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Old 2nd January 2018, 03:30 PM   #241
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Ooohhh! Deep stuff, man!
About as deep as other philosophical “If a tree falls . . .” brain-wank.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 03:32 PM   #242
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Totally, dude!

Woah!
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Old 2nd January 2018, 04:05 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Quantum physics falseifies it. If you won't read a book, at least Google 'materialism' and 'quantum mechanics' or something. You seem to be stuck in a groove and I don't have the motivation to engage much further.
bovine feces. I'd rather use the colloquial expression but somehow this is considered offensive. My closest friend teaches physics at UW. Your understanding of quantum mechanics is nonsense and I don't care how many times you suggest that you are backed up etc by some line is an esoteric textbook. Also, I have never been arguing materialism from the original concept of that word.

Originally Posted by baron View Post
I never suggested the physical world is not real, either. I said our model of it does not and cannot reflect reality.
I have no idea what this means.

Originally Posted by baron View Post
Fundamental reality cannot be observed. HTH.
What makes reality fundamental? I don't believe almost anyone shares your view on this.


Originally Posted by baron View Post
I genuinely pity you.
I seriously doubt he wants your pity. Have you ever thought that perhaps arrogance isn't a particularly likable trait in a human being?
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Old 2nd January 2018, 04:25 PM   #244
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I seriously doubt he wants your pity. Have you ever thought that perhaps arrogance isn't a particularly likable trait in a human being?
You misunderstand. That comment wasn't for my benefit but for his own.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 06:16 PM   #245
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
You misunderstand. That comment wasn't for my benefit but for his own.
Well, it wouldn't be the first thing he posted that I misunderstood
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Old 2nd January 2018, 07:06 PM   #246
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No, he pities you because you don't understand that the solidity of rock is illusory if a neutrino can pass right through it.

Or if a sledgehammer can crack it.

Or if heat can conduct right through it.

Or if a diamond drill can bore a hole right into it.

Or if atmospheric gases can permeate right through it (though this might take thousands of years).

Or if sonic vibrations pass right through it.

Or if high-energy gamma rays pass right through it.

Or if gravitational fields pass right through it.

Because apparently "solid" actually means "invulnerable and totally opaque to all physical effects." Who knew?
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Old 2nd January 2018, 07:17 PM   #247
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I seriously doubt he wants your pity. Have you ever thought that perhaps arrogance isn't a particularly likable trait in a human being?
In his view his arrogance does not reflect reality (apparently nothing does) so it is meaningless, as is his pity.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 08:06 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
No, he pities you because you don't understand that the solidity of rock is illusory if a neutrino can pass right through it.

Or if a sledgehammer can crack it.

Or if heat can conduct right through it.

Or if a diamond drill can bore a hole right into it.

Or if atmospheric gases can permeate right through it (though this might take thousands of years).

Or if sonic vibrations pass right through it.

Or if high-energy gamma rays pass right through it.

Or if gravitational fields pass right through it.

Because apparently "solid" actually means "invulnerable and totally opaque to all physical effects." Who knew?
There is a lot to understand about quantum mechanics and since Baron's posts, I've read a few articles that seem to argue his position. But ONLY at a micro level and even that is questionable with noted physicists Steven Hawking and Lawrence Krause strongly dismissing this argument.

I am trying to understand the argument but it seems like bull to me. It also reeks of an attempt to introduce some kind of silly mysticism and for that reason I can't help but roll my eyes. But maybe the 5th or 6th time I read this it might make sense to me. But I doubt it.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 12:56 AM   #249
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
There is a lot to understand about quantum mechanics and since Baron's posts, I've read a few articles that seem to argue his position. But ONLY at a micro level and even that is questionable with noted physicists Steven Hawking and Lawrence Krause strongly dismissing this argument.

