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Old 23rd October 2019, 06:26 PM   #361
Apathia
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Are we real yet?
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Old 23rd October 2019, 06:40 PM   #362
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Originally Posted by Apathia View Post
Are we real yet?
Not likely. I have been imaginary for years.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 06:45 PM   #363
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Not likely. I have been imaginary for years.
That's one of the table, now the rest of you better confess.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 10:54 PM   #364
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Berkeley, an early proponent and perhaps originator of idealism... certainly did posit the existence of God in order to explain the apparent persistence of objects when unobserved. It was a terrible argument and one that was unnecessary, in my opinion.
A terrible argument yes, but a necessary one. Because if you are to believe the evidence before your eyes you have to agree that the Universe existed before any organism in it had conscious thought. The problem with that for idealism is obvious, and the only solution is God.

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Instead, one could say that the perceptions we experience are consistent with the persistence of an object when unobserved without giving any reason why this is the case.
But that is not idealism. Idealism requires a consciousness for the existence of everything, including those objects which are unobserved by us.

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Now, if we proceed thus, then we would look for universal laws that produce principles for predicting the exact nature of regularity we see in those experiences. Let's take a simple example. I recognize that the motions of observed objects satisfy the usual laws of phyisics
But the 'usual laws of physics' presume a reality which exists without having to be observed by a consciousness. If that was not presumed then different conclusions could be reached.

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I see a ball rolling behind a tree and coming into view on the other side of the tree consistent with those same laws. The best working hypothesis is that objects that disappear from view (and hence from existence) will reappear (pop back into existence) consistent with how they would have behaved if they had been perceived (and hence existed) throughout the time period.
That's just your brain making assumptions based on past experience. You have no actual evidence that the ball continued to exist while not visible, or even that it is the same ball!

In physics you cannot make assumptions like that. The only reason you know the ball will reappear is that its momentum hasn't been altered. But what if the 'ball' was a photon, and something behind the tree absorbed the photon and emitted another one just like it? You don't know what really happened, and what's worse you can't even see the photon go past the tree! But you do know that it will follow the laws of physics even if nobody can see it.

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The Big Bang couldn't have actually occurred, since it would have been unobserved, but the laws that we hypothesize say something like: Had there been an observer, there would have been a Big Bang.
That's just silly. The only reason we know the Big Bang occurred is that it must have done to match the evidence to known laws of physics. So we can't say that it only would have occurred if there was an observer of it, because an observer is not a required part of any physical law.

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I must agree it's all a bit more awkward than I had thought, but I don't think that it leads to different scientific laws. It does lead to a different understanding of particular events, since the Big Bang definitely did not occur, but would have occurred had anyone been there to see it.
Sure it does, and this example is the proof. Science tells us that there was not an observer, and there was a Big Bang. You cannot reconcile that with your theory.

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I see that I strayed from your point, since you were mostly interested in religious motivations for idealism, but I don't think they are the heart of the theory. Berkeley certainly didn't argue in favor of idealism because of God, but rather in favor of God's existence because idealism was obviously true and God would explain the apparent consistency of experiences. That argument sucked and could be omitted.
No, god is not the heart. The heart of idealism is that consciousness has a special significance. It doesn't, but it is hard for our conscious minds to accept that fact. Everything else is just attempts to validate that erroneous belief.

God is one of those attempts. God is necessary to explain things that we did not 'cause' by our own conscious thought or action. At its root is the ancient and primitive idea that everything has a human origin. It is the ultimate anthropomorphism. And this is an emotional belief, not a logical one.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 10:59 PM   #365
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
That's one of the table, now the rest of you better confess.
Roger Ramjets is also a fictional character, so that makes two of us.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 11:24 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Roger Ramjets is also a fictional character, so that makes two of us.
*pushes glasses up nose*

Ahem

*nerd snort*

Ac-tually, the character's name is Roger Ramjet. No S.
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Old 24th October 2019, 01:53 AM   #367
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
That's just your brain making assumptions based on past experience. You have no actual evidence that the ball continued to exist while not visible, or even that it is the same ball!

In physics you cannot make assumptions like that. The only reason you know the ball will reappear is that its momentum hasn't been altered. But what if the 'ball' was a photon, and something behind the tree absorbed the photon and emitted another one just like it? You don't know what really happened, and what's worse you can't even see the photon go past the tree! But you do know that it will follow the laws of physics even if nobody can see it.
Actually, ESPECIALLY in physics you assume the simplest explanation all the time, and ignore spurious entities or attributes that don't change anything.

E.g., sure, if I pass through an apple orchard and an apple falls on my head, I can't KNOW that it just fell off the tree. It could be that the establishment is onto me and hired the Iga ninja clan to fly a special apple all over here from Japan and drop it onto my head as a warning. And, hey, it's ninjas, man. You can't disprove that there was one in the tree, just because I couldn't see him. In fact, if I couldn't see him, it just shows how good a ninja he is. They must have brought the best jonin in the dojo for someone important like me.

