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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #13441
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    So there is a part of our 'reality' that is truly independent of our minds,..
    I don't see how reality can be a 'part' of some other reality, unless there is some mind conceiving of that 'other' reality?

    The notion that our reality might be some kind of 'magic box' where some trickster can keep us contained so that only they can have the full picture of 'what's really going on', appears as some kind of unshakable belief here(?)

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    Indeed, I feel there may be useful lessons from considering a picture in which we inhabit some kind of microcosm of a larger reality we have no access to and cannot understand, but that "mind independent" version of reality is what "gives rise to" the reality we make sense of. That's not quite the Matrix, as there they could "wake up" and see the truth, but imagine a situation from which there is no waking up, more akin to the "many worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics. There is no harm in imagining such a situation, from the perspective of philosophical debate, as indeed many physicists take the many worlds interpretation quite seriously. But I contend that anyone who digs more deeply into such a picture will quickly come across two facts:
    1) the reality concept they refer to and use daily is not that one, and
    2) scientific progress gains nothing from taking that picture seriously, rather than as just another incomplete and inconsistent model. Indeed, science has quite a few times gotten egg in its face when it did take a picture like that too seriously, generally in the context of mistaking models for mechanisms that actually "govern" reality in some sense beyond our common anthropomorphic meaning of government (the "mind dependence" of which seems to become more obvious with each passing day...)
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Dec-04 at 10:59 PM.

  3. #13443
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    I don't see how reality can be a 'part' of some other reality, unless there is some mind conceiving of that 'other' reality?

    The notion that our reality might be some kind of 'magic box' where some trickster can keep us contained so that only they can have the full picture of 'what's really going on', appears as some kind of unshakable belief here(?)
    I was considering something like a stromatolite or other living thing rather than considering 'reality' as being exclusively homocentric.

    If we ever get a visit from an alien technically superior non homosapien species will we deny them their sense of 'reality' despite their superiority?

    Would they give us the same choice?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    If we ever get a visit from an alien technically superior non homosapien species will we deny them their sense of 'reality' despite their superiority?

    Would they give us the same choice?
    The proposition that our sense of reality might alter in the chance event of encountering aliens who provide us with demonstrations of their usage of their sense of reality, (which may well be fundamentally different from ours), is very intriguing IMO. We may never be able to make sense of such demonstrations and so what meanings could we possibly take away from such an encounter?

    The impression this encounter would give us would still be via our own reality filters, so envisaging how this might play out, in advance, is a pretty tough stretch for our imaginations, I think. Would this provide evidence of a truly mind independent reality? I think we'd have to understand it, in order to reach that conclusion(?)

  5. #13445
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    we think that dogs have a different reality sense because they use smell to evaluate the past as well as the present. So they might be aware that at this place something happened yesterday and something else the day before. We have to use very different clues to analyse place and live in the now. The dog reality is just as valid as ours but takes us no further except that the dog mind is using different inputs. similarly radically different understandings of reality, tell us nothing about the fundamental structure as well as being filtered through our minds. Our scientific knowledge would no doubt increase with more information, that's a different measure.
    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
    If we ever get a visit from an alien technically superior non homosapien species will we deny them their sense of 'reality' despite their superiority?
    No, MDR thinking is pretty much the opposite of what you are saying here. You are saying that when we recognize how much our concept of reality depends on our minds, by understanding better our minds, this will give us difficulities in trying to understand why aliens might have a very different concept of reality. But actually, that's what MIR thinking does. MDR thinking makes it perfectly clear why an alien could have a very different view of the nature of reality, and it would present no problem at all-- we'd completely understand why they have a different view, and why theirs would be valid given the way their minds work! Try that with your MIR.
    Would they give us the same choice?
    Only if they are capable of MDR thinking. Let's hope they are, otherwise they may treat us like we treat cattle.

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    I think its important to recognise in this hypothetical that we being asked to address the ramifications of a 'technically superior non homosapien species'. Presumably, the only way 'technical superiority' could be concluded, is if our human minds assessed it that way.

    Surely if we noticed 'technical superiority', we would also be forced into having to make comparisons about how we have made sense of our perceptions vs how the aliens made sense of theirs. One possible outcome is that we may also have to infer commonalities in the requirements driving their observed technology designs, and our own. These commonalities would form a revised basis of our own objective reality and, I think, would have impacts on how we perceive the physical behaviours of what we mean by 'the universe' .. but it all depends on our understanding and assessments of our observations of their 'technical superiority'(?)


