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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #11731
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    But let's never forget that no one, whether it be Newton, Einstein or just plain me has eve:r been able to make a model work or not work. Ultimately, at the very bottom of the model, well beyond descriptive notions of mass, time, space etc. lay a rock solid predictive element that will never change within it's domain of applicability. That element is independent of any one's whim or desire and although it can be classified as being part of a MDR, in doing so it throws up imponderable questions of how such predictive elements, that for all practical purposes are shown to be utterly indepent of actions of the mind, can be accounted for by virtue of similar minds always giving the same results.

    Descriptive elements rest upon the kinds of meanings we impart to observations and explanations - Newton saw gravity as a force between masses, Einstein saw gravity as something quite different. Predictive elements of a model rely on consistencies within the physical world rather than one person's descriptive efforts that become a standard to which many follow until the next model comes along. Those consistencies seem rather less MDR than the descriptive elements and have to rely on similarities of minds. My mind can't make a model work or not work, so that means my mind and every other mind must be held to account by similarities such that it is impossible for me or anyone else to stop Newtons laws from giving the expected prediction.

    Some might say a more plausabe route would be to invoke an element that is independent of thinking minds, something much deeper than a MDR could account for, something beyond any conventional thought process. That route doesn't take it out of a MDR, but it hides it away, maybe indefinitely.

    This element of our reality shows itself everywhere, from my mentioned predictive elements of models to gzhcpu's car crash. It involves a basic premise that none of us can make a model work or not work or stop the laws of physics in order to prevent the predictive outcome of a car impacting on something. MDR is at work for sure in the way we reason and make sense of these things, but where in the deep recesses of MDR lay these consistencies of the physical world that seem utterly detached from us, so detached that one may be entirely forgiven for imagining them to be entirely independent of minds as we know them?

    That's not to impart an independent reality to a car impacing another car, rather it is to ask where within MDR can we look for the consistencies that appear to be utterly independent of anything we might wish for. That for me would be the holy grail of research into the workings of minds, any hint of where such questions would lead would surely be momentus.

  2. #11732
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Yes, the mass of one particular tiger is an attribute of that tiger.
    I asked if the amount of mass is a physical attribute of that tiger. Is it?

  3. #11733
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran View Post
    But let's never forget that no one, whether it be Newton, Einstein or just plain me has eve:r been able to make a model work or not work. Ultimately, at the very bottom of the model, well beyond descriptive notions of mass, time, space etc. lay a rock solid predictive element that will never change within it's domain of applicability. That element is independent of any one's whim or desire and although it can be classified as being part of a MDR, in doing so it throws up imponderable questions of how such predictive elements, that for all practical purposes are shown to be utterly indepent of actions of the mind, can be accounted for by virtue of similar minds always giving the same results.

    Descriptive elements rest upon the kinds of meanings we impart to observations and explanations - Newton saw gravity as a force between masses, Einstein saw gravity as something quite different. Predictive elements of a model rely on consistencies within the physical world rather than one person's descriptive efforts that become a standard to which many follow until the next model comes along. Those consistencies seem rather less MDR than the descriptive elements and have to rely on similarities of minds. My mind can't make a model work or not work, so that means my mind and every other mind must be held to account by similarities such that it is impossible for me or anyone else to stop Newtons laws from giving the expected prediction.

    Some might say a more plausabe route would be to invoke an element that is independent of thinking minds, something much deeper than a MDR could account for, something beyond any conventional thought process. That route doesn't take it out of a MDR, but it hides it away, maybe indefinitely.

    This element of our reality shows itself everywhere, from my mentioned predictive elements of models to gzhcpu's car crash. It involves a basic premise that none of us can make a model work or not work or stop the laws of physics in order to prevent the predictive outcome of a car impacting on something. MDR is at work for sure in the way we reason and make sense of these things, but where in the deep recesses of MDR lay these consistencies of the physical world that seem utterly detached from us, so detached that one may be entirely forgiven for imagining them to be entirely independent of minds as we know them?

