ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 11th October 2019, 03:53 PM   #81
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 39,522
Really, "cogito ergo sum" perfectly encapsulates and resolves the entire question. It's kind of depressing that people still have to waffle about it.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th October 2019, 04:02 PM   #82
phiwum
Penultimate Amazing
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,333
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Really, "cogito ergo sum" perfectly encapsulates and resolves the entire question. It's kind of depressing that people still have to waffle about it.
Yes, that's totally sufficient, if your only question is whether or not you exist.[1]

But if you're interested in other stuff, then you might need more substantial arguments.

[1] Strictly speaking, not even sufficient for this question, as Hume pointed out. But bringing Hume in here would probably be a bit indulgent.

Last edited by phiwum; 11th October 2019 at 04:03 PM.
phiwum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th October 2019, 05:06 PM   #83
caveman1917
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 6,848
Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Occam's Razor is involved. Materialism posits, well, material, and rules that the material follows. Simulation(ism?) requires material as well (that is, the stuff represented within the simulation as material, with which we interact) and rules (usually seen as the "programming" of the simulator), and in addition it also requires a simulator.

Solipsism at first glance appears to avoid the razor, because it only requires the solipsist and the constructs within the solipsists mind that the solipsist experiences and interacts with as material. But there's another hypothesized yet un-experienced entity snuck in: the capability to create all those constructs. Including, for example, the ability to compose every piece of music the solipsist ever hears, and to spontaneously and unconsciously create the entire body of Russian literature if and when the solipsist learns to read Russian. That necessary unconscious creator-mind-self is as significant and unexplained an entity as the simulationist's simulator.
No that doesn't work either. If a solipsist must posit a creator-mind-self and a simulationist must posit a simulation-creator then a materialist must equally posit a material-creation-thing (the big bang in modern physics).
__________________
"Ideas are also weapons." - Subcomandante Marcos
"We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live." - Lucy Parsons
"Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!" - Mikhail Bakunin
caveman1917 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th October 2019, 05:18 PM   #84
Roger Ramjets
Illuminator
 
Roger Ramjets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,256
Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Stuff; as we know is made of atoms,
No, we don't. We just call the instantiation of certain wave functions 'atoms' because it is convenient for us to think of them as separate objects.

Quote:
and atoms can be totally converted back into energy. Therefore everything is energy.
No. 'Energy' is just another category we invented to describe a feature of reality, like 'ice' and 'steam' for water.

Quote:
Not the solid substances our senses perceive.
Wrong. It is the solid substances we perceive.

Quote:
Quantum theory cannot be explained physicists and mathematicians from Niels Bohr to Roger Penrose have admitted that it doesn't make sense.
Correct. But that doesn't mean it's not real, just that our minds are too puny to make sense of it.

Quote:
"Modern physics has confirmed most dramatically that all the concepts we use to describe nature are limited, that they are not features of reality, as we tend to believe, but creations of the mind."
Fritjof Capra
All true, but still doesn't mean reality doesn't exist. It just means our conception of it is limited.

Quote:
In the light of these great minds admitting they cannot define reality why should we not consider metaphysics as possible sources of truths not understood by science?
Because real truth comes only from what is real. Metaphysics deals with abstract concepts that are creations of the mind, not observable reality. We can easily dream up a system where 2+2=5, but in reality it's not true.
__________________
We don't want good, sound arguments. We want arguments that sound good.
Roger Ramjets is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 12:17 AM   #85
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 88,396
Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Then you haven't understood my post about the difference between scientific knowledge (patterns in the data, or "reality follows rules") and an arbitrary ontological choice of the ultimate basis of the data (materialism, solipsism, simulation, ...). All of these ontological choices claim that reality follows rules, where they differ is in their claim of what this reality consists of (objectively existing physical/material entities for materialism, or my imagination for solipsism, or a computer simulation for simulation, ...).



It really just looks like confirmation bias to me. Either there are no consequences to solipsism and hence materialism is to be considered just as much an uninteresting dead-end as solipsism, or there is a basis for preferring materialism over solipsism and hence there are consequences to choosing one over another.
Solipsism doesn't claim that reality follows rules.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 12:25 AM   #86
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 88,396
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Really, "cogito ergo sum" perfectly encapsulates and resolves the entire question. It's kind of depressing that people still have to waffle about it.
You could be a construct of the solpolist and still think that. It doesn't provide any kind of proof that you are anything more than an imagining of the solpolist.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 12:30 AM   #87
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 88,396
Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
No that doesn't work either. If a solipsist must posit a creator-mind-self and a simulationist must posit a simulation-creator then a materialist must equally posit a material-creation-thing (the big bang in modern physics).
No that's not a correct summary.

