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Old 18th October 2019, 11:55 PM   #281
Darat
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
Few times I realized I'm dreaming in my dream. Or maybe I just had a dream that I realized. It's really hard to tell.

Most of the time though, I'm sure I am not dreaming in my dreams. The lack of doubt, or even lack of questioning anything, is what defines my dreams.

That's certainly different when I'm not asleep. So it's not entirely same.
When I dream I only sometimes recognise I am dreaming despite my "dream state" being totally different to my waking state. Whatever we experience when we are dreaming is therefore something very different to what we experience when we are awake despite sometimes knowing we are dreaming. One possible explanation for the two states being utterly different is that when we are awake we are receiving information from an external world.
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Old 19th October 2019, 06:49 AM   #282
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Even without realising you are dreaming we know dreaming is an entirely different experience to your waking state.
I certainly wasn't suggesting otherwise.

Some folks are misinterpreting idealism or solipsism as saying that this life we regard as real is just a dream. That's not what these two metaphysical theories say.
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Old 19th October 2019, 08:06 AM   #283
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I certainly wasn't suggesting otherwise.



Some folks are misinterpreting idealism or solipsism as saying that this life we regard as real is just a dream. That's not what these two metaphysical theories say.
Sorry I wasn't correcting you, just expanding slightly on a particular point I find very interesting.
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Old 19th October 2019, 10:28 AM   #284
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I'm sorry, I have to rush. I'm enjoying the discussion, and will return to it when I can, later.

For now, let me just try to define, or at least, describe my terms clearly.

The ontological-whatever-ists you've defined here already, many times, over the last few pages.

The OPERATIONAL-materialist, e.g., would be someone who bases his immediate everyday actions on a materialist paradigm.
What is that materialist paradigm? You need to be a lot more precise.
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Old 19th October 2019, 01:58 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I think, caveman1917, that this "ontology" of yours, no matter that it sounds all deep and learned, is, in as much as it addresses anything deeper than a purely operational level of knowledge and understanding, no more that a red herring, no more than meaningless navel gazing. Ontology, as you frame it, this questioning about a deeper reality, is meaningless because it adds nothing to our knowledge, and also because these very same ontological questions can be asked about the deeper reality (that you say you don't know about, and I agree with you we don't know about), and so on, ad infinitum. The question itself is meaningless.
This is a common theme here, being anti navel-gazing and anti any interested or disinterested inspection of our experience; and simply accepting the testimony of others (experts?), or grabbing any 'ontology' that is easy and apparent. Granted not everyone is interested in any question(s) regarding what is real, what is unreal, etc. I am not interested in which apple variety is the most flavorful, but I wouldn't dismiss the question as meaningless. Perhaps you think any ontological questions are meaningless because there a strata of endless deeper realities and there is no 'answer' - well that could be an answer.
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Old 19th October 2019, 02:02 PM   #286
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Sorry I wasn't correcting you, just expanding slightly on a particular point I find very interesting.
Apologies. I wasn't sure if you thought I was advocating the whole dream thing.
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Old 19th October 2019, 02:05 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
This is a common theme here, being anti navel-gazing and anti any interested or disinterested inspection of our experience; and simply accepting the testimony of others (experts?), or grabbing any 'ontology' that is easy and apparent. Granted not everyone is interested in any question(s) regarding what is real, what is unreal, etc. I am not interested in which apple variety is the most flavorful, but I wouldn't dismiss the question as meaningless. Perhaps you think any ontological questions are meaningless because there a strata of endless deeper realities and there is no 'answer' - well that could be an answer.
I don't begrudge those who think abstruse philosophy is unimportant. I guided these questions interesting, but only in an academic sense.

When folks criticize others for being interested in such questions, they go too far. We are all often interested in ultimately useless stuff in one way or another.
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Old 19th October 2019, 05:08 PM   #288
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Science aims to establish the laws that govern the things we see, hear, touch, etc. The data is the same for a materialist or an idealist, namely the stuff we see and touch. There is no difference in the laws the two would derive that cover the exact same data.
Wrong.

Idealism
Quote:
In contrast to materialism, idealism asserts the primacy of consciousness as the origin and prerequisite of material phenomena. According to this view, consciousness exists before and is the pre-condition of material existence. Consciousness creates and determines the material and not vice versa. Idealism believes consciousness and mind to be the origin of the material world and aims to explain the existing world according to these principles.

Imagine two laws - one one which requires the existence of a consciousness, and another that doesn't. Both may fit the data we have (so far) observed, and yet be fundamentally different.

