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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #13201
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Here's a handy Wiki reference page supporting the mind dependency of meaning association in language (the underlined bits are the evidence for mind dependence):
    Good summary.
    (Aside: So, now I have someone claiming that I'm arguing 'incorrectly', that the clear evidence of 'involvement' of minds in the above, equates to 'mind dependence'.
    I notice the use of the terms 'incorrectly' and 'equates' in the above complaint .. Logic is still part of MDR and not evidence of MIR though, eh?)[/FONT][/COLOR]
    If "involvement" is what you mean by "mnd dependence," then the argument is completely specious. I wonder what they think "mind dependence" means? But it's a classic example of different minds meaning different things by the same words, which is the lowest level (and most obvious example) of mind dependence in our understanding of our concept of reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    It means what is outside of the mind. All that which is directly or indirectly sensed and interpreted by the mind.
    Those two meanings are contradictory. Can you not sense and intepret what is inside your mind, in your model of the MIR? So we see that you hold there is an existence of "the universe", but the thing you claim exists is internally inconsistent. This is the whole problem with concepts like "the universe", or "reality"-- people pretend these are simple concepts, sweeping under the rug the easily demonstrable fact that they are very difficult, bordering on impossible, concepts. Meaning is difficult, imperfect, and intentionally vague-- that's what people don't understand about meaning. And when the meaning is "reality", this shows the problems with the MIR concept-- it is difficult, imperfect, and intentionally vague, so it is certainly not mind independent. That's the crux: you can choose to believe reality is mind independent, but what is easy to demonstrate is that what you mean when you use the term depends on your mind (and is vague and internally inconsistent). So your own notion of "MIR" is vague and internally inconsistent, this has been demonstrated.

    That's why I asked you when you use the term "MIR", do you intend the meaning of the actual reality that is mind independent (according to your beliefs), or do you intend the meaning of what you mean when you use the term (which has been shown to be vague and internally inconsistent, and dependent on your mind). It is not a question that you have answered, because you cannot answer it without challenging your own beliefs. That's all right, you do not need to challenge your beliefs, you can hold them for any reason and against any challenges, that's why they are beliefs. Ironically, we tend to admire more a belief that is held in the face of challenge, and the greater the need to cling to the meaning despite the challenge, the more we admire the believer's resolve.
    Since MDR is based on the modelling of what is delivered by the senses to the brain, it must be interpreting something.
    You have used the word "must" here. Do you therefore intend a logical syllogism here, or do you have some additional evidence to support this claim? I point out that this cannot be a logical syllogism because the end of the sentence is not required by the beginning. After all, it is obvious that when someone is having a hallucination, we do not claim that they are interpreting "something", other than those very signals in their brain. So if in your model, "reality" is what is being interpreted, then you are saying reality is signals in a brain! That's the only way what you are saying is a logical truth.
    I am referring to the source which leads a brain interpretation which is termed here model dependent reality.
    Yet we just established the "source" is brain signals, so you are referring to brain signals? No, of course not, you think you are referring to the source of the brain signals, so you clearly need a way to separate hallucinations (whose source we think of as being internal to the brain in our MDR) from true perceptions (whose source we think of as external to the brain in our MDR). Then once you've made that basic distinction (that we all have to learn to make), you then encounter all the gray areas of incomplete perception. And soon what is demonstrated is that the notion of "sources" of our brain signals is a concept that is internally inconsistent and intentionally vague. No surprise, meaning is like that, because meaning is always like walking on the razor's edge between what is downright false (but for a purpose), and what is intentionally unclear (but also for a purpose). No wonder the human mind is the only one adept at it, but what I find so strange is how completely we cover our tracks as we do it. We seem to choose to be completely blind to our own process of generating meaning, like we are afraid that even admitting the existence of that razor's edge would be to undermine the entire process of communication. Yet that is the process of communication, even as we "communicate" our own meanings to ourselves.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Aug-24 at 08:47 AM.

  3. #13203
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    I don't know what your problem is Ken G, you have already admitted that you can find out about many prior scientific MDR's from books (and build as many models as you like of them).
    I wouldn't regard that as an "admission," but rather an obvious fact that any understanding of the MDR concept must include.
    But when I ask you to examine the differences between the 'realities', say 500 years apart, and regard this difference as a discrete part of the MIR that was present at the time of the first scientific MDR but already a part of the scientific MDR 500 years later so not part of the later MIR, you claim ignorance.
    It is ignorance of what you are talking about, which I still don't know. Those words simply don't make any sense to me. Why would I regard them as a "discrete part of the MIR", I don't even believe in MIR as anything but a simplistic model that we all build and some take way too seriously. My core tenet is that the concept of MIR is something we can choose to believe in or not, like god, but the way it is actually used in practice is like the concept of falling without air resistance-- something we ought to know from experience doesn't really work, but it is such a useful simplification that we tend to use it anyway.