Solpolist = the solpolist and all the stuff they interact with
Simulation = the simulation and the stuff on which the simulation runs
Stuffist = stuff

Stuffism requires one less thingy.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 01:14 AM   #88
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 22,377
Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Then you haven't understood my post about the difference between scientific knowledge (patterns in the data, or "reality follows rules") and an arbitrary ontological choice of the ultimate basis of the data (materialism, solipsism, simulation, ...). All of these ontological choices claim that reality follows rules, where they differ is in their claim of what this reality consists of (objectively existing physical/material entities for materialism, or my imagination for solipsism, or a computer simulation for simulation, ...).

It really just looks like confirmation bias to me. Either there are no consequences to solipsism and hence materialism is to be considered just as much an uninteresting dead-end as solipsism, or there is a basis for preferring materialism over solipsism and hence there are consequences to choosing one over another.
Materialism has consequences. You need to treat the world as if it exists, otherwise you get hurt.

Solipsism has no consequences. You still need to treat the world as if it exists, and you have just added an unfalsifiable layer.

Materialism is the parsimonious solution.

Hans
__________________
Experience is an excellent teacher, but she sends large bills.
MRC_Hans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 01:17 AM   #89
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 22,377
Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Not at all. Here, have an analogy:

You and some other people express a belief in (the Christian) God. Some others in Allah, and some others in Yahweh.

Me: "There is no scientific reason for preferring a belief in any of these deities over any other, belief or non-belief in any of them is irrelevant."

Phiwum & Hans: "Yes, that's why belief in Allah or Yahweh is considered an uninteresting dead-end."

Me: "That applies just as well to belief in God, that you only use that argument against belief in Allah and Yahweh looks simply like confirmation bias."

You: "You're just demanding that we take science down a peg."

Just because you live in a Christian society where believe in God is considered the default doesn't mean that this default has any more basis in science than belief in any other deity. Now change God to materialism, Allah to solipsism and Yahweh to simulation.
Show me where I said that.

Actual religions, while possibly based on fiction, have an impact on your life. They have social, moral, and even economical consequences. They may be a dead end, but they are certainly not uninteresting.

Hans
__________________
Experience is an excellent teacher, but she sends large bills.
MRC_Hans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 01:26 AM   #90
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 22,377
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
The claim that there are rules governing the behavior of the stuff we see/hear/etc., seems unfalsifiable to me.
Really? There are no physical laws?

Quote:
Suppose the coffee cup in front of me suddenly sprouts daffodils as the voices of angelic beings come from the vent above the stove top. That sort of event seems incompatible with the various laws of physics, etc., of the day.
Depends on what you are smoking.

Quote:
Of course, it could be that (1) the situation in which this occurred was very, very different than I thought and in fact such an event was consistent with such laws or (2) some of the currently accepted laws are not quite right and require amendment.
Materialism assumes the world follows rules. It does not assume we know all the rules.

Quote:
I cannot imagine a situation in which I would be compelled to admit that an event was incompatible with any possible set of laws.
"Unfalsifiable" does, obviously, not mean that falsification attempts have failed. Materialism is falsifiable because it would be false if we found something that didn't follow rules.

Solipsism is unfalsifiable, because it acts like materialism, and just posits an extra level (a somehow immaterial entity that imagines reality).

Hans
__________________
Experience is an excellent teacher, but she sends large bills.
MRC_Hans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 01:30 AM   #91
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 22,377
Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Materialism = "reality consists of objective material/physical entities."
= A complete explanation

Quote:
Solipsism = "reality consists of my imagination."
= Raises the question: What does your imagination consist of?

Quote:
Simulation = "reality consists of a computer simulation."
= Raises the question: What does the computer consist of?

The two last ones posit an entire extra reality to contain the one we perceive.