    That's not to impart an independent reality to a car impacing another car, rather it is to ask where within MDR can we look for the consistencies that appear to be utterly independent of anything we might wish for. That for me would be the holy grail of research into the workings of minds, any hint of where such questions would lead would surely be momentus.
    Surely that is an elegant expansion of the idea that reality must be there because we perceive it.? But if I see a film twice I can predict everything hat happens, yet the film is but a flickering light, the shadows on the cave walls. It may be that there is a destiny behind the randomness but it's jolly hard to test, in fact we cannot test it. The illusion is perfect, I grant, but maybe there are puppets without strings setting the stage, manipulating the chance encounters? Or maybe not. Like the copper bangle that works on arthritis whether or not you believe it, but better if you do.
    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

  4. #11734
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Moran View Post
    But let's never forget that no one, whether it be Newton, Einstein or just plain me has eve:r been able to make a model work or not work.
    Absolutely, there is a very good reason the MDR hypothesis is not framed "everyone is free to make sense of their reality any way they like and it will poof into existence just the way they imagine it." Instead, the hypothesis says that how they make sense depends on their minds. Similarly, when we say your chance of getting cancer depends on your diet and exercise, we are not claiming it doesn't depend on anything else. So to depend on just means if you change the mind, you change the reality for that mind, but the mind does not have complete control over the reality.

    So, the MIR believer might be tempted to conclude that reality is whatever else the reality depends on, other than the mind. But my response is, that is never what anyone actually means by "reality" when they actually use the concept, and much of this thread was about collecting a mountain of evidence that this is true. The "reality" concept we use is always the sense we make of things (just look at my recent exchange with gzhpcu as more evidence of same), and that's true in science as well, so the meaning of "reality" is never "everything that doesn't change when you change the mind doing the reckoning". That clearly isn't the meaning that gzhpcu is using, for example.

    Or, you could try to say that reality is some kind of "source" of the perceptions and sense-making that we use to build the MDR (that was the picture used by gzhpcu above). The problem there is that this "source" doesn't do anything at all-- take it away and nothing is any different, no scientific prediction changes, no life decision is altered in the minutest way. There is no point in defining reality as the placekeeper for everything that needs no placekeeper, it makes more sense to define reality as being the properties and attributes we do want to keep track of.
    That element is independent of any one's whim or desire and although it can be classified as being part of a MDR, in doing so it throws up imponderable questions of how such predictive elements, that for all practical purposes are shown to be utterly indepent of actions of the mind, can be accounted for by virtue of similar minds always giving the same results.
    So what this means is, we have good reason to build an MDR, because we discover that there is value in imagining the presence of a shared reality. We can even go so far as to imagine a shared objective reality, but of course the problem with "objective" is it presupposes similar minds (witness the Noah's Ark museum), so that is certainly no path to MIR.

    I see that you are asking, how can we discover what aspect of reality is responsible for the reasons that we experience shared consistencies over time and perspective, the "invariants" of relativity for example. But I would respond that building an MDR just doesn't work in that order, we don't try to understand why things fall or why time elapses, we merely build models that account for our perception that things fall and time elapses. None of our theories say why these things happen, we only account for how they happen, how we can predict them. You are asking for too much, because any theory that looks like "this theory explains why our minds perceive consistencies" will always fall victim to the question "but why are the postulates of that theory true?"

