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Old 4th January 2018, 04:14 AM   #321
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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?

...snip...)
A Boltzmann brain wasn't even very clever when it was thought up. There is no reason to think that a "disembodied" mind would somehow be "simpler" and therefore more "likely" than one arising from a physical process in humans, that's just an assumption.

It's the soul-seekers' equivalent of Anselm of Canterbury's ontological argument for god.
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Old 4th January 2018, 04:38 AM   #322
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
That explanation seems to lack any explaining.

How about you provide the explanation? To me an explanation should be something that would allow us to, at least in principle if not in practice, recreate the phenomena.
What do you think in principle we can't recreate? We can reliably and repeatedly switch your consciousness off and on using our "in principle" theories.
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Old 4th January 2018, 05:30 AM   #323
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Evidence, please.

What credible religious evidence is there to be rated?

Evidence you're on the 20th floor of a building isn't "Objective Authoritative Evidence" so you would be happy to leave the building via a 20th floor window? Yeah right!
Evidence that being happy is a scientific term?

What international scientific measurement standard is being happy measured in?
What is the scientific theory of being happy?

Hi ynot.
You tricked your self into a trap. Religion, but not just religion, is about first person beliefs and feelings and emotions and religion can give no evidence for physical facts. It deals with the mental and not the physical.

On the other hand you can't used the natural/hard science methodology for giving evidence for being happy. So you shot yourself in the foot, because you gave an example of the limitation of science.

#1 Science is a limited methodology and only works on some aspects of the human condition.
#2 It can be observed that most humans use feelings and emotions when giving reasons for what matters. Just as you did, i.e. e.g. life, death and happiness.
#3 Feelings and emotions can be observed and explained using science, but feelings and emotions can't be done using science.

This is the sub-forum for religion and philosophy. If you want to explain the physics of jumping out of a 20th floor window, go to the correct sub-forum. If you want to debate how life matters, then you can in general term explain that using science in the descriptive sense, but you can't do normative claims using science.
That is religion and/or philosophy
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Old 4th January 2018, 05:32 AM   #324
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
There's reality as humans perceive it and there's reality as it really is. Perceived reality isn't necessarily actual reality. So what? Perceived reality is all we have and it's far better than fantasy reality
Actual reality is a fantasy reality, because it can't be perceived.
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Old 4th January 2018, 05:36 AM   #325
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
This is why I support philosophical naturalism, regardless of ontology: dancing energy, godthought, BIVs or butterfly dreams, the end result is the same.

All you have is the apparent reality
And all of the apparent reality is not physical and objective, some of it is mental and subjective.
Or all of the apparent reality is not science, because science is not everything. Just as religion, philosophy, psychology and gravity are not everything on their own in an individual sense.
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Old 4th January 2018, 05:45 AM   #326
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
A Boltzmann brain wasn't even very clever when it was thought up. There is no reason to think that a "disembodied" mind would somehow be "simpler" and therefore more "likely" than one arising from a physical process in humans, that's just an assumption.

It's the soul-seekers' equivalent of Anselm of Canterbury's ontological argument for god.
So you have evidence for that fact that I am religious, i.e. a soul-seeker. Or have you run into the induction problem of white and black swans, but you are unable to understand that I am a black swan?

I can use a Boltzmann brain argument without being religious, unless you can give evidence for the fact that I am indeed religious.
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Old 4th January 2018, 05:48 AM   #327
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Doesn't work on those humans, who can't feel pain in the skin. They do exist, so they are unconscious, right?!!
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Old 4th January 2018, 06:10 AM   #328
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Evidence that being happy is a scientific term?

...snip...

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychology and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychiatry for a good starting part in learning how science measures and evaluates and changes human behaviours.
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Old 4th January 2018, 06:12 AM   #329
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
So you have evidence for that fact that I am religious, i.e. a soul-seeker. ...snip....
I certainly didn't post that.
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Old 4th January 2018, 06:16 AM   #330
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I certainly didn't post that.
So a Boltzmann brain is not about religion. Okay.

Do you want to discuss/debate whether it can be know if a Boltzmann brain is possible?
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Old 4th January 2018, 06:31 AM   #331
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
(Can't resist) - Only given them a small prick during then?
That depends on who's asking...
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Old 4th January 2018, 06:32 AM   #332
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I agree it goes back long before humans of any description, for example I doubt anyone would say chimpanzees aren't conscious. I think humans hit on a particular way of modeling the world and the key part to that was our evolution of language and the narration that then allowed. As the late philosopher of note Pratchett put it we are*pan narrans, the story telling ape.