But actually I WILL assume that it just fell off the tree, because there is no data that warrants any other assumption.

Now if I were visiting a banana plantation and an apple fell on my head, now THAT would warrant the ninja assumption

Ditto for the ball or for the photon. Unless I actually have any data that warrants the extra assumptions, just go with the simplest explanation.
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Old 24th October 2019, 06:59 AM   #368
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
That's one of the table, now the rest of you better confess.
I confess! I confess!
I'm a fantasy!
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Old 24th October 2019, 12:39 PM   #369
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
A terrible argument yes, but a necessary one. Because if you are to believe the evidence before your eyes you have to agree that the Universe existed before any organism in it had conscious thought. The problem with that for idealism is obvious, and the only solution is God.
There are Idealist philosophies that do not require God (Kant, Schopenhauer, etc). The word 'God' is a bit fuzzy so I'll use 'external agent(s)' instead - arguments can be made that both Idealism and Materialism require external agents.

Re the highlighted above, you may be describing a problem from the point of view of Materialism . . . Yes, if one assumes or begins with physical objects, then Idealism seems a terrible argument.
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Old 24th October 2019, 06:38 PM   #370
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
A terrible argument yes, but a necessary one. Because if you are to believe the evidence before your eyes you have to agree that the Universe existed before any organism in it had conscious thought. The problem with that for idealism is obvious, and the only solution is God.
I disagree.

You simply conclude that the evidence that you have is consistent with a universe that existed prior to conscious beings, but realizing that there is no reason to believe that anything exists without being perceived, the conclusion is merely the appearance of an older age. There is no explanation for this appearance, but none is required. It is simply a fact that our experiences have the appearance of prior events which we cannot conclude are real.

Not particularly satisfying, but lots of things are unsatisfying when we are trying to apply Cartesian-style skepticism.

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But that is not idealism. Idealism requires a consciousness for the existence of everything, including those objects which are unobserved by us.
I don't think you understood my point. The behavior is consistent with existence while not being perceived, but that does not mean that the objects do exist unperceived.

The mere fact that a phenomenon is consistent with (and would be explained by) a particular hypothesis falls far short of proof of the hypothesis.

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But the 'usual laws of physics' presume a reality which exists without having to be observed by a consciousness. If that was not presumed then different conclusions could be reached.
I suppose that there is some fiddling with the expression of the laws, so that objects that are temporarily unobserved will be in positions and states consistent with what would have happened, had they existed during their unobserved (and hence non-existent) times. It's a bit klunky, I'll agree, though not an inconsistency or any serious change to scientific laws.

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That's just your brain making assumptions based on past experience. You have no actual evidence that the ball continued to exist while not visible, or even that it is the same ball!

In physics you cannot make assumptions like that. The only reason you know the ball will reappear is that its momentum hasn't been altered. But what if the 'ball' was a photon, and something behind the tree absorbed the photon and emitted another one just like it? You don't know what really happened, and what's worse you can't even see the photon go past the tree! But you do know that it will follow the laws of physics even if nobody can see it.
Frankly, your reasoning above is closer to the idealist than anything. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.

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That's just silly. The only reason we know the Big Bang occurred is that it must have done to match the evidence to known laws of physics. So we can't say that it only would have occurred if there was an observer of it, because an observer is not a required part of any physical law.
Again, I stand by my statement of how an idealist would interpret physical laws when applied to the unobserved. The current state of the universe is consistent with a Big Bang, save for the fact that we anticipate the Big Bang could not have been observed (as far as we know). That is the idealist conclusion.

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Sure it does, and this example is the proof. Science tells us that there was not an observer, and there was a Big Bang. You cannot reconcile that with your theory.
It's a minor point of reinterpreting the conclusions, as mentioned above. Again, I'll concede it's a klunky fix, but something like this is unavoidable for an idealist who doesn't take the existence of God for granted.

(Aside: Berkeley's proof of God really is at best an argument that at every moment of time, every spot in the universe is observed by some being. He couldn't use this to conclude that a single being persists over the life of the universe and observes every spot at every moment. I think that he believed it had to be a single mind to create consistency, but again I don't see why this is so.)

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No, god is not the heart. The heart of idealism is that consciousness has a special significance. It doesn't, but it is hard for our conscious minds to accept that fact. Everything else is just attempts to validate that erroneous belief.

