth, but other kinds of truth have no use for either objectivity or operationality. We cannot deny those goals their use of the term "truth", because they have chosen to believe their truth is indeed a truth-- but they cannot choose to believe it is an objective or operational truth, nor that it dovetails well with objective outcomes, without ignoring a mountain of evidence to the contrary. Belief is what people hold to be true without evidence, and they can make the choice not to follow the evidence, but they cannot claim the evidence isn't there. That isn't belief, it's ignorance.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Dec-26 at 04:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    The way you can tell you don't understand what we are talking about, when we talk about MDR (or SMDR, they are the same thing here), is that you keep thinking MDR and MIR are two competing belief systems. This is completely wrong. MIR is a belief, MDR is purely evidence-based, no belief required. That's why it would make no sense whatsoever to talk about "soft" or "hard" MDR-- we have no interest at all in what anyone who is building an MDR believes about anything.
    I have never said that there is only a SMIR and not a SMDR Ken G, please do not make this baseless claim again.

    "The Nature of Space and Time", Chapter 7, by Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose.

    STEPHEN HAWKING

    THESE LECTURES HAVE SHOWN very clearly the difference between Roger and me. He's a Platonist and I'm a positivist. He's worried that Schrodinger's cat is in a quantum state, where it is half alive and half dead. He feels that can't correspond to reality. But that doesn't bother me. I don't demand that a theory corresponds to reality because I don't know what it is. Reality is not a quality that you can test with litmus paper. All I'm concerned with is that the theory should predict the results of measurements.
    If you wish to argue against the published work of BOTH the late Stephen Hawking AND Roger Penrose then take it to ATM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    I have never said that there is only a SMIR and not a SMDR Ken G, please do not make this baseless claim again.
    Huh? That's weird .. I don't see anywhere that any such claim was made?

    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG
    If you wish to argue against the published work of BOTH the late Stephen Hawking AND Roger Penrose then take it to ATM.
    What nonsense is this?
    Hawking and Mlodinow published a book on Model Dependent Realism, called 'The Grand Design', 2010!

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    Doesn't "informed" belief get used all the time concerning the descriptive element of scientific models?

    When Newton developed his theory, he offered no mechanism for the superluminal attraction between bodies, in fact he was highly skeptical concerning it. It was offered as a belief to account for the predictive laws, but it seems to me that it would have been an informed belief, the tested science of the model was used to establish such a belief. Newton didn't establish such a belief solely on the basis of a dream (for example), if he had, that would have been an "uninformed" belief.

    Prior to GR, that belief was adopted as a given, as an aspect of the model, so the belief did attain some kind of objective status, but nowhere was any evidence produced that modelled a mechanism for such an actual attraction, the evidence to support Newtons laws had no connection to such a mechanism.

    I would say the same concerning the mechanism of curved space, as I understand things there is nothing within the model of GR that provides evidence for a mechanism of curvature. That aspect of the model seems to be a belief, but an "informed" belief.

    Interpretations (say for example the many worlds) are fed by a tested model, they can seen to be consistent with the model and so are "informed" beliefs. If the many worlds interpretation was "informed" solely by a dream, then that I think would be an "uninformed" belief.

    It may not matter to the belief itself whether it is an "informed" or "uninformed" type, but we don't seem to strip away all of the descriptive notions of a model on the basis that a belief cannot be categorised in any such manner, rather we seem to accommodate"informed" beliefs all the time within science. Unless, like Hawking you only concern yourself with the predictive model and treat everything else associated with the model as irrelevant.

    It seems to me that at the end of the day, if you strip out all of the "informed" belief structures from science because "informed" beliefs are identical to "uninformed" beliefs then what are we left with in physics? Seems to me we are left with engineering. But isn't there a utility to such beliefs within science? If beliefs are that worthless in terms of substance, why do we continue to use them in science in the manner I describe?

    Or am I simply wrong to say that the attraction Newton envisaged as occurring between bodies was a belief structure, that rather it "fell" out of Newtons evidence based model as much as the trajectory of a thrown stone "fell" out of the model? If it was supported by the model, the evidence was pretty indirect I would say considering that not one aspect of that notion (the notion of an attractive force between bodies) survived Einsteins model - if such an "evidence" based notion could be so comprehensively overturned, what does that say about the substance of the evidence? Does it not suggest that rather than evidence being used by Newton, it was actually an informed belief?