    So in other words, I can certainly look at differences in common MDRs 500 years apart, but I have no idea what you mean when you talk about any connection to MIR there. I may as well look for connections with the supreme being of some given religion, for all the relevance it would have to the way I think about the evolution of various MDRs.

  4. #13204
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    I don't know what your problem is Ken G, you have already admitted that you can find out about many prior scientific MDR's from books (and build as many models as you like of them).

    But when I ask you to examine the differences between the 'realities', say 500 years apart, and regard this difference as a discrete part of the MIR that was present at the time of the first scientific MDR but already a part of the scientific MDR 500 years later so not part of the later MIR, you claim ignorance.
    hi there, do you argue that parts of our model that survive 500 years are evidence of MIR because they donot change?
    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. #13205
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Those two meanings are contradictory. Can you not sense and intepret what is inside your mind, in your model of the MIR? So we see that you hold there is an existence of "the universe", but the thing you claim exists is internally inconsistent. This is the whole problem with concepts like "the universe", or "reality"-- people pretend these are simple concepts, sweeping under the rug the easily demonstrable fact that they are very difficult, bordering on impossible, concepts. Meaning is difficult, imperfect, and intentionally vague-- that's what people don't understand about meaning. And when the meaning is "reality", this shows the problems with the MIR concept-- it is difficult, imperfect, and intentionally vague, so it is certainly not mind independent. That's the crux: you can choose to believe reality is mind independent, but what is easy to demonstrate is that what you mean when you use the term depends on your mind (and is vague and internally inconsistent). So your own notion of "MIR" is vague and internally inconsistent, this has been demonstrated.
    For the umpteenth time, MDR is what my mind creates. I have no model for MIR. I have abandoned the term "reality", because it is very subjective. I am not referring to MIR, I am referring to the unknown which feeds our sense and feeds our mind to create MDR. MIR implies a model. I am not talking about a model.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    That's why I asked you when you use the term "MIR", do you intend the meaning of the actual reality that is mind independent (according to your beliefs), or do you intend the meaning of what you mean when you use the term (which has been shown to be vague and internally inconsistent, and dependent on your mind). It is not a question that you have answered, because you cannot answer it without challenging your own beliefs. That's all right, you do not need to challenge your beliefs, you can hold them for any reason and against any challenges, that's why they are beliefs. Ironically, we tend to admire more a belief that is held in the face of challenge, and the greater the need to cling to the meaning despite the challenge, the more we admire the believer's resolve.You have used the word "must" here. Do you therefore intend a logical syllogism here, or do you have some additional evidence to support this claim? I point out that this cannot be a logical syllogism because the end of the sentence is not required by the beginning. After all, it is obvious that when someone is having a hallucination, we do not claim that they are interpreting "something", other than those very signals in their brain. So if in your model, "reality" is what is being interpreted, then you are saying reality is signals in a brain! That's the only way what you are saying is a logical truth.Yet we just established the "source" is brain signals, so you are referring to brain signals? No, of course not, you think you are referring to the source of the brain signals, so you clearly need a way to separate hallucinations (whose source we think of as being internal to the brain in our MDR) from true perceptions (whose source we think of as external to the brain in our MDR). Then once you've made that basic distinction (that we all have to learn to make), you then encounter all the gray areas of incomplete perception. And soon what is demonstrated is that the notion of "sources" of our brain signals is a concept that is internally inconsistent and intentionally vague. No surprise, meaning is like that, because meaning is always like walking on the razor's edge between what is downright false (but for a purpose), and what is intentionally unclear (but also for a purpose). No wonder the human mind is the only one adept at it, but what I find so strange is how completely we cover our tracks as we do it. We seem to choose to be completely blind to our own process of generating meaning, like we are afraid that even admitting the existence of that razor's edge would be to undermine the entire process of communication. Yet that is the process of communication, even as we "communicate" our own meanings to ourselves.
    Again, I have abandoned the term MIR as a consequence of this thread. I am not referring to dreams (though they can only be fed by distorted sensorial input), hallucinations etc. A person born bereft of senses is essentially brian dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    For the umpteenth time, MDR is what my mind creates. I have no model for MIR.
    What I asked about is what you mean when you say "the universe." You said what you mean is " what is outside of the mind. All that which is directly or indirectly sensed and interpreted by the mind." That's what you said you mean, I have no idea what you would mean by "the universe" other than what you tell me you mean. So that's what I demonstrated was an internally inconsistent meaning. Nor do I think it's odd that you have an internally inconsistent meaning, I wager that almost anyone, asked the question "what do you mean when you say the universe" will give an answer that is either incredibly vague and unspecific, or one that is internally inconsistent, or both. It's nearly impossible not to, which is the whole point of this thread.
    I am not referring to MIR, I am referring to the unknown which feeds our sense and feeds our mind to create MDR. MIR implies a model. I am not talking about a model.
    You just cited a model five seconds ago. Your model is "the unknown which feeds our sense and feeds our mind." That, my friend, is quite clearly a model. It's a vague model, and it is also internally inconsistent (you say it feeds our mind but of course our mind is part of it, so you are claiming the mind feeds itself. Which of course it does, but that's not part of your model, you conveniently leave that out of your model). Your model is a very typical one, indeed I use it myself every day. I just recognize that it is a model, and I recognize that it is both vague and internally inconsistent, which are both very common aspects of almost all models. So why do so few people want to acknowledge this rather obvious fact? That's what this thread is about-- why there is reticence to accept a clear truth, knowledge of which might actually aid in producing better models once we get better at including the role of our minds.