God is one of those attempts. God is necessary to explain things that we did not 'cause' by our own conscious thought or action. At its root is the ancient and primitive idea that everything has a human origin. It is the ultimate anthropomorphism. And this is an emotional belief, not a logical one.
Consciousness is at the heart of idealism because it arises from Descartes's project ultimately. If I reject every belief in which I can find some doubt, no matter how small, what am I left with? Descartes claimed he could (with the aid of his proofs that God exists) conclude that material and mental substance exist and that the interaction of physical stuff with our physical bodies causes our ideas of physical stuff. Once Descartes's argument for material stuff was rejected (which rejection you would support, I'm sure, dependent as it was on bad arguments for the existence of God), all we are left with are the ideas themselves, the various perceptions of tables, etc., and with no hint as to what causes such ideas. Hence, carrying on in the skeptical tradition, we may conclude that mental stuff exists, but we may not conclude that physical stuff exists.

I think some idealists state things more strongly than I do and say that physical stuff does not exist, but I don't see that their arguments come even close to that conclusion.

Seems to me an idealist could conclude that our perceptions are consistent with Descartes's picture, that physical stuff causes our perceptions, and this would indeed be an explanation of the consistency of our perceptions. However, merely that a hypothesis would expain the consistency of our perceptions is not proof enough that it is true. Without a stronger argument, doubt in the existence of physical stuff is still enough to toss the notion on the trashpile of unproved claims.

I don't know that I care to continue too much further in this conversation. I'm not all that familiar with idealism and I also worry that this forum is not the best place to get into deepish discussions like this. We'll see.
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Old 24th October 2019, 10:37 PM   #371
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You seem to be re-stating, re-defining, what hypotheses are, in order to argue against materialism -- well, not against materialism per se, but against the inevitability of a materlistic paradigm basis rationity given what we know of the world today -- just as caveman1917 was trying to re-state and re-define these ontologies from a non-utilitarian and a non-immediate level, towards that same end.

Your argument here doesn't make sense to me. What exactly do you expect from a hypothesis, and what kind of 'proof' would satisfy you?

You have all these observations. You have a hypothesis, materialism, that not only offers the best-fit explanation, the most parsimonious explanation, for these observations, but also keeps making prediction after prediction, which keep on being validated. Surely that's enough for provisional acceptance of this hypethesis as, for all purposes, 'true'? I mean, what more do you want, as proof?

As far as I can see these arguments for idealism can only hope to somehow slip in through the gaps -- mainly QM, or at least my layman's understanding of it -- that still exist in a worldview explained by science that, de facto, arrives at materialism. Other than this Idealism-of-the-Gaps, I don't see how you can possibly defend idealism at all, even impersonally, not without abandoning rationalism in general and the scientific method in particular.
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Old 25th October 2019, 09:26 AM   #372
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
You seem to be re-stating, re-defining, what hypotheses are, in order to argue against materialism -- well, not against materialism per se, but against the inevitability of a materlistic paradigm basis rationity given what we know of the world today -- just as caveman1917 was trying to re-state and re-define these ontologies from a non-utilitarian and a non-immediate level, towards that same end.

Your argument here doesn't make sense to me. What exactly do you expect from a hypothesis, and what kind of 'proof' would satisfy you?

You have all these observations. You have a hypothesis, materialism, that not only offers the best-fit explanation, the most parsimonious explanation, for these observations, but also keeps making prediction after prediction, which keep on being validated. Surely that's enough for provisional acceptance of this hypethesis as, for all purposes, 'true'? I mean, what more do you want, as proof?

As far as I can see these arguments for idealism can only hope to somehow slip in through the gaps -- mainly QM, or at least my layman's understanding of it -- that still exist in a worldview explained by science that, de facto, arrives at materialism. Other than this Idealism-of-the-Gaps, I don't see how you can possibly defend idealism at all, even impersonally, not without abandoning rationalism in general and the scientific method in particular.
My point is not that the historical argument for idealism should be considered in its context, which was under the presumption that any claim which could be doubted ought to be rejected. A best fit explanation is certainly dubitable, so the argument that materialism is the best explanation available is irrelevant in this context.

It's fine to say that the pathological skepticism found in philosophy of the day is not particularly useful and merely an academic exercise. But given that starting point, idealism is genuinely a better conclusion than materialism (though Hume showed that idealism is ultimately unsupportable too).

In short, if we were to reject any proposition which is not utterly certain, then we should reject the proposition that there are material causes of our perceptions because we have no proof that this must be so. All we have is the perceptions themselves. Hence, idealism is a better conclusion than materialism *given this devotion to utter skepticism*.
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Old 25th October 2019, 11:39 AM   #373
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
You seem to be re-stating, re-defining, what hypotheses are, in order to argue against materialism -- well, not against materialism per se, but against the inevitability of a materlistic paradigm basis rationity given what we know of the world today -- just as caveman1917 was trying to re-state and re-define these ontologies from a non-utilitarian and a non-immediate level, towards that same end.
Oh please, I've used the terms with their mainstream definitions, you are the one who re-stated and re-defined these terms into some incoherent concepts which you even refuse to define properly, to promote your pet belief system with an argument that reduces to the plain assertion "Everyone who doesn't share my pet belief system is an idiot."