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    Indeed, the situation being discussed is not actually hypothetical at all, it has already occurred several times in our history. For example, technically superior aliens were encountered by the Maian and Aztec cultures when the first Spanish conquistador-thugs came over. And yes, the conquistadors came with some significantly different ideas about the nature of reality, though of course their "technical superiority" was rather limited to guns and immunities since they shared the same DNA and similar history otherwise (neither of which, one assumes, would apply to space aliens). Nevertheless, I think we see pretty clearly what happens when technically superior aliens with a different world view arrive on the scene-- the original culture holds on to its traditions staunchly, but eventually the technical inferiority leads to the decay of traditional views and replacement by the views that led to the technical superiority, whether by conquest or more peaceably by missionaries. Although some good came of it in terms of advancing medicine and architecture and so forth, we can also see many examples of the significant evils of MIR thinking on the part of the technically superior, which is one of the reasons this thread has tried to shed light on the logical errors of MIR reasoning, and the ethical pitfalls when MIR thinking mistakes a belief system for a set of universal facts.

    This issues of technical superiority were addressed in a science fiction book I remember reading, someone else might recall the name. Aliens came and conquered Earth, and their technical superiority was called "alien science." The remaining humans organized a resistance, but were split in their commitment to fighting back with their own "ancestor science", or trying to upgrade their efforts by co-opting "alien science." In the book, clinging to ancestor science was portrayed as closed-minded and hopeless, whereas mastering alien science was portrayed as the key to success. The book missed the opportunity to probe deeper into the entire question of the nature of reality itself, as many science fiction writers only think in terms of "the same only more so", though some do like to delve into more profoundly transformative ideas.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Dec-06 at 03:07 PM.

  9. #13449
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    indeed one branch of superior technology often imagined is mind control, which is relevant to this thread because if your mind were to be controlled, how would you test that? After all we have tinkered with that for many years....or so it seems.
    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
    I think its important to recognise in this hypothetical that we being asked to address the ramifications of a 'technically superior non homosapien species'. Presumably, the only way 'technical superiority' could be concluded, is if our human minds assessed it that way.
    What about other 'technically inferior non homosapien species'. like a Stromatolite?

    Do we deny everything else their own 'reality' just because we can only conceive our own reality?

    I think that's why many people are against autonomous military killing systems, because once a glitch/omission in its models turns it into a metallic 'sociopath' worthy of our MDR, it is our reality that becomes part of something else's MDR regardless of our 'superiority'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    What about other 'technically inferior non homosapien species'. like a Stromatolite?
    Stromatolites are the sedimentary structures formed by either biological or abiotic activity. Cyanobacteria are the likely culprits behind the biologically formed variety.
    With that clarification, you then state that they are 'technically inferior', which is a highly subjective claim.
    Within their own ecosystem, the fact that their structures remain after some billions of years, suggests that they are in fact, quite successful in their own right (by providing structures/dwellings in direct support of their continuing survival):
    Quote Originally Posted by Wiki
    Cyanobacteria are arguably the most successful group of microorganisms on earth ..
    With this added information, we can see that your example clearly demonstrates the role of the human mind in assessing the merits (or otherwise) of cyanobacteria 'technology' (ie: who/what else makes 'arguable' claims?)

    With that being said, the question remains: 'Do they also experience their own reality independently from the human observer making such assessments?':

    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG
    Do we deny everything else their own 'reality' just because we can only conceive our own reality?
    So you are implying that cyanobacteria experience their own reality and then you are querying whether or not 'we' are denying the existence of that reality, (presumably as some kind of evidence for there being some kind of mind independence in any of the above reasoning)? Whoa ..