Take the Big Bang for example. On one hand we have materialists using the numerous laws they have developed to describe a physical universe which is independent of conscious thought. On the other hand we have idealists who think a god dreamed it up. What are the chances of the idealists developing exactly the same physical laws for their theory of how the Universe began? Pretty low I would think, since 'god did it' makes all that other stuff unnecessary.

There's still the problem of fitting the observed data to the theory of course, but when you start from the principle of a conscious mind being at the heart of it your explanations are likely to be quite different. You might go to ridiculous lengths to shoehorn in your 'prime mover', or perhaps just invent a simpler and less coherent theory. But it would still be different.

And this is what did happen in practice. Religions started out as attempts to explain physical phenomena by positing the influence of conscious agents. When this failed more and more convoluted 'theories' were invented to explain the anomalies. But when idealism was replaced with materialism, great strides were made. Even though the data was the same, one way of thinking of about it worked much better than the other.

You say that "There is no difference in the laws the two would derive that cover the exact same data" but history proves otherwise. You may think that proves nothing, but in the real world it's everything.
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Old 19th October 2019, 06:14 PM   #289
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I'm sorry, I had to rush off kind of abruptly last time. I'll try to answer the questions you posed in more detail now:

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
True, it doesn't stop me from being an operational-nihilist - whatever that even means.
No, I meant that you can ontologically remain a nihilist, or even a solipsist, while operationally and functionally following Sokal's materialist paradigm and 'doing science' on that basis.

I brought this up as an example of how one's ontological position can differ from one's operational, functional position.

You'd asked me if I considered Sokal's claim irrelevant. My answer is, operationally the position he describes is a sound one to be 'doing science' from. Ontologically, however, it's irrelevant, much as any ontological position is functionally irrelevant.

Quote:
Why?
If you believe the world is material/physical, you have no reason to seek immaterial interventions. Your efforts to know more about the world will be limited to material causes. While I agree, that does not automatically make you follow the scientific method, nevertheless, in as much as it eliminates a great many other methods of trying to know the world and trying to manipulate it -- mysticism, for instance, and prayer, and speaking to the dead, and so on -- to that extent it becomes much likelier that the materialist will embrace a scientific worldview (than an immaterialist, e.g. A simulationist or a solipsist).

Quote:
It's not antithetical to materialism. It is perfectly possible that the material world obeys the law "If I perform ritualistic act X then I can change reality at will." You just haven't found any evidence of it yet in the data sequence and hence, if you're rational, should not adopt said belief in the first place. The same holds for a rational operational-solipsist or operational-{whatever ontology}.
In practice, supernaturalism, or "woo", usually incorporates immaterial causes of some kind. To the extent that materialism cuts off the very basis of immateriality, to that extent supernaturalism is an unlikely position for the materialist to take.

You're right, though: supernaturalism isn't "antithetical" to materialism, like I'd said, as your own hypothetical shows. It's unlikely, or at least, less likely; not impossible.

As for rationality, well, first of all rationality isn't a given in these cases, that's an additional, unnecessary qualifier that's now gotten tagged on tagged on there; and second, even if rationality might be expected to lead all these -ists to a scientific worldview, the route is clearly much longer for the operational-solipsist.

Quote:
You have to define "doing science." We're talking here about an operational-solipsist and an operational-materialist going into similar monasteries to learn to apply their supposed supernatural powers.
No, that's not what we're talking about, at all.

The operational-solipsist beleves, functionally, that it is his mind that has created the world. As such, a fucused, mystical exploration and culture of his mind, as a likely means of controlling the world, would be a likely enough thing for the operational-solipsist to attemt. That attempt is what might take him to his monastery.

That kind of motivation is lacking in the operational-materialist. He would not have any need for a monastery -- or at least, while we can think up other needs for him, this need at least would be missing in him, so that he'd be less likely than the operational-solipsist to go spend his days in some monastery.

Quote:
Why would that follow? Just because your mind is the ultimate cause of the data sequence doesn't mean you can control it at will.
No, it doesn't necessarily follow; but it remains possible, even probable -- you control the cause (the mind), and so control the effect (the world) -- so it does follow, I think, that you'd be likely to try out that method of knowing as well as controlling the world.

Quote:
Why would he cease being an operational-solipsist?
Well, if my mind creates/projects the world, then it is likely that I might, by controlling my mind, control the world.

So, it is not irrational to attempt to do this through mental culture.

If, however, protracted application in mental culture yielded no results of this nature, then, if the operational-solipsist is rational, then one likely conclusion -- albeit not the only one -- that he might draw is that his position, his operational-solipsism, is flawed. And he well might, then, stop being an operational-solipsist.
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Old 19th October 2019, 06:20 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Wrong.

Idealism


Imagine two laws - one one which requires the existence of a consciousness, and another that doesn't. Both may fit the data we have (so far) observed, and yet be fundamentally different.