I am trying to understand the argument but it seems like bull to me. It also reeks of an attempt to introduce some kind of silly mysticism and for that reason I can't help but roll my eyes. But maybe the 5th or 6th time I read this it might make sense to me. But I doubt it.
Myriad sums it up. It is hardly profound.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 05:22 AM   #250
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
There is a lot to understand about quantum mechanics and since Baron's posts, I've read a few articles that seem to argue his position.
That's odd, because you've just spent three pages stating that everything I posted is "bull ****" and that I know "nothing" about quantum physics (apparently having a friend who works at a university qualifies you to make that judgement). "Hey, I'm a bit bored of talking about something I know literally nothing about, I guess I'll read an article... oh hang on, what's this?" Pathetic.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
But ONLY at a micro level and even that is questionable with noted physicists Steven Hawking and Lawrence Krause strongly dismissing this argument.
That would be Krauss, then. Yes, some scientists tend towards materialism. Many more do not. Of course, when I post quotes from the pioneers of quantum mechanics that undermine your faith - sorry, position - on materialism you ignore them. Perhaps one day you'll read a book and deem the acquisition of knowledge more important than arguing for the sake of it from a position of ignorance. You and several others on this thread.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I am trying to understand the argument but it seems like bull to me. It also reeks of an attempt to introduce some kind of silly mysticism and for that reason I can't help but roll my eyes. But maybe the 5th or 6th time I read this it might make sense to me. But I doubt it.
I doubt it too.
Edited by zooterkin:  <SNIP>
For breaches of rule 0 and rule 12.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 05:32 AM   #251
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Still want to know what it is that science can't explain about consciousness, and the actual definition for consciousness that's associated with the claim.

Strongly suspect folk don't even know what they really mean when they say "Science can't explain consciousness", akin to those that say "You can't say god doesn't exist" but then when asked can't give a definition for "god".
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Old 3rd January 2018, 05:33 AM   #252
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
That's odd, because you've just spent three pages stating that everything I posted is "bull ****" and that I know "nothing" about quantum physics (apparently having a friend who works at a university qualifies you to make that judgement). "Hey, I'm a bit bored of talking about something I know literally nothing about, I guess I'll read an article... oh hang on, what's this?" Pathetic.
Yeah, reminds me of how you handled the wiki article on matter, eh?

Quote:
That would be Krauss, then. Yes, some scientists tend towards materialism. Many more do not.
Perhaps you can provide a poll of scientists, then? I really doubt many of them would say that matter doesn't exist.

What's that? Matter and materialism have nothing to do with one another? Again, you should take that up with baron.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 07:16 AM   #253
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The idea that physical reality is mind independent cannot be demonstrated because all experiences are mind dependent. This though does
not mean physical reality is not mind independent and indeed everyone apart from solipsists and idealists takes it to be so. The reason for
this is because different minds can reach intersubjective consensus about the reality they experience. If it was mind dependent each mind
would have a different interpretation of reality yet they do not. If ten minds observe an object they can reach consensus on the properties
of that object even if they are viewing it independently of the other minds. Now that does not prove that external reality is definitely mind
independent but does indicate that it is more likely than not on the balance of probabilities to be so. But either way the mind is an internal
reality generator par excellence given that all experience and knowledge comes from within it and nowhere else. As one cannot experience
or think outside of their own mind. For that is simply physically impossible
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Old 3rd January 2018, 07:29 AM   #254
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Originally Posted by surreptitious57 View Post
The idea that physical reality is mind independent cannot be demonstrated because all experiences are mind dependent.
What a load of nonsense.

Solipsism is a useless philosophy. You should read beyond the 17th century.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 07:43 AM   #255
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Solipsism is a warm out battle cry-how does solipsism even follow from that post?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 07:48 AM   #256
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Solipsism is the idea that physical reality is dependent on the mind. The poster speaks of physical reality being impossible to demonstrate to be independant from the mind.

This isn't rocket science.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 07:49 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Solipsism is the idea that physical reality is dependent on the mind. The poster speaks of physical reality being impossible to demonstrate to be independant from the mind.

This isn't rocket science.
You're misrepresenting his claim.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 07:52 AM   #258
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You're misrepresenting his claim.
Not really. Here's the part I was refering to:

The idea that physical reality is mind independent cannot be demonstrated because all experiences are mind dependent.

How did I misrepresent that?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 07:56 AM   #259
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Not really. Here's the part I was refering to:

The idea that physical reality is mind independent cannot be demonstrated because all experiences are mind dependent.

How did I misrepresent that?
ISTM that the claim is that solipsism is unfalsifiable. Since it's unfalsifiable, it falls outside the realm of scientific enquiry.