    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG
    I think that's why many people are against autonomous military killing systems, because once a glitch/omission in its models turns it into a metallic 'sociopath' worthy of our MDR, it is our reality that becomes part of something else's MDR regardless of our 'superiority'.
    Its all evidence of our mind in action, as it goes about its business of creating reality. The thing is, both 'superiority' and 'inferiority' are really relative to survival ability in the respective niches in which cyanobacteria (and aliens) have evolved. What we can gain from this viewpoint is more of a sense that humans, cyanobacteria and aliens are all respectively inseperable from the environments/niches from which they evolved, from an outside observer's viewpoint .. so, this is all part of this outside observer's model of reality .. Therefore there's nothing to 'deny', (or otherwise) in order to justify the obvious mind dependence of this outside observer's mind model of reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    Do we deny everything else their own 'reality' just because we can only conceive our own reality?
    That is just precisely what MIR thinkers do constantly. You can see multiple examples in this very thread. The whole point of MDR thinking is releasing yourself from the need to "deny" what you don't understand, but rather, to embrace how your own ability to understand affects what you think is real. So why would an MDR thinker have any need to deny the reality perceived by a stromatolite? MDR thinking is about detecting how the reality concept can be made useful for that thinker, it needs no opinion about the reality of a stromatolite. Try that with MIR thinking.
    I think that's why many people are against autonomous military killing systems, because once a glitch/omission in its models turns it into a metallic 'sociopath' worthy of our MDR, it is our reality that becomes part of something else's MDR regardless of our 'superiority'.
    I think people who understand the process of creating an MDR are perfectly able to object to autonomous killing systems. I fail to see any connection at all, but if I did see a connection, I'd be much more worried about MIR thinkers as the ones building such autonomous systems. MIR thinking has been the cause of many horrendous human rights violations, yet I can think of no example where MDR recognition was such a cause. You seem to think that MDR thinking means exporting how we make sense of reality onto others. No, that's not it at all-- MDR thinking begins with the recognition that we play a role in how we build our concept of reality, but that does not release us from the responsibility of what we come up with. Notice how the opposite is true of MIR thinking-- if you think your MDR is actually an MIR, that does release you from any responsibility for it. After all, why should it be your fault for what is simply the truth? How often has such an appeal to absolute truth been used as an excuse to oppress?
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Dec-07 at 09:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    .. After all, why should it be your fault for what is simply the truth? How often has such an appeal to absolute truth been used as an excuse to oppress?
    I'm beginning to see issues with science's notion of the universality of physical constants (or the physical laws). This notion more or less pushes Realism to the forefront in science. The universality of physical constants is straight from the MIR handbook, I think(?)
    Specifically, I think this also is the driver behind believing in the existence of aliens.
    Ie:
    - We observe some remote exoplanet.
    - We measure its physical parameters and conclude 'the possibility' of habitability.
    - We then pursue vigorously, finding out what's on the exoplanet .. ie: 'life might be likely' in that environment, which is then held as a 'true' statement, because the universality of physical laws predicts that, on the sole basis of life on Earth.

    This reasoning does not recognise the localised combinatorial variations of physical laws and constants in organic chemistry, which may not produce aliens (or exo-life) at all .. so its 'likely existence', is not actually 'true' at all. However, the MDR thinker is then seen as denying 'what is true in science', when all along the MDR thinker is simply owning the responsibility for origins of the notion of: the universality of physical constants and physical laws. This conflict doesn't seem to appear however, at the level of say, attempting to classify some remote star's location on the main sequence (which is of course, completely dependent on the universaility of physical constants (and many physical laws).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    I'm beginning to see issues with science's notion of the universality of physical constants (or the physical laws). This notion more or less pushes Realism to the forefront in science. The universality of physical constants is straight from the MIR handbook, I think(?)
    I agree that the universality of physical constants is an extremely puzzling state of affairs, it all comes under the heading of "why is physics possible at all"? This is certainly a profound mystery, but it is no less profound in MIR thinking than it is in MDR thinking. In MDR thinking, the question is, why does the Occam's Razor principle succeed at all? We are trying to build a concept of reality that fits in our heads and is quantitatively successful, but our successes there go way beyond anything our brains have evolved to do. We are left with the question of why are the basic laws of the universe so simple we can teach many of them in high school? That's a doozy.

    But MIR thinking does not make this less of a doozy, and in fact it leads to misconceptions. The standard misconception that MIR thinking leads to is the classic mischaracterization of Occam, that "the simplest theory is most likely the right one." That statement was even made in the movie Contact, which tried very hard to accurately paint the differences between science-based and faith-based thinking, but really dropped the ball on that one. Certainly science has no business ever making a claim on what is most likely right other than whatever agrees with the observations, but worse, the idea that the simplest theory is most likely right has been contradicted over and over in the history of science. The MDR thinker can understand what Occam's Razor is-- since the goal is to understand, and the simplest theory that agrees with data is the best path to understanding, then that's clearly the best theory. That's it, that's the Razor, nothing more. The MIR thinker actually believes that the Razor leads to How Things Actually Work, as if the universe was a simulation made by a fairly inexpert programmer who therefore had to "keep it simple."