    This element of our reality shows itself everywhere, from my mentioned predictive elements of models to gzhcpu's car crash. It involves a basic premise that none of us can make a model work or not work or stop the laws of physics in order to prevent the predictive outcome of a car impacting on something.
    So we put what you are describing into the MDR, that's all.
    MDR is at work for sure in the way we reason and make sense of these things, but where in the deep recesses of MDR lay these consistencies of the physical world that seem utterly detached from us, so detached that one may be entirely forgiven for imagining them to be entirely independent of minds as we know them?
    MDR is whatever we make it, so the answer to your question of where is it in the MDR is this: it is in the MDR wherever we put it in the MDR! I put it here: "reality is found to work as though nature obeys laws of logical consistency that can often be described mathematically, at least in idealized circumstances." That's a statement that exists in my MDR, and it completely accounts for everything you are saying. If you then ask, but why is reality like that, I respond, why is there gravity, or electric charge? No one has any idea, we invent those notions because they work, not because they should work.

    That's not to impart an independent reality to a car impacing another car, rather it is to ask where within MDR can we look for the consistencies that appear to be utterly independent of anything we might wish for.
    We don't look for it in the MDR, we put it in the MDR. The process is clear enough from watching a child: we have experiences, cogitate on them, and then we put in the MDR whatever seems to work. That's it, that's all we get, all else is just a placeholder for all that we don't know-- which needs no placeholder, it is simply what we currently do not know or cannot understand.
    That for me would be the holy grail of research into the workings of minds, any hint of where such questions would lead would surely be momentus.
    To me, what you are asking is similar to why the first caveman with a genius intelligence asked him or herself, why does rubbing sticks together make heat? They would have been a very long way from being able to answer that question, they would have only noticed the consistencies, and set about trying to build a version of reality that includes these consistencies. In short, they would have started on a tens of thousands of year process to understand "the laws of nature," a process that ultimately amounts to using our minds to build an MDR that works on our experiences. So we don't look for these answers in the process of building the MDR, those answers are the process of building the MDR.

    What I mean is, the "laws of nature" are what emerge from the process of the tiger chasing its tail, but there's nothing about the process of tail-chasing that must result in gravity or electric charge, these are merely the elements that emerge, mysteriously, from that process. No physics theory explains why the universe is the way it is, it only tells the story of how it came to be that way, and how to predict what will happen next. The art of physics is a toolbox of ways to understand, and these tools have emerged from the tail-chasing process. Understanding that process better will hopefully result in better tools for dealing with situations where the process matters, but I don't expect we'll ever have a means to understand why the tools that work are the ones they are-- we've never had that.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2017-Apr-02 at 02:51 AM.

  5. #11735
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    Descartes believed the only thing he could know for sure was that his mind existed. He couldn't be sure that reality included of other minds similar to his.
    Now.. he is dead, but i am here doubting my reality after reading this post.
    Doesn't that mean that Descartes was wrong? Have i proved my way out of my solipsism?
    Or should i doubt he really existed at all.. and all this Descartes business is just in my head?


    (putting Descartes before Des Horse)- plant

  6. #11736
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I asked if the amount of mass is a physical attribute of that tiger. Is it?
    Yes.

  7. #11737
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    Ken- i'm still not sure why you're not just another "idealist"?
    I'm sure you will correct me if i have misunderstood you when you said that MDR isn't any form of "ism"....
    Are you saying that 'belief' or 'verification' of MDR is not necessary as it should be the default position of all philosophy.... in perhaps the same way that nobody needs to 'believe' in "Atheism" as "Atheism" is the default position.

    Are you saying any of the following???
    1. "there is no reality" (i.e. Ontological Idealism)
    2. There is some reality but that "we can never quite get there with our scientific theories"
    3. There is some reality but "we can never even get close to it as our scientific theories keep changing radically"
    4. We must remain agnostic as to whether there is or is not a reality.
    5. Even if there was a reality it is irrelevant as far as science is concerned... therefore why bother even talking about it. Remove the idea of 'reality' and science retains the same utility.
    6. Our scientific theories tell us more about how our own minds work- than about how the universe itself works.