Hans
__________________
Experience is an excellent teacher, but she sends large bills.
MRC_Hans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 01:33 AM   #92
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 22,377
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Solipsism doesn't claim that reality follows rules.
No, not explicitly, but the reality that the solipsist imagines does follow rules.

Hans
__________________
Experience is an excellent teacher, but she sends large bills.
MRC_Hans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 01:35 AM   #93
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 22,377
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Really, "cogito ergo sum" perfectly encapsulates and resolves the entire question. It's kind of depressing that people still have to waffle about it.
I think one could apply that to solipsism as well.

Hans
__________________
Experience is an excellent teacher, but she sends large bills.
MRC_Hans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 04:44 AM   #94
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,779
Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Same question to you, why aren't you including materialism/physicalism there? My post pointed out that it makes no difference whether you pick either materialism, solipsism, or simulation yet you and phiwum seem to only use that as an argument against solipsism and simulation and not against materialism. Sounds like confirmation bias to me, assuming you both hold to materialism.
Are they even alternatives?

Quoth Wiki, "Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental states and consciousness, are results of material interactions. According to philosophical materialism, mind and consciousness are by-products or epiphenomena of material processes (e.g. the biochemistry of the human brain and nervous system) without which they cannot exist."

You'll notice that nowhere does it require matter to be non-simulated or not be energy (like misguded people like the OP harp on) or anything. If those material processes are simulated by a computer, or by a dreaming cosmic Boltzmann brain, or by a God, or anything else, the exact same applies. As long as what is simulated are the individual particles and their interactions, and the mental states arise from there, materialism holds just fine.

Hell, it wouldn't even make a difference for dualism, which is what is usually the payload for the recurring "but what if reality isn't really really real" nonsense thread. Dualism just requires that thought is somehow independent of matter and happens regardless of what matter does. But even that doesn't require it to be or not be a simulation. If it's a simulation, it just means that it's simulated separately, whereas if not, it just happens separately. Since "simulation" means "simulating what happens", you'll notice that it still makes zero difference. The claim is still just "it happens separately" in both cases.

So basically the whole "but what if reality isn't really really real" nonsense is fully a red herring. It's fully orthogonal to materialism and generally monism, it's fully orthogonal to dualism, and generally makes no difference whatsoever.

So basically insisting that someone proves that it's materialism and not a simulation, is just as nonsensical as insisting that someone who claims they have a cat prove that it's a cat and not an orange tabby.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 05:32 AM   #95
Myriad
Hyperthetical
 
Myriad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Betwixt
Posts: 15,627
Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
No that doesn't work either. If a solipsist must posit a creator-mind-self and a simulationist must posit a simulation-creator then a materialist must equally posit a material-creation-thing (the big bang in modern physics).

If one cares about an origin narrative, then all three views need one equally. (Straight materialism: an origin of matter; a big bang or other cosmogenesis. Solipsism: an origin for the solipsist. Simulation: an origin for the simulator.) It doesn't change the balance sheet.
__________________
A zÝmbie once bit my sister...
Myriad is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 05:45 AM   #96
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,009
Well one explanation is that there was this infinite amount of randomly behaving stuff and within it some particles popped into existence, underwent certain physical processes to become more and more complex, formed into stars, planets etc and on one of those planets a certain complex molecule began to be imperfectly replicated and this process continued until the molecule became more complex and eventually evolved into a proto-cell which evolved into a more complex cell which became the basis for another stage of evolution of multi-cellular organisms which became more and more complex eventually developing brains which became more and more sophisticated until there evolved the kind of brain that is thinking this thought that I am thinking now and having these experiences.

But then you could go from the infinite amount of randomly behaving stuff out of which pops a brain sufficient to think these thoughts and have these experiences and pop back out of existence again.

Surely the latter is the more parsimonious?
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 05:57 AM   #97
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,009
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Well one explanation is that there was this infinite amount of randomly behaving stuff and within it some particles popped into existence, underwent certain physical processes to become more and more complex, formed into stars, planets etc and on one of those planets a certain complex molecule began to be imperfectly replicated and this process continued until the molecule became more complex and eventually evolved into a proto-cell which evolved into a more complex cell which became the basis for another stage of evolution of multi-cellular organisms which became more and more complex eventually developing brains which became more and more sophisticated until there evolved the kind of brain that is thinking this thought that I am thinking now and having these experiences.