    The universality of the constants (or more correctly, the unitless combinations of the constants), over huge distances and times, is a spectacular success of Occam's Razor, and it is indeed hard to understand why this vastly simplifying assumption works so well. I have no idea why it works so well, I suspect that the best answer we can come up with is anthropic in nature (it had to work out that way or we couldn't be here, and perhaps there are vastly more universes where it didn't work that way and we are not there as a result). But of course, an anthropic answer is certainly not a path to MIR-- it is kind of the ultimate MDR approach, that a given kind of mind will always find itself trying to make sense out of a universe that comes out simple enough for that mind to exist in the first place. This also explains why our simplest models invariably fail-- the universe may need to be almost simple enough for us to understand, but if it was really simple enough to fit in our minds then our minds would not fit in it. Thus, anthropic thinkers are led to a form of MDR thinking that they might not even recognize, if they hold to the standard MIR-type model that science is normally expressed as.
    Specifically, I think this also is the driver behind believing in the existence of aliens.
    Ie:
    - We observe some remote exoplanet.
    - We measure its physical parameters and conclude 'the possibility' of habitability.
    - We then pursue vigorously, finding out what's on the exoplanet .. ie: 'life might be likely' in that environment, which is then held as a 'true' statement, because the universality of physical laws predicts that, on the sole basis of life on Earth.
    I would say there is a little fight in what you are saying here, a fight between the words "believe in aliens" and "predict life might be likely." Only the second is a scientific statement, the first is a matter of personal belief. I never use the word "believe" in any scientific setting, because the word gets used in so many different and contradictory ways it ends up not saying much. Many people use "believe" to mean "anything held as true via any approach whatsoever," but the truth can never be separated from the approach that leads to it. So if I say I believe something to be true, I want that to convey some information about the path I took to get to that truth, and "believe" means the path is "I made a personal choice that seems right to me but has not been tested objectively." If, on the other hand, objective tests have been passed and that leads me to hold something as true, then I call it a scientific fact if the tests have been extensive, and a scientific hypothesis if the tests are in their infancy. But I don't "believe" anything in science, that word just doesn't fit there.

    "Prediction", on the other hand, is a completely different thing. It can result from some scientific fact, in which case I put great stock in the prediction and would wager considerable amount of my money on it, or it can be the ramification of a hypothesis that I am still interested in testing, in which case I put little stock in it but it directs my scientific "next thing that needs doing." When it comes to predictions about life on other planets, I'd say we are well into the hypothesis realm, where the predictions aren't there to color our expectations, but rather, to direct the next thing we need to look at. On the other hand, the sheer vastness of the universe insures that almost any approach to life elsewhere that is probability based will lead to a strong expectation that life does exist somewhere in the likely >1025 stars in the universe. That's significantly larger than Avogadro's number! Still, you may be arguing that the probabilistic thinking I'm describing must make certain assumptions (like the universality of the constants) that might not hold, they are still just a hypothesis until tested better. I can't deny that, indeed there is a brand of anthropic thinking that says if you have lots of different universes, and only a tiny fraction can support intelligent life, then there are versions of such distributions that make it such that most of the intelligences are alone in their own universe. If I had to guess, I'd guess the special distribution that is like the number of people living in your city or town-- a distribution that has roughly equal number of people in each general class of town size (which is why about half the population is urban and half rural-- similarly, maybe half the intelligences are in relatively crowded universes and half in very sparsely intelligent universes, I just don't know which we are because it's not that crowded).
    However, the MDR thinker is then seen as denying 'what is true in science', when all along the MDR thinker is simply owning the responsibility for origins of the notion of: the universality of physical constants and physical laws. This conflict doesn't seem to appear however, at the level of say, attempting to classify some remote star's location on the main sequence (which is of course, completely dependent on the universaility of physical constants (and many physical laws).
    The question is how true do the "laws" need to be. A good scientist should always expect any set of laws to break down somewhere, but they do seem to have a fairly wide range of applicability. Perhaps we have some reason to expect the range of applicability to extend to include other possible habitats for life. Nevertheless, we still have no idea how special the Earth is in that respect-- and even weak anthropic thinking (we have to be found on a planet that could have allowed us to evolve) must allow that the Earth could be very very special indeed, and there's still no contradiction in a universe of more than 1020 Earthlike planets.

  15. #13455
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    The point is our human 'reality', however you like it, doesn't mean a thing when we are not here i.e. before or after anything else. But some people cannot consider this vacuum of our minds as being a mind independent reality because 'they thought about it, duh', and totally ignore the actual 'reality' for everything else that the universe will not cease to exist when humans cease to exist.

