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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #13141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    For example; it has been put to me, that maybe our observations leading our thinking about how we model those particular observations, may actually end up producing something that bears no resemblance with 'the thing we are actually observing'.
    Exactly, this is the whole point here-- if you can't even tell if our theories "resemble" or "refer to" the "thing we are actually observing," or if our theories and models and language are just the way we make sense of the situation that helps us in various ways, then which if those is of no importance-- the theories and models and language that we actually use to form judgements and make decisions, or the things we are actually observing, that we never use in any way at all and makes no difference if we believe such a thing exists or not? The very words "the things we are actually observing" take meaning in the usual ways, i.e., their meanings depend on our minds, they are models that we test and use. Hence, we don't even know if the words "the things we actually observe" have any resemblance to the things we actually observe. See the problem with that sentence?
    It looked to me like a plea for God's intervention to correct for this 'possible' distortion which apparently 'might' affect our models .. but maybe esoteric, almost unintelligible, physical mathematics might be that 'God'? (Otherwise .. its over to our linguistically communicative aliens (or fairies) who dwell 'out there' .. somewhere in the Great MIR).
    Some have said they regard the mathematics as essentially the god (often people with mathematical minds), others don't think god does anything with mathematics and it's all us that use mathematics (often people with non-mathematically adept minds). It's the usual thing, we have many believers in various MIRs, but no consensus at all on the nature of the MIR. I say, if there's no consensus on the nature of the MIR, then we are simply not talking about a single MIR, just like when there's no consensus on the attributes of a supreme being, we're not talking about a single supreme being. The latter seems obvious to everyone, the former seems to come as a surprise.

  2. #13142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Science is a well documented process y'know
    I have an Applied Science degree and am not religious, y'know?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I'm not sure what you are asking, it's easy to see the MDR existed, you find it in books of the day.
    So you don't doubt that SMDR 500bc is different from SMDR 500 and SMDR 1500 and SMDR 1900 and SMDR 2019?

    Do you think it is a 'belief' to think that SMDR 2050 will also be different and contain many aspects of science that are not present in SMDR 2019?

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    So, I've come across a couple of interrelated challenges which claim the meaninglessness of MDR's semantic tests. The test, in the first example, is so as to distinguish between one's own mind and other minds:

    Testing the hypothesis 'there might be another mind' and the hypothesis 'the other mind might be an imaginary character created by my own mind', is the issue.
    The claim is that the results of testing for the suspected other mind's semantic meanings, (via their descriptions), as a way of detecting another mind in action, is an insufficient basis for distinguishing between the above two hypotheses (because of the inescapable influence of one's own mind).
    So, MDR concludes that objectivity relies on the existence of other minds (not just one’s own), (ie: it requires other like-thinking, scientific mindsets). Of course this is then pointed to as being ’an assumed (hidden) MDR posit’ and the semantic test is thus discounted, due to the experimenter's own mind influence (and the 'truth' value of a posit in MDR).


    The more detailed explanatory follow up example is:
    Hypothesis 1: 'Our perceptions of the external reality might be created by God (or MIR) according to a constant regularity that we call natural laws'.
    The results of this test are currently consistent from one day to the next.
    Hypothesis 2: 'The regularity of the natural laws might not have been created by God (or MIR).
    The results of this test are also currently consistent from one day to the next.

    The claim is that the respective predictions here, produce no distinguishing differences between the hypotheses when applying the MDR tests and therefore the test itself doesn't produce meaning. (A meaningful test must predict different outcomes for two competing hypotheses .. eg: Bell's inequality experiments of local hidden variable theories and QM predicts different outcomes for such experiments).

    Comments/feedback on the multitude of ways to approach this one are welcome .. (I think I've got MDR 'log-jam' on this one?). I also think this is one that calls for some semblance of agreement on the mindset which gives rise to the meaning of the concept of objectivity and the called-for 'fuzziness' of constraints on its underlying consistency ..and without such agreement, further discussion might be pointless(?)