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Old 3rd January 2018, 07:56 AM   #260
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Did you want a serious discussion or not?
There is no useful conversation/discussion to be had. There is no evidence for one side (soul/equivalent) and plenty for the other (no soul just brain doing what it evolved to do and still evolving.

An animating spirit (soul) is just an explanation of primitives wanting to explain things prior to any science and thinking past their pay grade. Just like current religion.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:14 AM   #261
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
About as deep as other philosophical “If a tree falls . . .” brain-wank.
The answer to that one is semantic, a tree falling in the forest makes a noise, if there is an organism which has a perception of the air pressure waves created by the noise then there is a 'sound'.

Muwahaha
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:19 AM   #262
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I was not advocating solipsism. I am not a solipsist or an idealist. I do not think that physical reality is mind dependent. I was
simply saying that it cannot be demonstrated to be mind independent. If all knowledge and experience comes from within the
mind then mind independence cannot be demonstrated. But not being able to demonstrate it does not mean it cannot be true
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:21 AM   #263
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Originally Posted by surreptitious57 View Post
I was not advocating solipsism. I am not a solipsist or an idealist. I do not think that physical reality is mind dependent. I was simply saying that it cannot be demonstrated to be mind independent.
I know what you were sayng, but it's still wrong. Machines can sense reality without us and they give the same reading no matter which "mind" takes them.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:29 AM   #264
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
I know what you were sayng, but it's still wrong. Machines can sense reality without us and they give the same reading no matter which "mind" takes them.
And you've verified that without your, or anyone's, mind being involved somehow?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:46 AM   #265
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
And you've verified that without your, or anyone's, mind being involved somehow?
That's entirely irrelevant. I'm sure you think you're making a clever point, but this is one that was made centuries ago and that we realised was actually pretty weak.

Sure, you can harp on the idea that we'll never be 100% sure, but 100% certainty is not only not required, it's impossible. So why bring it up? And if we discount the necessity for 100% certainty, then we can sure point out the overwhelming preponderance of evidence that objective reality exists and persists despite the absense of minds. For all practical purposes, we know it exists.

Don't try to get me into an existential philosophy argument. I despise philosophy of this sort specifically because it's nothing more than mental masturbation: it has no purpose or use in the real world (whatever you think that is).
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Old 3rd January 2018, 10:15 AM   #266
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Fundamental reality cannot be observed.
Where does reality change to unreality? Is sounds like there's a line. Can real things exist when they break with reality at some point down the scale?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 10:32 AM   #267
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Back to the main topic of explaining consciousness.

Originally Posted by IanS View Post
It doesn't "lead" to consciousness. Instead what I'm suggesting (it's only a suggestion), is that, that is what consciousness actually is. That is ...

... what we call "consciousness" is just that continuous rapidly updating set of sensations and responses that we experience/undergo as a result of the chemical, electrical and physical changes from the sensory input, to reactions in the brain, to signals going back from the brain to the muscles and other organs and back to the sensory system in a continuous cycle ... the effect of that is what we call "consciousness".

If you don't understand how that could be what you think of as consciousness as you perceive it in your own daily life, then that may simply be because the effect has become so refined and so efficient in humans after billions of years of evolution, that to us as functioning apes, it now seems like “magic” … as if there must be some other reason different from the purely physical/chemical reactions that define how all living things function …

… but since all known evidence is against such “magic”, I expect the explanation for the effect that we call “consciousness”, is indeed just a highly evolved and very efficient (seemingly “very efficient” on out time scale at least, and where we are unaware of the underlying chemical, electrical processes that go on all the time in our cells and nerves etc.) sequence of perfectly natural chemical and electrical changes that occur in all “living things” (they occur to different extents, and with more or less complexity going from simple organisms such as plants, to the most complex such as mammals inc. apes and humans).

You could think about it another way – if you were able to travel back to the time when the first living things appeared on the Earth (e.g. you are the only human alive, but you actually know nothing about modern science or the modern world … all you can detect is what your senses see, hear, smell etc., and what your thinking human mind says to you about the single-celled “life” before you and the landscape of the planet that you perceive), then you would probably think it was impossible, even completely unimaginable, that a process of evolution would lead eventually (after billions of years) to humans that could make aircraft, computers, discover quantum field theory, develop language etc., or indeed experience an effect that we call “consciousness” …

… but the explanation for how humans came to have all those characteristics & abilities today (inc. “consciousness”), is certainly that it has been the inevitable result of 3 billion years of evolving life becoming more and more highly developed, more sophisticated, refined and more capable in everything associated with our life and existence.