I agree. It's also quite possible that our memory, and hence our consciousness, is qualitatively different from animals', due to the involvement of language in the process.
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Old 4th January 2018, 06:36 AM   #333
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Here's an idea for a very simple experiment to disprove the idea that reality is just something that we create in our minds (or the idea that reality is significantly different from what we see and detect as the world around us) ... it's so simple that others have probably suggested something similar before, and maybe it does not hold-up anyway, but lets see -

- take a camera (an old film camera may be better, since it's not introducing any extra complexity from digital processing or computerised effects), and go to some clear high ground where we are looking down at a large historic building (it could be anything though, not just a detailed structure/building). First we draw a coloured sketch or painting of the building (assume you are an excellent artist, so your painting is of a high detailed standard) … and after you've finished your painting, you take a photograph of the building from the same observation point (so that your photo will show the same view as the one you just painted).

Now compare your painting with the photograph.

Are they in effect identical?

How can you explain that result if reality is not what you were seeing with your eyes?

Point being – the camera recorded the scene without any use of your eyes or your brain. The photo is independent of your senses. But the image in the photo is exactly the same as the one you produced in the painting where you were relying entirely on your senses and your brain.

How is it possible to produce exactly the same image, unless the scene you create using your eyes & brain is indeed precisely the same “reality” that was recorded independently by the camera?

Just off-hand, I don't see any credible explanation except to conclude that although the camera is acting independently of your brain and your senses, it is recording exactly the same view of reality.

Of course it's true that when you view the photo you are again using your eyes and brain (just as you did to create your painting), so philosophical solipsists might try to claim that the photo is not fully independent of your eyes and brain. But I don't think that can be a valid objection as if to suggest that every time you look at a photo your mind changes what is actually in the photo, to make it just like your painting (that would be a whole new level of different and even more fanciful un-evidenced solipsist-type claims).

Nonsense! Obviously the camera is looking into your mind when it creates an image. How else could it accurately identify, for instance, things that appear green, so as to represent them as parts of the photograph that also appear green, when the color green exists only in our minds and not in the real world? (Quantum mechanics says so!)

All that makes perfect sense when you understand that the camera also exists only in your mind. And your sketch. And the historic building. And this post.
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Old 4th January 2018, 06:48 AM   #334
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
All that makes perfect sense when you understand that the camera also exists only in your mind. And your sketch. And the historic building. And this post.
I've always thought that one of the best arguments against solipsism is that my memory isn't good enough to get all the details right.

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Old 4th January 2018, 07:12 AM   #335
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
So a Boltzmann brain is not about religion. Okay.

Do you want to discuss/debate whether it can be know if a Boltzmann brain is possible?
As I read it on Wikipedia (not the best source, but hey...) Boltzmann theorizes that disembodies self-aware brains that happen to pop into existence are more likely than evolved brains connected to sensory systems, because the former would require a smaller thermodynamic fluctuation.
Which doesn't make sense, because it does not mesh with what we observe about the world and how feedback systems emerge from organisation in living things, and because the thermodynamic cost of something in and of itself does not say much about the likeliness that that particular thing or process will come into existence.


Hell, setting myself on fire would create less entropy than a star burning out, therefore it's more likely that I was completely reconstituted from ashes than that the Sun exists... No.
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Old 4th January 2018, 08:13 AM   #336
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Can anyone tell me in what comment of this thread has been "consciousness" defined?

Thank you.
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Old 4th January 2018, 08:26 AM   #337
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
I've always thought that one of the best arguments against solipsism is that my memory isn't good enough to get all the details right.

Dave
I would argue that I'm not creative enough to make in my mind every pop song, painting, book and movie that I have ever seen or heard.
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Old 4th January 2018, 08:53 AM   #338
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
As I read it on Wikipedia (not the best source, but hey...) Boltzmann theorizes that disembodies self-aware brains that happen to pop into existence are more likely than evolved brains connected to sensory systems, because the former would require a smaller thermodynamic fluctuation.
Which doesn't make sense, because it does not mesh with what we observe about the world and how feedback systems emerge from organisation in living things, and because the thermodynamic cost of something in and of itself does not say much about the likeliness that that particular thing or process will come into existence.


Hell, setting myself on fire would create less entropy than a star burning out, therefore it's more likely that I was completely reconstituted from ashes than that the Sun exists... No.
The problem is that you can't determine the different probabilities between being in a "fair" reality and being a Boltzmann brain without running into Agrippa's trilemma. You are assuming that your experience can tell you something about the probability, i.e. your experiences are "fair", but then you are begging the question, because the question is: Are your experiences "fair" or that of a Boltzmann brain. And you can't start by assuming that reality is "fair", when you ask if reality is "fair"?
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:01 AM   #339
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychology and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychiatry for a good starting part in learning how science measures and evaluates and changes human behaviours.
Yes, in an indirect manner you have a point, but not in the sense that you can observe a happy life. Happy is first person experience. Further you can't answer ynot's example as to whether it would be wrong to jump off the 20th floor of building or leave the floor through the window.
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:05 AM   #340
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Yes, in an indirect manner you have a point, but not in the sense that you can observe a happy life.
Nor can I observe an electron directly, but there are well-known techniques to detect them and study their properties. The fact that I don't know what it's like to experience being an electron is of no particular importance, and neither is the fact that I can't experience living someone else's happy life. Both are nevertheless amenable to study.

