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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #13171
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    ... 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.
    I started paying attention to Ken's introduction of it because, right up front, it highlighted the woes I'd been wrangling with in LiS forum, where all sorts of ideas were being presented as hard-and-fast properties of exo-life (which of course, were announced as 'being possible things' dragged out of the MIR .. 'so they must be real .. we just don't know it because they haven't been discovered yet') .

    Come to think of it, I don't think we've addressed the meaning of 'possible' in the MDR context yet(?) ... Hmm ..

    Quote Originally Posted by profloater
    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.
    .. (a practice which evidently continues to this very day) ...

  2. #13172
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    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.
    I think the MIR belief is the glue which holds Atheism together. Its a real pity that scientists are conflated with Atheists in the other forum (one is required to actually advertise one's core beliefs as part of sign up .. 'Humanist' tends to align with MDR thinking, but from this thread, its clear that MDR is about testing/evidence, and about distinguishing and neutralising beliefs .. which sets it apart from 'Humanism'). The mere suggestion that the MIR belief then sets Atheism off on a course of it being yet another religion is surprisingly met with great indignation by the supposed scientific thinkers!
    The MIR belief, (aka Realism .. or more fundamentally, the existence of some independent 'truth'), is the key core concept behind all of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    Centuries ago people thought the same thing about religion, that science existed to exalt their religion.
    (See my findings above).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    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.
    Yeah .. tell me about it .. the very greatest deviation (as you mentioned some posts ago) is a (supposed) theoretical Physicist who believes the abstract nature of the laws of physics (being followed by the universe) then justifies the existence of his deity who must therefore be a consciousness capable of conceiving abstractions - a mathematician(?), but nonetheless, must be mind independently real.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    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.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.
    .. and there's massive resistance when MDR thinking is perceived as taking it too deeply .. (whatever that means) ..

  3. #13173
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    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.
    Ken G, if the differences between scientific MDR's are inevitable what do you call your little MIR analog (in a couple of words)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    I started paying attention to Ken's introduction of it because, right up front, it highlighted the woes I'd been wrangling with in LiS forum, where all sorts of ideas were being presented as hard-and-fast properties of exo-life (which of course, were announced as 'being possible things' dragged out of the MIR .. 'so they must be real .. we just don't know it because they haven't been discovered yet') .

    Come to think of it, I don't think we've addressed the meaning of 'possible' in the MDR context yet(?) ... Hmm ..

    .. (a practice which evidently continues to this very day) ...
    "The possible" arises from imagination, which I take as thinking of things or experiences not yet encountered, it is essential to the feeling of agency and free will. It drives change. MDR is responsible for change in all our experiences, and that itself should cause questions about belief in MIR. A long time ago in this thread I asked how an MIR could "allow" change. A rock is just a rock but we can imagine the processes that reduce it to sand and we can engineer processes that turn it into transistors.
    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

  5. #13175
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    This is discussion is all fine and dandy but the universe does not need us to exist. It may not be the distorted or limited concept we build with the limitations of our senses and minds. When mankind no longer is, the "universe" will still exist. That which our senses perceives and minds model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    "The possible" arises from imagination, which I take as thinking of things or experiences not yet encountered, it is essential to the feeling of agency and free will. It drives change. MDR is responsible for change in all our experiences, and that itself should cause questions about belief in MIR. A long time ago in this thread I asked how an MIR could "allow" change. A rock is just a rock but we can imagine the processes that reduce it to sand and we can engineer processes that turn it into transistors.
    But we don't have to imagine those processes 'exist' because 'they're possible'. Both of those processes are already heavily objectively evidenced .. but in the case where other processes have never been observed, but they can be imagined, modelled then demonstrated as sitting well within the laws of Physics, (ie: 'in theory'), that still doesn't mean 'they exist' in scientific objective reality. This is what I mean .. ie: 'what's possible' insidiously sneaks into 'existence' in conversations about the unknown. I think philosopher-types call it logical positivism(?) .. ie: view the untested outcomes as being affirmative before any testing is actually conducted .. and then be 'surprised' by the results in the case where the results don't actually confirm that.