This is an excellent and thought-provoking post.

I personally think we can go a little farther in specifying what it is the brain does that constitutes consciousness.

It might be helpful to consider a system of external signals, neurochemical reaction to those signals, and an adaptive motor (muscle) response, that doesn't involve what most of us would typically regard as consciousness. Consider a filter-feeding jellyfish whose prey lives predominantly in water of a certain temperature range. The jellyfish thus thrives best when it's in water of that temperature range. In the ocean, deeper water is almost always colder, and shallower water is almost always warmer. So when the jellyfish senses a temperature lower than the optimum range, it swims upward, and when higher, it swims downward. It's sensing and responding to its environment, but its responses have don't require "understanding" anything about its environment. It has to sense temperature and it has to have at least two different motor responses, one of which reliably moves it upward and one downward. But it does not have to "know" what temperature, water, up, down, food, swimming, or "itself" are as concepts.

Contrast that with higher animals that, in order to hunt, evade threats, care for their young and so forth have to be able to recognize not just environmental signals but the presence and positions of objects, both as types ("a tree") and specific individuals ("the tree where my nest is"), rather than just specific patterns of sensory input. Of course, patterns of sensory input are how objects are recognized, but the more processing of the raw sensory input is involved, the more abstract the relationship can be and the more reliably the thing or type of thing can be recognized even if it is e.g. facing a different way, under unusual lighting conditions, viewed from an unusual angle, contorted into an unusual shape, partially or mostly concealed, and so forth.

Once objects and other basic situations (e.g. darkness; or being at a height) are perceived and recognized, there are several ways a nervous system might react to them. Some reactions are instinctive (flee, freeze, attempt to mate). Other reactions can be learned associatively and once learned, function much like instinct. An animal once burned by fire that then shies away from fire does not necessarily need to remember the specific past experience of being burned by the fire as a narrative, in order to have a learned aversion to the fire. (In humans, accidental and counterproductive associative learning early in life has been a popular idea in psychology, as an explanation for some phobias and paraphilias, where the experiences that created the association aren't remembered. It's debatable how much of a role that actually plays, but it might have a role in for example food taste preferences, where one theory holds that unusual flavors that happen to have been eaten just before an illness become disliked long afterward.)

There is far more benefit (and more metabolic cost as well) in more advanced neural processing, that recognizes, remembers, and learns narratives. By narratives I mean descriptions of agents acting in the world with volition and cause and effect, that are highly compressed and abstracted relative to the raw sensory input from which they're constructed. "The wolf is hunting but doesn't see the baby behind the bushes." Constructed narrative can become remembered narrative, which is a more advanced and far more versatile form of learning. Instead of the "fire, aaaah, bad!" of mere associative learning, you can have "I saw Joe get hurt when he got too close to fire, but when it's cold a fire can keep me warm."

Consider, though, the formidability of the computational task of constructing an ongoing stream of narrative, in close to real time, from a stream of raw sensory input plus a potentially huge store of memories. Especially when even the types of "actors" and "props" that occur in the narrative aren't implicitly known at the outset but themselves have to be learned by observation. Computer AI is now at approximately the stage AI researches in the 1960s were expecting to be at by the 70s, where visual object recognition works reasonably well, but I don't think any computer AI is close to being able to e.g. "examine this video and briefly summarize what's happening." That takes what we think of as basic animal intelligence, which we're not close to yet even though nothing about it seems fundamentally impossible for AI.

(Now, suppose you have brains that get really good at understanding the world on a summarized narrative level. Good enough for thinks like, "If Janice sees Joe with that banana she'll think it's one of hers and that Joe took it, even though it's not," such as might be advantageous in passing on ones genes a highly social species. This might lead to language, which is another way of encoding narrative. You have to already be able to perceiving the world in narrative terms in order to use it, but language in turn facilities that ability. That might help explain the question of how full-blown grammatical language can be so relatively newly evolved in our species, and yet also be so well-developed that it seems effortless, like object perception and muscle coordination that have existed many many times longer.)