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Old 4th January 2018, 09:07 AM   #341
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
The problem is that you can't determine the different probabilities between being in a "fair" reality and being a Boltzmann brain without running into Agrippa's trilemma. You are assuming that your experience can tell you something about the probability, i.e. your experiences are "fair", but then you are begging the question, because the question is: Are your experiences "fair" or that of a Boltzmann brain. And you can't start by assuming that reality is "fair", when you ask if reality is "fair"?
So it's solipsism approached from a different direction.

Yes, if we can't trust our senses, it is theoretically possible that only I/you/someone exist(s), that we are a brain in a vat, a thermodynamic anomaly, the dream of an extradimensional squid monster...

How does Boltzmann's thermodynamic approach offer us a new perspective?

And if we can't make any assumptions based on the feedback our minds receive from what appears to be the external world, then we have no reason to assume we even exist in the first place, and it all turns into infinitely regressing navelgazing.
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:12 AM   #342
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Nor can I observe an electron directly, but there are well-known techniques to detect them and study their properties. The fact that I don't know what it's like to experience being an electron is of no particular importance, and neither is the fact that I can't experience living someone else's happy life. Both are nevertheless amenable to study.

Dave
Yes, I didn't answer that in a correct manner, because you pointed out in an indirect manner, what I left out. An electron is objective, a happy life is subjective.

A scientist look at a human saying - I have a happy life - isn't looking at something which is objective and the scientist can't replicate that using science.
It gets worse with morality and ethics.
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:16 AM   #343
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
So it's solipsism approached from a different direction.

Yes, if we can't trust our senses, it is theoretically possible that only I/you/someone exist(s), that we are a brain in a vat, a thermodynamic anomaly, the dream of an extradimensional squid monster...

How does Boltzmann's thermodynamic approach offer us a new perspective?

And if we can't make any assumptions based on the feedback our minds receive from what appears to be the external world, then we have no reason to assume we even exist in the first place, and it all turns into infinitely regressing navelgazing.
Correct, Knowledge in the strong sense is not possible and is a fantasy/idea in philosophy.
You believe that reality is as it appears to you or you believe otherwise, but you can't give evidence for either of these cases.
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:18 AM   #344
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Yes, I didn't answer that in a correct manner, because you pointed out in an indirect manner, what I left out. An electron is objective, a happy life is subjective.
It's still possible in principle to measure happiness and to draw conclusions from variations in its level in specific demographics. It's not a particularly precise science, but your view of it as an imponderable that social scientists simply throw their hands up in despair at measuring is completely at odds with reality.

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Old 4th January 2018, 09:18 AM   #345
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
I've always thought that one of the best arguments against solipsism is that my memory isn't good enough to get all the details right.

Dave
Your conscious memory sure, however, what does your unconscious memory recall?
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:24 AM   #346
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
It's still possible in principle to measure happiness and to draw conclusions from variations in its level in specific demographics. It's not a particularly precise science, but your view of it as an imponderable that social scientists simply throw their hands up in despair at measuring is completely at odds with reality.

Dave
Yes, you can do that on a large scale because we humans to a varying degree share similarities, but the moment it turns into morality and ethics, it goes puff. Science hasn't solve the it-ought problem.

Answer me this using science: Is it wrong to kill another human? Notice I didn't say murder.
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:28 AM   #347
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Can anyone tell me in what comment of this thread has been "consciousness" defined?

Thank you.

I offered a definition in post 267. It is not a generally accepted one and for that or other reasons you might disagree with it, of course.

It's best read in the context of the whole post, but if you can't be bothered...
It's the inclusion of the self in the ongoing narrative constructed from sensory input and memory that causes, or constitutes, consciousness.
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:33 AM   #348
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
I offered a definition in post 267. It is not a generally accepted one and for that or other reasons you might disagree with it, of course.