  7. #13207
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    What I asked about is what you mean when you say "the universe." You said what you mean is " what is outside of the mind. All that which is directly or indirectly sensed and interpreted by the mind." That's what you said you mean, I have no idea what you would mean by "the universe" other than what you tell me you mean. So that's what I demonstrated was an internally inconsistent meaning. Nor do I think it's odd that you have an internally inconsistent meaning, I wager that almost anyone, asked the question "what do you mean when you say the universe" will give an answer that is either incredibly vague and unspecific, or one that is internally inconsistent, or both. It's nearly impossible not to, which is the whole point of this thread.
    Despite what you may think, my position has evolved. I no longer speak of MIR or the universe. I just refer to what is outside of the mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    You just cited a model five seconds ago. Your model is "the unknown which feeds our sense and feeds our mind." That, my friend, is quite clearly a model. It's a vague model, and it is also internally inconsistent (you say it feeds our mind but of course our mind is part of it, so you are claiming the mind feeds itself. Which of course it does, but that's not part of your model, you conveniently leave that out of your model). Your model is a very typical one, indeed I use it myself every day. I just recognize that it is a model, and I recognize that it is both vague and internally inconsistent, which are both very common aspects of almost all models. So why do so few people want to acknowledge this rather obvious fact? That's what this thread is about-- why there is reticence to accept a clear truth, knowledge of which might actually aid in producing better models once we get better at including the role of our minds.
    Our mind is a small part of what exists, otherwise it could not interface with what exists. To you everything is a model. The mind does not feed itself. That would be hallucination. The brain (material) creates the mind (immaterial). Physical sensorial input to the brain results in the mind to create models.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    What I asked about is what you mean when you say "the universe." You said what you mean is " what is outside of the mind. All that which is directly or indirectly sensed and interpreted by the mind." That's what you said you mean, I have no idea what you would mean by "the universe" other than what you tell me you mean. So that's what I demonstrated was an internally inconsistent meaning. Nor do I think it's odd that you have an internally inconsistent meaning, I wager that almost anyone, asked the question "what do you mean when you say the universe" will give an answer that is either incredibly vague and unspecific, or one that is internally inconsistent, or both. It's nearly impossible not to, which is the whole point of this thread.
    So, along the same lines, I have a bunch of self-called 'scientific thinkers' who now deliberately avoid using their own meanings as a tactic for avoid the consequences of the MDR hypothesis semantic test. (Their underlying point is that they contend that semantics is an unreliable basis for objective testing .. 'lies' may be told, etc).

    Here's an example I've been puzzling over .. there's so much hidden assumed MIR thinking in this one, I don't think I have the energy to even begin analysing it.. But its still a classic example!

    I led with our simple question:

    Question: 'Do you think the statement 2+2=4 is mind independent, or mind dependent?'

    Answer: 'Working with an assumption that you consider that statement to be true I think you miss a fundamental point - it depends if reality is mind independent or mind dependent.'

    Here's my cursory attempt at decoding this mish-mash:

    i) So for starters it avoids the semantic test, by putting the onus on the questioner to generate the meaning (the questioner nonetheless, has to use their mind);
    ii) Its a classic example of back-to-front thinking about how they think science is done. (We went through this with 'tashirosgt' early in the thread here: 'However, science wants to say something like "If theory X is true then outcome Y is true. The outcome Y is true. Therefore theory X is true".')
    iii) It uses an untestable notion of 'true' (a posit) as its measure for determining dependence or independence (which is of course an MIR concept).

    And, similar to gzhpcu's current line of there is no MIR .. 'only outside of the mind', the respondent above, now denies that any mind independence was invoked in his 'Answer' above.

    Unbelievable stuff! The contortionism factor in this one, I think, sets an all-time record(?)

    I don't think I have the energy to respond on it .. their position is too entrenched in past histories of combat with religion (aka: Holy Wars).

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Despite what you may think, my position has evolved. I no longer speak of MIR or the universe. I just refer to what is outside of the mind.
    And that's a very valuable language, we all use it constantly. My only point is that even a language about what is outside our minds depends on our minds, as we have to give that language its meaning so we can know how to use it constructively.
    The mind does not feed itself. That would be hallucination.
    Science works better when we don't clutter it with pre-pronouncements. Instead, just study the brain, and see what it's doing. You might find that it does indeed feed itself. You might find this is a crucial aspect of how it works.

    The brain (material) creates the mind (immaterial).
    And that's what I call a model. It's a good model, which is one kind of truth, but it's not some kind of absolute truth. It's how we think, how we make sense. A very different mind might not use any of those notions, and indeed they may have much more powerful versions.