Take the Big Bang for example. On one hand we have materialists using the numerous laws they have developed to describe a physical universe which is independent of conscious thought. On the other hand we have idealists who think a god dreamed it up. What are the chances of the idealists developing exactly the same physical laws for their theory of how the Universe began? Pretty low I would think, since 'god did it' makes all that other stuff unnecessary.

There's still the problem of fitting the observed data to the theory of course, but when you start from the principle of a conscious mind being at the heart of it your explanations are likely to be quite different. You might go to ridiculous lengths to shoehorn in your 'prime mover', or perhaps just invent a simpler and less coherent theory. But it would still be different.

And this is what did happen in practice. Religions started out as attempts to explain physical phenomena by positing the influence of conscious agents. When this failed more and more convoluted 'theories' were invented to explain the anomalies. But when idealism was replaced with materialism, great strides were made. Even though the data was the same, one way of thinking of about it worked much better than the other.

You say that "There is no difference in the laws the two would derive that cover the exact same data" but history proves otherwise. You may think that proves nothing, but in the real world it's everything.
Berkeley, an early proponent and perhaps originator of idealism (my history of philosophy isn't strong enough for me to claim this with certainty), 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.

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. If we are being skeptical (which is what led to Berkeley's idealism and its eventual downfall with Hume's argument), we should admit that this consistency is an unexplained and perhaps unexplainable feature of our experiences.

Of course, one could also say that the existence of an all-seeing God is a possible explanation, but not one that can be inferred from the data, which is simply the experiences themselves and not the hidden reason for their consistency.

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 (those which you or I are familiar with). 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.

Using this reasoning, the idealist would also infer from the fact that the universe is expanding that the behavior is consistent with a prior Big Bang. You're right that there's a big difference. 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.

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.

I disagree that religious idealists (or any other religious folk) necessarily come to different scientific laws. Depends on the particular views, of course, but a religious scientist believing in a non-interventionist god would have no bias at all in forming scientific hypotheses. Even one who believed in rare miracles would be eager to explain all but a small handful of events in scientific terms. Those who believe in an active god showering the world with exceptions to universal laws are a whole other story.

This response is only half-thought and I am not sure it's entirely right. 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.
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Old 19th October 2019, 06:39 PM   #291
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... continued from my earlier post above:


Quote:
Perhaps you should define your terms:

What is an operational-materialist? What is an operational-solipsist?

One who is a materialist or a solopsist or a whatever-it-is-ist at an operational, functional level (as opposed to a philosophical, theoretical, non-functional ontological level).

So, if you're a mechanic, that makes you an operational-materialist -- unless you try to set busted car engines through faith healing techniques or through prayer or by reiki-ing the 'vibrations' of the innards of the busted car.


Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
What is that materialist paradigm? You need to be a lot more precise.

You tell me. You're the philosopher, not I.

What I mean is, I probably agree with how you define these terms. If you wish you can tell me how you define them, and I can tell you if I agree. But my point is, the precise definition is probably -- although not necessarily -- irrelevant.

My point is, these categories are meaningful only at an operational, functional level. Taken one level deeper, like you've done, they may be technically correct, but they become irrelevancies.

Take you. I expect you subscribe to a scientific worldview. In as much as our current scientific worldview is materialist (or physicalist), to that extent you are, de facto, functionally and operationally, a materialist/physicalist. An operational-physicalist.

Given this, your ontological nihilism (or solipsism, or whatever-other-ism), while technically valid, is an irrelevancy.

I guess what I'm trying to say might sound something like this when expressed in philosophical terms/jargon: Ontology, when divorced from functionality, when taken beyond an operational level, becomes an irrelevancy.
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Old 19th October 2019, 07:31 PM   #292
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... continued from my post above:


In this thread you've argued that ontologies like materialism and idealism and solipsism are equally valid. You've argued this very convingingly. Usually arguments like these are easily disposed of by applying Occam's Razor, but you've very convincingly parried the Razor thrusts here, every time.

I'm no philosopher -- other than in the trivial sense that everyone is a philosopher -- and I was simply following the argument with interest and without comment. Then it occured to me that what you've done here, is subtly redefined these terms.

Materialism, idealism, these ontologies are useful in as much as they define your functional position, your operational stance. You've simply taken these terms one level deeper, so to say, thus rendering them irrelevant exceptt in a sterile academic sense.


I suggest that, while your own usage is technically valid, these terms will be more useful if used at an operational level. That's what I suggest we do.

(And doing that will bring them back within range of Occam's Razor. When we find that, in practice, it is material causes that explain our world, and it is material interventions that affect/control our world, then non-material ontologies like idealism and solipsism clearly violate the principle of parsimony, at this operational level.)
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Old 20th October 2019, 09:17 AM   #293
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
You tell me. You're the philosopher, not I.