    From Stanford: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/idealism/
    ....It nevertheless seems safe to say that within modern philosophy there have been two fundamental conceptions of idealism:

    1. something mental (the mind, spirit, reason, will) is the ultimate foundation of all reality, or even exhaustive of reality, and
    2. although the existence of something independent of the mind is conceded, everything that we can know about this mind-independent “reality” is held to be so permeated by the creative, formative, or constructive activities of the mind (of some kind or other) that all claims to knowledge must be considered, in some sense, to be a form of self-knowledge. (epistemological idealism)

    Idealism in sense (1) may be called “metaphysical” or “ontological idealism”, while idealism in sense (2) may be called “formal” or “epistemological idealism”. The modern paradigm of idealism in sense (1) might be considered to be George Berkeley’s “immaterialism”, according to which all that exists are ideas and the minds, less than divine or divine, that have them. (Berkeley himself did not use the term “idealism”.) The fountainhead for idealism in sense (2) might be the position that Immanuel Kant asserted (if not clearly in the first edition of his Critique of Pure Reason (1781) then in his Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics (1783) and in the “Refutation of Idealism” in the second edition of the Critique) according to which idealism does “not concern the existence of things”, but asserts only that our “modes of representation” of them, above all space and time, are not “determinations that belong to things in themselves” but features of our own minds.

  8. #11738
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    Quote Originally Posted by plant View Post
    Descartes believed the only thing he could know for sure was that his mind existed.
    To which I would answer, of course he could know that his mind existed, because what he meant by "knowing things," what he meant by "existing" all come from his mind. So why would he mean something by those concepts that did not apply to his mind?
    He couldn't be sure that reality included of other minds similar to his.
    Simply because that's not what his mind chose to mean by knowing or existing. Using a different meaning, a more scientific meaning, we can certainly know that other minds exist. Using a more transcendental meaning, we cannot know that we exist, because we might have no idea what "we" even are, so how can we say we know something exists that we don't even know what it is that we are claiming exists?
    Now.. he is dead, but i am here doubting my reality after reading this post.
    Don't doubt your reality, understand what you mean when you use the word. Understanding is the opposite of doubting.
    Doesn't that mean that Descartes was wrong?
    The key point is, knowing and existing are not external things that are handed to us by the universe, they are our words, and never meant anything other than what we choose to mean by those words.
    Or should i doubt he really existed at all.. and all this Descartes business is just in my head?
    Be careful of the word "just." If something is in your head, that doesn't mean it is just in your head, any more than evolution is just a theory.

  9. #11739
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Yes.
    So an amount of mass is real, but an amount is not. You hold that the concept of an amount is transported into the realm of reality as soon as it can be connected with something else that is real. What you don't recognize is that all of the things you regard as real obtained that label for you in precisely that same way-- mental associations, just like the way your mind associates the concept of 8 with the concept of apples to obtain the "real thing" that is 8 apples.