    Physical sensorial input to the brain results in the mind to create models.
    And that is a model about how models get created. It's a meta-model, but still a model all the same. We can test it, and find its strengths and weaknesses. That's science. But it's not science to treat these statements like logical necessities, that's how we thought the Earth couldn't move and so forth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post

    Question: 'Do you think the statement 2+2=4 is mind independent, or mind dependent?'

    Answer: [I]'Working with an assumption that you consider that statement to be true I think you miss a fundamental point - it depends if reality is mind independent or mind dependent.'
    I wonder why they would need to work with an assumption that you regard the statement to be true, when the question was whether its truth is mind independent or mind dependent? If they would hold that a statement is mind independent, its truth value must not depend on any mind, particularly yours. If they need to assume something about what you think, then they are flat out admitting they regard the statement as mind dependent. So their own language resolves the issue. Then, bizarrely, they seem to say that whether the truth of the statement is mind dependent or mind independent depends on whether reality itself is mind independent or mind dependent. That's a bit like saying 2+2=4 is mind independent if and only if 1+1=2 is mind independent-- it's not saying much of anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    And that's a very valuable language, we all use it constantly. My only point is that even a language about what is outside our minds depends on our minds, as we have to give that language its meaning so we can know how to use it constructively.
    Any thought process and deduction depends on our minds. However, I do not understand how you can say that the existence of something outside of our minds feeding our brains is dependent on our minds.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Science works better when we don't clutter it with pre-pronouncements. Instead, just study the brain, and see what it's doing. You might find that it does indeed feed itself. You might find this is a crucial aspect of how it works.
    Are you maintaining the mind is a closed loop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    And that's what I call a model. It's a good model, which is one kind of truth, but it's not some kind of absolute truth. It's how we think, how we make sense. A very different mind might not use any of those notions, and indeed they may have much more powerful versions.
    The brain is material, the mind is immaterial. Do you agree with that? (You will probably reply "that is a good model", if so what is not a model?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    And that is a model about how models get created. It's a meta-model, but still a model all the same. We can test it, and find its strengths and weaknesses. That's science. But it's not science to treat these statements like logical necessities, that's how we thought the Earth couldn't move and so forth.
    So you are saying everything formulated by the mind is a model. The question is a model of what?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I wonder why they would need to work with an assumption that you regard the statement to be true, when the question was whether its truth is mind independent or mind dependent? If they would hold that a statement is mind independent, its truth value must not depend on any mind, particularly yours. If they need to assume something about what you think, then they are flat out admitting they regard the statement as mind dependent. So their own language resolves the issue. Then, bizarrely, they seem to say that whether the truth of the statement is mind dependent or mind independent depends on whether reality itself is mind independent or mind dependent. That's a bit like saying 2+2=4 is mind independent if and only if 1+1=2 is mind independent-- it's not saying much of anything.
    I think there are three main elements behind their particular response:

    i) Our observations lead us to generate hypotheses, such as mind-independent reality, the predictions of which, we discover to be consistent with that hypothesis (eg: 'something' stimulates the human electro-senses model). Yes, the meaning of mind-independent reality is a human construct, and yes, the interpretations of our observations are human constructs. (Thus far, this is where scientific inference leads .. Its our familiar MDR ‘model of convenience’ for MIR, I suppose).

    ii) A belief is a notion held as being true. In science, if used at all, it's something provisionally accepted as true. (Aside: This was in response to my assertion of an hypothesis being a belief, until its been tested out).

    iii) Ok, so when testing a prediction of an hypothesis, (such as that in (i) above), one is testing a logical consequence of that hypothesis; one doesn't know whether one should accept the prediction as being 'true provisionally', until it has been agreed as being logically consistent with that hypothesis.
    Therefore the: 'something stimulates the human electro-senses' hypothesis is true, provisionally.

    I really think the status of ‘provisionally true’ produced by all this inference, is a sly way of arguing a true MIR ‘into existence’ .. and all without the slightest hint of an objective test for it! (Mind you, the 'agreed as being logically consistent' ain't far off the objectivity concept itself).

    Comments?
    Last edited by Selfsim; 2019-Aug-25 at 08:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Any thought process and deduction depends on our minds. However, I do not understand how you can say that the existence of something outside of our minds feeding our brains is dependent on our minds.
    Do you agree with the logical argument I just posted to Ken?