What I mean is, I probably agree with how you define these terms. If you wish you can tell me how you define them, and I can tell you if I agree. But my point is, the precise definition is probably -- although not necessarily -- irrelevant.

My point is, these categories are meaningful only at an operational, functional level. Taken one level deeper, like you've done, they may be technically correct, but they become irrelevancies.
Well you're the one who brought up the terms, it's up to you to define them. As I said before, I think that there are no such categories at the operational level. At the operational level there are only the categories "rational" and "irrational" where "rational" means "holds only beliefs that are based on regularities in the data sequence" and "irrational" means the opposite.

You simply assert that operational-materialists are rational and operational-otherists are irrational, and then use that to argue that operational-materialism should be preferred over operational-otherism. But these properties are orthogonal, it's equally possible for an operational-materialist to be irrational (to go into a monastery to learn the supposed ritualistic acts that would enable him to supernaturally change the data sequence, which he then comprehends as a law of the material world - it is, after all, not impossible for such a physical material law to be awaiting discovery) and an operational-solipsist to be rational (not hold that he can supernaturally change the data sequence because "R->RP" - with R being "some ritualistic act" and P being "power to change the data sequence" - is not an observed regularity in the data sequence).

Quote:
Take you. I expect you subscribe to a scientific worldview. In as much as our current scientific worldview is materialist (or physicalist), to that extent you are, de facto, functionally and operationally, a materialist/physicalist. An operational-physicalist.

Given this, your ontological nihilism (or solipsism, or whatever-other-ism), while technically valid, is an irrelevancy.
No I am not an operational-materialist, I do not assert that an external material world exists, operationally or otherwise. I stick to scientific knowledge without making such unnecessary assumptions. That is, of course, assuming that by operational-materialism you mean Sokal's:

Originally Posted by Sokal
that there exists an external world, whose properties are independent of any individual human being and indeed of humanity as a whole; that these properties are encoded in “eternal'' physical laws; and that human beings can obtain reliable, albeit imperfect and tentative, knowledge of these laws by hewing to the “objective'” procedures and epistemological strictures prescribed by the (so-called) scientific method.
I'm assuming that it's the highlighted part that makes it operational-materialist (as opposed to operational-something-else) and as far as I see it that highlighted part is an unnecessary and frankly baseless assumption, which I do not hold. Ergo, no I am not an operational-materialist.
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Old 20th October 2019, 11:14 AM   #294
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We're now approaching 8 pages of silly word games.

If you take everything you could possibly ever interact with, the whole sum of the universe that you can have an effect on or that could have an effect on you, that's reality.

Anything that isn't that doesn't exist by any practical meaning of the term.

Slap all the "Philosphy 101" terms on that you want, you can't make those two basic facts not true.

Every single version of "Reality is all we can interact with..... *wait for it.... wait for it... wait for it* buuuuuuuuut...." crap is nonsense.

Someone answer me something. Name one thing, anything, that isn't part of reality.
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Old 20th October 2019, 11:24 AM   #295
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
We're now approaching 8 pages of silly word games.

If you take everything you could possibly ever interact with, the whole sum of the universe that you can have an effect on or that could have an effect on you, that's reality.

Anything that isn't that doesn't exist by any practical meaning of the term.

Slap all the "Philosphy 101" terms on that you want, you can't make those two basic facts not true.

Every single version of "Reality is all we can interact with..... *wait for it.... wait for it... wait for it* buuuuuuuuut...." crap is nonsense.

Someone answer me something. Name one thing, anything, that isn't part of reality.
Everything we interact with in our dreams is not real. The whole 'reality is not real' is imho based on the fact, the we are able to create fake realities and believe them in our dreams.
Should we believe we are dreaming all the time ? Not really, there's nothing which would indicate it might be the case. Yet we also can't rule it out.
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Old 20th October 2019, 11:32 AM   #296
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"Does 2+2 always equal 4? I mean sure literally every piece of facts and evidence ever says it always does, but can we rule a chance that it won't just one time?"

I'll never understand the anti-intellectual argumentative endorphin hit people get from just dropping vague "But can we be sure?" truisms into discussions.
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Old 20th October 2019, 11:41 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
Everything we interact with in our dreams is not real. The whole 'reality is not real' is imho based on the fact, the we are able to create fake realities and believe them in our dreams.
Should we believe we are dreaming all the time ? Not really, there's nothing which would indicate it might be the case. Yet we also can't rule it out.
Only some of us can. For example, the "reality" in my dreams is totally unlike the reality I experience when I am awake, even if I don't realise I am dreaming when having a dream.
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Old 20th October 2019, 12:29 PM   #298
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
We're now approaching 8 pages of silly word games.