    Just came across another one, too. I say an untested hypothesis, from a scientific MDR viewpoint, is still held as a belief. Scientific MIR thinkers however pass this off as being 'a proposition', which is not a belief to them because holding something as 'true' (ie: believing it), is tantamount to regarding it as fact. This is totally ironic to me because it conceals the 'existence of truth' as being the measure of what is a fact, and what isn't a fact .. and yet there is no test we can do to establish 'the existence of truth' in the first place! (This of course violates science's principle of only using operational definitions).

    These folk simply cannot see that they have turned science into their own religion in order to argue against those who at least declare themselves as holding religious beliefs!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Its a real pity that scientists are conflated with Atheists in the other forum (one is required to actually advertise one's core beliefs as part of sign up .. 'Humanist' tends to align with MDR thinking, but from this thread, its clear that MDR is about testing/evidence, and about distinguishing and neutralising beliefs .. which sets it apart from 'Humanism').
    One has to be clear if one defines atheism as the belief in the nonexistence of any supreme being, or merely as the absence of belief in the existence of a supreme being. I wonder how many atheists have even been clear with themselves about that distinction.

    [quote] The mere suggestion that the MIR belief then sets Atheism off on a course of it being yet another religion is surprisingly met with great indignation by the supposed scientific thinkers!/quote]Yes, I find that indignation to be hypocritical. They should be able to recognize the source of indignation, they stimulate it often enough on the other side of that aisle.

    Yeah .. tell me about it .. the very greatest deviation (as you mentioned some posts ago) is a (supposed) theoretical Physicist who believes the abstract nature of the laws of physics (being followed by the universe) then justifies the existence of his deity who must therefore be a consciousness capable of conceiving abstractions - a mathematician(?), but nonetheless, must be mind independently real.
    When it comes to beliefs, I say vive la difference.
    .. and there's massive resistance when MDR thinking is perceived as taking it too deeply .. (whatever that means) ..
    Yeah, going deeper is what science is all about, so it's odd when people object to going too deeply!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    This is discussion is all fine and dandy but the universe does not need us to exist. It may not be the distorted or limited concept we build with the limitations of our senses and minds. When mankind no longer is, the "universe" will still exist. That which our senses perceives and minds model.
    What do you mean by your words? You may believe the universe exists without you, but what you mean by "the universe" does not. So when you just said what you said, did you mean the universe that doesn't depend on you, or did you mean what you mean when you say "the universe"? Simple question, what's your answer.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Aug-22 at 03:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    Ken G, if the differences between scientific MDR's are inevitable what do you call your little MIR analog (in a couple of words)?
    I have no idea what you mean by "my little MIR analog." Can you actually use the words I do? My mind might then have some idea what your mind is talking about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    One has to be clear if one defines atheism as the belief in the nonexistence of any supreme being, or merely as the absence of belief in the existence of a supreme being. I wonder how many atheists have even been clear with themselves about that distinction.
    I get what you're saying there and I've done some soul-searching myself and realised that my philosophy in life seems to be a commitment to distinguish any and all beliefs, (ie: they're not absent with me in particular .. I'm human .. so I have beliefs), and by doing that, somehow those insights eventually neutralise those beliefs so I can move forward either on the same, or a different pathway.

    Who knows what label one assigns to that meaning?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    What do you mean by your words? You may believe the universe exists without you, but what you mean by "the universe" does not. So when you just said what you said, did you mean the universe that doesn't depend on you, or did you mean what you mean when you say "the universe"? Simple question, what's your answer.
    The universe does not depend on any of us. It exists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    But we don't have to imagine those processes 'exist' because 'they're possible'. Both of those processes are already heavily objectively evidenced .. but in the case where other processes have never been observed, but they can be imagined, modelled then demonstrated as sitting well within the laws of Physics, (ie: 'in theory'), that still doesn't mean 'they exist' in scientific objective reality. This is what I mean .. ie: 'what's possible' insidiously sneaks into 'existence' in conversations about the unknown. I think philosopher-types call it logical positivism(?) .. ie: view the untested outcomes as being affirmative before any testing is actually conducted .. and then be 'surprised' by the results in the case where the results don't actually confirm that.