  10. #11740
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    Quote Originally Posted by plant View Post
    Ken- i'm still not sure why you're not just another "idealist"?
    This depends a lot on what you mean by "idealism", that term is used in a lot of contexts. But if you mean ontological idealism (so in regard to saying what actually is), I don't agree with idealism at all. But this thread isn't about idealism, it isn't about any ism, it's about testing a scientific hypothesis. But if you want to pause that scientific investigation and just ask about my philosophical leanings, which have nothing to do with this thread, I can tell you that what I don't like about ontological idealism is the claim that the mind has some kind of priority over everything else that exists. The MDR hypothesis says what we mean by reality, and the ways we use that concept constructively (especially in science), depends on our minds. There's no claims about the priority of minds, and certainly no claim that the mind is the only thing that exists, or even the only thing we can know exists. None of those are testable claims, so none of them appear in this thread.
    I'm sure you will correct me if i have misunderstood you when you said that MDR isn't any form of "ism"....
    It isn't, no "isms" are ever testable, but this thread has tested over and over the MDR hypothesis.
    Are you saying that 'belief' or 'verification' of MDR is not necessary as it should be the default position of all philosophy.... in perhaps the same way that nobody needs to 'believe' in "Atheism" as "Atheism" is the default position.
    No, there are no default positions in science, there is only evidence, or absence of evidence. There is a mountain of evidence that people use their mind-dependent concept of reality all the time, and zero evidence that anyone ever uses a concept of a mind-independent reality for anything. That's what this thread has shown over and over, nothing default about it-- the evidence is plain as day.
    Are you saying any of the following???
    1. "there is no reality" (i.e. Ontological Idealism)
    No, it would be silly for us to choose a meaning for our word "reality" such that we concluded there wasn't one. If we concluded that, it would merely mean we need to alter our meaning of the word reality.
    2. There is some reality but that "we can never quite get there with our scientific theories"
    No, what we can get with scientific theories is what scientific reality means. Scientific reality is how we use science to breathe usefulness into a well-chosen concept of reality, which depends on our minds in clearly demonstrable ways.
    3. There is some reality but "we can never even get close to it as our scientific theories keep changing radically"
    There is a word reality, and that word has meaning for us. That's it, that's what "reality" is, it is quite demonstrably our concept-- just observe anyone using it in any situation.
    4. We must remain agnostic as to whether there is or is not a reality.
    We must remain open to discovering new ways that we need to alter our concept of reality. Let me give you the example of Earth's motion. The ancients thought that reality embodied a principle that the Earth was the stationary center of the universe, that was "really true." Then Galileo made observations that debunked that belief, but the replacement of that belief with a belief that the Earth "really was" orbiting the Sun instead fell victim centuries later to the discovery of relativity. Now "reality" is a place where all motion is relative, period. What will "reality" be in a few more hundred years? No one knows, all we know is that if there are people then, they will still be building their MDR.
    5. Even if there was a reality it is irrelevant as far as science is concerned... therefore why bother even talking about it.
    That's not how I'd put it (though I would say that about MIR, just not about "reality"). I'd say that the goal of science is to use scientific principles to build an MDR. Thus it is with the history of the universe-- some believe the universe was put into motion 6000 years ago just as we observe it, while scientific principles generate a story that lasts over 13 billion years. No one knows if either of those stories "really happened," all we know is the scientific story is the one that benefits from the value of objective evidence and the ability to make predictions that work. So if our goals match the goals of science, then we use science to build our concept of reality, and if they don't, we use some other means-- and obtain a completely different answer. But this does not mean science abandons the field of talking about reality, it means science owns its own meaning of the concept.
    Remove the idea of 'reality' and science retains the same utility.
    No, science uses the concept of reality all the time, and to great effect. This is why I do not actually count myself an antirealist, even though philosophers would-- I could myself a true realist, because I understand what the reality concept actually is, based on how it is actually used. Hence I will not surrender the term "reality" to the realists, it is much too important a notion to be degraded like that.
    6. Our scientific theories tell us more about how our own minds work- than about how the universe itself works.
    Unfortunately, not as yet. Our scientific theories invariably focus on what we can know (in the sense of what we can be successful about) that are not particularly sensitive to the role of the mind, for the case of minds capable of thinking scientifically about reality. This is how the concept of objective outcomes gets created, we notice consistencies among scientifically capable minds, and label those consistencies "objective results." Most people are capable of thinking scientifically when it comes to deciding what a length is, or whether a person has survived or died from some medical procedure. More advanced thinking, like what is the appropriate inference to make from these objective outcomes, are a lot trickier, and we rapidly find divergence between different minds in regard to these more advanced scientific tasks, often because of a basic rejection of the whole scientific approach in the first place. So, since we have made better progress by ignoring the tough problems, we have mostly advanced by disregarding the role of the mind, and as such, we understand our minds very little. No doubt that is because it is one of the harder problems to tackle, making the unification of gravity and quantum mechanics seem like child's play. But I would say that our scientific theories depend on how our minds work, and how our minds work is itself something that only has meaning in regard to our minds' ability to give the words I just used their meaning. That's the tiger chasing its tail, in a nutshell.
    From Stanford: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/idealism/
    ....It nevertheless seems safe to say that within modern philosophy there have been two fundamental conceptions of idealism:

    1. something mental (the mind, spirit, reason, will) is the ultimate foundation of all reality, or even exhaustive of reality, and
    2. although the existence of something independent of the mind is conceded, everything that we can know about this mind-independent “reality” is held to be so permeated by the creative, formative, or constructive activities of the mind (of some kind or other) that all claims to knowledge must be considered, in some sense, to be a form of self-knowledge. (epistemological idealism)
    Yes, that's the distinction between ontological idealism and epistemological idealism. My views are certainly much closer to the latter. But since "reality" is the most basic ontological entity you can possibly imagine, when talking about the mind-dependence of the reality concept, we are talking about ontology. That's why when people talk about idealism, I take the ontological meaning (the first one you listed), and that is what I regard as an "ism." Epistemological idealism is more like a simple observation, quite easily testable and tests out better than almost anything you can name.
    Immanuel Kant asserted (if not clearly in the first edition of his Critique of Pure Reason (1781) then in his Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics (1783) and in the “Refutation of Idealism” in the second edition of the Critique) according to which idealism does “not concern the existence of things”, but asserts only that our “modes of representation” of them, above all space and time, are not “determinations that belong to things in themselves” but features of our own minds.
    Yes, I've always had a close affinity for Kant's mode of thinking. But even Kant goes beyond what can be tested in making that assertion, all we can test is that our minds leave a mark on what we think is real. We cannot test, for example, that space and time are "features of our own minds," we can only test that different minds have different concepts of space and time-- which is not the same thing. Nevertheless, Kant might have agreed with Escher's wonderful depiction of how we look at the world, embodied in his famous work that has been referenced several times above: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...llery_2015.jpg
    Last edited by Ken G; 2017-Apr-02 at 08:26 AM.

  11. #11741
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    So an amount of mass is real, but an amount is not. You hold that the concept of an amount is transported into the realm of reality as soon as it can be connected with something else that is real. What you don't recognize is that all of the things you regard as real obtained that label for you in precisely that same way-- mental associations, just like the way your mind associates the concept of 8 with the concept of apples to obtain the "real thing" that is 8 apples.
    8 is not real. 8 apples are real.

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    not if you are pl8to

    get it.... it is a pun.... get it..?
    pretty proud of myself for that one....

  13. #11743
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    8 is only real in a mathematicsl sense of a real number, as opposed to an imaginary number.

  14. #11744
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    Quote Originally Posted by plant View Post
    not if you are pl8to

    get it.... it is a pun.... get it..?
    pretty proud of myself for that one....
    No, but it must be due to someting I 8....

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    Quote Originally Posted by plant View Post
    not if you are pl8to

    get it.... it is a pun.... get it..?
    pretty proud of myself for that one....
    " 8nt no better way to test the reality of your correspondents than a gr8 pun."..c8o the wise, Punic wars 188 BC (Punic, get it?)
    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
    8 is not real. 8 apples are real.
    OK, so now if you have 7 whole apples, and 1 apple that has been sliced down the middle with one part taken away, is that 7 and a half apples? Are 7 and a half apples real?

  17. #11747
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    OK, so now if you have 7 whole apples, and 1 apple that has been sliced down the middle with one part taken away, is that 7 and a half apples? Are 7 and a half apples real?
    Apples and parts of apples are real. The numer 7 by itself is not real.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Apples and parts of apples are real. The numer 7 by itself is not real.
    but 6 x 7 is 42 the answer to... and recently I read that the ultimate g tolerance for the human without breaking things might be 42 g, not for very long of course but I was trying to work it our for Russian teenagers who have taken to jumping from 9 stories into snowballs. So it seems reality has numerical limits too. I feel trying to separate out mind based counting from mind based modelling and mind based perception is splitting hairs. It's like believing in angels but denying demons. But I don't know what tigers make of it all, cats are either dumb animals with superb instincts or higher beings taking a break from reincarnation. Who knows?
    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
    Apples and parts of apples are real. The numer 7 by itself is not real.
    I'm not asking about any numbers "by themselves", I'm asking if the combination of 7 and a half, and apples, yielding 7 and a half apples, is real. So I'm not asking if there are seven and a half apples on a table, if that means something real is on the table. I'm asking you if what is real that is on that table is seven and a half apples.