But then you could go from the infinite amount of randomly behaving stuff out of which pops a brain sufficient to think these thoughts and have these experiences and pop back out of existence again.

Surely the latter is the more parsimonious?
If an infinite amount of randomly behaving stuff would be capable of explaining something just complex enough to have these thoughts and have this experience then what need do I have of the hypothesis of all those steps in-between?
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 06:09 AM   #98
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 22,377
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
If an infinite amount of randomly behaving stuff would be capable of explaining something just complex enough to have these thoughts and have this experience then what need do I have of the hypothesis of all those steps in-between?
Which infinite amount of randomly behaving stuff? We don't (and perhaps cannot) know exactly what happened at the BB, but there is no reason to assume that whatever stuff was there did not follow some set of rules.

Hans
__________________
Experience is an excellent teacher, but she sends large bills.
MRC_Hans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 06:22 AM   #99
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,009
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Which infinite amount of randomly behaving stuff? We don't (and perhaps cannot) know exactly what happened at the BB, but there is no reason to assume that whatever stuff was there did not follow some set of rules.

Hans
Randomly behaving stuff is also following a set of rules.

There are various versions of this idea, I would point you to Lawrence Krauss and the final chapter of his book "A Universe from Nothing", in which he asks where the laws of physics comes from and suggests that they come from just such an environment in which "everything that can happen does happen".

I would give you the exact quote but I seem to have lost the reader off my phone.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 06:40 AM   #100
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 22,377
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Randomly behaving stuff is also following a set of rules.

There are various versions of this idea, I would point you to Lawrence Krauss and the final chapter of his book "A Universe from Nothing", in which he asks where the laws of physics comes from and suggests that they come from just such an environment in which "everything that can happen does happen".

I would give you the exact quote but I seem to have lost the reader off my phone.
The highlighted part implies that rules exist. Rules, in this case the laws of physics, may simply be a property of matter, or more precisely of the universe.

Hans
__________________
Experience is an excellent teacher, but she sends large bills.
MRC_Hans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 06:52 AM   #101
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,009
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
The highlighted part implies that rules exist. Rules, in this case the laws of physics, may simply be a property of matter, or more precisely of the universe.

Hans
Perhaps you missed the part in my post where I said that rules and randomness were not a dichotomy.

The idea is that this universe, as a one-off, is fantastically improbable, but given an environment in which every kind of thing can happen at least once, it is not improbable at all.

So do these rules rule out a brain popping into existence and thinking and experiencing some stuff and popping back out of existence?

As far as I know, no-one has suggested that they do.

In fact a brain capable of computing the experience you are having now might be considerably less complex than the early Universe.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 07:06 AM   #102
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,009
Why would "some set of rules which can produce a universe" be any less plausible than "some set of rules that can produce a single mind"?

Or "some set of rules which can produce an array of universes" be any less plausible than " a set of rules that can produce any kind of combination of those rules"?
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 07:14 AM   #103
caveman1917
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 6,848
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Solipsism doesn't claim that reality follows rules.
Neither does materialism really. Scientific knowledge (the rules that reality follows) is independent of ontologies (what said reality consists of, materialism, solipsism, simulationism, ...). The former does not entail a preference over any particular latter, and that's my point here, that people who claim that their pet ontology (usually materialists do this) is "based on science" don't understand this distinction.

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
No that's not a correct summary.

Solpolist = the solpolist and all the stuff they interact with
Simulation = the simulation and the stuff on which the simulation runs
Stuffist = stuff

Stuffism requires one less thingy.
Solipsist = the solipsist
Simulationist = the stuff on which the simulation runs
Stuffism = stuff

All require the same number of independent premises, namely one.
__________________
"Ideas are also weapons." - Subcomandante Marcos
"We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live." - Lucy Parsons
"Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!" - Mikhail Bakunin
caveman1917 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 07:18 AM   #104
caveman1917
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 6,848
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Materialism has consequences. You need to treat the world as if it exists, otherwise you get hurt.

Solipsism has no consequences. You still need to treat the world as if it exists, and you have just added an unfalsifiable layer.

Materialism is the parsimonious solution.

Hans
A solipsist who runs into a wall is still going to feel hurt, even if he holds that the wall is just a figment of his imagination.

Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Show me where I said that.