    We might say an "informed" belief in science is really a scientific assumption, used to support the model. But the underlying nuts and bolts of such assumptions, by their very definition, are not evidence based, they are glossed over or ignored. But there is no doubting the utility of such assumptions, but why call them assumptions, why not call them "informed" beliefs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    I have never said that there is only a SMIR and not a SMDR Ken G, please do not make this baseless claim again.
    Except that I never said any such thing. Please stick to what I actually say before you ask me not to say it again! What I did say is that, when discussing MDR, there would be no reason to distinguish whether people choose to believe in MIR or not. The latter is a personal issue, of no importance for this forum. I also said that you seem confused about that last point, but as always I then provided the evidence.
    If you wish to argue against the published work of BOTH the late Stephen Hawking AND Roger Penrose then take it to ATM.
    It seems you need to look at Hawking's words again-- he's essentially talking about MDR, so why would anything I'm saying be regarded as "arguing against" something Hawking published? But even if it was, it would not be ATM-- there are not "mainstream" positions in philosophy, philosophy is about discourse.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Dec-27 at 12:37 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran View Post
    Doesn't "informed" belief get used all the time concerning the descriptive element of scientific models?
    The word "belief" gets used all the time, but it is so vague that it often means nothing more than "holding something to be true for any reason whatsoever." I don't use either "belief" or "truth" in that way, I want them to mean something, so I restrict the word "belief" to mean "that which is held to be true via a process of personal preference that does not cite objective evidence." Notice that we have countless situations to apply that word-- including the belief that there exists a reality that is independent of the capabilities of our minds and the workings of our perceptions.

    Of course, this is a science forum, so we are only interested in evidence-- any useful idea must survive being sliced by the double-edged sword of not only agreeing with observations, but also not having good reason for the observations to come out that way unless the suggested idea was "true." When we encounter an idea that succeeds at that standard, we don't need to call it a "belief"-- we should call it a successful theory, and not believe it. So that's why I don't like calling such a thing an "informed belief", that fails to recognize the completely different path taken to arrive at that "truth." Contrast that with, for example, someone choosing to believe in a religious miracle.
    When Newton developed his theory, he offered no mechanism for the superluminal attraction between bodies, in fact he was highly skeptical concerning it.
    As should all theorists, about all theories. That's the hard lesson, the one we still haven't learned after all these years! (TOE anyone?)
    It was offered as a belief to account for the predictive laws, but it seems to me that it would have been an informed belief, the tested science of the model was used to establish such a belief.
    So that's exactly the situation I would not use the word "belief" for, simply because otherwise that word leads to misconception and misunderstanding if that distinction is not made somehow, and very clearly.
    Newton didn't establish such a belief solely on the basis of a dream (for example), if he had, that would have been an "uninformed" belief.
    Watson says he first visualized the structure of DNA in a dream, and other such incidents have been reported (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dreams), but none of that matters because it makes no difference how someone came to an idea-- what matters is what process do they use to decide it is "true." If a choice is made to use objective evidence, that's one kind of truth (call it "scientific" or "objective" truth). If it's not, I call it belief, and there are plenty of examples of the latter. So there's no reason to distinguish between "informed" or "uninformed" beliefs (would you care to use that razor to decide if Watson's dream was informed or uninformed?), there's only a reason to distinguish the path to truth overall-- and is that path going to follow objective evidence, or isn't it.
    Prior to GR, that belief was adopted as a given, as an aspect of the model, so the belief did attain some kind of objective status, but nowhere was any evidence produced that modelled a mechanism for such an actual attraction, the evidence to support Newtons laws had no connection to such a mechanism.
    I think I may have said this earlier, but let me repeat it, because I think it's essential. After a public talk I was once asked if I believed in dark energy. The question gave me pause-- why would this person care what I believed about dark energy? If the person asked me if I believed in god, I would conclude they just wanted to know something personal about me, not that they would take my answer as evidence for a deity. But this person was presumably not just asking me to find out something personal about my belief system, they wanted to know if they should believe in dark matter. The whole situation seems similar to if a patient asked their doctor, do you believe I have cancer? Again I would think that question would give a doctor pause-- why would a doctor choose to have a belief about someone's cancer? A doctor is not an expert in forming beliefs, a doctor is an expert in objective outcomes. The doctor could say something like, "in my experience and education about cancer, I would say that people in your situation generally prove, about 90% of the time, to have cancer", or they could say it was 10% of the time, but which of those requires the doctor to form a "belief" about whether or not that person has cancer? The belief is utterly irrelevant, what matters is the evidence and the percentages.