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    Getting too complicated for me... there are 7 and a half real apples on the table...

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    What I'm getting at is, you have real apples on the table, and you are saying there are seven and a half of them. But are there really seven and half of them, in that "MIR source" where all our experiences come from in your picture, or is it just you that says there are seven and a half of them? That's the thing about the "MIR", there's only one of it, so either just the apples are in the MIR, or the apples and the fact that there are seven and a half of them are in the MIR, it has to be one or the other-- that's the main problem with MIR.

  22. #11752
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    What I'm getting at is, you have real apples on the table, and you are saying there are seven and a half of them. But are there really seven and half of them, in that "MIR source" where all our experiences come from in your picture, or is it just you that says there are seven and a half of them? That's the thing about the "MIR", there's only one of it, so either just the apples are in the MIR, or the apples and the fact that there are seven and a half of them are in the MIR, it has to be one or the other-- that's the main problem with MIR.
    ?? There are 7 and a half apples. What is your point? Apples are real, 7 and a half spples are real, in your example. 7 and half by itself is not real.

  23. #11753
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    ?? There are 7 and a half apples. What is your point? Apples are real, 7 and a half spples are real, in your example. 7 and half by itself is not real.
    So you are saying there really are seven and a half apples right? I mean, if you say seven and a half apples are real, and they are apples, does that not imply there really are seven and a half of them?

  24. #11754
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Certainty? Oh dear. This thread is looping.. A) certainty is not sCience at work, b) the unknowables, c) how can a mind be certain of anything past solipsism? D) you cannot qualify non existence so existence is a model.
    I did step back to qualify my definition to make the concept opf certainty a relative thing.

    However wrapping this up into MDR speak, existence is itself a model we build as you say but so is certainty. Therefore, within the context of that model, If 1000 people observe something, we can be relatively certain that something. (no matter what the truth of its nature), exists to be observed. It exists at very least within the phenomena of the person asking the question, anything observed can be said to certainly exist therefore. It may exist subjectively, i.e. a hallucination etc , or given the belief/model that in fact solipsism is wrong, if 1000 people see it then is can be said to exist objectively with relative certainty, even if what it actually is, is a group hallucination, it exists within the minds of those observing it.

    What we can never be certain of within the context of science, is our description of what in fact the thing in question is, because that is an ever changing fluid model, always being tested, always being refined.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2017-Apr-04 at 09:34 AM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  25. #11755
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    To build on the above though, this seems to tie a reasonable concept of existence to observation, indeed in the purest sense, to exist is to be observed. From this however, we can take a wider view. It is a reasonable conclusion for instance, that we will observe things in the future, we haven't already done so in the past. Ignoring the problems of such inductive logic when applied to our concept of certainty, we can use this to move on to say that things exist we haven't yet observed. Its a working model of course because a) the problems of inductive logic and b) the impossibility of knowing if those things popped into existence as we observed them or not. Model upon model. The certainty of their existence can only be said as we observe them, but most sensible model, at least for normal concerns is to say they existed before we observed them, and will continue to exist after we observed them, this cannot be demonstrated, but it makes no sense to consider it otherwise (most of the time).

    This of course begs the question, could something exist that we cannot observe? The answer is of course, it depends upon just what you want existence to mean. We can certainly hypothesis such things, but unless we can tie them to an observation then their existence will never be more than hypothesis and the truth of their existence unknown. So to all practical usage of the concept, they don't exist unless we can observe them. This exposes the concept for what it is, a mind created classification which we use to separate our mental models between real and imagination.