Actual religions, while possibly based on fiction, have an impact on your life. They have social, moral, and even economical consequences. They may be a dead end, but they are certainly not uninteresting.

Hans
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Solipsism, simulation. Can't be disproved, because they are un-falsifiable claims. They are, as such, uninteresting, because they don't change the attitude we need to have towards reality.

Hans
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
= A complete explanation



= Raises the question: What does your imagination consist of?



= Raises the question: What does the computer consist of?

The two last ones posit an entire extra reality to contain the one we perceive.

Hans
See my answer to Darat, all of these posit the existence of a single reality, they merely disagree as to what that reality is - either a solipsist mind for solipsism, or a computer running a simulation for simulationism, or a material reality for materialism. None of them are preferred by Occam's razor.
__________________
"Ideas are also weapons." - Subcomandante Marcos
"We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live." - Lucy Parsons
"Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!" - Mikhail Bakunin
caveman1917 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 07:21 AM   #105
caveman1917
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 6,848
Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
If one cares about an origin narrative, then all three views need one equally. (Straight materialism: an origin of matter; a big bang or other cosmogenesis. Solipsism: an origin for the solipsist. Simulation: an origin for the simulator.) It doesn't change the balance sheet.
Yes exactly.
__________________
"Ideas are also weapons." - Subcomandante Marcos
"We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live." - Lucy Parsons
"Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!" - Mikhail Bakunin
caveman1917 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 07:34 AM   #106
Myriad
Hyperthetical
 
Myriad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Betwixt
Posts: 15,627
Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Yes exactly.

Which leaves the imbalance I originally pointed out. All three posit stuff, rules, and an origin. In addition, the solipsist needs additional hidden dimensions of mind to execute and enforce the rules; and the simulator hypothesis needs a simulator.
__________________
A zÝmbie once bit my sister...
Myriad is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 07:45 AM   #107
phiwum
Penultimate Amazing
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,333
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Really? There are no physical laws?
You do know that "P is unfalsifiable" does not entail "P is false", right?

My claim is not that there are no laws. It's quite useful to suppose so and proceed accordingly (the problem of induction aside, which we needn't discuss here).

Quote:
Depends on what you are smoking.



Materialism assumes the world follows rules. It does not assume we know all the rules.



"Unfalsifiable" does, obviously, not mean that falsification attempts have failed. Materialism is falsifiable because it would be false if we found something that didn't follow rules.

Solipsism is unfalsifiable, because it acts like materialism, and just posits an extra level (a somehow immaterial entity that imagines reality).

Hans
First, solipsism is agnostic as to whether there are rules or not. That everything in the world consists of the images which are before me and whatever other mental stuff there is does not say there are no laws. It may be that the images I encounter have a certain regularity.

Second, there is no conceivable occurrence that is incompatible with the presumption that everything acts according to laws. It may depend on what counts as laws, but seeing the daffodils sprout from my coffee cup is consistent with the law "everything acts according to the laws of physics, except for the daffodils which appear on Friday, Oct 11 at whatever damned time I posted."

And our current notion of laws is broad enough to include irreducibly probabilistic laws, so I'll bet that they can be stretched with a little amendment for the daffodils. The result would be ad hoc, but again, what counts as a law?

I don't see that the assumption that the world is uniform is falsifiable in any clear way. I doubt that any useful definition of law would exclude a set of laws that are compatible with any event at all.

That's why I say the assumption is not decideable. It is useful, because it has given us a method for making practical decisions (again, problem of induction aside in this judgment), but that's all. It is not something that could be proved false. It is not a discovery of science but a precondition of the method.
phiwum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 07:47 AM   #108
caveman1917
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 6,848
Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Which leaves the imbalance I originally pointed out. All three posit stuff, rules, and an origin. In addition, the solipsist needs additional hidden dimensions of mind to execute and enforce the rules; and the simulator hypothesis needs a simulator.
There is no imbalance. The solipsist doesn't posit independent stuff, what you are thinking of is dualism which posits both independent stuff and an independent mind. A solipsist only posits a mind. Similarly for the simulationist.
__________________
"Ideas are also weapons." - Subcomandante Marcos
"We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live." - Lucy Parsons
"Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!" - Mikhail Bakunin
caveman1917 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 08:02 AM   #109
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,009
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post


Second, there is no conceivable occurrence that is incompatible with the presumption that everything acts according to laws. It may depend on what counts as laws, but seeing the daffodils sprout from my coffee cup is consistent with the law "everything acts according to the laws of physics, except for the daffodils which appear on Friday, Oct 11 at whatever damned time I posted."