  16. #13456
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    I'm still not convinced (i'm not claiming an argument from incredulity) by arguments about MDR but it is quite possible i have misunderstood them.
    A scientific realist might say something like "Our best scientific theories are approximately correct in that they map (imperfectly) entities or their relationships onto some underlying reality- as evidenced by the no miracles argument".
    If you subscribe to MDR.. it is models all the way down.. and that our best scientific theories are useful (by definition) but can never tell us anything about any underlying reality... of which you may choose (in a religious/non-scientific sense) to either Believe in 'reality' or Not Believe in 'reality'.
    But, if we can disprove / reject some scientific theories- or see that some theories are contradictory with what is 'known'.. then we can't we at least state some 'facts' (in the negative sense) about underlying reality?.. and hence prove there is an underlying reality (that we don't know much about).
    Where have I gone wrong logically? I'm sure others will tell me :-)


    e.g.
    White is not black,
    Darwinism is correct, and Lamarckianism is incorrect.
    Red light has a longer wavelength than Blue light.
    2+3 does not equal 17.3
    The Earth is not flat and 3000 years old.
    A duck is not a chicken.
    Too much dopamine does not cause parkinson's disease.
    Gravity is a weaker force than the strong nuclear force and operates over larger distances.
    The force between 2 charged particles does not vary with the inverse of the 19th exponent of the distance.
    The universe doesn't just have 2 extended spatial dimensions.
    Last edited by plant; 2019-Dec-09 at 08:58 AM.
    "It's only a model....?" :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3dZl3yfGpc

  17. #13457
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    That is just precisely what MIR thinkers do constantly.
    ...
    I fail to see any connection at all, but if I did see a connection, I'd be much more worried about MIR thinkers as the ones building such autonomous systems. MIR thinking has been the cause of many horrendous human rights violations, yet I can think of no example where MDR recognition was such a cause.
    ...
    You seem to think that MDR thinking means exporting how we make sense of reality onto others. No, that's not it at all-- MDR thinking begins with the recognition that we play a role in how we build our concept of reality, but that does not release us from the responsibility of what we come up with. Notice how the opposite is true of MIR thinking--
    ...
    if you think your MDR is actually an MIR, that does release you from any responsibility for it. After all, why should it be your fault for what is simply the truth? How often has such an appeal to absolute truth been used as an excuse to oppress?
    Ken G, apart from being wrong, I gather you have never considered a MIR as complementary to the MDR in that it just holds the bits we don't know yet, as you persist in your quasi religious MDR = Saints and MIR = devils diatribe?

    I have been reading "First Man" by James R Hansen and note that Neil Armstrong (test pilot and aeronautical engineer) had a slight disagreement with Buzz Aldrin during LM simulator training prior to the moon launch. Apparently Buzz thought the simulator was like a game to be won while Neil preferred to take every opportunity to test the boundaries of all the simulators that were used to train all the astronauts.

    Do you think this discussion about the MDR and MIR is a game to be won or do you acknowledge that the MDR models aren't absolute (let alone fully consistent and homogeneous) that have changed in the past and will change in the future (by testing the boundaries and developing more accurate models)?

    Did the MDR predict what would occur on Apollo 13?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    Ken G, apart from being wrong, I gather you have never considered a MIR as complementary to the MDR in that it just holds the bits we don't know yet,
    That might be one possible meaning one could assign to 'MIR' .. but the MDR hypothesis predicts many possible meanings across the thinking population. There may also be many perceptions our minds might not necessarily be aware of and thus we don't necessarily assign any meanings in particular, (as you have just done).

    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    Do you think this discussion about the MDR and MIR is a game to be won or do you acknowledge that the MDR models aren't absolute (let alone fully consistent and homogeneous) that have changed in the past and will change in the future (by testing the boundaries and developing more accurate models)?
    That's been answered and supported myriads of times over in this thread. Scientific (MDR) models are accepted as being contextual and provisional .. their purpose is simply for providing us with explanations for our observations. Some are more consistent with the data than others. Some are easier to understand than others. Many historical examples of that have been given which serve as supporting evidence.
    General MDR models may or may not be supported by the outcomes of objective testing. I don't see how someone's belief that there is some fixed standard of 'absoluteness' (which you imply above), which can be universally accepted across the entire population of human minds .. (this was also addressed specifically, by way of a testable prediction, in the MDR hypothesis .. and so Ken G has already responded on that. I'm not sure why you raise such a question on this occasion .. its certainly not obvious why you're doing that?).

