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The Case Against Reality...

shagg

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He defines something that I think a lot of people get a vague sense of at some point in their life. For me, it was when I was around 3. My uncle was reviewing colors with me, which I had down pretty well at the time. And it suddenly occurred to me. What if he sees blue the way I see red? What if, if I could use his eyes for a minute, the sky looked red and apples looked blue? What would be correct? If I see the apple as red, and someone elses red looks blue to me, what is the apple really? Years later I figured it was impossible to tell and in the end wouldn't really matter anyway. It's pretty cool he never gave up and found a way to apply less fallible science to the problem, on top of defining the problem better than I ever could. It ties in to the brain in the vat / Deus Deceptor / The Matrix type problems, but in a way you can pit science against it and there's a chance for real answers.

A friend of mine referred me to the Double Slit Experiment (it's G rated, I swear), and my first reaction was to deny that it was even possible for such an anomaly to happen, never mind be predictably reproducible. The only logical conclusion is that the very act of perceiving reality has an impact on reality somehow. Which would mean that there's a whole lot of stuff we are really clueless about as a species.
 

Cally

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On the other side are quantum physicists, marveling at the strange fact that quantum systems don’t seem to be definite objects localized in space until we come along to observe them.

is there silence if a tree falls in the forest when there is no one to hear it? of course not.

Of course, interpretation of reality is subjective. There is much we don't perceive. If we did perceive it, reality would seem different. and yet it wouldn't be.
 

Paralogic

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... there's a whole lot of stuff we are really clueless about as a species.

Yes, we are clueless about a lot of things, and we are starting to know more and more things about the universe...

But we know now that human beings are irrelevant to the universe.

We know now that any philosophical statement has to include what we know about the physical state of the world around us.

That's why all pre-21st century philosophers are all wrong by definition --- none of them were aware of our current knowledge in physics.
 

Riveroaks

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is there silence if a tree falls in the forest when there is no one to hear it? of course not.

Of course, interpretation of reality is subjective. There is much we don't perceive. If we did perceive it, reality would seem different. and yet it wouldn't be.

According to George Berkeley (1685 - 1753) if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Yes, God is there to hear it.

You should read more.

You should read philosophy.
 

Riveroaks

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Yes, we are clueless about a lot of things... .
Please speak for yourself.

... we are starting to know more and more things about the universe...

That started with Galileo actually in 1600 AD.


... But we know now that human beings are irrelevant to the universe...

I thought you just confessed that you were clueless.

It therefore seems to me that you know nothing at all not even this.

I think you should get out your drawing board and make up your mind.

You sound schizophrenic to me.


... We know now that any philosophical statement has to include what we know about the physical state of the world around us. ..

Where do you get this sh!t from? Do you make it up as you go along or is it in your 3rd grade reader ??


...That's why all pre-21st century philosophers are all wrong by definition --- none of them were aware of our current knowledge in physics.

No one has every topped Descartes, or Leibniz, or Kant ... ever. The only thing that the 20th Century has brought us is atheism and agnosticism.

And since your reading list has been so bereft -- note that there is NOTHING that the 21st Century has brought us in philosophy at all.
 

shagg

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According to George Berkeley (1685 - 1753) if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Yes, God is there to hear it.

You should read more.

You should read philosophy.

Let's see if I can get this right, it's been a few years


A student once stopped and thought "God
Must find it increasingly odd
That this very tree
ceases to be
When there's no one about in the quad"

"Young sir I find your thought odd
I'm always about in the quad
And that's why this tree
Continues to be
Observed by yours faithfully, God"
 

shagg

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We know now that any philosophical statement has to include what we know about the physical state of the world around us.

While true, it's just as important (if not more so) to make room for the things you don't know and guard against casual assumption.

That's why all pre-21st century philosophers are all wrong by definition --- none of them were aware of our current knowledge in physics.

I disagree. The great works from the last 3 milleniae that have survived until today deal mostly with fundamental concepts and principals. Science and knowledge have done nothing to change their value to philosophical thought and investigation. Sure they didn't have the intimate knowledge of biology, physics, chemistry, etc that we have, but many of those works held up in the face of all those advancements. The ones that didn't still teach a valuable lesson given our current perspective, like Descartes and the Pineal Gland.
 

RAMOSS

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According to George Berkeley (1685 - 1753) if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Yes, God is there to hear it.

You should read more.

You should read philosophy.

Of course, that makes the following assumptions. 1) that God exists, 2) God is omnipresent, and 3 God 'hears'.
 

ashurbanipal

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Of course public reality is an illusion...

The article itself confuses something though.

On one side you’ll find researchers scratching their chins raw trying to understand how a three-pound lump of gray matter obeying nothing more than the ordinary laws of physics can give rise to first-person conscious experience. This is the aptly named “hard problem.”

...

The central lesson of quantum physics is clear: There are no public objects sitting out there in some preexisting space. As the physicist John Wheeler put it, “Useful as it is under ordinary circumstances to say that the world exists ‘out there’ independent of us, that view can no longer be upheld.”