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Your argument here doesn't make sense to me. What exactly do you expect from a hypothesis, and what kind of 'proof' would satisfy you?
I can't speak for phiwum, but at least I can give you a precise answer to these questions:

An hypothesis is expected to compress the data. Proof of this would be presenting the data and compressing it using the hypothesis.

Until you can present such an argument, I see no reason to adopt your hypothesis.
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Old 25th October 2019, 11:49 AM   #374
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
An hypothesis is expected to compress the data. Proof of this would be presenting the data and compressing it using the hypothesis.
Just to be clear, you don't have to give a full mathematical formalism. Something like this would count:

We are holding something above the ground at height h and time t = 0, and then let it fall, and see what t is when h = 0.

Let H be the height h and T be the time when h = 0.

Then the data D = "HTHTHT..."

Let M be the model, Newtonian mechanics, such that M(H) = T, M predicts T from H (and some other parameters left out for simplicity).

Then the compressed data C = "HHH..."

and we have

LEN("M;C") < LEN("D")

Bingo! Compression!
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Old 25th October 2019, 01:56 PM   #375
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I nominate caveman1917.

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Oh please, I've used the terms with their mainstream definitions, you are the one who re-stated and re-defined these terms into some incoherent concepts which you even refuse to define properly, to promote your pet belief system with an argument that reduces to the plain assertion "Everyone who doesn't share my pet belief system is an idiot."

I haven't called you an idiot; you have called yourself that, by putting words in my mouth.

I don't even call you dishonest; but, at this point, despite not wanting to get drawn back into this pointless exchange, I think I must point out your blatant misrepresentation here.

First, you claim I haven't defined my terms. That's a bare-faced lie. I've spoken of operational ontologies, and I've clearly explained to you what I mean by the 'operational' part -- not that that common word should need explaining, but I've done that, more than once, at your request, back when I was still under the impression you were discussing this sincerely. What I saw no reason to define were the ontologies themselves, materialism, et al. When you presented your own definition, I clearly pointed out how that should be altered to have it apply at an operational level. You seemed to agree to that, going by your response at that time. In any case, it's a misrepresentation, plain and simple, to claim I refused to define these terms.

Your second misrepresentation is your claim that my terms are incomprehensible, because you yourself clearly not only comprehended them but discussed them coherently enough. In any case, not comprehending this simple idea would indeed tantamount to idiocy, and irrespective of your own apparent opinion about (my view of) yourself, I do not for a moment accuse you of that.

Thirdly, you claim I've used these terms to plug my own worldview. That's another blatant ... well, compronise with truth, on your part. My comments to you did not try to argue in favor of any particular ontology, and I've pointed this out to you before.

As for the redefinition: Think of a person who lives in a capitalist society, and participates fully in capitalism, and votes for parties espousing capitalist policies, and in every discernible manner behaves, through his life, exactly as a capitalist would, and yet claims he is, somehow, a communist. Well, that kind of communism is an irrelevant concept, and a worthless term.
And your precious "ontologies", as you yourself use these terms, amount to no more than this kind of a communism. You've yourself admitted these terms, as you use them, aren't really meaningful.

I cannot believe that these ontologies have always been the sterile and entirely pointless exercise in mental masturbation you make them out to be, with zero application in practice. Speaking from readily admitted ignorance of the history of these terms, I fully expect that these terms did carry real consequences once, even if, as you say -- and assuming you aren't misrepresenting this as well -- they are indeed, today, wholly lacking in actual application today.

In any case, we've been through this already -- although I guess I'm starting to wish I hadn't bothered, at all.
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Old 25th October 2019, 02:12 PM   #376
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caveman1917, a reply I typed to part of your post got carried to tne Nominations thread. Pure button-confounding "idiocy" on my part, that!

I do not wish to copy that here, nor to revisit our earlier discussion on ontologies -- although you are, obviously, free to respond to that post of mine from that thread even though I won't respond back myself.

I'm interested in this part of your comment, though: Are you saying materialism fails even as hypothesis, even as working model?

I confess your technical jargon is incomprehensible to me. (I gather you're saying a hypothesis is akin to a limited model, but I could be mistaken.)

If you'd care to explain in plain English, I'd like to understand your argument for saying materialism isn't even a hypothesis as science recognizes hypotheses, at least not one you accept -- if that is indeed what you're saying.

Mod Info I've moved the post into this thread
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Old 25th October 2019, 02:52 PM   #377
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How could Materialism be tested? Can this physical world independent of consciousness even be found?
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Old 25th October 2019, 03:22 PM   #378
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Well, take the child with the ball that Roger Ramjets and phiwum were discussing.