    Now, in the case of dark energy, I could not even come up with a percentage. All I could say is that it seems to be our best current model. Does that mean I "believe in it"? Absolutely not. Nor does it mean I believe there isn't dark matter-- it means it is simply not a matter of belief at all, and if I do choose to form a belief on that topic, no one else should even care. So you see why I reject the concept of an "informed belief?" That's exactly what that person was asking, if I had an informed belief that dark energy was real, but it's the wrong question. The right question is, does my experience and expertise lead me to regard dark energy as our best current model, and then my answer is "yes," which I can say without having to stop and ponder just what they were actually asking me and why they would care!

    I would say the same concerning the mechanism of curved space, as I understand things there is nothing within the model of GR that provides evidence for a mechanism of curvature. That aspect of the model seems to be a belief, but an "informed" belief.
    But this is exactly why belief is not involved at all-- neither informed or otherwise. No matter how expert anyone is in GR, no one should care if they choose to "believe" that spacetime is "actually curved". We should only care that they can point to evidence that modeling spacetime with curvature succeeds to meet a given set of goals. The expert knows the theory, and knows the goals of the theory, and knows the situations where it succeeds. How does any of that have anything to do with belief in spacetime curvature?
    Interpretations (say for example the many worlds) are fed by a tested model, they can seen to be consistent with the model and so are "informed" beliefs.
    Interpretations are even more clearly in the realm of personal preference. The question to ask is not "do you believe in many worlds", because you shouldn't care-- the question to ask is "how does imagining there are many worlds give you improved insight into how quantum mechanics works", or "why do you prefer the many worlds interpretation?" See how the question is so much more useful when not framed in the language of belief?
    It may not matter to the belief itself whether it is an "informed" or "uninformed" type, but we don't seem to strip away all of the descriptive notions of a model on the basis that a belief cannot be categorised in any such manner, rather we seem to accommodate"informed" beliefs all the time within science.
    Indeed, and that is precisely what I am striving to eliminate. The language used in science is constantly confusing faith-based truth with evidence-based truth, and that's why faith-based people often think issues like the age of the Earth come down to "who has the more true belief". And it's no better to call it the "more informed" belief, because they think they are better informed because they rely on scripture! But it's not whether a belief is informed or not, it's the path taken to the truth, and we must use language that clearly distinguishes the difference between a path that relies on objective evidence, and a path which expressly favors faith over evidence.
    It seems to me that at the end of the day, if you strip out all of the "informed" belief structures from science because "informed" beliefs are identical to "uninformed" beliefs then what are we left with in physics?
    That is exactly the question, and I'm saying what you are left with is well-tested models that can be used to construct a concept of truth that stems from evidence, and is contextual, conditional, and subject to change. None of which has anything to do with belief, informed or otherwise.