    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG
    Did the MDR predict what would occur on Apollo 13?
    Specifically what was the 'MDR' you refer to here?

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    I have have some thoughts concerning the model of MDR and whilst are not intended to challenge the model in any way, they perhaps place the model within a context that makes it more acceptable to some.

    The mind is all we have in order to think about anything. Such minds have developed two opposing philosophies, idealism and realism. Realism says that there is an external reality which the mind apprehends. Idealism says that there is no external reality; our reality in its totality is played out entirely within the mind.

    Philosophically it is perfectly possible to have a mix of realism and idealism as representing our reality and many would hold to that belief. This is the nature of reality as discussed and debated over the ages and will continue to be debated – neither can be shown to be true or false because they are both belief structures.

    What I find interesting is that the model of MDR seems to embrace the philosophy of realism in that any incompleteness or as yet unknowable aspects within the model are chosen to be part of the mind rather than part of an external reality.

    This is because the only concrete thing that science can work on is that which constitutes our mind – in principle we can produce deeper and deeper layers of scientific modelling of the mind – we can’t do that to a belief structure of an external reality. But nevertheless, this still seems to be a choice being made, we are choosing to develop a MDR model that assumes the incompleteness that currently shows up within the model (and everything associated with our reality that may form a future part of the model) resides somewhere within the mind (rather than a MI “something”) and will show itself in time in terms of an evidence based model. To do otherwise would immediately render the scientific model as having an intrinsic limitation – it will never be able to get into a belief structure of a MI “something” in order to produce a model for its internal workings.

    When Newton conceived of his theory he introduced a belief that there was a force acting between bodies. This force couldn’t be scientifically taken apart and modelled in itself; rather it was taken as “something” by Newton that accounted for bodies being attracted to one another. But in principle it wasn’t beyond the wit of future science to investigate this force in itself, Newton didn’t have to say to himself that this force places an intrinsic limit to what can be known about gravity because it can never be investigated further. Whereas if he had said that God provides the reason why bodies are attracted to each other, that immediately places an intrinsic limit to the model – God cannot be investigated further. Scientists never produce models that depend on God because God can never be investigated any further. They produce models that use assumptions on the basis that such assumptions can in principle be modelled further.

    If the scientific model of MDR chose to make use of realism, it would effectively be choosing to embrace God, no scientific investigation could tell the difference between a MI “something” and God. So I think from a scientific point of view, the model has no alternative but to make use of idealism, to do otherwise would render the model as being confined to that which excludes any requirement of a MI “something”. And that really would make it incomplete; a big part of it would forever have to be assigned to a belief structure akin to God. At the moment the incompleteness is left in abeyance as part of the mind to be modelled at some later stage of the models development.

    It might be said that in any event the model of MDR could never use realism even if it chose it as a belief structure forever out of scientific bounds because we are using the mind to say such a thing and if we use the mind we cannot invoke realism. But I believe we can still invoke the concept of realism using the mind on the basis that the mind will describe our perceptions as what primarily exists independently of the mind – here the mind is not describing an arena where no mind exists, it is describing the perception in the mind and projecting that perception into a MI realm on the basis that this element (whatever the portion of the perception is chosen) is not being affected by the mind at all. This of course can only be belief, but that’s what MDR would be making use of a belief (akin to God).

    The model is deliberately confining itself to an idealist structure in order to maintain its integrity as a scientific model – if it did otherwise it would be imposing intrinsic limitations on itself for no good reason – science doesn’t ever deliberately impose such intrinsic limitations on itself – that would go against all that a model is supposed to be about.

    So when some might ask how the MDR model can account for the seemingly disconnected car crash, as if the crash was an artefact of the mind with no MI element, the model accounts for it within the remit of idealism rather than realism. The current model accounts for all of the descriptive processes involved with the car crash, those aspects it can’t account for (such as the mind cannot un-crash the car) are retained within idealism until such day that the model can account for some or all of these elements. If the model made use of realism rather than idealism, then the aspects would be assigned to realism with no prospect of ever being modelled any further.