  5. #13145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    So, I've come across a couple of interrelated challenges which claim the meaninglessness of MDR's semantic tests. The test, in the first example, is so as to distinguish between one's own mind and other minds:

    Testing the hypothesis 'there might be another mind' and the hypothesis 'the other mind might be an imaginary character created by my own mind', is the issue.
    The claim is that the results of testing for the suspected other mind's semantic meanings, (via their descriptions), as a way of detecting another mind in action, is an insufficient basis for distinguishing between the above two hypotheses (because of the inescapable influence of one's own mind).
    So, MDR concludes that objectivity relies on the existence of other minds (not just one’s own), (ie: it requires other like-thinking, scientific mindsets). Of course this is then pointed to as being ’an assumed (hidden) MDR posit’ and the semantic test is thus discounted, due to the experimenter's own mind influence (and the 'truth' value of a posit in MDR).


    The more detailed explanatory follow up example is:
    Hypothesis 1: 'Our perceptions of the external reality might be created by God (or MIR) according to a constant regularity that we call natural laws'.
    The results of this test are currently consistent from one day to the next.
    Hypothesis 2: 'The regularity of the natural laws might not have been created by God (or MIR).
    The results of this test are also currently consistent from one day to the next.

    The claim is that the respective predictions here, produce no distinguishing differences between the hypotheses when applying the MDR tests and therefore the test itself doesn't produce meaning. (A meaningful test must predict different outcomes for two competing hypotheses .. eg: Bell's inequality experiments of local hidden variable theories and QM predicts different outcomes for such experiments).

    Comments/feedback on the multitude of ways to approach this one are welcome .. (I think I've got MDR 'log-jam' on this one?). I also think this is one that calls for some semblance of agreement on the mindset which gives rise to the meaning of the concept of objectivity and the called-for 'fuzziness' of constraints on its underlying consistency ..and without such agreement, further discussion might be pointless(?)
    But this is just examining the mind games of solipsism as to whether you can determine another mind by any test. Of course you can't if you allow interference by god and the hidden depths of your own mind. So you turn to tests of your world, like the boiling point of water etc. but these could all be imagined. That is why MDR is the limit of all our testing. When we individually find a repeatable test or a prediction that always works out, we add that to our knowledge. When we find another mind that also does those tests and agrees with us we add that to our knowledge, now, apparently, shared. If we test that against external agency we will will always be stumped. It's a null hypothesis.
    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

  6. #13146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Yes, indeed it's not clear there is any argument that a belief is sound-- it is just a choice, and if you believe it, you regard it as sound, and if you don't, you don't.
    Yes, that's a given since a believe that becomes a known, vanishes the belief as the belief becomes superfluous.

    This is where I see some appeal for MIR because sound arguments are imperative and premises can only have varying degrees of being "true" based on varying degrees of objective evidence. But if you make the tiny leap from extremely likely true to a given that they are literally true, then there is greater peace of mind. [I think there's some irony there somewhere.]

    [post 13140] Yes, I have never taken any position on the existence or non-existence of the MIR, which is also my stance on a supreme being. Indeed, I don't really see any difference between belief in MIR and belief in a supreme being, to me they are equally untestable and believed in for more or less the same reasons.
    In a purely objective sense, this is logical, but there is a huge difference in the amount of subjective and circumstantial evidence in one over the other, though I think there are different questions being asked between MIR and religion.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    But this is just examining the mind games of solipsism as to whether you can determine another mind by any test. Of course you can't if you allow interference by god and the hidden depths of your own mind. So you turn to tests of your world, like the boiling point of water etc. but these could all be imagined. That is why MDR is the limit of all our testing. When we individually find a repeatable test or a prediction that always works out, we add that to our knowledge. When we find another mind that also does those tests and agrees with us we add that to our knowledge, now, apparently, shared. If we test that against external agency we will will always be stumped. It's a null hypothesis.
    So you're agreeing that objectivity, which requires agreement on the consistency of observations by like-thinking minds, is what is under scrutiny here? I'm arguing that the MDR hypothesis is a scientifically formed hypothesis. They don't recognise that .. they only recognise the solipsistic components of it and they're using that by taking it to the extremes and ruling out that in solipsism one can never know of the existence of other minds, and therefore objectivity can't be invoked?
    I've also had George Berkeley's MDR version (subjective realism) jammed into the discussion because of the 'MDR' label.
    So, looks like you'd recommend pointing out that the MDR hypothesis is bounded within the realm of objectivity? (Which is something I took as a given .. but pure philosophies go beyond this by including these 'external agencies').

