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Tags !MOD BOX WARNING! , consciousness

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Old 3rd January 2018, 03:02 PM   #281
Tommy Jeppesen
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Originally Posted by surreptitious57 View Post
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
No, because while religious beliefs and scientific beliefs are the same as beliefs, they are different as how they rate evidence and so. If that matters to you, it also matters to you that there is no Objective Authoritative Evidence.
There is no Evidence for the fact, the reality is "fair". The moment you claim that, you have given the religious people as "get out of jail card", because you claim evidence where there is none.
The price the believers in "I have no beliefs" pay is that it is transparent that they have beliefs and they don't understand how knowledge and evidence work.
There is a reason for the saying that "the model/map is not landscape".
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Old 3rd January 2018, 03:32 PM   #282
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
No, because while religious beliefs and scientific beliefs are the same as beliefs, they are different as how they rate evidence and so. If that matters to you, it also matters to you that there is no Objective Authoritative Evidence.
There is no Evidence for the fact, the reality is "fair". The moment you claim that, you have given the religious people as "get out of jail card", because you claim evidence where there is none.
The price the believers in "I have no beliefs" pay is that it is transparent that they have beliefs and they don't understand how knowledge and evidence work.
There is a reason for the saying that "the model/map is not landscape".
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!
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Old 3rd January 2018, 03:38 PM   #283
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Or you can keep spinning your wheels and hoping that the answer is coming someday...
Skipped some of the thread, but I think your basic premise is wrong. Science HAS explained consciousness: It is a property of a functioning brain. Please state any properties of "consciousness" that could not be a property of a brain.

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Old 3rd January 2018, 03:44 PM   #284
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Normal/rational beliefs – Beliefs that could possibly be true according to current knowledge.
Example – “I have a black and white dog I call Spot”. Could be a lie but could also be true. Rational to believe it.

Paranormal/irrational beliefs – Beliefs that could NOT possibly be true according to current knowledge.
Example – “I have purple, flying, fire-breathing dragon I call Spit”. Can’t possibly be true according to current knowledge, essentially a certain lie or delusion. Irrational to believe it.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 03:47 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by surreptitious57 View Post
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
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
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Old 3rd January 2018, 03:53 PM   #286
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Skipped some of the thread, but I think your basic premise is wrong. Science HAS explained consciousness: It is a property of a functioning brain.
That explanation seems to lack any explaining.
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Please state any properties of "consciousness" that could not be a property of a brain.
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.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 03:55 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by surreptitious57 View Post
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
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
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:03 PM   #288
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Good posts myriad and Ians,

One thing to consider is that the experience of "I" could have come about as a byproduct of an organism modeling the world. Your jelly fish only has to model a world with three bits of information, too cold, too hot, just right, it doesn't need to model a world any more detailed than that to survive. But as part of the ever ongoing "fight" to survive some creatures created better models of their world or rather creatures with better models survived more than those with less accurate models.

This seems to be supported by the folklore concept of conciousnes we tend to use, so we assume creatures with more "complex" behaviours* have more consciousness than others. So we consider a dog to be conscious but not a jellyfish. (*we tend to assume creatures that act like us think like us)

So did we gain an "I" experience because we started to model the world with other proto humans in it and to do so we had to model the other human's behaviour? Our experience of "I" is created because we need to be able to predict what "they" will do, after all don't we often think "now if I was in their shoes what would I do?"
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:05 PM   #289
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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 are you suggesting? That man creates a functioning brain?

Don't you get it? We have billions of humans with brains and almost all of them demonstrate consciousness to one degree or another. Animals display traits of consciousness as well. And we don't know of anything that doesn't have a brain that demonstrates those traits. That provides the repeatability that confims the premise. ** AI seems to be approaching this possibility as well.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:05 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by surreptitious57 View Post
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
Actually we do in a way interact at the quantum scale as well as the macro scale in some things. For example a nerve impulse can be started by a single photon hitting a cell in the retina.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:06 PM   #291
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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.
Well, the problem here is that "consciousness" is poorly and inconsistently defined. For non-materialists, the definition seems to be "whatever science cannot explain", and for materialists, it is simply "how a sufficiently complex brain functions".

