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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I'm going to say one thing and then I will keep silent:

    What we perceive is the only way we have of perceiving reality. We have to use it as a basis for determining what's real because it's all we've got.

    This thread is intended as a lightning rod. Any and all further arguments about reality and mind should be directed here.
    Am confused. Could you please what you understand under "reality"? Having initiated a gargantuan thread on this topic, just wondering if this is a different discussion...

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Am confused. Could you please what you understand under "reality"? Having initiated a gargantuan thread on this topic, just wondering if this is a different discussion...
    Reality (my definition): what we live in. Stuff that exists.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Unfortunately, there are a small amount of vocal atheists giving atheists a bad name.
    There are disagreeable people that happen to be atheists, but it is unreasonable to count the actions of some against all atheists, any more than the actions of some Christians, men, women, democrats, republicans, used car salesmen, etc. should be counted against all. (Well, maybe the last one should )

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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Reality (my definition): what we live in. Stuff that exists.
    If that is your definition it does not bode well for discussion, reality is stuff that exists? OK it represents one pole. I grant your definition is admirably brief.
    You reject all that mind dependent reality (MDR) discussion as waffle. It went on for many pages so it seems too soon to go through it all again.

    So what do you want posters to add, given that as gzhpcu says it was a gargantuan thread just weeks ago?
    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. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    If that is your definition it does not bode well for discussion, reality is stuff that exists? OK it represents one pole. I grant your definition is admirably brief.
    You reject all that mind dependent reality (MDR) discussion as waffle. It went on for many pages so it seems too soon to go through it all again.

    So what do you want posters to add, given that as gzhpcu says it was a gargantuan thread just weeks ago?
    Not read a lot of the thread. But to categorically deny all other opinions is folly.However a healthy dose of scepticism is reasonable.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    So what do you want posters to add, given that as gzhpcu says it was a gargantuan thread just weeks ago?
    I think it's clear that he doesn't particularly want anybody to add anything, but if anybody does have anything more to say on the topic, to do it here rather than on other threads.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    We seem to agree. One point of the agnostic stand, is indeed to be doubtful, but also to accept some evidence as possible. A true atheist must reject any hint of external agency in a dogmatic way. I think that is Dawkins' position. But it is not "reasonable"
    Dawkins is an agnostic atheist. "Agnostic" and "gnostic" are about what someone thinks they know. "Atheist" and "Theist" refers to what someone believes about a god.

    A very common atheist position is not believing in a god because of perceived lack of evidence, but not absolutely ruling one out (it's an unfalsifiable claim, after all). This is what Dawkins has said, but seems to confuse people not very familiar with the subject. Here's a Dawkins quote, from:

    http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2...nt-exist/21399

    In a 100-minute debate with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on Thursday (Feb. 23), Richard Dawkins surprised his online and theater audiences by conceding a personal chink of doubt about his conviction that there is no such thing as a creator.

    But, to the amusement of the archbishop and others, the evolutionary biologist swiftly added that he was “6.9 out of seven” certain of his long-standing atheist beliefs.

    Replying to moderator Anthony Kenny, a noted English philosopher, Dawkins said, “I think the probability of a supernatural creator existing (is) very, very low.”

    This led to newspaper articles claiming he had changed his mind, and was now an agnostic. Nope. I'm sure he would have said the same thing about the Flying Spaghetti Monster or invisible pink unicorns.

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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    If that is your definition it does not bode well for discussion,
    Than that makes it an excellent answer.

    So what do you want posters to add, given that as gzhpcu says it was a gargantuan thread just weeks ago?
    If you read here:

    http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthre...-avoid-derails

    He said he added it to try to avoid derails and spamming of other discussions. I believe he has about the same feelings about this as I do: The discussion is pointless, and it's annoying to see discussions that could be interesting get derailed repeatedly to go back to an argument that is never going to go anywhere. But hey, if people want to yap about it, here's the thread.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    If that is your definition it does not bode well for discussion, reality is stuff that exists? OK it represents one pole. I grant your definition is admirably brief.
    You reject all that mind dependent reality (MDR) discussion as waffle. It went on for many pages so it seems too soon to go through it all again.

    So what do you want posters to add, given that as gzhpcu says it was a gargantuan thread just weeks ago?
    I was asked my way of looking at things. I answered.