  8. #13148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    So you're agreeing that objectivity, which requires agreement on the consistency of observations by like-thinking minds, is what is under scrutiny here? I'm arguing that the MDR hypothesis is a scientifically formed hypothesis. They don't recognise that .. they only recognise the solipsistic components of it and they're using that by taking it to the extremes and ruling out that in solipsism one can never know of the existence of other minds, and therefore objectivity can't be invoked?
    I've also had George Berkeley's MDR version (subjective realism) jammed into the discussion because of the 'MDR' label.
    So, looks like you'd recommend pointing out that the MDR hypothesis is bounded within the realm of objectivity? (Which is something I took as a given .. but pure philosophies go beyond this by including these 'external agencies').
    that is an interesting distinction that needs care with words. To be objective is to eschew subjective feelings or biases and look at the evidence. But that carries an implied assumption that there is external evidence, or MIR, that can be observed which feelings are the realm of the mind (I would say the interoceptive mind). But this short cuts the whole point of MDR into assumptions about MIR. Staying within MDR I can see an easy self discipline to look at evidence and to be aware of ignoring my prejudices or previous assumptions. This is akin to being able to separate dreams from experience but in all these self exercises I am assuming a reality which I cannot test.

    I think we live our lives with many assumptions like that and this thread is about the fundamentals as they affect science and knowledge. we can be aware or unaware of those assumptions and in living, it makes no difference, but in science we need to understand our limits in order to avoid dogma and to fight dogma. That is the point of "fail to falsify" rather than "to prove". We see failure to recognise the importance of that distinction every day "scientists have proved ...."

    To be objective we do have to group all those seemingly trivial assumptions: "I am the same person as I was before" "Others are people with minds like mine" "I am not being led by the nose by a fairy" "I am awake and in command of my knowledge" "my reality is consistent with what I expect" and to fall into questioning those would be mental illness. However not to recognise these are untestable assumptions is a naiive state, unimportant for most of the time but important in science or in discussing reality. So objectivity should be a deliberate subjective state, a mindset of self discipline ever alert to Socrates "What do you know?" Which extends to "what do you know today, now?"
    Last edited by profloater; 2019-Aug-16 at 10:24 AM. Reason: typo
    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

  9. #13149
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    Berkeley just took solipsism to a logical but untestable extreme. We in the MDR camp do not ever say MIR does not exist, we stick at MIR is untestable as to its fundamentals.
    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

  10. #13150
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    To be objective we do have to group all those seemingly trivial assumptions: "I am the same person as I was before" "Others are people with minds like mine" "I am not being led by the nose by a fairy" "I am awake and in command of my knowledge" "my reality is consistent with what I expect" and to fall into questioning those would be mental illness. However not to recognise these are untestable assumptions is a naiive state, unimportant for most of the time but important in science or in discussing reality. So objectivity should be a deliberate subjective state, a mindset of self discipline ever alert to Socrates "What do you know?" Which extends to "what do you know today, now?"
    Objectivity is crucial to setting the backdrop to the MDR hypothesis. It enables meanings to be tested. In MDR, objectivity arises from recognition of the observable agreement of consistencies of perceptions amongst healthy, like-thinking scientific minds. In order for that objectivity concept to be useful, like-thinking scientific minds must be recognisable by other minds. There is some circularity there, but this is not circular reasoning, because there is no 'assumed' posited truth value associated with objectivity .. it is a perception, or an observation. It is therefore not an assumption. It is an artificially introduced concept.

    Unless someone can convince me (via objective evidence) that a mind cannot use an objective semantic test for generating evidence of the presence of other minds, using the same model we have for one's own mind, the MDR hypothesis remains consistent for me. This business of using solipsism for ruling out objectivity, on the basis of: 'we cannot know that other minds exist beyond our own', is yet another philosophically based intrusion into what is a great (IMO) scientific hypothesis.

  11. #13151
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Objectivity is crucial to setting the backdrop to the MDR hypothesis. It enables meanings to be tested. In MDR, objectivity arises from recognition of the observable agreement of consistencies of perceptions amongst healthy, like-thinking scientific minds. In order for that objectivity concept to be useful, like-thinking scientific minds must be recognisable by other minds. There is some circularity there, but this is not circular reasoning, because there is no 'assumed' posited truth value associated with objectivity .. it is a perception, or an observation. It is therefore not an assumption. It is an artificially introduced concept.