Where does consciousness come in? Earlier on. It's part of the result of the process of constructing narrative in real time from sensory input and memory.

I mentioned a hypothetical AI that observed a video and describes what's happening. Would that AI have to be conscious to accomplish that task? I don't believe so. But, that version of a narrative-recognition system would never evolve in the wild. Because passive spectatorship is of far too limited use to be worth the metabolic cost. What makes the ability useful to a competing individual in an evolving species is the inclusion of the self, the organism doing the processing, as an actor, and often the primary actor of concern, in the narrative. The result and purpose of generating a narrative understanding isn't to sit and watch events unfold; it's to make better decisions about what to do in complicated and dynamically changing circumstances. "The wolf is hunting, but it doesn't see me behind these bushes."

It's the inclusion of the self in the ongoing narrative constructed from sensory input and memory that causes, or constitutes, consciousness.

The usual reaction I get to this idea is something to the effect of, "there has to be more to it than that." That reaction is understandable. It seems like something is left hanging, or some illicit bootstrap effect is being snuck in.

If the constructed narrative is what experience is, who is experiencing that experience? The answer is, it's not; the process of constructing the narrative is what experience is, and your brain is both constructing and experiencing that narrative. (How could it evolve otherwise? What good would it be to construct the narrative and then ignore it instead?)

Okay, maybe, but if you are a "character" in that constructed narrative, how can you also be the experiencer? Isn't that like saying Harry Potter is experiencing the story he's in?

I don't think it is. The reason it's different is because your physical (and thinking) organism actually materially exists. It exists in addition to the self-character in your mental narrative. And furthermore, you normally make no distinction between the two, any more than you normally make a distinction between the wolf that's out there near you in the world and the wolf you re-construct inside your head in order to recognize and react to it. (At least, until a philosopher comes along and claims that one or the other of them doesn't really exist.) Roughly, your brain experiences the world via the process of creating a narrative from its sensory view of it, and experiences itself experiencing in the process of including its own part (including memories of thinking, deciding, and acting) as an important element of that (real) world and as a participant in that narrative.

Hofstadter and others describe this as a self-referential "strange loop," because they're looking at it on the level of how it actually works, of signals going here to there and back again between different parts of the brain. I don't try to evaluate it on that level and I don't think it's necessary in order to intuit how consciousness comes about. As with so many processes in biology, it's quite a bit easer to think about it in terms of what it accomplishes instead of how it works in detail. Either way, there's no actual contradiction or paradox in it.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 11:21 AM   #268
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Originally Posted by baron

Fundamental reality cannot be observed
What do you mean by fundamental? If you mean at the quantum level then this is true as we can only experience it at the classical level
But is not all reality merely on a spectrum with no absolute division? The notion of fundamental you are using is arbitrary and subjective
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Old 3rd January 2018, 11:37 AM   #269
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Solipsism is the idea that physical reality is dependent on the mind. The poster speaks of physical reality being impossible to demonstrate to be independant from the mind.

This isn't rocket science.
Yes.

If reality is dependant on mind, then how did reality get on before mind even existed, say, 4 billion years ago on this planet?

I have an object on my desk. Here is a photo I have just taken of it



I have not mentioned what it is so that people can't claim I have planted a suggestion of what it is. If reality is dependent on mind, then everyone looking at this photo will see something different.

I am 100% certain that everyone looking at this photo will see
a coffee mug...
I am 100% certain that anyone claiming to see something else (say, dogs humping, or a bottle of milk, or a set of car keys) is either lying or being a wanker.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 11:55 AM   #270
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Is it an invisible photo, 'cause I don't see nuffin! Very twisty Mr Cooky.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 12:00 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by smartcooky;12133277
I am 100% certain that everyone looking at this photo will see[SPOILER
... [/spoiler]I am 100% certain that anyone claiming to see something else (say, dogs humping, or a bottle of milk, or a set of car keys) is either lying or being a wanker.
I must be a lying wanker! I see a coaster .
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Old 3rd January 2018, 01:15 PM   #272
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Solipsism, it is!