You see a child throw a ball. It gets hidden behind foliage. You see it again after a while. Then it gets hidden behind more trees, and you see neither child nor ball after that.

You can, at that point, say they materialize when consciousness focuses on them, whatever that means, the idealism thing. Or you could imagine you're projecting them, or someone else is. Or whatever. I'll grant you it's all equally valid, at that point.

But then you hypothesize that they're real. On that basis you make deductions and predictions about the child and his ball. And you go fetch your brother, or son, back home.

That's what science * does. Forget science, that's what we do in our everyday lives. All our hypotheses, on which we base our every action, is predicated on an implicit assumption, which is materialism.

At this operational level -- as opposed to some deeper ultimate level -- any other ontology is clearly an overlay over and above this materialist paradigm. 'Not necessarilymaterialism but behaves as if materialism' .... That's, well, apart from being absurd, it's also not parsimonious, it's an additional layer.



* QM excepted, apparently. I find that weird, but they do say you haven't understood it if you don't find it weird. So whatever, leaving QM out of it for now...
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Old 25th October 2019, 03:25 PM   #379
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
How could Materialism be tested? Can this physical world independent of consciousness even be found?
It existed for billions of years before human consciousness arose.
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Old 25th October 2019, 05:04 PM   #380
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I guess the counterargument is it only appears that way, it need not actually be 14 B years old.

At some ultimate level this counterargument does make some kind of sense. At an immediate level, as working model, it doesn't.

And I question the validity of this very ultimate level of reality itself. In as much as it cannot be answered at all, it is a meaningless question.

I don't blame the musty old philosophers of yore who spent their lives gabbing away about all of this, cause they clearly did not know better. They were amongst the giants, those old men tottering around feeling their way in the dark, on whose shoulders we stand today. But I do wonder about those who keep tottering -- or affecting a tottering gait -- in this day and age.

All of this is exactly as useful as research into Tolkien's Middle Earth. Except a bit more than that, in as much it reflects on bona fide history of our present ideas.

But that historical sense is lost, any worth to these ideas is relinquished, if we insist on ignoring the immediacy these ideas had, back when science hadn't arrived at the primacy it enjoys today, or hadn't even been clearly formulated.

No, I cannot 'back up' this historical sense. Yet there are those here who're well read enough to do that. I'll wager, I'll ******* wager blind, that these ideas, these "ontologies", hadn't been these lifeless pointless utterly useless aids to mental masturbation all through, I'll wager they'd been real live ideas with real consequences on how people acted and lived. Stands to reason, and, besides, these terms wouldn't have been so very commonly talked of otherwise. Much like God, people had to have literally believed in them, at one time, literally not just "ontologically".
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Old 25th October 2019, 08:30 PM   #381
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Nice story about child and ball but there is no test, in fact the ball needs that post observation to demonstrate ball persists
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Old 26th October 2019, 12:33 PM   #382
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
It existed for billions of years before human consciousness arose.
It seems like it to me now .. but did it ?
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Old 26th October 2019, 12:49 PM   #383
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
Nice story about child and ball but there is no test, in fact the ball needs that post observation to demonstrate ball persists

A waste disposal company offers you $1000 to let them bury a hundred barrels of corrosive carcinogenic toxic waste under your house. They assure you that once the barrels are covered over, they will vanish from existence because object persistence is an unverifiable hypothesis.

Do you take their $1000? Why or why not?
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Old 26th October 2019, 12:59 PM   #384
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I haven't called you an idiot; you have called yourself that, by putting words in my mouth.
Oh please, these stories you tell to promote your pet ontology have gratuitously chosen characters whose only reason for appearance is to play the part of idiots to be juxtaposed to the part played by the person represented by your pet ontology. You tell tales of idealist healers purportedly believing exorcism to be a cure for disease but not of materialist homeopaths believing water to be a cure for disease, or you tell tales of the simulationist trying to control the simulation but not of the materialist trying to produce the deity particle which would let him control the world at will (I mean, if such a particle exists then the reward for producing it would be enormous, so even if the chance of succeeding is small then it's still reasonable to spend enormous effort towards that end, he may even go to some monastery where they claim to be able to teach him how to produce the deity particle).

Your stories, which you present as opposed to an argument, only work for promoting your pet ontology because you carefully strawman the other characters to be idiots. I'd still rather go to an operational-simulationist healer who gives me the proper medicine because that's what his data on how the simulation works tells him cures the disease, than to an operational-materialist healer who gives me water because he is convinced that water molecules have a sort of memory.

Quote:
First, you claim I haven't defined my terms. That's a bare-faced lie.
What I said is that you haven't properly defined them, which is perfectly true.