    Let's take a specific example, albeit a tragic one-- the death of Steve Jobs. Jobs chose to believe that he could best treat his cancer using methods that could not point to objective evidence, even though there were treatment options that could so point. Was it an informed belief on his part? He certainly thought so, he simply chose to go on a different set of information, not of the objective kind. Perhaps he was so used to not having the "typical" rules apply, that he thought they would not apply one more time. But he later regretted that choice of belief, and we can see that the beliefs we choose can have important effects. But what of a person who decides to go with the objective evidence, are they simply choosing a "more informed" type of belief? I would argue that belief simply isn't the issue here, the issue is simply choice-- the choice to follow objective evidence, or not. It's not the belief, it's the choice of path that informs decisions and leads to consequences. And when the goal involves an objective outcome, that's exactly the situation where it makes sense to follow objective evidence, but whenever it does not, there is no such requirement. Belief is for what cannot be tested objectively, evidence is for what can.
    If beliefs are that worthless in terms of substance, why do we continue to use them in science in the manner I describe?
    We never use beliefs in science. You can tell this is true, because everything used in science is part of the "scientific method", so if we used beliefs, then there'd be a step like "believe something." Ask yourself, why is there no step like that? It's because whenever there is, it's a mistake being made, that can compromise the science.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I realize that scientists are humans, and humans have reasons to do what they do. The scientist is no different, he/she needs a reason to get out of bed and do science, and beliefs may play an important role. But that's not the science. And more to the point, whenever we forget this (and we constantly do), something bad happens for science. Someone gets told something unscientific in the guise of science, and since they can tell the scientists has overstepped, they end up rejecting science altogether.

    I'll give you a perfect example of this. I had a teenager ask me recently, "how can scientists think that people are just made of dust?" You can easily see where this comes from-- someone must have told them that they were made of dust that permeates space and came originally from stars. This is of course a wonderfully insightful model from astronomy, but clearly the information was not correctly introduced to that youngster. Because what they heard was "science has proven that you have no more value than a pile of dust", or that "you are merely dust", and since they believed deep in their bones, with no appeal to any objective evidence, that this was wrong, the situation left them with no choice but to reject the scientific account altogether. See the problem with "informed belief?" It is more important to recognize the different paths to truth, and not focus on how "informed" they are, otherwise both science and belief get horrendously shortchanged.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    But this is exactly why belief is not involved at all-- neither informed or otherwise. No matter how expert anyone is in GR, no one should care if they choose to "believe" that spacetime is "actually curved". We should only care that they can point to evidence that modeling spacetime with curvature succeeds to meet a given set of goals. The expert knows the theory, and knows the goals of the theory, and knows the situations where it succeeds. How does any of that have anything to do with belief in spacetime curvature?
    There's a Youtube where Leonard Susskind is asked: 'Do you actually believe that the universe is a hologram?' His answer was: 'Of course not!' (Followed by a laugh from him).

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model-dependent_realism
    Model-dependent realism is a view of scientific inquiry that focuses on the role of scientific models of phenomena.[1] It claims reality should be interpreted based upon these models, and where several models overlap in describing a particular subject, multiple, equally valid, realities exist. It claims that it is meaningless to talk about the "true reality" of a model as we can never be absolutely certain of anything.
    If you model a SMDRx as the set of elements that are filtered for inclusion via the Scientific Method (SM) @ time tx and then model another SMDRx+1 as the set of elements that are filtered for inclusion via the SM @ time tx+1 you can then model the differences between these two discrete sets as the discrete set SMIRx @ time tx i.e. SMIRx = SMDRx+1 - SMDRx.

    In the history of science we have discovered a sequence of better and better theories or models, from Plato to the classical theory of Newton to modern quantum theories. It is natural to ask: Will this sequence eventually reach an end point, an ultimate theory of the universe, that will include all forces and predict every observation we can make, or will we continue forever finding better theories, but never one that cannot be improved upon? We do not yet have a definitive answer to this question...[4]
     Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design, p. 8
    To complete the SMDR+SMIR model you can extend the model so any SMIRx+1, where x+1 is greater than the current time, is represented as the NULL set as a placeholder.

    Like the overlapping maps in a Mercator projection, where the ranges of different versions overlap, they predict the same phenomena. But just as there is no flat map that is a good representation of the earth's entire surface, there is no single theory that is a good representation of observations in all situations[5]
     Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design, p. 9

    Where several models are found for the same phenomena, no single model is preferable to the others within that domain of overlap.
    So a SMDR+SMIR model as shown above is just as preferable as any SMDR model alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    The word "belief" gets used all the time, but it is so vague that it often means nothing more than "holding something to be true for any reason whatsoever." I don't use either "belief" or "truth" in that way, I want them to mean something, so I restrict the word "belief" to mean "that which is held to be true via a process of personal preference that does not cite objective evidence." Notice that we have countless situations to apply that word-- including the belief that there exists a reality that is independent of the capabilities of our minds and the workings of our perceptions...............................
    Ok, I can go along readily with all of your post (and thank you for the detail included within it) - in fact I think the post is deserving of a much wider audience (including scientists) than we are likely to get via this forum.