First off, this is not a problem of metaphysics, ontology or existence. It is an epistemological problem and it goes to show that there is no evidence or if you like knowledge about the mind-independent reality.

Part 1: Are you a Boltzmann brain?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boltzmann_brain
The problem of knowing the probability of being a Boltzmann brain is that it assumes that reality is "fair" and that you are not a Boltzmann brain. In other words you are begging the question or doing circular reasoning if you assume that you can trust your experience of reading this on a mind-independent screen and thus come up with a knowable probability of being a Boltzmann brain or not.

Part 2: Do you accept cause and effect?
If you believe that reality was there before you, you can't rule out that reality "created" you as a Boltzmann brain. The problem you face is that if you accept that reality is outside your mind and that reality causes your mind and experiences, you can't know if reality is "fair" or if you are a Boltzmann brain.

Part 3: Science is a belief system, but not a religious one.
What you believe if you believe in some form of realism/naturalism/and so on, is that you can fundamentally trust your experience and what you claim about evidence about reality rests on this belief.

Part 4: Certainty and magical thinking.
If you are a Boltzmann brain and certain that you are not, then you are in a reality, where you as a Boltzmann brain are 100% certainty that you are not a Boltzmann brain. In other words to think that your 100% certainty is what causes you not to be a Boltzmann brain, is to believe that your thinking that you are not a Boltzmann, is what causes you not to be a Boltzmann brain.

Part 5: Metaphysics and "das Ding an sich".
You don't do philosophy by starting with metaphysics and ontology. You start with epistemology and figure out how the word "knowledge" works. It is a belief, that you are certain of, but that doesn't make it certain that you are reading this on a screen. It only makes it certain, that you are certain in your belief. What the rest of reality is other than being independent of your mind is unknown, hence "das Ding an sich".

Part 6: Evidence and being a skeptic.
If you are a skeptic, you know that you can't avoid Agrippa's trilemma and thus have evidence without beliefs. What you do, is that you state your beliefs and notice that other humans in some cases believe differently.
But you know, that your belief if you hold this one, namely that reality is "fair, is not dependent on you believing it. Rather if you believe in a mind independent part of reality and that you are caused be the rest of reality, then you can't know whether you are a Boltzmann brain or not.

Part 7. The word "I" and "I think, therefore I am".
The problem is that word "I" is empty, because all it says is that "something is thinking, therefore something is going on", but it doesn't say anything else about reality, hence it is empty for the rest of reality. It is similar to a tautology like "A is A". "A is A" is so, but empty otherwise because it says nothing about the rest of reality. Certainty works in a similar manner, if you are certain, all that it means, is that you are certain and it says nothing about that which you are certain of. Off course you can go the foundational route in epistemology and try to salvage Descartes's project of getting from "I think, therefore I am" to the rest of reality, but then you run into Agrippa's trilemma.

Part 8: I can't help you!
If this frightens you or otherwise give you bad feelings, that is your problem to solve, not something I can do for you. If you need the crotch of believing the you know/have evidence for that fact that reality is "fair", then that is something you do/need, but not something which is known. The words "knowledge" and "evidence " are mind dependent.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 01:49 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
That's odd, because you've just spent three pages stating that everything I posted is "bull ****" and that I know "nothing" about quantum physics (apparently having a friend who works at a university qualifies you to make that judgement). "Hey, I'm a bit bored of talking about something I know literally nothing about, I guess I'll read an article... oh hang on, what's this?" Pathetic.
I still think it is bull excrement. But I was trying to be kind in suggesting you weren't alone out there on crazy island. That there that are a few notable physicists who are suggesting something similar. Guess what? I think their ideas are crazy too.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 02:09 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by Donn View Post
Is it an invisible photo, 'cause I don't see nuffin! Very twisty Mr Cooky.
Let me guess... you use Internet Explorer?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 02:17 PM   #275
smartcooky
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Solipsism, it is!

First off, this is not a problem of metaphysics, ontology or existence. It is an epistemological problem and it goes to show that there is no evidence or if you like knowledge about the mind-independent reality.