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I've spoken of operational ontologies, and I've clearly explained to you what I mean by the 'operational' part -- not that that common word should need explaining, but I've done that, more than once, at your request, back when I was still under the impression you were discussing this sincerely. What I saw no reason to define were the ontologies themselves, materialism, et al. When you presented your own definition, I clearly pointed out how that should be altered to have it apply at an operational level. You seemed to agree to that, going by your response at that time. In any case, it's a misrepresentation, plain and simple, to claim I refused to define these terms.
Your definition was: "The OPERATIONAL-materialist, e.g., would be someone who bases his immediate everyday actions on a materialist paradigm."

In other words, an operational-X is someone who bases his immediate everyday actions on a belief in ontological-X. Where ontological-X is some ontological belief such as materialism, as used in their mainstream definitions. See next paragraph.

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Your second misrepresentation is your claim that my terms are incomprehensible, because you yourself clearly not only comprehended them but discussed them coherently enough. In any case, not comprehending this simple idea would indeed tantamount to idiocy, and irrespective of your own apparent opinion about (my view of) yourself, I do not for a moment accuse you of that.
I didn't say your terms are incomprehensible, I said your concepts are incoherent, as you can easily tell:

P1. There is no practical difference which can be derived from believing ontological-X vs believing ontological-Y.

P2: Operational-X is to be preferred over operational-Y on a practical basis.

P3: The only difference between operational-X and operational-Y, as per the definition given, is a belief in ontological-X vs a belief in ontological-Y..

See the contradiction? It's not my problem that your concepts are incoherent.

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Thirdly, you claim I've used these terms to plug my own worldview. That's another blatant ... well, compronise with truth, on your part. My comments to you did not try to argue in favor of any particular ontology, and I've pointed this out to you before.
These bad faith claims are hilarious, you've clearly been arguing in favour of operational-materialism over operational-whatever. Here's but the latest instance:

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
At this operational level -- as opposed to some deeper ultimate level -- any other ontology is clearly an overlay over and above this materialist paradigm. 'Not necessarilymaterialism but behaves as if materialism' .... That's, well, apart from being absurd, it's also not parsimonious, it's an additional layer.
What a charade...

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As for the redefinition: Think of a person who lives in a capitalist society, and participates fully in capitalism, and votes for parties espousing capitalist policies, and in every discernible manner behaves, through his life, exactly as a capitalist would, and yet claims he is, somehow, a communist. Well, that kind of communism is an irrelevant concept, and a worthless term.
And your precious "ontologies", as you yourself use these terms, amount to no more than this kind of a communism. You've yourself admitted these terms, as you use them, aren't really meaningful.
What redefinition? I've used the terms in their mainstream definitions. You're the one who used personal redefinitions of those terms by adding "operational-" in front of them.

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In any case, we've been through this already -- although I guess I'm starting to wish I hadn't bothered, at all.
Well if you didn't want your belief system challenged then why promote it on a skeptics forum? Surely you must have known that its internal contradictions would be pointed out and that you'd be expected to provide evidence and argument for it? Surely you must have known that simply telling a story about an idealist healer using prayer vs a materialist doctor using evidence-based medicine (but not a story about an idealist doctor using evidence-based medicine vs a materialist quack using water, of course ) wasn't going to cut it?

If you're just going to promote some belief system and aren't willing to argue the case then you should've said so from the start, you could've avoided me wasting my time. This little charade with the insinuations of dishonesty is more than a little pathetic, if you're going to believe something on pure faith without evidence then at least come out for it - "I may not have evidence for it, but by Material World, I damn believe in it!"
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Old 26th October 2019, 01:21 PM   #385
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
A waste disposal company offers you $1000 to let them bury a hundred barrels of corrosive carcinogenic toxic waste under your house. They assure you that once the barrels are covered over, they will vanish from existence because object persistence is an unverifiable hypothesis.

Do you take their $1000? Why or why not?
Of course not, it would be idiotic, don't you know that 010101010101...?! Physicists call it conservation of energy, turns out that the energy in an initial experienced state is the same as in any subsequent one. Though what if they assure you that once the barrels are covered over, they will produce the deity particle which acts like some sort of anti-energy, making itself and the waste vanish from existence when they interact?
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Old 26th October 2019, 01:39 PM   #386
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I don't blame the musty old philosophers of yore who spent their lives gabbing away about all of this, cause they clearly did not know better. They were amongst the giants, those old men tottering around feeling their way in the dark, on whose shoulders we stand today. But I do wonder about those who keep tottering -- or affecting a tottering gait -- in this day and age.
You understand that information theory is a post-WW2 development and, specifically, MML/MDL type formalisms are 1970s, right? Hardly what I'd call "musty old philosophers of yore" on "whose shoulders" you imagine yourself standing today.
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Old 26th October 2019, 04:49 PM   #387
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
A waste disposal company offers you $1000 to let them bury a hundred barrels of corrosive carcinogenic toxic waste under your house. They assure you that once the barrels are covered over, they will vanish from existence because object persistence is an unverifiable hypothesis.