Paging Professor Wittgenstein ...
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 08:11 AM   #110
phiwum
Penultimate Amazing
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,333
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Paging Professor Wittgenstein ...
I have only a passing familiarity with Wittgenstein and don't see the similarity. But that's probably due to ignorance.

My post is close to but not the same as Goodman's discussion of grue.

Last edited by phiwum; 12th October 2019 at 08:13 AM.
phiwum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 08:15 AM   #111
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,009
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I have only a passing familiarity with Wittgenstein and don't see the similarity. But that's probably due to ignorance.

My post is close to but not the same as Goodman's discussion of grue.
Wittgenstein's Rule Following Paradox - anything at all can be made to accord to any number of rules.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 12:04 PM   #112
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 22,377
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
You do know that "P is unfalsifiable" does not entail "P is false", right?
Yes. But it does mean that it is moot to discuss P in any logical way.

Quote:
First, solipsism is agnostic as to whether there are rules or not. That everything in the world consists of the images which are before me and whatever other mental stuff there is does not say there are no laws. It may be that the images I encounter have a certain regularity.
Mmm, I disagree. Solipsism posits that the world is someone's fantasy. Fantasies are notoriously not amendable to laws.

Quote:
Second, there is no conceivable occurrence that is incompatible with the presumption that everything acts according to laws. It may depend on what counts as laws, but seeing the daffodils sprout from my coffee cup is consistent with the law "everything acts according to the laws of physics, except for the daffodils which appear on Friday, Oct 11 at whatever damned time I posted."
No, laws, as in physical laws are invariable and and can't be violated. What counts as laws are what we find (perhaps incompletely) is not violated.

Physical laws are not simply expressing whatever perception you or I might have. Instead, they are established through evidence.

Quote:
And our current notion of laws is broad enough to include irreducibly probabilistic laws, so I'll bet that they can be stretched with a little amendment for the daffodils. The result would be ad hoc, but again, what counts as a law?
No, your testimony of daffodils suddenly emerging from your cup cannot qualify as a physical law, unless reproducible evidence is produced.

In fact, I suspect you are being a bit dishonest, because is think you know how rigorous demands are to be met to have anything accepted as a physical law.

Quote:
I don't see that the assumption that the world is uniform is falsifiable in any clear way. I doubt that any useful definition of law would exclude a set of laws that are compatible with any event at all.
If this is true, you must be thoroughly unfamiliar with the scientific method.

Hans
__________________
Experience is an excellent teacher, but she sends large bills.
MRC_Hans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 12:24 PM   #113
abaddon
Penultimate Amazing
 
abaddon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 19,299
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I don't see that the assumption that the world is uniform is falsifiable in any clear way.
Yes it is. Present any example that testably violates uniformity. Job done.
__________________
Who is General Failure? And why is he reading my hard drive?


...love and buttercakes...
abaddon is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 01:06 PM   #114
phiwum
Penultimate Amazing
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,333
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Wittgenstein's Rule Following Paradox - anything at all can be made to accord to any number of rules.
Thanks. If I was ever familiar with that, it's long forgotten.
phiwum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 01:33 PM   #115
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,779
Look, let's start with something easier than a brain. Let's say we have a simple protein, and it folds as the electrical forces bends it.

Whether it's "really matter" (whatever the heck that means), or the particles are quantum resonances of some energy, or it's simulated in Folding@Home, the same thing is happening. Those particles interact in specific ways, according to specific rules, and the bending of the molecules is a direct result of that. If I simulate the same rules correctly, the same thing happens to a simulated molecule as in a "real" molecule.

Which is in fact the whole POINT of such simulations. If it being a simulation produced anything different, then the simulation would be pointless and worthless.

More to the point, there still is no such thing as a "duality" between the simulated particles and the simulated folding. The latter is still a very materialistic and in fact direct result of the former.

All I'm saying is that until evidence to the contrary is presented, the same applies to thought. Materialism -- as in, the claim that the mind is just the result of all the interactions between molecules up there in your noggin -- still holds true regardless of whether those molecules are simulated or not.