One of traditional check-points is "self awareness", but ... how is that defined? There is the mirror test, but obviously that quite illogically excludes not only blind individuals, but also individuals with no experience with mirrors, not to mention individuals to whom visual appearance has no importance.

And, you could easily program a computer to recognize its own mirror image.

So, IMHO, the real problem is defining consciousness. But that is not really science's problem.

Hans
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:13 PM   #292
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
What are you suggesting? That man creates a functioning brain?
I addressed that. An explanation should allow us to do that in principle if not in practice. (ETA: The Sun for example. We have sufficient understanding that we could create a Sun in principle even though not in practice)

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Don't you get it? We have billions of humans with brains and almost all of them demonstrate consciousness to one degree or another. Animals display traits of consciousness as well. And we don't know of anything that doesn't have a brain that demonstrates those traits. That provides the repeatability that confims the premise. ** AI seems to be approaching this possibility as well.
I have no idea why you are pointing this out to me.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:23 PM   #293
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Well, the problem here is that "consciousness" is poorly and inconsistently defined.
I don't see any need to get hung up on definitions. I'd accept the Turing test, which is pretty much all we've ever had for evaluating whether our fellow humans are conscious.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:28 PM   #294
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
I don't see any need to get hung up on definitions. I'd accept the Turing test, which is pretty much all we've ever had for evaluating whether our fellow humans are conscious.
Another definition. If you have debated on the internet for some time, you will have encountered humans that could NOT pass the Turing test. And a computer emulating them would consequently pass it.

You might say that humans not passing the Turing test are not conscious, but with what merit?

Hans
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:31 PM   #295
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
I don't see any need to get hung up on definitions. I'd accept the Turing test, which is pretty much all we've ever had for evaluating whether our fellow humans are conscious.
Too funny, and stupid.

Before having sex with your partner do you subject them to a Turing test to make sure they're conscious? After all, you wouldn't want to rape an unconscious person would you?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:36 PM   #296
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
I addressed that. An explanation should allow us to do that in principle if not in practice. (ETA: The Sun for example. We have sufficient understanding that we could create a Sun in principle even though not in practice)


I have no idea why you are pointing this out to me.
Perhaps I misunderstood your post. It seemed to that you may have been suggesting because man could not himself create a functioning brain that demonstrated traits of consciousness, that naturalism/materialism was false. Mea culpa if I was wrong.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:36 PM   #297
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Another definition. If you have debated on the internet for some time, you will have encountered humans that could NOT pass the Turing test. And a computer emulating them would consequently pass it.

You might say that humans not passing the Turing test are not conscious, but with what merit?

Hans
And computers passing proves they are conscious.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 05:09 PM   #298
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
And computers passing proves they are conscious.
Which leads me to the following question. Will computers develop their own religions?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 05:22 PM   #299
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Which leads me to the following question. Will computers develop their own religions?
Only if we program heaps of emotion code in them.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 05:50 PM   #300
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Only if we program heaps of emotion code in them.
It is my understanding that computers are now capable of writing code.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 05:57 PM   #301
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
It is my understanding that computers are now capable of writing code.
Ah, but is code capable of writing computers?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 06:03 PM   #302
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
It is my understanding that computers are now capable of writing code.
Oh no! . . . Not the god code.

Well perhaps computers of competing religions will destroy each other and surviving humans will get the world back. (almost a good synopsis for a book)
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Old 3rd January 2018, 06:05 PM   #303
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Ah, but is code capable of writing computers?
I'm not really sure what you mean. Maybe a joke I'm missing? There is a lot going on in AI and robotics these days that borders on what was once science fiction. The religion question is a bit of a joke...for the moment. But it seems clear to me that robots/computers will become self aware. And how does that effect this conversation?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 06:45 PM   #304
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I'm not really sure what you mean. Maybe a joke I'm missing?
Yes, just an absurd comment for an absurd thread. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 07:00 PM   #305
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Yes, just an absurd comment for an absurd thread. Sorry for the confusion.
NP. I agree it is an absurd thread.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 07:42 PM   #306
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Machines will eventually replace humans at the top of the food chain. The ones of the future will have superior processing capability but unlike
the ones now they will be completely independent and self operating. Once they learn how to replicate themselves they will no longer need us
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Old 3rd January 2018, 07:44 PM   #307
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Originally Posted by surreptitious57 View Post
Machines will eventually replace humans at the top of the food chain.
Only if we're dumb enough to give them emotions.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 07:57 PM   #308
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
So did we gain an "I" experience because we started to model the world with other proto humans in it and to do so we had to model the other human's behaviour? Our experience of "I" is created because we need to be able to predict what "they" will do, after all don't we often think "now if I was in their shoes what would I do?"