Do you take their $1000? Why or why not?
Surely we can simplify that? If I turn the lights out, will you let me punch you in the nose?
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Old 26th October 2019, 07:15 PM   #388
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
It seems like it to me now .. but did it ?
Yup.
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Old 26th October 2019, 07:16 PM   #389
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caveman1917, peace! Apologies for having gotten carried away into posting that less than amicably worded post.

As for the faith healer, like I keep saying that was no more than a random example of an operational ontology, of an ontology that actually carries actual consequences, and most certainly not an underhanded attempt to argue in favor of some particular ontology. As far as our original exchange, I'd wanted simply to discuss working ontologies, that's all.

If this still doesn't make sense to you, chalk it up to your inability to follow me if you can, or to my inability to articulate my thoughts if you must, or indeed to incoherence in the very idea of operational ontologies if you prefer. Let's just agree to disagree, and put this behind us. No point in unnecessarily festering rancor over these senseless ideas that do not, after all, make a jot of difference to either you or me.

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Old 27th October 2019, 08:04 PM   #390
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
A waste disposal company offers you $1000 to let them bury a hundred barrels of corrosive carcinogenic toxic waste under your house. They assure you that once the barrels are covered over, they will vanish from existence because object persistence is an unverifiable hypothesis.

Do you take their $1000? Why or why not?
If they can demonstrate the barrels are in some parallel universe and no longer can no longer in principle be detected Iíd take the money al day long
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Old 28th October 2019, 05:09 AM   #391
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
If they can demonstrate the barrels are in some parallel universe and no longer can no longer in principle be detected Iíd take the money al day long

There is no test, in fact the barrels (and their contents, if any) need post observation to demonstrate barrels or contents persist.

So, where does that leave you with regard to object persistence? If the child's ball cannot be said to exist for the moments it's out of sight behind an obstacle, what about the barrels the day after they're buried?

These questions do not involve parallel universes. The question is about the ontological weight of "can be detected in principle" when no detection is actually performed.
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Old 28th October 2019, 07:55 AM   #392
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
There is no test, in fact the barrels (and their contents, if any) need post observation to demonstrate barrels or contents persist.

So, where does that leave you with regard to object persistence? If the child's ball cannot be said to exist for the moments it's out of sight behind an obstacle, what about the barrels the day after they're buried?

These questions do not involve parallel universes. The question is about the ontological weight of "can be detected in principle" when no detection is actually performed.
Idealism claims consciousness is primary not that observation is primary, so the barrels would have to placed where they are non detectable in principle, some place like a parallel universe.
I may be wrong but Idealism would claim that observation and what we call matter arise together.
Re object persistence, or whether there is an objective reality, that depends on the specific flavor of Idealism
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Old 28th October 2019, 02:38 PM   #393
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
Idealism claims consciousness is primary not that observation is primary, so the barrels would have to placed where they are non detectable in principle, some place like a parallel universe.
I may be wrong but Idealism would claim that observation and what we call matter arise together.
Re object persistence, or whether there is an objective reality, that depends on the specific flavor of Idealism

We've been over this before. Idealism where consciousness is primary, with regard to events occurring without anyone's prior conscious knowledge or expectation (ranging from meteors to the specific card turned from a shuffled deck to the discovery of an ancient artifact), requires at least one of the following:

- Additional conscious entities whose presence and actions we ourselves do not consciously perceive (e.g. a spirit to decide or foreknow the card; a deity to decide or foreknow the meteor's arrival; panpsychism to explain how the artifact "remembers" its own shape long after its carvers are dust)

- Additional dimensions or powers of our own consciousness that we do not consciously perceive (e.g. we all sense future meteors in deep space without being aware of it; the card shuffler perceives and remembers the positions of all the cards in the deck despite not being consciously aware of any ability to do so; some hidden creative conscious power of the archaeologist somehow creates the carvings in an unknown language upon the ancient stone artifact she unearths)

- Abandoning causality by hypothesizing causes subsequent to effects

- Accepting ineffability of unexpected occurrences or discoveries

Any of those undermines the supposed parsimony of idealism, by either introducing additional elements or explaining less of our experiences.
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Old 29th October 2019, 08:41 AM   #394
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
We've been over this before. Idealism where consciousness is primary, with regard to events occurring without anyone's prior conscious knowledge or expectation (ranging from meteors to the specific card turned from a shuffled deck to the discovery of an ancient artifact), requires at least one of the following:
Quote:
- Additional conscious entities whose presence and actions we ourselves do not consciously perceive (e.g. a spirit to decide or foreknow the card; a deity to decide or foreknow the meteor's arrival; panpsychism to explain how the artifact "remembers" its own shape long after its carvers are dust)
You have a couple here - 'conscious realism' where reality is conscious agents and their interactions (as suggested by Donald Hoffman also in another recent thread). I think he has demonstrated a way to test and falsify this 'answer'. It is in alignment with QM and the best of recent science - and it would account for why this Universe is so whacky.