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    Perhaps the confusion some See is caused by the unconscious way our mind generates images for us and makes assumptions about its sensory inputs which are difficult or impossible to take control of within our conscious minds. Even though drugs can change those images and assumptions very drastically. As can hypnosis. In vision, for example we are presented with” real-time “ images So good that we Readily assume That they are reality. It takes a big leap to realise that these images are locked up inside our brains. We also forget our own learning period where our brains made sense of the neuron inputs and learned languages . At a key point in our development our assumptions about the external world get frozen in and it is only much later in life that we are able to exercise introspection or to really think about our models operating in our mind.
    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 there are three main elements behind that particular response:

    i) Our observations lead us to generate hypotheses, such as mind-independent reality, the predictions of which, we discover to be consistent with that hypothesis (eg: 'something' stimulates the human electro-senses model). Yes, the meaning of mind-independent reality is a human construct, and yes, the interpretations of our observations are human constructs. (Thus far, this is where scientific inference leads .. Its our familiar MDR ‘model of convenience’ for MIR, I suppose).
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    ii) A belief is a notion held as being true. In science, if used at all, it's something provisionally accepted as true. (Aside: This was in response to my assertion of an hypothesis being a belief, until its been tested out).
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    iii) Ok, so when testing a prediction of an hypothesis, (such as that in (i) above), one is testing a logical consequence of that hypothesis; one doesn't know whether one should accept the prediction as being 'true provisionally', until it has been agreed as being logically consistent with that hypothesis.
    Therefore the: 'something stimulates the human electro-senses' hypothesis is true, provisionally.
    Yes, up to a certain point: what alternative is there to "something stimulates the human electro-semses"? If there is no viable alternative, then it is true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim;2492037I really think the status of [I
    ‘provisionally true’[/I] produced by all this inference, is a sly way of arguing a true MIR ‘into existence’ .. and all without the slightest hint of an objective test for it! (Mind you, the 'agreed as being logically consistent' ain't far off the objectivity concept itself).

    Comments?
    But does not MIR imply a model? Or is just suggesting solely.an outside source qualify as MIR for you? What I still miss is the alternative to an external to the brain source. External to the mind is problematic, since mind is not material and therefore not localized.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Any thought process and deduction depends on our minds. However, I do not understand how you can say that the existence of something outside of our minds feeding our brains is dependent on our minds.
    Imagine that a super-intelligent alien species landed on Earth and shared their knowledge with us. Imagine they told us that their space-travel technology rests on their understanding that the distinction between "inside" and "outside" their minds is an incorrect distinction they used to hold many centuries ago but figured out that it was wrong. Would it then be easier for you to see that the statement "something outside of our minds feeding our brains" is a statement that depends on our minds, given that the aliens are telling us it is a wrong model of how reality works?

    And if you think that scenario is too far-fetched to be accepted as a possibility, note that our best theory of physics already tells us that the distinction between "inside" and "outside" our minds is artificial. That theory, quantum mechanics, tells us that all the electrons "inside" our brains are indistinguishable from those "outside" our brains. So perhaps the aliens have figured out a way to use that to carry out interstellar space travel (I have no idea how). Perhaps they discover a way to manipulate the entanglements between indistinguishable particles to allow them to teleport, I'm only saying imagine this happens as a way of seeing that our models of how reality works (including the one you just gave) must depend on our minds if we discover the limitations of the models.

    Are you maintaining the mind is a closed loop?
    In some ways, certainly. The mind is very complex and we may find all kinds of useful models for analyzing it. One model we already find useful is to say "what if" our minds get stimulus "from the outside", and make sense of that stimulus. Another useful model (already used to some degree in artificial intelligence research) is to think of the mind as operating on stimulus in a kind of feedback loop, but that's not necessarily the only thing happening. In other words, when people first proved the Pythagorean theorem, their minds had to be "trained" by experiences and perceptions (or else I agree they would be essentially brain dead), but when you look at a mathematician figuring out a way to prove the Pythagorean theorem, you will very clearly see a brain that is operating on stimulus that it created itself. You will see a brain working a whole lot like a closed loop.
    The brain is material, the mind is immaterial. Do you agree with that? (You will probably reply "that is a good model", if so what is not a model?)
    Yes you understand. It is very clearly a model, that's not a label I'm choosing to hang on it, it's the easiest thing in the world to demonstrate. And yes, a key aspect of what higher intelligence does is it is able to create models. We don't have to run from this fact, we can simply observe it happening and try to understand what our minds are doing-- via modeling, that's what we are capable of. This is the key point-- everything we think we know about anything comes from our own intelligence, it comes from what our minds are capable of doing. That's mind dependence in a nutshell. So why do we run from this, why do we so badly need to deny that truth? Denying truths only slows the progress of science.
    So you are saying everything formulated by the mind is a model. The question is a model of what?
    That is an interesting question indeed, but it's not a scientific question. Science never answers that question because science is about what it can test. Anyone can look up "proton" in a physics book, and what they will read is clearly a model. The model will be different in different physics books, and it will be useful in different situations and to different levels of accuracy. But if a scientist who sees a model of a proton asks "what is this a model of," all they could do is try to create a newer and better model. What else can a scientist do? All else is choice of belief. And above all, the models depend on the capabilities of the minds, and so do the choices of beliefs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    At a key point in our development our assumptions about the external world get frozen in and it is only much later in life that we are able to exercise introspection or to really think about our models operating in our mind.
    Yes I suspect this is just what happens, we develop these abilities at such an early age we have completely lost track of the process, leaving a kind of permanent and rigid faith that what we perceive and the sense we make of it is all there is. But then we do physics and discover that's not true at all, presenting a conundrum that some people resolve (if they ever even hear of it) by simply dismissing physics as not important to their lives. Meanwhile, a few minds (mostly theoretical physicists) embrace the physics discoveries to the point that they think there is a vast multitude of other outcomes and they only perceive a tiny tiny corner of some huge unitary complex wavefunction. We can choose to defer to the experts as being the best informed, or we can dismiss them as getting too wrapped up in their calling, but either way it would be hard to even imagine greater mind dependence around the concept of reality than what I just described!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    i) Our observations lead us to generate hypotheses, such as mind-independent reality, the predictions of which, we discover to be consistent with that hypothesis (eg: 'something' stimulates the human electro-senses model).
    I agree they think that's a hypothesis, but it isn't because it's not the thing that gets tested. It's tacked on extraneously and has nothing to do with either the model or the reasons we use the model.