    So I would say that at present, in terms of our reality and how we experience it, the model of MDR covers the descriptive aspect admirably, but in terms of the manner by which natures laws defy any involvement from our minds, the model is going to seem to be pretty inconsequential and “common sense” is going to suggest that the car is going to crash independently from anything the model can predict – hence the tendency for realism. But that is not a fault of the model, rather it is tied in with the remit of the model that sees no purpose in including any element that is akin to God – that’s not what science does. Instead the model includes the whole car crash as being confined to idealism with the expectation that in time, as the model develops it will increase the scope of the scientific model and reduce the need for idealism.

    And I think this is the crux concerning disquiet with the model – the limitations of the scientific method become very clear when trying to model the mind. Those limitations tend to be glossed over with all other scientific models – they don't require any MI element to work. The fact that these models never includes a MI element is of absolutely no consequence, no one will ever say that the models lack a“common sense” source for them to make any sense, unlike the MDR model where many will say that the model needs a MI crashed car as a source for it to make any sense.

    But actually the scientific method used in the MDR model is identical to that used with all other models, it is simply the case that because the MDR model turns itself on our minds and doesn’t see the need for any MI involvement for it to work, that lack of a MI aspect will bound to be flagged up in terms of “where is the source of the car crash”. But in terms of Newtons theory, no one will ever raise any flag because there is no MI involvement simply because none is needed for it to work according to our reality.
    Last edited by Len Moran; 2019-Dec-09 at 11:51 PM.

  20. #13460
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    The mind is all we have in order to think about anything. .....our reality in its totality is played out entirely within the mind.

    Len,

    It is obvious and trivial to say that "the mind (I would correct you by saying YOUR mind) is all we have in order to think about anything". Obviously, all one can really say is that one's own mind exists.
    But you have chosen, based on my reading of your responses, in a religious-type/ non-scientific way to believe in something 'else'.
    To be honest I don't know why you proponents of 'Models all the way down" don't just call yourself Solipsists and be done with it. It seems hypocritical to be so skeptical about the possibility of a 'reality'.. and yet not take that skepticism to it's obvious final point.
    Please explain
    1. why exactly you are not a Solipsist?
    2. how your MDR differs from Solipsism?
    "It's only a model....?" :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3dZl3yfGpc

  21. #13461
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    I think the problem, like science and the idea of mind are evolving. Newton did not have to worry about mind much, he was deep in the theist tradition but Darwin was worried by the evolution conflict in a way Newton would not understand. Freud got many things wrong but did identify the unconscious mind and trigger a whole new realm of science which is evolving rather fast. Neuro science is far removed from “popular psychology” . So this debate is truly topical and still divides even scientifically trained people. One of the astounding observations about humans is the variety of mind formations in physically similar looking people. Its so much bigger than the variety of all other characteristics. So theory of mind has many problems for an individual who starts assuming all minds work like his or hers. They spin off in different ways just as theory of mind develops, (or doesn’t).
    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

  22. #13462
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    Len,

    If you believe in MDR, then what (if anything) was happening in the Universe before there was a Mind?

    MDR reminds me of the old aphorism:
    "What is matter? Never mind. What is Mind? It doesn't matter!"
    "It's only a model....?" :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3dZl3yfGpc

  23. #13463
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    Quote Originally Posted by plant View Post
    ... To be honest I don't know why you proponents of 'Models all the way down" don't just call yourself Solipsists and be done with it. It seems hypocritical to be so skeptical about the possibility of a 'reality'.. and yet not take that skepticism to it's obvious final point.
    Please explain
    1. why exactly you are not a Solipsist?
    2. how your MDR differs from Solipsism?
    Your question was answered comprehensively from an MDR viewpoint in February, by Ken G here.

    Did you even read and then understand it? Because I don't seem to be able to find your response to it.
    Yet you now make accusations of 'hypocrisy'?

    PS: More follow up feedback on the MDR viewpoint on Solipsism here.
    Last edited by Selfsim; 2019-Dec-10 at 05:15 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plant View Post
    .. If you believe in MDR, then what (if anything) was happening in the Universe before there was a Mind?
    There is a mind already implied in this very question .. The sense of the past (aka: 'before') is a human sense .. (therefore you have already implied the presence of a mind).

  25. #13465
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    That might be one possible meaning one could assign to 'MIR' .. but the MDR hypothesis predicts many possible meanings across the thinking population. There may also be many perceptions our minds might not necessarily be aware of and thus we don't necessarily assign any meanings in particular, (as you have just done).
    Are you talking about a consensus scientific MDR or the one Pol Pot, Genghis Khan, Adolph Hitler etc used?