If you take everything you could possibly ever interact with, the whole sum of the universe that you can have an effect on or that could have an effect on you, that's reality.

Anything that isn't that doesn't exist by any practical meaning of the term.
If I understand your claim correctly, nothing beyond 100 light years exists. There's lots of stuff that far that existed a long time ago, but since nothing that far could possibly affect me in my entire lifetime, it isn't real.

Of course, some things father out could effect my son, so maybe they exist for him but not me?

Is that really what you mean? If so, it's not too fast from idealism. If you meant something else, you'll have to explain.

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Old 20th October 2019, 12:31 PM   #299
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"Does 2+2 always equal 4? I mean sure literally every piece of facts and evidence ever says it always does, but can we rule a chance that it won't just one time?"

I'll never understand the anti-intellectual argumentative endorphin hit people get from just dropping vague "But can we be sure?" truisms into discussions.
Mathematics is based on deduction, not evidence. Our axioms are chosen because they seem useful, but theorems such as 2+2=4 are derived.

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Old 20th October 2019, 12:37 PM   #300
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
If I understand your claim correctly...
You don't.

I also think you already knew that.
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Old 20th October 2019, 12:53 PM   #301
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Mathematics is based on deduction, not evidence. Our axioms are chosen because they seem useful, but theorems such add 2+2=4 are derived.

Huh?

Try adding two apples to two other apples and then count how many the total is. Would the result not be evidence?
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Old 20th October 2019, 12:53 PM   #302
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
You don't.

I also think you already knew that.
Then tell me what you meant.

You're right it didn't sound like what you meant to say. I just don't know what you really did mean.

I suspect the only way to excuse "you" from your post will involve circularity. I also doubt it will refute idealism or solipsism.

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Old 20th October 2019, 12:58 PM   #303
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Huh?

Try adding two apples to two other apples and then count how many the total is. Would the result not be evidence?
It would be evidence that putting two apples together with two other apples yields four apples, but the mathematical theorem is not dependent on such evidence. It is proved deductively from a relevant set of axioms.

This is probably more of a derail than I intended.

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Old 20th October 2019, 01:14 PM   #304
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
It would be evidence that putting two apples together with two other apples yields four apples, but the mathematical theorem is not dependent on such evidence. It is proved deductively from a relevant set of axioms.

This is probably more of a derail than I intended.

This is a load of cobblers.

The evidence supports the "mathematical theorem" no? Perhaps you need to do the addition with pears, oranges, or eggs to be convinced. Please let us know the results of your testing.
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Old 20th October 2019, 01:22 PM   #305
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
This is a load of cobblers.

The evidence supports the "mathematical theorem" no? Perhaps you need to do the addition with pears, oranges, or eggs to be convinced. Please let us know the results of your testing.
Sorry, I really don't want to get bogged down with the nature of mathematics, so let this be my last post on the matter.

Mathematics does not depend on observations (except for motivating us to prefer some axioms over others). A theorem is proved within a given mathematical theory. It is a purely deductive process, not dependent on observation of the world around us.

That we see two things next to two things making four things all the time in the real world suggests that our arithmetic axioms are useful for modeling the world. If it happened that we somehow found a counterexample in the real world, 2+2=4 would still be a theorem of arithmetic but we would have to admit that arithmetic is not the perfect tool for understanding certain odd phenomena.

Hope that helps. None of this is very controversial[1].

[1] A few philosophers, notably Locke, have thought that mathematics was empirically based. This is a minority view and much more problematic since the discovery of non-Euclidean geometry and the realization that axioms should no longer be viewed as either self-evident truths or discovered laws.
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Old 20th October 2019, 04:55 PM   #306
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Well you're the one who brought up the terms, it's up to you to define them.

Materialist (or Physicalist), Solipsist, Idealist, these aren't terms I brought up. You asked me to define 'materialist paradigm' with more precision; and so I said these terms I use in the same sense as everyone does. I expect we don't disagree over this termonology.


Quote:
As I said before, I think that there are no such categories at the operational level. At the operational level there are only the categories "rational" and "irrational" where "rational" means "holds only beliefs that are based on regularities in the data sequence" and "irrational" means the opposite.

I understand you, caveman1917, but here's the thing:

Your rational engagement with the world necessarily leads you to a materialist/physicalist paradigm, because the current scientific worldview happens to be materialist. There's no escaping that.

If you're rational, then that automatically makes you an operational materialist. Do you not see this elementary fact? Not as a matter of logical necessity, but simply as a matter of what science happens to have uncovered thus far.