    ii) A belief is a notion held as being true. In science, if used at all, it's something provisionally accepted as true.
    Since belief is our word we can use it to mean whatever we want (so it's futile to argue about what a belief really is). But I don't use the word that way, because I find it useful to have words that can distinguish two kinds of truth-- objective truth that we hold because it passes tests that it could have failed, and helps us create correct predictions, and a more subjective form of truth that we hold simply out of a kind of untested preference. The latter is where I use the word "belief", and that's why I say that belief has nothing to do with scientific thinking. Instead, you just choose what you are going to hold as true, provisionally, and what you are going to test, because you can't test everything all the time. But the scientist does not believe their assumptions (like the absence of air resistance for a falling object), they merely act as if they were true until they decide they wish to test them.
    iii) Ok, so when testing a prediction of an hypothesis, (such as that in (i) above), one is testing a logical consequence of that hypothesis; one doesn't know whether one should accept the prediction as being 'true provisionally', until it has been agreed as being logically consistent with that hypothesis.
    Therefore the: 'something stimulates the human electro-senses' hypothesis is true, provisionally.
    But again, remove that part of any hypothesis you are actually testing, and the test is still just exactly the same.
    Therefore, that added element is both extraneous and irrelevant to the test. Take any example, any theory being tested, any cure for any disease to see this. If you cure cancer, are you testing that cancer exists in some MIR, or are you just testing that you have an objective outcome there?