    Unless someone can convince me (via objective evidence) that a mind cannot use an objective semantic test for generating evidence of the presence of other minds, using the same model we have for one's own mind, the MDR hypothesis remains consistent for me. This business of using solipsism for ruling out objectivity, on the basis of: 'we cannot know that other minds exist beyond our own', is yet another philosophically based intrusion into what is a great (IMO) scientific hypothesis.
    I do not understand your objection. This is like Turin's test. I am reminded of a stage in my father's Alzheimer state. He saw people who (for us) were not there. In particular he saw an uninvited builder who annoyed him by leaving tools to trip him. This builder sat in a chair and gave him a bill! My father reported this and was indignant, He refused to pay. He gave every sign of believing in this builder and builder's mind. It was rather amusing, I must say, in a tragic way. We leap to anthropomorphise not just other people but animals and objects when we detect certain signals, it's a strong tendency. So strong that in tests people will accept the view of others even contradicting their own eyes and ears. I guess that is part of how we learn but we can be gullible too. I still maintain objectivity is a personal discipline. It does not reduce the MDR hypothesis, surely?
    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

  12. #13152
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    So what about Quantum Darwinism as an approach to reality?
    https://bigthink.com/surprising-scie...y-passes-tests

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    I do not understand your objection.
    ..
    I still maintain objectivity is a personal discipline. It does not reduce the MDR hypothesis, surely?
    I think we are in agreement on that point.
    My post was more to clarify my own thinking about the role objectivity plays in the MDR hypothesis. The problem I see is that philosophies permit thinking which goes way beyond the kind of 'centralist' position science occupies in the overall spectrum of human thinking. The fact that anyone having religious views can still do science, provided they're willing to check their philosophically held notions at the door, is evidence suggesting that science's patch is (deliberately) the sort of 'the middle ground'.

    The challenge to the MDR hypothesis I'm encountering, (from beyond this forum), is that:

    i) there is no test one can do in MDR thinking, which produces evidence supporting that other minds can exist. This objection arose as a counter to the MDR challenge of citing a test for MIR which excludes the mind and its 'fingerprirnts'. (Their point being is that this works both ways .. and the use of objectivity is, itself , a 'miraculous' assumption embedded in the MDR hypothesis);
    ii) invoking objectivity is also a hidden untestable assumption in the MDR hypothesis because of the illegitimacy of objective testing, as per (i) above.
    iii) that we say: "it all depends on what you mean when you use the word: 'exists' " ... is also not recognised because testing for the meaning of the word then cannot be a legitimate objective test in MDR (because of (i) and (ii) above).

    I think all the counter-points on this front that we've come up with in this thread have relied on folks' 'centered' views about 'the recognisably (agreed) patch science occupies and it would be silly to argue against science's use of objectivity. In other words the MDR hypothesis will only work in a legitimate science forum .. and not somewhere which extolls (and worships) the virtues of broader philosophies. I now think the entire topic of philosophies is the key pillar of religions .. all of them.

    The problem which now becomes even starker for me, is religious (or philosophically) 'bent' thinkers portraying themselves as 'scientists' and continuing to invoke 'real things' from beyond science's centrist position .. This now even worse for me than it ever appeared before the MDR hypothesis was devised herein.

  14. #13154
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    It is so hard to disagree with your peer group especially if they punish you for voicing disagreement. I am afraid this includes the book burners on every side of the debate. Dogma can only come from belief in an MIR and furthermore an unchanging or eternal MIR. That is the main reason I feel this discussion is important while understanding many find it boring.
    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
    Berkeley just took solipsism to a logical but untestable extreme. We in the MDR camp do not ever say MIR does not exist, we stick at MIR is untestable as to its fundamentals.
    Fine with that, but MIR must exist (even if not knowable) to avoid solipsism.

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    It should be kept in mind that the reason that MIR is always unknowable is not because there's an impenetrable barrier around it. It's because when your senses detect a portion of MIR and make it available to your mind, that portion of MIR is relabeled as MDR in order to keep the unknowability of MIR claim true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Fine with that, but MIR must exist (even if not knowable) to avoid solipsism.
    That's fine then, but we do not avoid solipsism, we move on when we realise it's a dead end, an untestable dead end. We start expanding our MDR and I see no limit to how far that can expand unless there is a finite MIR.