You ignored my mechanic example, and I invite you again to examine it closely. When you take apart your car to set right its innards, of necessity the causes you examine and the changes you effect are materialist, if you're rational. De facto, then, your rationality leads you to materialism at an operational level. I don't see how you can deny this.

In most of what we know today of our world -- admittedly there still are gaps -- to be rational is to be materialistic/physicalistic. Not as a matter of logically arguing this from first principles, but simply because that is how the world has turned out to be.

I'm sorry, I really don't see how, today, you can claim to be rational, and yet claim not to be -- operationally, that is, de facto -- a materialist.

In as much you follow the pattterns, caveman1917, in as much as you're rational, you look like a materialist, you waddle like one, and you quack like one. No matter what your arguing-from-first-pinciples tells you, that's simply how the world happens to have turned out.


Let me offer an analogy -- with absolutely no disrespect intended by the terms of the analogy! You may present detailed argued-from-first-principles reasons why perfect honesty is the ethical position you hold to. Yet if I see you're actually pilfering money every day, then, no matter what your theory says, in practice, operationally, de facto, dishonest is what you are. (I repeat, no disrespect intended: just an analogy that happened to come to mind.)

Similarly, if in practice everything you do is exactly what a materialist would do, then, de facto, operationally, in practice, a materialist is what you are. That's why I introduced the term "operational", as shorthand for this.

*

I'm (respectfully) snipping the rest of your post, because in responding to it I'd essentially be repeating what I've already said here.

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Old 20th October 2019, 05:36 PM   #307
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Only some of us can. For example, the "reality" in my dreams is totally unlike the reality I experience when I am awake, even if I don't realise I am dreaming when having a dream.

I remember you'd said to me, long back in another thread, that you're not able to visualize stuff the way most people can.

Are you saying that your dreams are, as a result, different than most people's dreams? That's interesting!

How are they different, then, exactly, your dreams, different from most others'? (I mean I guess we all sometimes dream of outlandish scenarios, even magical scenarios -- are you saying your dreams are always outlandish, not just occasionally?)
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Old 20th October 2019, 05:37 PM   #308
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If reality is not real then it is not reality. It is unreality. Now, is unreality real?
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Old 20th October 2019, 05:59 PM   #309
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
If reality is not real then it is not reality. It is unreality. Now, is unreality real?
Not really
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Old 20th October 2019, 06:06 PM   #310
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I remember you'd said to me, long back in another thread, that you're not able to visualize stuff the way most people can.

Are you saying that your dreams are, as a result, different than most people's dreams? That's interesting!

How are they different, then, exactly, your dreams, different from most others'? (I mean I guess we all sometimes dream of outlandish scenarios, even magical scenarios -- are you saying your dreams are always outlandish, not just occasionally?)
There are no pictures, they are a mishmash of.. probably the best way to describe it is - sensations and knowing things, so I may dream I am at home but my dream doesn't have my home as a visual experience it's simply the feelings and sensations I have when I am at home in "reality" less the visual and audio parts and I will "know" I am at home.
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Old 20th October 2019, 06:11 PM   #311
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Materialist (or Physicalist), Solipsist, Idealist, these aren't terms I brought up. You asked me to define 'materialist paradigm' with more precision; and so I said these terms I use in the same sense as everyone does. I expect we don't disagree over this termonology.
Ok then, materialist is "believes in only the existence of an external material world." I will substitute in what follows:

Quote:
Your rational engagement with the world necessarily leads you to a materialist/physicalist paradigm belief in only the existence of an external material world, because the current scientific worldview happens to be materialist. There's no escaping that.
There's definitely escaping that. Though you are free to present scientific evidence that necessitates belief in an external material world. I've yet to see any.

Quote:
If you're rational, then that automatically makes you an operational materialist believer in an external material world. Do you not see this elementary fact? Not as a matter of logical necessity, but simply as a matter of what science happens to have uncovered thus far.
Not only is this anything but a fact, it doesn't even follow. What has science uncovered thus far that necessitates belief in an external material world?

Quote:
You ignored my mechanic example, and I invite you again to examine it closely.
If I were a mechanic and an operational-simulationist then I would do exactly the same thing to fix the car as if I were an operational-materialist, because whether the car is an external material object or a simulated one makes no difference whatsoever on the actions required to fix it.
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Old 20th October 2019, 07:07 PM   #312
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You're missing out on the "operational" part.

Just restate everything you've said here, all of it, including your definitions and your restatement of my earlier post and your subsequent argument, with that qualifer "operational" thrown in, and you'll realize what I've been trying to say to you all this while.

*

One's operational position has real and immediate consequences. One's theoretical beliefs are wholly irrelevant as far as consequences (unless those theoretical beliefs get translated into operational positions).