    ETA: and what is real is simply that which will affect us, i.e. that which we can experience through the senses. The old circular nature of our sense making coming into play once again.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2017-Apr-04 at 10:37 AM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  26. #11756
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    So you are saying there really are seven and a half apples right? I mean, if you say seven and a half apples are real, and they are apples, does that not imply there really are seven and a half of them?
    Ahh this old chestnut. Yes in a sense there really are 7 and a 1/2 of them, in another sense there are not. The concept of the number is one concept, whilst the apple is a different concept, applied to our observation to whioch we say they are real apples. So we tie these together to say there are 7 1/2 apples. However yes this does unravel. The things within our observation can be said to exist, we then classify them according to our sense making models, however no two apples are actually alike and you can;t have 1/2 a thing, except by comparison to your concept of a whole of a thing.

    ETA: and yes we can regress this far further if we choose because all of what we are talking about is model upon model within our minds.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2017-Apr-04 at 11:24 AM. Reason: small addition
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  27. #11757
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    8 is not real. 8 apples are real.
    OK I deliberately answered Ken first because that reply will feed into this one. You really have to separate the concept within our conscoious sense making and the model our brain has created for our observation here before you can come to terms with the fact that 8 is both real and unreal depending upon what you wish to talk about.

    the number 8, the concept of 8 is indeed not real, but it refers to a property we observe within phenomena that matches our definition of real, if it did not we would have no practical use for the number in the first place. So in this sense, 8 is as real as the thing we describe using the word apple. Apple is a word as artificial as the number 8, both are words used to describe properties of the things we observe, to which the term real is applied. SO when Ken brought up the concept of a half, he added something that really takes this problem a step further, because 1/2 is something we apply in comparison to a whole, when considering our classification of something within our observation that we call Apple. However this can still be said to describe something real, because there is a notable difference in our observations to which the classification applies.

    ETA: I hope my response here is clear. Basically in every instance, there is the classification language we use, and the thing that it is describing, any classification that applies to something we can call real, therefore has a reality as well, or else there would be nothing to apply it to. And despite this we are still firmly in the realm of MDR, because what it is describing is also something within out minds, that as a realist we then apply another model that says 'that which we are describing is a model of something that reflects a 'reality' beyond our brains' which is the belief bit, because it is currently not possible to test it, even in part, if such is even possible.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2017-Apr-04 at 12:48 PM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  28. #11758
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    Apple describes an object. 8 can be used to count the number of objects. Apple is physicslly real. 8 is not. 8 apples - the 8 is an adjective. Apple is a noun.

  29. #11759
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    IT`S BACK! Woohoo

    My favourite thread on teh intehnets. It lied dormant for a while but I knew it`ll awoke soon. I`m still somewhere on page ~31 but will catch up soon, promise.

    (though maybe there`s no need to rush, seeing as the recent posts look eerily similar to stuff said 6 years ago)

  30. #11760
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Apple describes an object. 8 can be used to count the number of objects. Apple is physicslly real. 8 is not. 8 apples - the 8 is an adjective. Apple is a noun.
    however we have chosen to classify our different language cobstructs is irrelevant, the fact is your usage of the number 8 refers to something real that you observe.the use of the concept Apple also refers to something real that you observe. so there really are several different things we classify as Apple's and we can count them to classify the number as 8. both are descriptions of the things we are observing. And Thus you are logically forced to accept that if the number 8 doesn't exist then neither do Apple's.

    or you can simply see that there are 2 things going on here that you are mixing up. there are the physical things in the world and there are our descriptions of them . our descriptive elements have no reality of their own (ignoring the physicality of the brain for a moment) but the thing they are describing does and the number of Apple's present is a physical thing, it's an objectuve fact
    Last edited by malaidas; 2017-Apr-04 at 05:56 PM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

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