    I remember some years ago on this forum I became embroiled with a physics professor over ontological issues concerning spin. One of his replies to me was "if I didn't believe that spin was counterfactual (i.e. spin is present prior to the measurement) I wouldn't be teaching it to my students as being such. I didn't make the obvious reply (do you teach students what you believe or what there is objective evidence for), but in hindsight and in the light of your post, I wonder what he did mean by "believe". It seems to be a classic example of a scientist not being very clear (with himself and/or others) concerning the usage of the word belief. Was it important for him as a scientist to believe the counterfactual nature of spin, or did he have objective knowledge that spin is counterfactual? - I never did find out.

    But I can see how easily one could slip when discussing science. As you say, science proper doesn't include any beliefs, rather it makes use of a whole picture comprising the testable element and a descriptive element with both feeding each other in a consistent manner. Rather than saying I believe in an actual curved space, I should say the equations and model envisage a curved space and taken all together build a scientific model that is not to be believed or not believed, rather it is taken just as it is, a model that makes use of evidence to provide an overall scientific picture. Now if I extended that and said that the model of GR also includes within it a model of a supreme being who is able to manipulate space such that they can curve it, presumably that would be a belief. The model does not require that addition, it suffices perfectly well to only include a requirement of there being curved space in order to have a consistent model, that requirement can be met without the model of a supreme being. But perhaps it takes some discipline to ensure that no unnecessary baggage of belief based notions are added to models - my example with spin above shows how easily that word belief can slip in.


    So I'm going to give it a go and see how I get on with a minimalist MI "something" as residing outside of any mental element but framed as such from within a MDR.

    The model of MDR uses evidence to build up a picture of how we ascribe meaning to our reality. There are two aspects to our reality that the model attempts to address, the first concerns the way we build meanings, the second concerns the way the physical world is immune to any influence from thought. The evidence supports the way we build up descriptions and meanings of our reality as being mind dependent, the evidence also shows that no mind can change the physical world by thought alone, so this aspect doesn't appear to be so mind dependent as the first element. But these two elements do not reside side by side within a MI reality, they reside side by side within a Mind Dependent reality - the manner in which I am thinking about these two elements is a commentary from the mind. So having established that, I want to make two models of the second element that will be used to build up the whole MDR model - i.e. the element that sees the physical world as playing out in accordance with its rules rather than anything we can make it do by thought alone.

    The first model would confine the mechanism of these "rules" to the mind without invoking an explanatory model.

    The second model would envisage that there is "something" outside of the mind that is to some degree constraining our reality such that we (for example) cannot make a model pass or not pass empirical verification. Because this model is being built within a MDR, it would be non scientific to impart any kind of a descriptive notion concerning the nature of this "MI" something, therefore the model only provides a requirement for there to be a "something" outside of any mental element that can account for the impossibility of any mind to be able to influence the physical world. There will never be any possibility of exploring or testing of this MI "something" within it's MI realm for the reasons given above (just as it is impossible to ever test the many worlds model).

    Where we stand at the moment I am inclined to choose the second model without (I hope) invoking any element of belief in a MI "something" but rather making a scientific choice based upon the evidence available (for example) that shows we cannot make a model pass or fail empirical verification. That evidence leads me via a logical thought process to build a model of a mind that is subject to a constraining "outside of mind something" but inside (in terms of the process of me building and describing this model) a MDR.