And yet, in your formulation of materialism and idealism and solipsism, there are no terms for our operational position on these matters, while you do have terms for theoretical beliefs that are divorced from your on-the-ground operational position on these things.

That's what I find odd, bizarre even, and that's what I've been trying to point out to you.

*

If you must have terms for -- and therefore discussion around -- materialism and idealism and solipsism, then I suggest that it makes sense to base such discusssion, and therefore such terms, first and foremost on your on-the-ground, de facto, operational position -- and only then for the theoretical position that informs those operational positions.

Because the former carries consequences, hass meaning; the latter, not.

You've conceded to me upthread that materialism and idealism and solipsism are just words without any real meaning. I suggest to you that they're meaningless precisely because you've divested them of meaning, by having them apply to one's inconsequential theoretical beliefs -- as opposed to one's immediate, direct, on-the-ground, operational position on these things.
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Old 20th October 2019, 07:21 PM   #313
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post



Not only is this anything but a fact, it doesn't even follow. What has science uncovered thus far that necessitates belief in an external material world?



If I were a mechanic and an operational-simulationist then I would do exactly the same thing to fix the car as if I were an operational-materialist, because whether the car is an external material object or a simulated one makes no difference whatsoever on the actions required to fix it.
Correct, science works in a Materialist POV, but does not require it. Regarding any external world independant of consciousness - it has never been found. It is not irrational to infer or believe in an external world independant of consciousness, but it is a belief, an inference.
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Old 20th October 2019, 07:21 PM   #314
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Just as an aside, you don't need to assume 1 + 1 = 2.

The proof is here:

Proof that 1 + 1 = 2

When I first worked through this proof, it was though I had found God. (I'm a lot older and somewhat more jaded now.)
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Old 20th October 2019, 07:23 PM   #315
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
There are no pictures, they are a mishmash of.. probably the best way to describe it is - sensations and knowing things, so I may dream I am at home but my dream doesn't have my home as a visual experience it's simply the feelings and sensations I have when I am at home in "reality" less the visual and audio parts and I will "know" I am at home.
The point being that while dreaming the experience appears real, and is only known to be unreal when evaluated while waking. By this same logic we would need another 'greater' state of consciousness than waking to properly evaluate waking.
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Old 20th October 2019, 10:44 PM   #316
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
The point being that while dreaming the experience appears real, and is only known to be unreal when evaluated while waking. By this same logic we would need another 'greater' state of consciousness than waking to properly evaluate waking.
And presumably if we did, we'd need another even greater state to evaluate it, and so on. At what point do you say "enough already," and settle for what can be known?
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Old 21st October 2019, 02:50 AM   #317
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Then you're calling it wrong. Materialism is the assertion that the fundamental nature of reality is matter. It is in direct contradiction to other ontologies such as solipsism, which is the assertion that the fundamental nature of reality is my mind, or simulationism, which is the assertion that the fundamental nature of reality is a computer simulation, or idealism, which is the assertion that the fundamental nature of reality is ideas.

The paradigms LL compares are a scientific one vs a non-scientific one, not a materialist one vs a non-materialist one. Most scientific knowledge is in the form of initial-value problems, an initial state I leads to a resulting state R. Repeating some experiment we can denote our data as:

"IRIRIRIR..." (where the ... denotes an arbitrarily large, yet still finite, number of repetitions)

This is a an abstract sequence of symbols from some finite alphabet (as phiwum says this can be extended to a countably infinite alphabet, but for simplicity we'll just keep it finite since that's all we'll ever be able to actually observe anyway).

We can see that this sequence expresses a certain regularity, it obeys a pattern. This means that the sequence can be compressed, leading us to:

"I->IR;IIII..."

The part before the ; is called the model ("I->IR") and we can see that using this model on the compressed sequence we can get back the original sequence. We've compressed the sequence to about 50% of its original length. The model is our scientific knowledge, but this is entirely distinct from any ontological explanation of what the fundamental nature of reality is, it's abstract.

To apply this to LL. Let D be "a demented person is given a certain drug" and L be "the person becomes lucid." We have:

"DLDLDLDL..." which we compress as
"D->DL;DDDD..."

Or in other words: "the drug works" - that's what the statement "science works" means, that the scientific model compresses the data.

Now let P be "you pray for a demented person" and N be "the person does not become lucid." We have:

"PNPNPNPN..." which we compress as
"P->PN;PPPP..."

Or in other words: "prayer doesn't work."