    Rainbows exist. They are optical illusions, yet they are part of our shared perception as a thing. Does that contribute more fodder for discussion?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Reality (my definition): what we live in. Stuff that exists.
    I generally resist attempts to define things, but this is
    exactly what I'd say.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

  11. #41
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    I wonder where Ken is?

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    Ok if this makes me agnostic in your eyes so be it. But this my view here. I see no reason to suggest God exists but in so far as a none revealed God in the deist sense the question cannot actually be answered at the moment if it's even possible to do so. There is no evidence, but such a God would not necessarily leave any. With respect to a theist God, where the proof of which hangs on the theology not cosmological arguments, I would say it's proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    This all said, I do say with the deist God hypothesis that the question itself is not really reasonable to ask. Where is the reason to suggest such a God exists in the first place. As I've said elsewhere in my view in order to sensibly ask a question, you must have good reason to ask it in the first place, or you end up with a plethora of unanswerable questions which hinder rather thanhelp the cause of knowledge.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2014-Sep-13 at 07:44 AM.

  13. #43
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    Again, this is the purpose of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. We cannot say for sure that there isn't one, but there is absolutely no reason to suppose that there is one.

  14. #44
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    I agree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    Again, this is the purpose of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
    We cannot say for sure that there isn't one, but there is
    absolutely no reason to suppose that there is one.
    I find this statement very helpful. I kind of liked the FSM,
    but I'm not sure I could say why. Now I know, because
    he has a definite and useful purpose. Other gods probably
    have useful purposes, too!

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    Ok if this makes me agnostic in your eyes so be it. But this my view here. I see no reason to suggest God exists but in so far as a none revealed God in the deist sense the question cannot actually be answered at the moment if it's even possible to do so. There is no evidence, but such a God would not necessarily leave any. With respect to a theist God, where the proof of which hangs on the theology not cosmological arguments, I would say it's proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    This all said, I do say with the deist God hypothesis that the question itself is not really reasonable to ask. Where is the reason to suggest such a God exists in the first place. As I've said elsewhere in my view in order to sensibly ask a question, you must have good reason to ask it in the first place, or you end up with a plethora of unanswerable questions which hinder rather thanhelp the cause of knowledge.
    Well in a light hearted vein the god hypothesis van contain a creator god, an observer only god, an end of life judgement god, a maxwell demon type god who influences experiments, an all powerful god, a whimsical demon who picks on certain people, a god who favours certain people, a god who died, a god who came into existence by random event, a pattern of information which steers development, a Karmic set of cosmic civil servants.............
    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

  17. #47
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    Point taken , but like FSM one would first have to show that there be good reason to suspect that a God in any sense exists, only then can you begin to hypothesize what it's properties are

  18. #48
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    However, even without such you can of course scientifically study such claims that pertain to that that can be tested and draw reasonable conclusions from such.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2014-Sep-13 at 02:06 PM.

  19. #49
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    All we can do is make models of what we perceive using the scientific method. That, is reality. Anything outside of that is philosophy. All the philosophical questions like, "is fundamental reality, physical or non physical" or "is what we perceive an interpretation of something else" can not be answered from an objective point of view. This is what I have learnt anyway, it has taken me about 10 years to figure that out ! I have also learnt that, "we do not know" and "we can not know", is an answer. Sometimes, that is the best answer we have and we can not go any further.
    Far away is close at hand in images of elsewhere...

  20. #50
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    Well put kevin1981, here is one definition of philosophy:
    philosophy/fɪˈlɒsəfi/
    noun
    1. the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.
    2. a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour.

    We still use PhD for research into all manner of things and thus can include thinking and consciousness as an academic study, it is not just wondering about intangibles.
    In a way philosophy is always there when we think about anything and that moves on to that second definition, the more common use one which can be confusing because it is different from the academic meaning. It can then mean a personal belief system.
    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

  21. #51
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    Admitting that therbe things we don't know, yes completely agree, admitting that there's things we cannot know, most likely true. However putting forth ideas as truth or even possible truth when you have no reason to suspect it really is something else. Sure we cannot know for sure that the world we perceive is how it is, but what is your reason to suggest otherwise. The simplest explanation for why you see things is that they are there. Even if they aren't precisely as we see them, that is probably correct, they are in close correspondence, this is proven in everyday experience.

    This is my problem with a lot of philosophical doubts etc, our job is to try and make sense of the world not go out of our way to complicate things.