    So have I passed the test?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    There's a Youtube where Leonard Susskind is asked: 'Do you actually believe that the universe is a hologram?' His answer was: 'Of course not!' (Followed by a laugh from him).
    Yeah, that says it all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    So a SMDR+SMIR model as shown above is just as preferable as any SMDR model alone.
    You mean it has the exact same predictive power? Yup, that's the whole point. It's "just as preferable" because it's exactly the same model in every scientific way, except that only one includes a dose of personal honesty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran View Post
    Ok, I can go along readily with all of your post (and thank you for the detail included within it) - in fact I think the post is deserving of a much wider audience (including scientists) than we are likely to get via this forum.
    Thanks, I think the differences between belief and objective evidence are a key underpinning of what separates science from just about everything else, and why we can teach it in schools-- but that difference is as often overlooked by scientists themselves as by nonscientists.
    I remember some years ago on this forum I became embroiled with a physics professor over ontological issues concerning spin. One of his replies to me was "if I didn't believe that spin was counterfactual (i.e. spin is present prior to the measurement) I wouldn't be teaching it to my students as being such.
    Yeah, that's the problem exactly-- I'm a bit embarrassed on that teacher's behalf. First of all, there is nothing in the teaching of spin that requires teaching it as something that exists prior to a measurement, because there's no way in science to tell if something exists except by measuring it. That's pretty much the defining quality of empirical science! So we have two possibilities:
    1) that person holds that anyone who doesn't believe spin is counterfactual should not be allowed to teach spin, or else they must think
    2) teachers can have different beliefs about spin, and when they do, they should each teach their own beliefs about it.
    I wager that teacher would not be terribly comfortable with either of those choices, but they are what their stance forces them into. Better, of course, is to recognize that the teaching of spin has nothing to do with any personal beliefs about spin.

    In fact, it's worse than that-- those students might forget the details of spin, but they will remember that mistaught version of what science is. They will fall for the usual mistake "scientists used to believe X, but they now know Y is actually true." Just once I'd like to see a popular science source say "scientists in the past held that X was the best model, but have now realized that Y deals better with modern observations that include A and B." Otherwise, the language forces us to ask these modern scientists, "and what distinguishes your relationship with the past scientists who believed X, whereas you now know Y, from the relationship of future scientists with you?" I don't think anyone who cannot give a very specific and well-thought-out answer to that question should be allowed in front of a classroom. Are they just unable to envision Ptolemy in front of a classroom teaching his model of the solar system, and contrasting it with mythological accounts that were believed in the past?