Part 1: Are you a Boltzmann brain?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boltzmann_brain
The problem of knowing the probability of being a Boltzmann brain is that it assumes that reality is "fair" and that you are not a Boltzmann brain. In other words you are begging the question or doing circular reasoning if you assume that you can trust your experience of reading this on a mind-independent screen and thus come up with a knowable probability of being a Boltzmann brain or not.

Part 2: Do you accept cause and effect?
If you believe that reality was there before you, you can't rule out that reality "created" you as a Boltzmann brain. The problem you face is that if you accept that reality is outside your mind and that reality causes your mind and experiences, you can't know if reality is "fair" or if you are a Boltzmann brain.

Part 3: Science is a belief system, but not a religious one.
What you believe if you believe in some form of realism/naturalism/and so on, is that you can fundamentally trust your experience and what you claim about evidence about reality rests on this belief.

Part 4: Certainty and magical thinking.
If you are a Boltzmann brain and certain that you are not, then you are in a reality, where you as a Boltzmann brain are 100% certainty that you are not a Boltzmann brain. In other words to think that your 100% certainty is what causes you not to be a Boltzmann brain, is to believe that your thinking that you are not a Boltzmann, is what causes you not to be a Boltzmann brain.

Part 5: Metaphysics and "das Ding an sich".
You don't do philosophy by starting with metaphysics and ontology. You start with epistemology and figure out how the word "knowledge" works. It is a belief, that you are certain of, but that doesn't make it certain that you are reading this on a screen. It only makes it certain, that you are certain in your belief. What the rest of reality is other than being independent of your mind is unknown, hence "das Ding an sich".

Part 6: Evidence and being a skeptic.
If you are a skeptic, you know that you can't avoid Agrippa's trilemma and thus have evidence without beliefs. What you do, is that you state your beliefs and notice that other humans in some cases believe differently.
But you know, that your belief if you hold this one, namely that reality is "fair, is not dependent on you believing it. Rather if you believe in a mind independent part of reality and that you are caused be the rest of reality, then you can't know whether you are a Boltzmann brain or not.

Part 7. The word "I" and "I think, therefore I am".
The problem is that word "I" is empty, because all it says is that "something is thinking, therefore something is going on", but it doesn't say anything else about reality, hence it is empty for the rest of reality. It is similar to a tautology like "A is A". "A is A" is so, but empty otherwise because it says nothing about the rest of reality. Certainty works in a similar manner, if you are certain, all that it means, is that you are certain and it says nothing about that which you are certain of. Off course you can go the foundational route in epistemology and try to salvage Descartes's project of getting from "I think, therefore I am" to the rest of reality, but then you run into Agrippa's trilemma.

Part 8: I can't help you!
If this frightens you or otherwise give you bad feelings, that is your problem to solve, not something I can do for you. If you need the crotch of believing the you know/have evidence for that fact that reality is "fair", then that is something you do/need, but not something which is known. The words "knowledge" and "evidence " are mind dependent.
This is a pile of unmitigated philosobabble.. a CGSM in fact!

What is a CGSM you ask

"Civil service code. It stands for Consignment of Geriatric Shoe Manufacturers... a load of old cobblers"
-Bernard Woolley (a character in the BBC TV series "Yes Minister")
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► Heisenberg's Law - The weirdness of the Universe is inversely proportional to the scale at which you observe it, or not.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 02:23 PM   #276
Tommy Jeppesen
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
This is a pile of unmitigated philosobabble..
...
Now give evidence!

So far it appears you only has given some sort of feeling/emotion.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 02:24 PM   #277
Donn
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Let me guess... you use Internet Explorer?
Ouch!

I did track it down to Privacy Badger. I am now of the club who agrees with external reality as observed by your camera.

Phew. This thread had reality unraveling.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 02:34 PM   #278
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Solipsism is humans believing they’re a more important piece of reality than they really are.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 02:47 PM   #279
surreptitious57
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It actually makes no difference whether reality is as we experience it or we are brains in vats or in a matrix or something
else because we have no choice in the matter but to exist within it and treat it as if it were real. Even if it could be shown
to be something else we could do absolutely nothing about it and so in this respect what it actually is is entirely academic
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Old 3rd January 2018, 02:54 PM   #280
Tommy Jeppesen
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Solipsism is humans believing they’re a more important piece of reality than they really are.
Evidence, please.
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