    I really think the status of ‘provisionally true’ produced by all this inference, is a sly way of arguing a true MIR ‘into existence’ .. and all without the slightest hint of an objective test for it! (Mind you, the 'agreed as being logically consistent' ain't far off the objectivity concept itself).
    Yes, it's sly. So it's better to show that it's extraneous, since you can't show it's wrong. If it could be shown to be wrong, it would be testable, and that would make it not extraneous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Imagine that a super-intelligent alien species landed on Earth and shared their knowledge with us. Imagine they told us that their space-travel technology rests on their understanding that the distinction between "inside" and "outside" their minds is an incorrect distinction they used to hold many centuries ago but figured out that it was wrong. Would it then be easier for you to see that the statement "something outside of our minds feeding our brains" is a statement that depends on our minds, given that the aliens are telling us it is a wrong model of how reality works?
    What do you understand under "mind"? I would separate brain and mind. Is the mind composed of quantum mechanical particles for you? If not, how do you classify it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    And if you think that scenario is too far-fetched to be accepted as a possibility, note that our best theory of physics already tells us that the distinction between "inside" and "outside" our minds is artificial. That theory, quantum mechanics, tells us that all the electrons "inside" our brains are indistinguishable from those "outside" our brains. So perhaps the aliens have figured out a way to use that to carry out interstellar space travel (I have no idea how). Perhaps they discover a way to manipulate the entanglements between indistinguishable particles to allow them to teleport, I'm only saying imagine this happens as a way of seeing that our models of how reality works (including the one you just gave) must depend on our minds if we discover the limitations of the models.
    So, here you seem to equate electrons "inside" our brains to the mind. Is that your definition of mind? A configuration of electrons? (Just seems to me based on what you are saying)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    In some ways, certainly. The mind is very complex and we may find all kinds of useful models for analyzing it. One model we already find useful is to say "what if" our minds get stimulus "from the outside", and make sense of that stimulus. Another useful model (already used to some degree in artificial intelligence research) is to think of the mind as operating on stimulus in a kind of feedback loop, but that's not necessarily the only thing happening. In other words, when people first proved the Pythagorean theorem, their minds had to be "trained" by experiences and perceptions (or else I agree they would be essentially brain dead), but when you look at a mathematician figuring out a way to prove the Pythagorean theorem, you will very clearly see a brain that is operating on stimulus that it created itself. You will see a brain working a whole lot like a closed loop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Yes you understand. It is very clearly a model, that's not a label I'm choosing to hang on it, it's the easiest thing in the world to demonstrate. And yes, a key aspect of what higher intelligence does is it is able to create models. We don't have to run from this fact, we can simply observe it happening and try to understand what our minds are doing-- via modeling, that's what we are capable of. This is the key point-- everything we think we know about anything comes from our own intelligence, it comes from what our minds are capable of doing. That's mind dependence in a nutshell. So why do we run from this, why do we so badly need to deny that truth? Denying truths only slows the progress of science.
    Here you lost me. I agree we create models with our minds to create MDR. What we seem to disagree on is what the mind is modelling.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    That is an interesting question indeed, but it's not a scientific question. Science never answers that question because science is about what it can test. Anyone can look up "proton" in a physics book, and what they will read is clearly a model. The model will be different in different physics books, and it will be useful in different situations and to different levels of accuracy. But if a scientist who sees a model of a proton asks "what is this a model of," all they could do is try to create a newer and better model. What else can a scientist do? All else is choice of belief. And above all, the models depend on the capabilities of the minds, and so do the choices of beliefs.
    Yes, but why the evolution of models? Because understanding refines and improves itself improving on the model. Question: do our models improve with time? If so, why?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    What do you understand under "mind"? I would separate brain and mind.
    Yes, I would intend different models when I use those words. Like you, I invoke a model of a physical object when I talk about a brain, and more like its sophisticated function when I talk about a mind.
    Is the mind composed of quantum mechanical particles for you? If not, how do you classify it?
    I wouldn't think of the mind as composed of particles, and it's not clear what role quantum mechanics plays (Roger Penrose thinks it's crucial, most people think a classical universe could still support minds, but no one knows). I think of a mind as more like a process that emerges from a brain, but it's not clear if that really covers it. The term mind is, like so many of our models, intentionally vague and probably internally inconsistent at some deeper level.
    So, here you seem to equate electrons "inside" our brains to the mind. Is that your definition of mind?
    No, I use only the standard meaning of mind. Nothing I'm saying requires any special knowledge about minds. I bring up electrons only because it is clear they play a key role in our best models of the brain.
    What we seem to disagree on is what the mind is modelling.
    We don't disagree on what the mind is modeling, we disagree on whether or not that concept is even coherent in the context of scientific thought. In science, we might say "let's model apparatus A as functioning like simplified model X." But if you dig deeper into what apparatus A is, you will find yet another model. What we intend for that model is something that someone else can also set up and do the same test, but in order to set up that same apparatus, they need to understand that model. After all, it will not be the same actual apparatus, so what is the same about it? The model. So using model X to understand apparatus A is creating one type of model to understand the functioning of another type of model. Yes that second type of model has some very important model attributes, like being "corporeal" or "made of metal", etc., but what we mean by those words are more models. So just to call something a "model" does not mean it is only one thing, or one type of thing, it just means we are conveying a concept that someone else can understand based on their thoughts and experiences.
    Yes, but why the evolution of models? Because understanding refines and improves itself improving on the model.
    Yes, the process is clearly a process of refining models.
    Question: do our models improve with time?
    Yes.
    If so, why?
    Because we only keep the successes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    So in other words, I can certainly look at differences in common MDRs 500 years apart, but I have no idea what you mean when you talk about any connection to MIR there.
    I think you've finally got it, you don't need to have any idea whatsoever Ken G, that's what an MIR is by definition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    I think you've finally got it, you don't need to have any idea whatsoever Ken G, that's what an MIR is by definition.

    How can two mind models separated in time, (in the mind of an observer), somehow end up as being mind independent?

    Do you think that models which develop and subsequently change, somehow then contain information which was never in any mind, and is therefore evidence of mind independent reality? Is that what you're saying?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I agree they think that's a hypothesis, but it isn't because it's not the thing that gets tested. It's tacked on extraneously and has nothing to do with either the model or the reasons we use the model.
    Since belief is our word we can use it to mean whatever we want (so it's futile to argue about what a belief really is). But I don't use the word that way, because I find it useful to have words that can distinguish two kinds of truth-- objective truth that we hold because it passes tests that it could have failed, and helps us create correct predictions, and a more subjective form of truth that we hold simply out of a kind of untested preference. The latter is where I use the word "belief", and that's why I say that belief has nothing to do with scientific thinking. Instead, you just choose what you are going to hold as true, provisionally, and what you are going to test, because you can't test everything all the time. But the scientist does not believe their assumptions (like the absence of air resistance for a falling object), they merely act as if they were true until they decide they wish to test them.
    But again, remove that part of any hypothesis you are actually testing, and the test is still just exactly the same.
    Therefore, that added element is both extraneous and irrelevant to the test. Take any example, any theory being tested, any cure for any disease to see this. If you cure cancer, are you testing that cancer exists in some MIR, or are you just testing that you have an objective outcome there?