    Just to add that bit about existence, our personal experience of being is the root of solipsism it's the start of our MDR it's the only part of existence we individually can be sure about.
    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 LaurieAG View Post
    So you don't doubt that SMDR 500bc is different from SMDR 500 and SMDR 1500 and SMDR 1900 and SMDR 2019?

    Do you think it is a 'belief' to think that SMDR 2050 will also be different and contain many aspects of science that are not present in SMDR 2019?
    I don't see why you are asking me questions that seem to have very obvious answers. Why are you asking these things?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post

    Testing the hypothesis 'there might be another mind' and the hypothesis 'the other mind might be an imaginary character created by my own mind', is the issue.
    I don't see this as a serious challenge.
    The claim is that the results of testing for the suspected other mind's semantic meanings, (via their descriptions), as a way of detecting another mind in action, is an insufficient basis for distinguishing between the above two hypotheses (because of the inescapable influence of one's own mind).
    Still no serious challenge there, would be inclined to dismiss the argument outright. It's very obvious that we model the world as if we had a mind, and so do other people, so this passes all kinds of tests. What it looks like is happening behind most of this type of challenge is people are simply forgetting what it means to "know" something. There is no point in defining a word so as to make it impossible, so definitions of "knowing" that are clearly wrong are of no value. This is why most people confuse "semantics" with what it actually is-- an exploration of what people are trying to mean when they use words, not an exploration of some MIR and finding where those words appear in that MIR. This is the whole point of MDR thinking, to get away from the idea that the meanings of words (like "your mind" and "my mind") are anything other than our intentions behind using those words. So when someone says "you can't tell if other minds exist or not", I just hear them misusing the meaning that people intend when they use the word "exist." Simply avoid the wrong meaning that "exist" equals "is present in the MIR", and all these "challenges" fade into nothing.
    So, MDR concludes that objectivity relies on the existence of other minds (not just one’s own), (ie: it requires other like-thinking, scientific mindsets).
    But it does not rely on other minds "existing" in some MIR, nor does it rely on the word "exist" being forced to mean "is present in some MIR." That's the point, it's how MIR thinking inserts itself insidiously into seemingly logical arguments and produces all manner of fallacies that it then blames on MDR thinking.
    The more detailed explanatory follow up example is:
    Hypothesis 1: 'Our perceptions of the external reality might be created by God (or MIR) according to a constant regularity that we call natural laws'.
    The problem with that "hypothesis" is that it is not one thing, it is two very separate hypotheses pretending to be one. Then when one of the two separate hypotheses passes a test, the claim is made that the other untested hypothesis is the one that passed. All you have to do is break the hypothesis up into the two that are pretending to be one:
    1a)MIR might exist and might be created by God
    1b)Our perceptions of what our minds models using our words "external reality" exhibit a constant regularity that we call natural laws.
    See how we only ever test 1b), and how that has nothing to do with 1a)? No connection between 1a and 1b is necessary for science, ever appears in any science book, and is ever tested by any science experiment. 1a is pure belief, 1b is physics. And what's more, it's the kind of physics like ignoring air resistance-- not something that requires being taken too seriously, it's a "what if" scenario that brings us all kinds of benefits from being able to think in terms of hypotheticals. Which of course is why i has nothing to do with 1a.
    I also think this is one that calls for some semblance of agreement on the mindset which gives rise to the meaning of the concept of objectivity and the called-for 'fuzziness' of constraints on its underlying consistency ..and without such agreement, further discussion might be pointless(?)
    Yes, key to all of science is a consensus on the meaning of "objectivity." You need to have a starting point of agreement before any kind of discussion can be fruitful. The important thing, however, is to make sure that as one is reaching agreement on what objectivity is, one does not insert any extraneous and untested aspects such as why there is objectivity and where it comes from. Those are not crucial for deciding what objectivity is, and science never uses them and never tests them, so they should be left out of the meaning of objectivity. Show that you can apply the concept successfully without that baggage, and then force the MIR proponents to show what your approach is lacking. When they cannot, it exposes the emptiness of their stance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Fine with that, but MIR must exist (even if not knowable) to avoid solipsism.
    The only thing that is necessary to exist to avoid solipsism is MDR. As soon as you have an MDR, you have not solipsism, because you know the MDR exists (it's what you mean by the word "exists"). Solipsism is the silly claim that the only thing you can know exists is your own mind. That's silly because if you think knowing is some kind of absolute certainty, you cannot even be absolutely certain your own mind exists (any attempt to give meaning to the word "exists" will lose the absolute certainty you claim to have about it). But if you have any sense, and you don't give "knowing" an impossible meaning, then you know all kinds of things exist that you regard as outside your mind.

