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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #13621
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    I'm always looking for more succinct ways of summarising MDR thinking. I recently came across this quote from the sci-fi author Philip K Dick:

    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".

    Nicely summarises recent, somewhat lengthy posts about the 'non-mental elements' of MDR, I think(?)
    I think what that quote does is helps people distinguish between making mind-dependent models that work to make sense of consistencies of experience, which is what the "reality" concept is all about, from just choosing to believe things and hoping that they will somehow be true by power of will or something. The former is scientific and has been proven effective over history, whereas the latter is unscientific and has proven very dangerous (as current events remind us). Early in the thread we saw people who chose to believe their concept of reality was an MIR, or even that it "referred to" some MIR that had to be there or else their concept of reality wouldn't work, and they tended to mistakenly characterize MDR thinking as being like fantasy, like Harry Potter vs. the real world. But they didn't recognize that Harry Potter fantasy is merely at one extreme end of mind involvement, just as their own MIR belief is at the other extreme end of mind noninvolvement. A working understanding is not at either end, however.

    By contrast, MDR thinking allows us to find all kinds of evidence that neither of those extremes are consistent with the observations. So Dick's definition of reality is a useful one, but it is actually (as you are saying) more consistent with MDR than with MIR, though I think MIR believers tend to see it as a kind of justification for their beliefs. They might say that the only mind involvement is the choice to believe something, which doesn't change the reality, but that is not at all the only mind involvement. The irony of that stance is, they might not see that the "belief" Dick is talking about could just as easily be belief in MIR. So Dick's statement could be adapted to this thread as saying that MDR is that which, when you stop believing in an MIR, doesn't go away. That has always been my central critique of MIR belief as having anything to do with scientific thinking-- if it had any importance to science, it would matter if you stopped adhering to that belief, but it doesn't matter at all to not believe it.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2020-Jan-08 at 07:05 AM.

  2. #13622
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I think what that quote does is helps people distinguish between making mind-dependent models that work to make sense of consistencies of experience, which is what the "reality" concept is all about, from just choosing to believe things and hoping that they will somehow be true by power of will or something. The former is scientific and has been proven effective over history, whereas the latter is unscientific and has proven very dangerous (as current events remind us). Early in the thread we saw people who chose to believe their concept of reality was an MIR, or even that it "referred to" some MIR that had to be there or else their concept of reality wouldn't work, and they tended to mistakenly characterize MDR thinking as being like fantasy, like Harry Potter vs. the real world. But they didn't recognize that Harry Potter fantasy is merely at one extreme end of mind involvement, just as their own MIR belief is at the other extreme end of mind noninvolvement. A working understanding is not at either end, however.
    Yes .. I think those comments also really help in clarifying a (statistical) distribution way of looking at who gets to be considered objective (and who doesn't).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    By contrast, MDR thinking allows us to find all kinds of evidence that neither of those extremes are consistent with the observations. So Dick's definition of reality is a useful one, but it is actually (as you are saying) more consistent with MDR than with MIR, though I think MIR believers tend to see it as a kind of justification for their beliefs. They might say that the only mind involvement is the choice to believe something, which doesn't change the reality, but that is not at all the only mind involvement. The irony of that stance is, they might not see that the "belief" Dick is talking about could just as easily be belief in MIR. So Dick's statement could be adapted to this thread as saying that MDR is that which, when you stop believing in an MIR, doesn't go away. That has always been my central critique of MIR belief as having anything to do with scientific thinking-- if it had any importance to science, it would matter if you stopped adhering to that belief, but it doesn't matter at all to not believe it.
    (The latter) is the way I took the Dick quote .. but I get the MIR viewpoint you're making there, also.

    Folks are quick to make accusations that perceptions don't make 'reality' go away (which we hammered out a few posts ago). In a way, the minimalist non descriptive approach to the 'non mental elements' concept, also relies on a statistical distibution way of looking at things too, I think.

  3. #13623
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    It all boils down to the fact that it is natural, given how human minds work and their limitations, to come to a general model of reality that says all that is "mind" emerges from all that is "reality." This is more or less how we are taught to think, and we would probably come to that model on our own even if we weren't constantly taught it. We are trained by example to look for language about reality that removes us from it, and then looks for us to spring from it without leaving any mark on it, intentionally ignoring the easily demonstrable fact that even the successful use of language itself relies on a lifetime of interaction between how we think and perceive. We simply choose to forget that if our minds were very different, the way we would make sense of our reality would also be very different, despite the mountain of evidence of people with very different minds describing the nature of reality very differently. So the common model is, it's all the same reality, it's completely objective, everything relating to our minds emerges from that reality without any interaction with it, and then in some kind of final step to the process our minds enter and introduce variations from person to person in how they think about that pre-existing reality. The model is, MDR springs from MIR, but only MIR actually exists.

    And where it all falls apart is when you ask the simple question, "so when you personally talk about reality, including what is going on in your life, or what matter is made of, or the laws of physics, or how did humans evolve, or what is the difference between right and wrong, or what gets you out of bed in the morning, are you talking about that MIR thing you believe in, or your MDR that you say sprung from it?" Just have them answer that, and revisit what they mean by "what actually exists." While you're at it, you can ask them, "do you exist, and if so, does that require that you be some kind of MIR?"

  4. #13624
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    And where it all falls apart is when you ask the simple question, "so when you personally talk about reality, including what is going on in your life, or what matter is made of, or the laws of physics, or how did humans evolve, or what is the difference between right and wrong, or what gets you out of bed in the morning, are you talking about that MIR thing you believe in, or your MDR that you say sprung from it?" Just have them answer that, and revisit what they mean by "what actually exists." While you're at it, you can ask them, "do you exist, and if so, does that require that you be some kind of MIR?"
    LOL, "MIR does not compute...MIR does not compute...MIR does not...wizz...bang...tinkle...tinkle............ ."

  5. #13625
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    Exactly.

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