    Yes, it's sly. So it's better to show that it's extraneous, since you can't show it's wrong. If it could be shown to be wrong, it would be testable, and that would make it not extraneous.
    Yep ... I can see that this works! .. (This is gonna be 'interesting' ...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    I think you've finally got it, you don't need to have any idea whatsoever Ken G, that's what an MIR is by definition.
    Well I'm glad we can at last agree that MIR is "by definition" something that no one has any idea about. Except that's what I've said all along!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Yep ... I can see that this works! .. (This is gonna be 'interesting' ...)
    Good luck. An interesting exercise would be to look up some philosopher's "proof of a supreme being" and replace every reference to a supreme being with MIR, give that argument without saying where you got it, and ask if that's pretty much what they are saying.

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    2My head is spinning around. KenG could you please define "reality" in context of this discussion for me? Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    2My head is spinning around. KenG could you please define "reality" in context of this discussion for me? Thanks
    The point of this thread is the meaning of the word "reality" is context based, and also dependent on the mind using the term in said context. If we try for a single definition of the word, then it will be what you find in a dictionary, which is designed to be extremely inclusive and quite vague, and will likely include multiple different meanings and can even show signs of internal inconsistency. Indeed, if we look it up in Miriam-Webster, we get essentially three different meanings, none of which are of any help to your question because they all hinge on the meaning of the word "real."

    So we are then led to the definition of "real", which is given as a whole bunch of possibilities, which when we limit to the interests of this thread include
    "having objective independent existence" (so here what is real must be objective, so we cannot really like or dislike a flavor of soda, and it must be "independent", but it's not at all clear independent of what).
    But it also can mean
    "occurring or existing in actuality" (So we are led to the definition of "actual", where you find reference to the words "in reality", so it's quite circular and not much help)
    Or it could be
    "existing as a physical entity and having properties that deviate from an ideal, law, or standard" (So it must be something physical as opposed to overly idealized, which is definition by excluding what we don't mean rather than what we do, gives us no guidance as to what counts as overly idealized, and also leaves us to wonder if we ever develop a "theory of everything" in physics, where will that leave this definition of reality)
    And all the other meanings are for specific situations that don't relate at all to this discussion, except possibly the disinction in physics between a "real particle" versus a "virtual particle", where the real particle is
    "capable of being detected" (So we have reality as what is empirical, rather than theorized or idealized)

    So Miriam-Webster's efforts are pretty limited here, and seem to boil essentially down to an emphasis on what may be regarded as objective, physical, and not overly idealized. Where this leaves "real" subjective things, like a "real feeling" or a "real preference" is certainly quite unclear, and where we are supposed to draw the line between something that is physical and not overly idealized is quite hard to say (is a gravitational field really there?). But I'm sure it's no better or worse than anything we could come up with in a short discussion, the point is really that we would all mean something a little different by the term "reality", and what we did mean would depend on our minds, just as the Miriam-Webster definition depends on the minds of their editors. The takeaway message is that language is not all what a lot of people seem to think it is.

    If you want my own meaning, when I say "reality" in the context of this thread, I mean the mental construct that I create as I use my best mental powers and best abilities to perceive, in order to make sense of the perceptions in a way that demonstrates sufficient consistency and predictive power to be useful to my survival and general well-being. That this meaning depends on my mind is patently obvious to me, even though I have very little understanding of what my mind is actually doing along the way. What is also obvious to me is how easily I can ignore these facts, and enter into a pretense that my own meaning of "reality" is in any sense "what actually is." I regard it as one of the starkest possible lies of language to claim that when people say "reality", they mean "what actually is in some absolute sense." Credit to Miriam-Webster that they never make any such claim in their definition, though they did lean a little that way with their very unclear "objective independent" business, since they don't seem to recognize that "objectivity" is impossible to define without taking into account how most people's minds behave (since what is objective for us is not so for a dog), and they made no attempt to say what it was supposed to be independent of.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Aug-26 at 04:19 PM.

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    Incidentally, to see the mind dependence in the various definitions of "reality", we can look at dictionary.com and see that they give a "philosophical" meaning, which no doubt is the most relevant to this thread. Their definition is then:
    "something that exists independently of ideas concerning it.
    something that exists independently of all other things and from which all other things derive."
    So we see a bit more information about what reality is supposed to be independent of. Unfortunately, it makes no sense at all, as should be pretty clear to anyone following this thread.

  29. #13229
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post

    If you want my own meaning, when I say "reality" in the context of this thread, I mean the mental construct that I create as I use my best mental powers and best abilities to perceive, in order to make sense of the perceptions in a way that demonstrates sufficient consistency and predictive power to be useful to my survival and general well-being. That this meaning depends on my mind is patently obvious to me, even though I have very little understanding of what my mind is actually doing along the way. What is also obvious to me is how easily I can ignore these facts, and enter into a pretense that my own meaning of "reality" is in any sense .
    First of all, thanks for the time you take to respond.

    A question:
    What is it that is perceived?

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    Here's 'a corker' of a quote:

    "... the difference between the one-hundred dollars in my pocket and the one hundred dollars I imagine to be in my pocket is not a difference in the concept of “one hundred dollars.” To say that something “exists” — even in the case of God — is not to predicate a property that its concept lacks if the thing did not exist".

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