    Put differently, the idea that your inner experience of your own thoughts is somehow fundamentally different from your experience of external stimuli is not logically solid. If you tell me what you mean by "your mind", I will show you something you do not have any better knowledge of than your knowledge of your hand.

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    Still not clear, so I will try again: MDR is built by our minds based on external (to the mind) stimuli.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Still not clear, so I will try again: MDR is built by our minds based on external (to the mind) stimuli.
    That's a statement of an MDR about an MDR, a meta-MDR if you will. That's fine, as long as you recognize there's no need or testable element to that statement that involves any MIR. Regarded in that way, then yes, that's a valid model that basically all of us use every day, and every aspect of it depends on our minds in easily testable ways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    So what about Quantum Darwinism as an approach to reality?
    https://bigthink.com/surprising-scie...y-passes-tests
    Nothing in that article sounds like anything but a rehash of standard quantum interpretations. Certainly there are not predictions of the theory that are any different from predictions of quantum mechanics. The article is pretty vague, but it sounds like a fairly standard approach of regarding quantum mechanics as a kind of information theory, rather than a description of what really is. "Reality as information", if you like, but that's more or less what every physics theory always does. Trying to describe the processes by which uncertainty about that information is culled into a more precise understanding of the state of a system is the objective of any quantum interpretation, but the theory of quantum mechanics only predicts the information itself. Give me ten quantum theorists, and I'll show you ten interpretations of the processes that cull the uncertainties of some initial state into a more precisely perceived outcome in the final state. And at least one of the ten will claim they believe we should "shut up and calculate", which is like saying the equations are the only truth and all the interpretations are just mind games. Those types might be tempted to call the mathematics the MIR and the interpretations the MDR, but like I said, there is no more than one person in a thousand who associates the MIR with the mathematics of quantum mechanics. So it's all MDR, where ever you look-- including quantum darwinism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I don't see why you are asking me questions that seem to have very obvious answers. Why are you asking these things?
    Ken G, the differences between the SMDR's are what makes up the MIR, before they become part of the SMDR.

    How can anybody claim to know something about reality if nobody knows about this particular aspect until 500 years in the future?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I don't see this as a serious challenge.
    ...
    Still no serious challenge there, would be inclined to dismiss the argument outright. It's very obvious that we model the world as if we had a mind, and so do other people, so this passes all kinds of tests. What it looks like is happening behind most of this type of challenge is people are simply forgetting what it means to "know" something. There is no point in defining a word so as to make it impossible, so definitions of "knowing" that are clearly wrong are of no value. This is why most people confuse "semantics" with what it actually is-- an exploration of what people are trying to mean when they use words, not an exploration of some MIR and finding where those words appear in that MIR. This is the whole point of MDR thinking, to get away from the idea that the meanings of words (like "your mind" and "my mind") are anything other than our intentions behind using those words. So when someone says "you can't tell if other minds exist or not", I just hear them misusing the meaning that people intend when they use the word "exist." Simply avoid the wrong meaning that "exist" equals "is present in the MIR", and all these "challenges" fade into nothing.
    ...
    But it does not rely on other minds "existing" in some MIR, nor does it rely on the word "exist" being forced to mean "is present in some MIR." That's the point, it's how MIR thinking inserts itself insidiously into seemingly logical arguments and produces all manner of fallacies that it then blames on MDR thinking.
    ...
    The problem with that "hypothesis" is that it is not one thing, it is two very separate hypotheses pretending to be one. Then when one of the two separate hypotheses passes a test, the claim is made that the other untested hypothesis is the one that passed. All you have to do is break the hypothesis up into the two that are pretending to be one:

    1a)MIR might exist and might be created by God
    1b)Our perceptions of what our minds models using our words "external reality" exhibit a constant regularity that we call natural laws.
    See how we only ever test 1b), and how that has nothing to do with 1a)? No connection between 1a and 1b is necessary for science, ever appears in any science book, and is ever tested by any science experiment. 1a is pure belief, 1b is physics. And what's more, it's the kind of physics like ignoring air resistance-- not something that requires being taken too seriously, it's a "what if" scenario that brings us all kinds of benefits from being able to think in terms of hypotheticals. Which of course is why i has nothing to do with 1a.
    ...
    Yes, key to all of science is a consensus on the meaning of "objectivity." You need to have a starting point of agreement before any kind of discussion can be fruitful.
    Hmm .. thanks for that.
    Layers of the big ball of MIR spaghetti they throw into the conversation .. its often very difficult to separate the MIR slip-ins from the content worthwhile addressing.

    I've gotta say though .. I don't think I can recall a more widely spread, heavily entrenched mindset as that produced by the belief in Realism.

    The other accusation I face, is one of supposedly confused, convoluted and non-standard usage of language ... and I must say, when I started reading your posts waayyy back in this thread, I saw the exact same thing! (I thought you'd lost it!) And here I am talkin' the same talk!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    The important thing, however, is to make sure that as one is reaching agreement on what objectivity is, one does not insert any extraneous and untested aspects such as why there is objectivity and where it comes from. Those are not crucial for deciding what objectivity is, and science never uses them and never tests them, so they should be left out of the meaning of objectivity. Show that you can apply the concept successfully without that baggage, and then force the MIR proponents to show what your approach is lacking. When they cannot, it exposes the emptiness of their stance.
    .. and yet they argue that a universe which doesn't exist independently from us, in which can 'explore' and discover', leaves them with the experience of despair, no purpose and emptiness!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Hmm ..

    .. and yet they argue that a universe which doesn't exist independently from us, in which can 'explore' and discover', leaves them with the experience of despair, no purpose and emptiness!
    I read that as the depression arising from perceived loss of agency. The MDR status is full of agency and a belief in free will. The free will part has to be a belief within the knowledge that accumulates. But that does not matter. There can be no free will without agency and so agency is a belief within MDR too. Now to tackle that argument about the MIR, a belief in a particular MIR can include or exclude agency and free will. You see these beliefs fighting in the history of religion.

    So it has to said that a belief in nothingness is no more logical than any other belief arising from the mind. It is not a conclusion , nor a straw argument, against the MDR standpoint.
    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 read that as the depression arising from perceived loss of agency. The MDR status is full of agency and a belief in free will. The free will part has to be a belief within the knowledge that accumulates. But that does not matter. There can be no free will without agency and so agency is a belief within MDR too. Now to tackle that argument about the MIR, a belief in a particular MIR can include or exclude agency and free will. You see these beliefs fighting in the history of religion.

    So it has to said that a belief in nothingness is no more logical than any other belief arising from the mind. It is not a conclusion , nor a straw argument, against the MDR standpoint.
    Hmm .. I didn't word what I wrote there very well (apologies). What I was trying to say was that these folk seem to derive their motivation from wanting to know what's 'out there' .. in the great unknown MIR, that 'exists'.
    When MDR comes along and demonstrates that all we're ever doing is exploring our own perceptions and trying to make sense of them, they think they're losing their sole 'source' of motivation, (of new unexplored 'things'), presumably because they find their own minds boring or something(?).
    Beats me .. I dunno 'bout the other folk on this thread, but I don't get the feeling that anyone has sufficient time on this earth to completely explore their own minds (and parts of some of the other ones)?

    Maybe all this comes back to the inescapable MDR 'mind prison' notion which came up a loong way back in the thread(?) I think the fixation on solipsism brings on images of a rather bleak and isolated outlook, so maybe its because they still view MDR in a solipsistic context?