    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    That's been answered and supported myriads of times over in this thread. Scientific (MDR) models are accepted as being contextual and provisional .. their purpose is simply for providing us with explanations for our observations. Some are more consistent with the data than others. Some are easier to understand than others. Many historical examples of that have been given which serve as supporting evidence.
    General MDR models may or may not be supported by the outcomes of objective testing. I don't see how someone's belief that there is some fixed standard of 'absoluteness' (which you imply above), which can be universally accepted across the entire population of human minds .. (this was also addressed specifically, by way of a testable prediction, in the MDR hypothesis .. and so Ken G has already responded on that. I'm not sure why you raise such a question on this occasion .. its certainly not obvious why you're doing that?).

    Specifically what was the 'MDR' you refer to here?
    So are you talking about an absolute consensus scientific MDR (until it changes) now or just saying things to win, however inconsistent they are?

  26. #13466
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran View Post
    But actually the scientific method used in the MDR model is identical to that used with all other models, it is simply the case that because the MDR model turns itself on our minds and doesn’t see the need for any MI involvement for it to work, that lack of a MI aspect will bound to be flagged up in terms of “where is the source of the car crash”. But in terms of Newtons theory, no one will ever raise any flag because there is no MI involvement simply because none is needed for it to work according to our reality.
    There is no MI involvement to the extent of how correct newton was although the parts newer science has superseded now can be considered MI back then because they weren't part of Newtons original MDR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    There is no MI involvement to the extent of how correct newton was although the parts newer science has superseded now can be considered MI back then because they weren't part of Newtons original MDR.
    'Can be considered' by whom? (Or what?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    Are you talking about a consensus scientific MDR or the one Pol Pot, Genghis Khan, Adolph Hitler etc used?
    I wasn't specifically referring to Objective Reality (or 'scientific MDR' using your terminology). I'm open minded enough to admit perceptions that I have not experienced .. so I don't see why I would have that mean anything in particular .. Why would I have to do that? (That just sounds like pure prejudice to me .. perhaps that's why you mention the historical leaders? Just because they may have had prejudices, doesn't speak for everyone though ..)

    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG
    So are you talking about an absolute consensus scientific MDR (until it changes) now or just saying things to win, however inconsistent they are?
    I don't have a clue what you mean when you say 'or saying things to win'. I am not competing here ..
    Perhaps you could elaborate on what you see are inconsistencies .. (because I don't see any). You seem to be challenging scientific consensus models, (which may change over time), as being evidence of the existence of some kind of absolute MIR .. I don't see that viewpoint at all. Should I? Why? (Especially given the evidence that scientific minds came up with those models in the first place).

  29. #13469
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    There is a mind already implied in this very question .. The sense of the past (aka: 'before') is a human sense .. (therefore you have already implied the presence of a mind).
    We are both using our minds to imagine a time in the history of the universe when there was no mind. Only one of us is having difficulty with that. Perhaps my zen-buddhist ‘no mind’ training helps?
    What makes you think our minds are alike? How can you know what i can experience? Perhaps i can experience a total state of no-mind? Perhaps i am a zombie that acts like i have real thoughts and feelings but my internal mental life has no qualia.

    Are you saying that its fine to have a meta-thought like thinking about thinking but that thinking about not thinking is impossible?
    Last edited by plant; 2019-Dec-10 at 08:22 AM.
    "It's only a model....?" :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3dZl3yfGpc

  30. #13470
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    Look i get the point that:

    The universe makes the mind and all the mind can do is make models.
    The mind interprets the (rest of ) the universe and itself in many ways.
    One of the most useful ways is by using ‘the scientific method’.
    The question that mdr has never answered imho is the ‘unreasonable success’ of the scientific method.
    Imho the ‘no miracles’ argument for the success of science is the best argument for the existence of ‘reality’ beyond our models and our minds.
    Lets think about this for a minute. The proponents of MDR on this forum feel that MDR is obvious. If so, it would come as a shock to a great number of philosophers of science around the world that the ‘meaning of life’ (kidding) was revealed in the posts of some physics forum on the internet rather than being published in peer-reviewed journals. Now, this doesn’t mean it is wrong.... if i am incorrect please post references. �� Some on this forum have in the past denigrated philosophers as inferior to physicists but i think that is unfair.
    It is not difficult to persuade philosophical amateurs on the internet...
    Don’t get me wrong - i really think this is a great discussion and no offense intended. Thanks to all for the effort they have put in over the years!
    "It's only a model....?" :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3dZl3yfGpc

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