    Just came across another one, too. I say an untested hypothesis, from a scientific MDR viewpoint, is still held as a belief. Scientific MIR thinkers however pass this off as being 'a proposition', which is not a belief to them because holding something as 'true' (ie: believing it), is tantamount to regarding it as fact. This is totally ironic to me because it conceals the 'existence of truth' as being the measure of what is a fact, and what isn't a fact .. and yet there is no test we can do to establish 'the existence of truth' in the first place! (This of course violates science's principle of only using operational definitions).

    These folk simply cannot see that they have turned science into their own religion in order to argue against those who at least declare themselves as holding religious beliefs!
    Ah I see your point, the possible is not the MIR and is not the MDR either although it is in mind. We can invent an infinity of stories, let's say myths, that amuse and some may believe, but as authors we do not expect to ever be possible as reality. I feel the same about atheism, which I thought about as a teenager before realising I should consider agnostic ideas. In making gods in our own image we can imagine a creator who then goes away or a judge who watches everything and these are clearly untestable ideas. If you turn a science idea into dogma , then you are using science as a belief and have forgotton about "fail to falsify".
    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 gzhpcu View Post
    The universe does not depend on any of us. It exists.
    But if you read about it, the universe as a big bang may not exist. Our model , within science, may be slightly or very wrong. Our model of the universe really does depend on us. Our model is all we have, and it's a fun project to test it. We spend an enormous amount of money and time testing it just to know more. I can easily believe it really does literally depend on us, although you cannot test my belief by just repeating it exists. Neither of us can test the other point of view. But surely we can agree that the last hundred plus years have really messed up the Newton universe, just as he and others messed up the earth centred universe which was so comfortable for a while.
    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
    Ah I see your point, the possible is not the MIR and is not the MDR either although it is in mind.
    No .. I would say 'the possible' is an MDR belief which has meaning within the context of the laws of physics .. its not true MIR because its testable (if it sits within the context of those laws). It may even be tested in theoretical Physics (and it may pass those tests) .. but it most definitely isn't part of empirical science's Objective Reality. It may be considered as being a testable prediction of theoretical physics, but that only makes it a testable prediction .. which is still just a testable belief until it gets tested. It could also be called 'an hypothesis under test', too. A 'testable hypothesis' is tautology and therefore so too is 'a testable possibility'.

    Quote Originally Posted by profloater
    We can invent an infinity of stories, let's say myths, that amuse and some may believe, but as authors we do not expect to ever be possible as reality. I feel the same about atheism, which I thought about as a teenager before realising I should consider agnostic ideas. In making gods in our own image we can imagine a creator who then goes away or a judge who watches everything and these are clearly untestable ideas. If you turn a science idea into dogma , then you are using science as a belief and have forgotton about "fail to falsify".
    Agnosticism's core belief, I think, is: 'Uncertain'. But this is still a belief .. and thus, it is capable of being neutralised by recognising that .. thus enabling getting on with things (aka: the scientific process).

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    But if you read about it, the universe as a big bang may not exist. Our model , within science, may be slightly or very wrong. Our model of the universe really does depend on us. Our model is all we have, and it's a fun project to test it. We spend an enormous amount of money and time testing it just to know more. I can easily believe it really does literally depend on us, although you cannot test my belief by just repeating it exists. Neither of us can test the other point of view. But surely we can agree that the last hundred plus years have really messed up the Newton universe, just as he and others messed up the earth centred universe which was so comfortable for a while.
    I am not talking about our model of the universe. I am simply stating "the universe" exists with no specification of the model. We create our model. I am not talking about that. Just of whatever is out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    No ..

    Agnosticism's core belief, I think, is: 'Uncertain'. But this is still a belief .. and thus, it is capable of being neutralised by recognising that .. thus enabling getting on with things (aka: the scientific process).
    I am confident that agnosticism core belief is we cannot know or more precisely I cannot know. It is recognising mind and only mind as the engine of trials plus observation and so mind is limited to knowing only its models.
    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 gzhpcu View Post
    The universe does not depend on any of us. It exists.
    I noticed that you did not answer my question. Again:
    When you said "the universe" in that statement, did you mean the universe that doesn't depend on your mind, or did you mean what your mind means by your words "the universe"-- which obviously does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    I get what you're saying there and I've done some soul-searching myself and realised that my philosophy in life seems to be a commitment to distinguish any and all beliefs, (ie: they're not absent with me in particular .. I'm human .. so I have beliefs), and by doing that, somehow those insights eventually neutralise those beliefs so I can move forward either on the same, or a different pathway.