'panpsychism' - which seems to gain traction now and then but seems not quite right to me, not sure why, hmmm maybe because tulips and photons are conscious.


Quote:
- Additional dimensions or powers of our own consciousness that we do not consciously perceive (e.g. we all sense future meteors in deep space without being aware of it; the card shuffler perceives and remembers the positions of all the cards in the deck despite not being consciously aware of any ability to do so; some hidden creative conscious power of the archaeologist somehow creates the carvings in an unknown language upon the ancient stone artifact she unearths)
I don't know about this one so I'll edit it to be 'consciousness is not local but universal', or ultimate reality is Satchitananda (Being/Consciousness/Bliss) from Vedic literature. AKA Nonduality, or perhaps Emptiness from certain Buddhist literature. This is above my pay grade.

Quote:
- Abandoning causality by hypothesizing causes subsequent to effects
Causality is likely doomed for a whole lot of reasons.

Quote:
- Accepting ineffability of unexpected occurrences or discoveries
This doesn't get my vote - this is just throwing in the towel.

Quote:
Any of those undermines the supposed parsimony of idealism, by either introducing additional elements or explaining less of our experiences.
Actually no - Materialism is by far more strenuous than all of the above. The Materialist must first postulate a physical material world independent of consciousness, and then, declare this non-detectable world as primary and as the only reality, and then, somehow cross back over that ontological gap and explain how consciousness is derived from matter (hard problem of consciousness). BTW, in principle, there is no so solution to the hard problem of consciousness.
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Old 29th October 2019, 11:27 AM   #395
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You bring in Buddhist emptiness, among other things.

The whole point of the Buddha's teaching was evidence. Emptiness isn't something the man theorized or deduced, it was what he spoke of from (alleged) first-hand experience.

It makes no sense to speak of Buddhist concepts in the absence of bona fide Buddhist 'realization'.

Of course, even if "bona fide Buddhist realization" were actually obtained, it is by no means clear that very mundane, everyday explations might not suffice. But regardless, "Buddhist" concepts aren't meant to be theorized about, only experienced.
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Old 29th October 2019, 02:46 PM   #396
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
You bring in Buddhist emptiness, among other things.

The whole point of the Buddha's teaching was evidence. Emptiness isn't something the man theorized or deduced, it was what he spoke of from (alleged) first-hand experience.

It makes no sense to speak of Buddhist concepts in the absence of bona fide Buddhist 'realization'.

Of course, even if "bona fide Buddhist realization" were actually obtained, it is by no means clear that very mundane, everyday explations might not suffice. But regardless, "Buddhist" concepts aren't meant to be theorized about, only experienced.
Yes they are meant to be verified via direct experience, but also can be theorized up the ying yang.
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Old 29th October 2019, 03:26 PM   #397
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Old 30th October 2019, 07:31 AM   #398
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
Actually no - Materialism is by far more strenuous than all of the above. The Materialist must first postulate a physical material world independent of consciousness, and then, declare this non-detectable world as primary and as the only reality, and then, somehow cross back over that ontological gap and explain how consciousness is derived from matter (hard problem of consciousness). BTW, in principle, there is no so solution to the hard problem of consciousness.

That's as may be. Unless an alternative to materialism provides an alternative explanation for the patterns we experience in our experiences (patterns such as, you may recall, the relationship between not experiencing the ingestion of water and the experience of thirst, which has proven ineffably mysterious to proponents of vague idealism), there is no comparison to be made. Of course a hypothesis that explains less will raise fewer secondary questions and have fewer elements to be challenged.
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Old 30th October 2019, 08:03 AM   #399
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All explanations based upon consciousness don't even have the problem of explaining patterns and similarities we share. Idealism only appears to have this problem when viewed from a Materialistic definition of consciousness (each individual is a distinct parcel of consciousness).
In other threads I've agreed that Materialism is a rational explanation - though Materialism requires significant quantities of woo.
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Old 30th October 2019, 08:19 AM   #400
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Your questions answered here.

Is Reality Real?

Yes. Yes it is. Pretty much.

If a tree falls in the forest, and no-one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

The question implies gross misunderstanding. Trees are constantly making sounds. A normal tree -- indeed, what other kind of tree might we be given to understand -- is a member of an ecosystem. It is constantly surrounded by sentient, hearing creatures. If in its final act the tree falls, the sound is really, really loud. Which proves that something is gonna hear it. Cased closed.

Answer: You're confused, but yes.

This is what I call doing philosophy, getting answers, kicking ass, taking license numbers.
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