So again, they're not alternatives. Arguing materialism vs simulation is plain old nonsense.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 02:08 PM   #116
phiwum
Penultimate Amazing
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,333
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Yes. But it does mean that it is moot to discuss P in any logical way.
Perhaps.

Quote:

Mmm, I disagree. Solipsism posits that the world is someone's fantasy. Fantasies are notoriously not amendable to laws.
Solipsism posits that the only certainty I have is that I exist and have various experiences. This does not entail that I can control the experiences. It is a matter of fact that the history of my experiences (forget Hume for the moment) presents certain regularities. This is compatible with the assumption that there are rules regarding my experiences.

Quote:


No, laws, as in physical laws are invariable and and can't be violated. What counts as laws are what we find (perhaps incompletely) is not violated.

Physical laws are not simply expressing whatever perception you or I might have. Instead, they are established through evidence.
A given set of physical laws are our best guess about what rules apply. They are not established through evidence, but chosen to fit the given evidence.

When new evidence comes in, they may be amended. In fact, the rules can be amended regardless of what evidence comes in, although if the universe starts behaving in truly bizarre ways, the resulting rules will become unmanageable.

Quote:
No, your testimony of daffodils suddenly emerging from your cup cannot qualify as a physical law, unless reproducible evidence is produced.

In fact, I suspect you are being a bit dishonest, because is think you know how rigorous demands are to be met to have anything accepted as a physical law.
You're right that my testimony alone would rightly be rejected. I probably would reject my own experience as a hallucination, but only because I have greater faith in the current set of physical laws than in the certainty of my own experience.

This just goes to show that the presumption that the universe is uniform is unfalsifiable.

If I report my coffee cup sprouted daffodils, you would doubt my testimony.

If you see the same, you would think that you were hallucinating or tricked.

If it happens to a million coffee cups, you would search for an explanation, perhaps a new law or some set of conditions consistent with the current laws. If no explanation was forthcoming, then it would be labeled an unexplained occurrence, but not an unexplainable occurrence. It happened, so there must be some reason.

So what conditions would lead to the defeat of the assumption of uniformity? A single event, even if it occurs a million times, would be something to explain, not a refutation of uniformity. Hence, uniformity is unfalsifiable. Perhaps, just perhaps, if the universe suddenly became so wonky that no laws helped predict events, we would abandon the assumption, though it's hard to know how reason itself would be possible in such circumstances. (Our own brains must surely act in a regular manner to think clearly.)

Quote:
If this is true, you must be thoroughly unfamiliar with the scientific method.

Hans
I believe I'm fairly familiar with it. I don't know how one defines law broadly enough to match its application in science but narrowly enough to make the uniformity assumption falsifiable. Once we accept that some laws are inherently probabilistic, the problem becomes that much more difficult.
phiwum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 02:11 PM   #117
phiwum
Penultimate Amazing
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,333
Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Yes it is. Present any example that testably violates uniformity. Job done.
How does an example violate the statement "The universe acts according to some set of laws. We have a working hypothesis about what some of those laws are, but this hypothesis may be mistaken and revised?"

What example would be inconsistent with literally any possible set of laws? (Even if we restrict ourself to a computational set of laws, I don't see room for counterexamples to this supposition.)
phiwum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 02:35 PM   #118
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,344
Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Is reality real?
Well if it isn't we need to rename it . . .

I suggest calling it "God", as that's the most unreal thing I've ever heard of.
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a godís existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 12th October 2019 at 02:47 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2019, 09:53 PM   #119
Apathia
Philosopher
 
Apathia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 5,425
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Really, "cogito ergo sum" perfectly encapsulates and resolves the entire question. It's kind of depressing that people still have to waffle about it.
There is thinking, so I think I am.
__________________
"At the Supreme Court level where we work, 90 percent of any decision is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for supporting our predilections."
Justice William O. Douglas

"Humans aren't rational creatures but rationalizing creatures."
Author Unknown
Apathia is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th October 2019, 01:58 AM   #120
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 88,396
Originally Posted by Apathia View Post
There is thinking, so I think I am.
In the English translation it becomes such a clear example of circular logic that I'm amazed more folk aren't simply embarrassed to bring it up in such discussions.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:24 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.