Clearly LL is going to go with the former here, he's going to go with science and not with religion. However all of this, the data sequence, the model, the compression, etc is entirely abstract. At no point do any ontological claims come into it, neither materialist ones like "dementia has a material cause and the drug is material" nor a solipsistic one like "this entire thing is figment of my imagination."
Doesn't this miss out a very important part of science, that of making predictions. And I'm not talking about how the model always works every time you run the experiment. I am talking about how new predicted observations can be made based on the way we expect something to work.

Cannot these predictions be based around an assumption that a materialists world view is what drove us to make the prediction in the first place. I mean perhaps at some point it may be possible to predict an expected observation which will depend on what nature of reality actually is (simulation or material)
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Old 21st October 2019, 05:31 AM   #318
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Yes reality is real. We've all already agreed to that by agreeing to have the conversation in it. I'm tired of God Beings demanding figments of their imagination prove their own existence to them and acting intellectual superior when they can't.

Nowhere has making up strawmen to argue against been more absurd then in this discussion, because in this discussion it's literal.

"Oh you're a materialist and I'm a dualist" is absolute across the board nonsense. It's like going into a math class and going "Oh you're a 2+2=4ist? Oh well I'm a 2+2=5ist" and expecting your wrongness to be treated as "just a different kind of being right."

This is my problem with the reductionist "It's just epistimologies all the way down" view of Philosophy. It thinks if you categorize and label "wrongness" it's no longer "wrongness" but some new, equal form of "correctness."

If you are in a room with a chair and you're arguing there is no chair even though you're sitting in it, you're wrong. You're not some alternative, more woke kind of correct no matter what some 16th century white dude who still thought maggots could spontaneously generate from rotting beef called the idea in Latin.
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Old 21st October 2019, 06:10 AM   #319
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Yes reality is real. We've all already agreed to that by agreeing to have the conversation in it. I'm tired of God Beings demanding figments of their imagination prove their own existence to them and acting intellectual superior when they can't.
But you can't explain why things exist, can you ? That's the issue. We simply don't know, and we will never know.
Sure, gods are silly concept. But matter just popping up into existence, that's also silly concept.
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Old 21st October 2019, 06:55 AM   #320
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
You're missing out on the "operational" part.

Just restate everything you've said here, all of it, including your definitions and your restatement of my earlier post and your subsequent argument, with that qualifer "operational" thrown in, and you'll realize what I've been trying to say to you all this while.

*

One's operational position has real and immediate consequences. One's theoretical beliefs are wholly irrelevant as far as consequences (unless those theoretical beliefs get translated into operational positions).

And yet, in your formulation of materialism and idealism and solipsism, there are no terms for our operational position on these matters, while you do have terms for theoretical beliefs that are divorced from your on-the-ground operational position on these things.

That's what I find odd, bizarre even, and that's what I've been trying to point out to you.

*

If you must have terms for -- and therefore discussion around -- materialism and idealism and solipsism, then I suggest that it makes sense to base such discusssion, and therefore such terms, first and foremost on your on-the-ground, de facto, operational position -- and only then for the theoretical position that informs those operational positions.

Because the former carries consequences, hass meaning; the latter, not.

You've conceded to me upthread that materialism and idealism and solipsism are just words without any real meaning. I suggest to you that they're meaningless precisely because you've divested them of meaning, by having them apply to one's inconsequential theoretical beliefs -- as opposed to one's immediate, direct, on-the-ground, operational position on these things.


Here's what your post that I was referring to would have looked like, had you followed my suggestion that you put in the qualifier "operational" in all the relevant positions -- a reasonable thing to do, given that the conversation you and I are/were having is/was about operational-materialism-idealism-solipsism:

I'm taking the liberty of removing the quote tags from your post, and putting indent tags around them instead, so as to make this quotable -- in case this conversation picks up traction again, either with you or otherwise:



[quote=caveman1917;12862832 -- quote tags disabled]

Ok then, the operational-materialist is "believes operationally in only the existence of an external material world." I will substitute in what follows:



There's definitely escaping that. (Is there? Read this through, and you'll probably agree that there is, after all, no escaping that.)Though you are free to present scientific evidence that necessitates an operational belief in an external material world. I've yet to see any. (You see that basis all around you, including in this computer I'm typing from, and in the computer you're reading this from! I refer to the basis for an operational belief in materialism.)



Not only is this anything but a fact, it doesn't even follow. What has science uncovered thus far that necessitates an operational belief in an external material world? (Need you ask?)



If I were a mechanic and an operational-simulationist then I would do exactly the same thing to fix the car as if I were an operational-materialist, because whether the car is an external material object or a simulated one makes no difference whatsoever, operationally, at a functional level, on the actions required to fix it. (Clearly it does make a difference, right, operationally, at a functional level? Clearly you would, indeed, do things differently, right, if your operational position were different?)
[/QUOTE -- quote tags disabled]
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