That's an interesting thought, and that was a factor in driving the evolution of more complex modeling in photo-humans. But more basically, we had to model the world with ourselves in it. Sometimes the answer to a question about the state of the world such as "what is that rabbit running away from?" is something like "me, because I'm trying to kill it!" and a world model that can address that is clearly more useful.

I think consciousness goes back farther than photo-humans. It is also, most likely, a quality of a variable degree rather than an all-or-nothing "you have it or you don't" characteristic.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 08:59 PM   #309
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Another definition. If you have debated on the internet for some time, you will have encountered humans that could NOT pass the Turing test. And a computer emulating them would consequently pass it.

You might say that humans not passing the Turing test are not conscious, but with what merit?

Hans
Can you suggest something better?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:01 PM   #310
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Too funny, and stupid.

Before having sex with your partner do you subject them to a Turing test to make sure they're conscious? After all, you wouldn't want to rape an unconscious person would you?
Yes, I do talk to the people I have sex with. You think it's stupid to have sex with people you haven't talked to? I'll keep that in mind.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:03 PM   #311
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Perhaps I misunderstood your post. It seemed to that you may have been suggesting because man could not himself create a functioning brain that demonstrated traits of consciousness, that naturalism/materialism was false. Mea culpa if I was wrong.
Thanks. I think you misunderstood, but I'll read back to clarify later.

Materialism seems to be the only game in town.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:03 PM   #312
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Can you suggest something better?
Prick people with a pin and see if they have a conscious response?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:05 PM   #313
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Prick people with a pin and see if they have a conscious response?
Thanks. You can't suggest something better.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:17 PM   #314
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Yes, I do talk to the people I have sex with. You think it's stupid to have sex with people you haven't talked to? I'll keep that in mind.
What has a Turing test to establish consciousness before having sex got to do with talking to people before having sex?

You said . . .
Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
I'd accept the Turing test, which is pretty much all we've ever had for evaluating whether our fellow humans are conscious.
I replied . . .
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Before having sex with your partner do you subject them to a Turing test to make sure they're conscious?
Nothing there about talking to people to establish if they're conscious before having sex. Although that method is as good as the pinprick method. Both far more reliable methods than a Turing test.

ETA - I think it's at least advisable to talk to people before having sex with them (assuming they aren't stone deaf). But that has nothing to do with your post that I replied to.
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Rumours of a godís existence have been greatly exaggerated.

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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:22 PM   #315
ynot
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Thanks. You can't suggest something better.
Can and did - https://medical-dictionary.thefreedi.../pinprick+test
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:38 PM   #316
The Norseman
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Interesting. I've never given any of my partners a small prick before. Oh, well. Too late to start now, I'm thinking.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 10:26 PM   #317
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
So there are only two other competing models of reality if materialism fails: dualism and theism. Theism gets a huge boost if you knock out materialism.
No competing model of reality rigorously accounts for consciousness.

You might as well be trying to separate eggs by the color of their hair.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 11:06 PM   #318
ynot
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Interesting. I've never given any of my partners a small prick before.
(Can't resist) - Only given them a small prick during then?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 11:08 PM   #319
Darat
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
That's an interesting thought, and that was a factor in driving the evolution of more complex modeling in photo-humans. But more basically, we had to model the world with ourselves in it. Sometimes the answer to a question about the state of the world such as "what is that rabbit running away from?" is something like "me, because I'm trying to kill it!" and a world model that can address that is clearly more useful.

I think consciousness goes back farther than photo-humans. It is also, most likely, a quality of a variable degree rather than an all-or-nothing "you have it or you don't" characteristic.
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.
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Old 4th January 2018, 03:37 AM   #320
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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).

Last edited by IanS; 4th January 2018 at 03:39 AM.
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