    Who knows what label one assigns to that meaning?
    Needs one, doesn't it? The term agnosticism is often used to mean undecided or open to any possibilities, so that's pretty close, but I think many people who count themselves as agnostics rather than atheists take the position that they don't believe in a supreme being, but they leave space for others to believe-- they don't discount the beliefs of others. But agnostics often still believe in MIR without identifying that as a deviation from their tendency to avoid beliefs that lack evidence. We are not just talking about letting other people have their beliefs, we are talking about self-identifying our own beliefs. I see it as quite common for people to label other people's thinking as "belief" and their own as "the actual truth", and agnostics tend to do the same in regard to science. We need a term for someone who holds that science produces scientific truth, but it is still a belief (and one that rejects a need for evidence) to maintain that is some kind of actual truth. The value of scientific truth is that it passes objective tests. Any other claim for it is belief and lacks evidence.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Aug-22 at 05:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I noticed that you did not answer my question. Again:
    When you said "the universe" in that statement, did you mean the universe that doesn't depend on your mind, or did you mean what your mind means by your words "the universe"-- which obviously does.
    What I meant was the universe, or call it what you will, that does not depend on my mind. Seems like I am not getting across.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    What I meant was the universe, or call it what you will, that does not depend on my mind. Seems like I am not getting across.
    It matters not what you call it, it matters what you mean by the word. I'm asking you to tell me what you mean when you use the word "universe." I presume you meant something when you said it, so what did you mean?

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    Here's a handy Wiki reference page supporting the mind dependency of meaning association in language (the underlined bits are the evidence for mind dependence):

    Meaning (linguistics):
    In linguistics, meaning is the information or concepts that a sender intends to convey, or does convey, in communication with a receiver.
    Pragmatics:
    Pragmatics is the study of how context affects meaning. The two primary forms of context important to pragmatics are linguistic context and situation context. Linguistic context is how meaning is understood without relying onintent and assumptions. In appliedpragmatics, for example, meaning is formed through sensory experiences, even though sensory stimulus cannot be easily articulated in language or signs.
    Semantic Meaning:
    The relationship between words and their referents is called semantic. Semantics is the study of how meaning is conveyed through signs and language. Understanding how facial expressions, body language, and tone affect meaning, and how words, phrases, sentences, and punctuation relate to meaning are examples. Various subgroups of semantics are studied within the fields of linguistics, logic and computing. For example, linguistic semantics includes the history of how words have been used in the past; logical semantics includes how people mean and refer in terms of likely intent and assumptions​.
    Conceptual Meaning:
    Languages allow information to be conveyed even when the specific words used are not known by the reader or listener. People connect words with meaning and use words to refer to concepts. A person's intentions affect what is meant. Meaning (in English) as intent harkens back to the Anglo-Saxons and is associated today still, with the German verb meinen as to think or intend​.
    (Aside: So, now I have someone claiming that I'm arguing 'incorrectly', that the clear evidence of 'involvement' of minds in the above, equates to 'mind dependence'.
    I notice the use of the terms 'incorrectly' and 'equates' in the above complaint .. Logic is still part of MDR and not evidence of MIR though, eh?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    It matters not what you call it, it matters what you mean by the word. I'm asking you to tell me what you mean when you use the word "universe." I presume you meant something when you said it, so what did you mean?
    It means what is outside of the mind. All that which is directly or indirectly sensed and interpreted by the mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I have no idea what you mean by "my little MIR analog." Can you actually use the words I do? My mind might then have some idea what your mind is talking about.
    I don't know what your problem is Ken G, you have already admitted that you can find out about many prior scientific MDR's from books (and build as many models as you like of them).

    But when I ask you to examine the differences between the 'realities', say 500 years apart, and regard this difference as a discrete part of the MIR that was present at the time of the first scientific MDR but already a part of the scientific MDR 500 years later so not part of the later MIR, you claim ignorance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    But when I ask you to examine the differences between the 'realities', say 500 years apart, and regard this difference as a discrete part of the MIR that was present at the time of the first scientific MDR but already a part of the scientific MDR 500 years later so not part of the later MIR, you claim ignorance.
    I guess you can count me as being ignorant of your meaning there too ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    It means what is outside of the mind. All that which is directly or indirectly sensed and interpreted by the mind.
    Tell me honestly here .. Is maybe just a little of your persistence, (just maybe?), attributable to your being annoyed at having your intended meaning re-interpreted through the MDR perspective?