  28. #13168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Hmm .. I didn't word what I wrote there very well (apologies). What I was trying to say was that these folk seem to derive their motivation from wanting to know what's 'out there' .. in the great unknown MIR, that 'exists'.
    When MDR comes along and demonstrates that all we're ever doing is exploring our own perceptions and trying to make sense of them, they think they're losing their sole 'source' of motivation, (of new unexplored 'things'), presumably because they find their own minds boring or something(?).
    Beats me .. I dunno 'bout the other folk on this thread, but I don't get the feeling that anyone has sufficient time on this earth to completely explore their own minds (and parts of some of the other ones)?

    Maybe all this comes back to the inescapable MDR 'mind prison' notion which came up a loong way back in the thread(?) I think the fixation on solipsism brings on images of a rather bleak and isolated outlook, so maybe its because they still view MDR in a solipsistic context?
    If you model the mind in the way we experience mind, day by day, solipsism comes up as an idea (for some) and mostly is a brief passing phase since it goes nowhere. In my view the strong desire to survive gets us into strong seeking for knowledge both in scientific and peer group gossip ways. We adopt behaviour that our unconscious mind predicts will help homeostasis and survival in a moving world. Early in our lives we integrate experiences and behaviours in different ways and we also become confident or anxious in ways we are unable to analyse introspectively. So people seem to be different. We model other people because we have big brains that can do that rather well. We learn from other people too. All of this is mind development. Finally we reach the point of questioning beliefs and the MIR we have created for ourselves. Finally that is in some of us. I think the MDR hypothesis or idea is not certain to arise in everybody, it comes from a line of questioning that might be as chaotic in sequence as any branch of knowledge, arriving on our path at a fruitful or barren time. It is no surprise that some just see the MIR as obvious and silly as a subject, while others see it as another step in knowledge that allows thinking out of the box, as they say. Dogma can be accepted or challenged. In science it should always be challenged. MDR leaps out of solipsism like Prometheus offering fire to clay mortals and breathes life into science like Pallas Athene breathing life into that clay. Those Greek myths form a colourful MIR while clearly being inventions of agile minds. I suspect there were those who believed in them as MIR and those who toyed with the stories as agents of belief.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    Ken G, the differences between the SMDR's are what makes up the MIR, before they become part of the SMDR.
    You are welcome to your beliefs, but it's not necessary to share them.
    How can anybody claim to know something about reality if nobody knows about this particular aspect until 500 years in the future?
    Again I don't understand your question. I'm sure there are countless ways we can claim to know things about our reality even though 500 years from now people might think we were as far off as the ancient Greeks. Indeed, I regard that as inevitable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Layers of the big ball of MIR spaghetti they throw into the conversation .. its often very difficult to separate the MIR slip-ins from the content worthwhile addressing.
    Yup. A lot of people seem to hold that belief in MIR is a requirement for doing objective science, so they slip it in as if their orthogonal issues were at all related. Centuries ago people thought the same thing about religion, that science existed to exalt their religion.
    I've gotta say though .. I don't think I can recall a more widely spread, heavily entrenched mindset as that produced by the belief in Realism.
    I agree, it is one of the only untestable beliefs that are common among scientists. Which is fine, but the problem is many think it is relevant to science itself. I've even seen it claimed that belief in MIR is a core assumption of science, if you can get any farther from what science actually is.
    .. and yet they argue that a universe which doesn't exist independently from us, in which can 'explore' and discover', leaves them with the experience of despair, no purpose and emptiness!
    People said the exact same thing about Darwinian evolution, and the Big Bang. Science does not exist to give us a warm fuzzy feeling, it is an exploration of whatever we find to be true, in the sense of what tests out. It's up to us to find meaning ourselves, and yes, choose beliefs if we wish, but none of that has to do with science.
    What I was trying to say was that these folk seem to derive their motivation from wanting to know what's 'out there' .. in the great unknown MIR, that 'exists'.
    When MDR comes along and demonstrates that all we're ever doing is exploring our own perceptions and trying to make sense of them, they think they're losing their sole 'source' of motivation, (of new unexplored 'things'), presumably because they find their own minds boring or something(?).
    The solution is to realize that yes, we do derive our motivation from wanting to know what's "out there," but knowing what's out there is a process intimately related to how our minds work. This is what we find to be true, so we need not run from it-- like any scientific truth, we simply embrace it, and use it to go deeper in our understanding. Here, going deeper requires seeing ourselves as part of the puzzle.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Aug-20 at 11:52 PM.

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