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    Admitting that therbe things we don't know, yes completely agree, admitting that there's things we cannot know, most likely true. However putting forth ideas as truth or even possible truth when you have no reason to suspect it really is something else. Sure we cannot know for sure that the world we perceive is how it is, but what is your reason to suggest otherwise. The simplest explanation for why you see things is that they are there. Even if they aren't precisely as we see them, that is probably correct, they are in close correspondence, this is proven in everyday experience.

    This is my problem with a lot of philosophical doubts etc, our job is to try and make sense of the world not go out of our way to complicate things.
    But what about the weirdness of the quantum world? Do you not see how important interpretation is there? The Quantum interpretation has surely changed the whole idea of reality as perceived in the macro world and we have used quantum effects in electronics and to some degree in computers. In cosmology we use parameters that are interpretations of observations using complex instruments to interpret distant stars and gas clouds and to infer the history of the universe in scales millions of times longer than human science has been practised. This issue is not about trying to complicate things! Observations complicate things. It is about thinking.
    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

  23. #53
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    Yes but it starts with observation not idle musing this is my point. We had good reason to question the existing theory , the evidence did not match, we had good reason to suggest quantum is correct, it matched the evidence. I argue with nothing you say about quantum, everything you say matches what I am saying.

  24. #54
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    Yes I know that quantum is inferred evidence so what we're talking about is at a lower descriptive level that that with direct evidence, never the less we can infer from experiment that something exists with certain properties and give it a name. The proof of the maths is in the evidence from predictions thereof and in the engineering you also state, as I was going to which backs it up.

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    I would also say that questions like does the objective universe exist at all do complicate the issue. They simply add to the unknowns rather than adding to what we are reasonably certain are knowns with regard to the world we see. They are meaningless questions in my opinion.

    Given observation is the only way to choose between a phlethora of possibles from a rational sense , how it that complicating things, it's ruling things out.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2014-Sep-14 at 01:45 PM.

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    I would also say that questions like does the objective universe exist at all do complicate the issue. They simply add to the unknowns rather than adding to what we are reasonably certain are knowns with regard to the world we see. They are meaningless questions in my opinion.

    Given observation is the only way to choose between a phlethora of possibles from a rational sense , how it that complicating things, it's ruling things out.
    knowing about the set of unknowns is a useful set of knowledge. You can say all knowledge complicates things, if you want a simple life do not think outside your box.
    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

  27. #57
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    Only if they are genuine unknowns s that can be answered, or can be shown to be genuine which we cannot currently answer but in theory could in my view, rather than perverse questions. I come back to my afore mentioned 2way standard, reason to doubt and reason to believe. the FSM could exist but there is absolutely no rational reason to suspect it is the case . As already amply argued there is no reason to suspect that this universe is a subjective inagination. No good reason to suggest that the world is not consistent with our sences and thus objective observation will reveal its secrets.

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    Only if they are genuine unknowns s that can be answered, or can be shown to be genuine which we cannot currently answer but in theory could in my view, rather than perverse questions. I come back to my afore mentioned 2way standard, reason to doubt and reason to believe. the FSM could exist but there is absolutely no rational reason to suspect it is the case . As already amply argued there is no reason to suspect that this universe is a subjective inagination. No good reason to suggest that the world is not consistent with our sences and thus objective observation will reveal its secrets.
    Fair enough for our senses but we have to go a lot further than our senses, we use a huge array of instruments and we find all sorts of data. Science then forms hypotheses that bluntly contradict what our senses previously detected. Some of this becomes the subject of competing hypotheses. Reality as we have agreed seems to get weird at the quantum level yet this is, we think, the foundation of all matter. So how much do we understand reality? We understand exactly as much as our model of reality allows. To assume you know more about reality than that is not valid. These are not perverse questions and there is no attempt to be perverse either.

    There is a difference of course between "don't know yet" and "cannot know that". Two different sets to add to knowledge.
    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
    There is a difference of course between "don't know yet" and "cannot know that". Two different sets to add to knowledge.
    But things sometimes change from one category to another as we gain more knowledge that lets us invent new tools to improve our observations.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    But things sometimes change from one category to another as we gain more knowledge that lets us invent new tools to improve our observations.
    I would prefer to say the difference is fundamental between those sets. Indeed that is the whole point. I mean the point of discussing this. It is trivial to say there are things we don't know yet but we can hope to know by better instruments etc. It is fundamental to realise there are questions to which we cannot know the answer.
    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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