    I know I get accused of constructing 'strawman' arguments out of what others have written when I cast my MDR spectacles on what they have written .. but from my perspective, they are not strawmen .. they are a literal analysis of what was written/expressed, with all the untestable parts stripped away .. and people just don't like the way it then appears. Also, do you agree that the notion of MIR is belief based .. or do you see your notions of MIR as being true, and that MDR is some sort of fantasy or something we have?
    Just curious .. (and doing some checking-in ..)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Tell me honestly here .. Is maybe just a little of your persistence, (just maybe?), attributable to your being annoyed at having your intended meaning re-interpreted through the MDR perspective?

    I know I get accused of constructing 'strawman' arguments out of what others have written when I cast my MDR spectacles on what they have written .. but from my perspective, they are not strawmen .. they are a literal analysis of what was written/expressed, with all the untestable parts stripped away .. and people just don't like the way it then appears. Also, do you agree that the notion of MIR is belief based .. or do you see your notions of MIR as being true, and that MDR is some sort of fantasy or something we have?
    Just curious .. (and doing some checking-in ..)
    Please define what you mean by MIR. That might be the source of the misunderstanding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    6Please define what you mean by MIR. That might be the source of the misunderstanding.
    Why don't you do your own searches? .. Go back about 10 pages ago and see the post where I breathed at least some life, into what I mean by MIR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    I guess you can count me as being ignorant of your meaning there too ..
    i.e. in 500 ad the scientific consensus MDR (you aren't arguing that the scientific concensus mind dependent reality didn't exist then and is only a recent invention, or are you? ) with respect to the center of the 'universe' is different to the perspectives of the scientific consensus MDR of 1000 and 1500.

    The scientific consensus MDR at 500 was ignorant of much of the scientific consensus MDR of 1000 and 1500 etc.

    LOL, the common factor is ignorance so I think you and Ken are just arguing for arguments sake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    i.e. in 500 ad the scientific consensus MDR (you aren't arguing that the scientific concensus mind dependent reality didn't exist then and is only a recent invention, or are you? ) with respect to the center of the 'universe' is different to the perspectives of the scientific consensus MDR of 1000 and 1500.
    Our knowledge of what testable properties can be assigned to the model we call 'the universe' has changed over that period of time, sure.
    There was 'a center' then .. There isn't one in our best tested model, now. Scientific definitions change with new evidence ..
    All of which serves as yet more evidence (tests passed) supporting the MDR hypothesis .. (and none supporting the belief in the existence of a MIR).

    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG
    The scientific consensus MDR at 500 was ignorant of much of the scientific consensus MDR of 1000 and 1500 etc.
    Sure .. scientific knowledge is updated when improvements are made to observational technologies, which then produce new/more information that we can understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG
    LOL, the common factor is ignorance so I think you and Ken are just arguing for arguments sake.
    From my perspective, that's what it looks like both you and gzhpcu are doing. I'm not even trying to argue with you guys .. I'm moving on and discovering new things about MDR and seeing just how much belief in Realism has distorted scientific thinking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Tell me honestly here .. Is maybe just a little of your persistence, (just maybe?), attributable to your being annoyed at having your intended meaning re-interpreted through the MDR perspective?

    I know I get accused of constructing 'strawman' arguments out of what others have written when I cast my MDR spectacles on what they have written .. but from my perspective, they are not strawmen .. they are a literal analysis of what was written/expressed, with all the untestable parts stripped away .. and people just don't like the way it then appears. Also, do you agree that the notion of MIR is belief based .. or do you see your notions of MIR as being true, and that MDR is some sort of fantasy or something we have?
    Just curious .. (and doing some checking-in ..)
    I will try again: I am not using the term "MIR", which implies a mental model. I am referring to whatever is detected and interpreted by our brains. We build MDR. Since MDR is based on the modelling of what is delivered by the senses to the brain, it must be interpreting something. I am referring to that something, without creating a model independent reality. I am referring to the source which leads a brain interpretation which is termed here model dependent reality.

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