    It seems to be a classic example of a scientist not being very clear (with himself and/or others) concerning the usage of the word belief. Was it important for him as a scientist to believe the counterfactual nature of spin, or did he have objective knowledge that spin is counterfactual? - I never did find out.
    Exactly the problem, the word "belief" seems to end the discussion, rather than promoting clarification. It's just used too many ways, we need a more specific meaning.
    Rather than saying I believe in an actual curved space, I should say the equations and model envisage a curved space and taken all together build a scientific model that is not to be believed or not believed, rather it is taken just as it is, a model that makes use of evidence to provide an overall scientific picture.
    Right, an attribute is something that belongs to a model, yet people always want an attribute of a model to belong to reality. The reality concept is not a single model, so it does not have specific attributes like that, it has the attribute of being a complex amalgamation of many different models-- as we've seen on this thread, where some people think reality is tigers and cars but not quantum mechanics, while others think cars and tigers are only real to the extent that they emerge from quantum mechanics!
    Now if I extended that and said that the model of GR also includes within it a model of a supreme being who is able to manipulate space such that they can curve it, presumably that would be a belief.
    I agree, because it doesn't result from following the objective evidence. To claim that the supreme being part is motivated by objective evidence would fail on two counts:
    1) the supreme being part is an add-on that does not change any of the testable predictions, and
    2) the very fact that a model works well cannot be regarded as objective evidence that the universe is really like that, and examples abound throughout history.
    The model does not require that addition, it suffices perfectly well to only include a requirement of there being curved space in order to have a consistent model, that requirement can be met without the model of a supreme being.
    And here's the real kicker-- if someone says, "there's no supreme being in the model, but mass-energy really does curve spacetime", I ask, what's the difference in those claims? You want to give mass-energy the "supreme power" to curve spacetime, as if by magic, but you deny that there are any supreme powers in your model? Saying that spacetime really exists, and is really curved, are both add-ons of the exact same quality as the supreme being was (as is the counterfactuality of spin).
    But perhaps it takes some discipline to ensure that no unnecessary baggage of belief based notions are added to models - my example with spin above shows how easily that word belief can slip in.
    Discipline is exactly right. Science itself is a discipline, and a difficult one.
    There are two aspects to our reality that the model attempts to address, the first concerns the way we build meanings, the second concerns the way the physical world is immune to any influence from thought.
    There is a little danger appearing here-- some aspects of the "physical world" are not immune to thought. When someone says "what a beautiful sunset," we are claiming there is something in the physical world that is beautiful, not "only in our mind" (i.e., not "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", a dictum we almost never agree with in our daily language). So my point is, often our models include a kind of artificial (yet useful) distinction between that which our thoughts cannot affect, and that which they can, but we don't say that only the former counts as "the physical world." We might instead call it something like the "objective scientific world", but notice how immediately that will raise the dander of logical positivists who want that to be everything that is, so no need to draw the distinction.
    The evidence supports the way we build up descriptions and meanings of our reality as being mind dependent, the evidence also shows that no mind can change the physical world by thought alone, so this aspect doesn't appear to be so mind dependent as the first element.
    I would qualify that to say there is great evidence that the mind has limited ability to affect the physical world by thought alone, but this all hinges on our ability to enforce a working meaning of "the physical world" to explicitly ban ideas like "a beautiful sunset." We must steer clear of the objection that scientific thinking strips the beauty from a sunset!
    But these two elements do not reside side by side within a MI reality, they reside side by side within a Mind Dependent reality - the manner in which I am thinking about these two elements is a commentary from the mind. So having established that, I want to make two models of the second element that will be used to build up the whole MDR model - i.e. the element that sees the physical world as playing out in accordance with its rules rather than anything we can make it do by thought alone.
    As an element of a model you are making, for various purposes, I'd say you are on firm footing.
    The second model would envisage that there is "something" outside of the mind that is to some degree constraining our reality such that we (for example) cannot make a model pass or not pass empirical verification.
    Yes, described as an attribute of a model you are making, it's a good attribute-- it's one we learn to use early on, as we discover we are limited in our ability to alter our circumstances by power of thought. Unfortunately we may learn this lesson too well, and too easily forget how much power we do have to alter our circumstances simply by changing our attitude about it!

    Because this model is being built within a MDR, it would be non scientific to impart any kind of a descriptive notion concerning the nature of this "MI" something, therefore the model only provides a requirement for there to be a "something" outside of any mental element that can account for the impossibility of any mind to be able to influence the physical world.
    The challenge I would give to this model attribute is this: if it is to be regarded as scientific, and not an add-on, then how does it help us decide when our attitude can have an effect, and when it cannot? If the purpose of the model attribute is to do that, then I say it's a perfectly good scientific model. It asks us to notice when we can have an effect, and when we cannot, much like a medical professional measuring outcomes by comparing to a placebo rather than comparing to no treatment at all.
    So have I passed the test?
    I would say yes, to the extent that your model asks us to study what our minds can directly affect, and what they cannot, as a kind of artificial categorization scheme, much like noticing that some particles are affected by an electrostatic field, and others are not. We don't have a different word for the reality of objects that have charge and those that don't, we just have a reality that includes both.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Dec-27 at 04:03 PM.

  30. #13590
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    So, I'd like to recap, (for the purposes of understanding), the different ways we can collectively identify, by which us humans arrive at meanings for 'truth'.

    So far, I think we've come up with:

    1) a simple pure preference, or choice - made for no particular reasons (a belief);
    2) logical process (rules driven) - eg: math, formal logic;
    3) scientific process (or objective testing) - eg: the 'truth' is no better than the last best tested theory.

    I think I've dug up another, although it is closely associated with logical reasoning:
    4) the notorious 'self evident' truth (known to be true by way common understanding - eg: axioms).

    I also think (4) underpins the acceptance of our own consciousness - upon which the concept of Mind Dependent Reality depends(?)
    If so, then I think it follows that 'self evident truths' have in-common meanings assigned in both logic and science processes(?)

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