It's best read in the context of the whole post, but if you can't be bothered...
It's the inclusion of the self in the ongoing narrative constructed from sensory input and memory that causes, or constitutes, consciousness.
Thank you.
Here we go
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:45 AM   #349
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
So a Boltzmann brain is not about religion. Okay.
Never said it was.
Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Do you want to discuss/debate whether it can be know if a Boltzmann brain is possible?
Unless you can show why its basic assumption is correct, no.
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:45 AM   #350
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
And that materialism is, indeed, a fad.
It is strange. A fad that last more than two thousand years!
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:48 AM   #351
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
The problem is that you can't determine the different probabilities between being in a "fair" reality and being a Boltzmann brain without running into Agrippa's trilemma. You are assuming that your experience can tell you something about the probability, i.e. your experiences are "fair", but then you are begging the question, because the question is: Are your experiences "fair" or that of a Boltzmann brain. And you can't start by assuming that reality is "fair", when you ask if reality is "fair"?
What do you mean by "fair" in the above, I'm assuming it is some non-standard usage?
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:50 AM   #352
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Answer me this using science: Is it wrong to kill another human? Notice I didn't say murder.
This has got rather a long way from your original request for evidence that happiness is a scientific term, which has now been provided to you. I note that you don't seem to think that this new information you requested should inform your conclusions in any way at all, on which I feel there is no need for comment.

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Old 4th January 2018, 09:54 AM   #353
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
What do you mean by "fair" in the above, I'm assuming it is some non-standard usage?
Quote:
Astronomer William Keel explains:

The cosmological principle is usually stated formally as 'Viewed on a sufficiently large scale, the properties of the universe are the same for all observers.' This amounts to the strongly philosophical statement that the part of the universe which we can see is a fair sample, and that the same physical laws apply throughout. In essence, this in a sense says that the universe is knowable and is playing fair with scientists.
William C. Keel (2007). The Road to Galaxy Formation (2nd ed.). Springer-Praxis. ISBN 978-3-540-72534-3.. p. 2.

I use fair in a similar, reality is "fair" and you are not a Boltzmann brain.
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:56 AM   #354
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
This has got rather a long way from your original request for evidence that happiness is a scientific term, which has now been provided to you. I note that you don't seem to think that this new information you requested should inform your conclusions in any way at all, on which I feel there is no need for comment.

Dave
So God is a scientific concept, because we can observe humans using the word "God"?

If happiness is scientific, explain how I replicate your experiment.
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:58 AM   #355
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Yes, in an indirect manner you have a point, but not in the sense that you can observe a happy life. Happy is first person experience.
Happy is not a first person experience - it is both a public and private behaviour. I can tell when another person is happy, they can tell when I am happy.

(Had to rewrite the following several times to try and get the tone right.)

If you think happiness is only a first person experience can I suggest you may have a consciousness that is different to the majority of other humans* as I'd say most of us have no problems in observing happiness in other people as well as in ourselves.

*I really don't mean this in a demeaning way, it's just that since last year when I realised I experience an "inner" world quite differently to the majority of people I'm much more aware that some miscommunications may come about because we do have very different "internal" experiences.

Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Further you can't answer ynot's example as to whether it would be wrong to jump off the 20th floor of building or leave the floor through the window.
The only reason that "science" can't answer such a question is that the question although looking simple e.g. "Is it wrong for him to exit via the window" in fact contains a myriad of accepted assumptions. If we unpack such questions to expose the assumptions they become answerable by "science" i.e. in an objective manner.
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:58 AM   #356
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Never said it was.


Unless you can show why its basic assumption is correct, no.
Can you show that the basic assumption that you can trust your senses is correct?

I am going for that neither assumption is correct. I am a skeptic.
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Old 4th January 2018, 10:01 AM   #357
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
...
The only reason that "science" can't answer such a question is that the question although looking simple e.g. "Is it wrong for him to exit via the window" in fact contains a myriad of accepted assumptions. If we unpack such questions to expose the assumptions they become answerable by "science" i.e. in an objective manner.
I hate when this happens. Because now we have to "nitpick" the word "objective. And no, you can't answer that in an objective manner without a first person subjective bias.
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Old 4th January 2018, 10:01 AM   #358
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
Can you show that the basic assumption that you can trust your senses is correct?

I am going for that neither assumption is correct. I am a skeptic.
You asked "Do you want to discuss/debate whether it can be know if a Boltzmann brain is possible?"

My answer remains no unless you can show its assumptions to be correct.
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Old 4th January 2018, 10:02 AM   #359
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
So God is a scientific concept, because we can observe humans using the word "God"?
No; that means it's a linguistic concept. Religiosity, however, is a scientific concept, because we can study its demographics using similar tools to those with which we can study happiness.

Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
If happiness is scientific, explain how I replicate your experiment.
Since I haven't actually proposed one, your question is meaningless.

What you're engaged in here is what, I think, Argumemnon likes to describe as a Denial Of Knowledge attack. Please feel free to carry on, but I'm bored with it now.

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Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
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Old 4th January 2018, 10:02 AM   #360
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
...snip...

Answer me this using science: Is it wrong to kill another human? Notice I didn't say murder.
Provide the definition you are using for wrong and it might be possible.
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