...

So while neuroscientists struggle to understand how there can be such a thing as a first-person reality, quantum physicists have to grapple with the mystery of how there can be anything but a first-person reality.

First-person reality, and experiential or phenomenal consciousness, are not the same thing. Furthermore, and clearly, if there are no pubic objects, there are no brains, and the mystery of how brains "give rise to" consciousness goes away. Not that consciousness itself is any less mysterious...
 

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"Reality is just us telling each other things to make us feel better" (probably misquoted from In the Mouth of Madness).
I used to think that reality was based on popular perception when I was younger. I have kind of rejected the idea over time.

The suspicious part of me says, this guy wants in on one of the "android body" projects going around, can't quite get the machine to show the brain what the brain usually sees, so is using this as a means to open up the idea that whatever the android system sees is the "real reality" and not what we've always perceived.

I'm terrible at taking things at face value :D

Last thought is the Vorlons who looked like different things to different people in that wonderful Sci Fi saga, Babylon 5.
 

shagg

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Of course, that makes the following assumptions. 1) that God exists, 2) God is omnipresent, and 3 God 'hears'.

I never studied Berkeley too deeply, but my impression was always that it was the only plausible way to accept the seemingly wild and baseless assertion that things only exist when they are being perceived. In what is undeniably philosophical irony, God was the deus ex machina that made it possible and consistent with the world we know by avoiding the assertion altogether and turning the whole thing into the equivalent of one of Aquinas' five ways.

However you look at something like the double slit experiment and you wonder.... was he on to something? Not necessarily god, but in how perception possibly affects reality.
 
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Riveroaks

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Of course, that makes the following assumptions. 1) that God exists, 2) God is omnipresent, and 3 God 'hears'.

Well the "Philosophy" God from romantic philosophy (those philosophers who love God) is too busy to be preoccupied with humans.

And although Pantheism teaches that God is omnipresent, I don't believe it.

Omniscient -- yes.

Omnipotent -- not exactly.

Omnipresent -- definitely not.
 

shagg

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Well the "Philosophy" God from romantic philosophy (those philosophers who love God) is too busy to be preoccupied with humans.

And although Pantheism teaches that God is omnipresent, I don't believe it.

Omniscient -- yes.

Omnipotent -- not exactly.

Omnipresent -- definitely not.

Maybe god is aware of everything at least a little. Like you perceive something in the corner of your eye, as in barely/sub consciously. Maybe that's just enough to keep everything from flickering in and out of existence.
 

shagg

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To expand on something I mentioned earlier. The Double Slit Experiment in a nutshell, shows that photons can sometimes behave like a particle, and sometimes like a wave. When unobserved, the photons left a pattern that showed they took on wave form (even photons fired one at a time left a wave pattern when unobserved). When a device was set up to observe and record the photons, they started traveling as particles, and left the corresponding pattern.

In The Double Slit Experiment Explained (Sort Of), some grad students figured out that if the observation device was left on and running but didn't record the data, the photons continued to leave the wave pattern. It was only if the device were actually recording the data that they started to leave the particle pattern.

Thinking that over for a while, that's where I start to think Berkeley may have been on to something
 

Riveroaks

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Maybe god is aware of everything at least a little. Like you perceive something in the corner of your eye, as in barely/sub consciously. Maybe that's just enough to keep everything from flickering in and out of existence.

Most of the romantic philosophers that I have read about believe that the Philosophy God is not to be bothered by lowly humankind. The Philosophy God is pure intelligence contemplating itself. In philosophy, even in romantic (God-centered) philosophy, there is no love in God, only perfection and excellence. There is also no explanation of why God created.
 

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I hope Nomad doesn't hear this stuff.
 

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No one has every topped Descartes, or Leibniz, or Kant ...

They are all wrong. How do they explain quantum entanglement? They can't because they were just not aware of what we are aware of now.

Their intellect is not in question. Their statements and claims are, though, because all Philosophy has to be aware of Physics in order to be potentially relevant to reality.
 

grip

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Well the "Philosophy" God from romantic philosophy (those philosophers who love God) is too busy to be preoccupied with humans.

And although Pantheism teaches that God is omnipresent, I don't believe it.

Omniscient -- yes.

Omnipotent -- not exactly.

Omnipresent -- definitely not.

This doesn't make sense, because any force or Being that is Omni-anything is Omni-everything. A being that is infinite is also eternal, because it has no beginning or ending. If it creates everything, then it's aware of everything and how it's made. If its force is everywhere, then it's all powerful etc.



They are all wrong. How do they explain quantum entanglement? They can't because they were just not aware of what we are aware of now.

Their intellect is not in question. Their statements and claims are, though, because all Philosophy has to be aware of Physics in order to be potentially relevant to reality.

Physics will never achieve a 'theory of everything', until they include the observer as part of the solution, with the observed. Reality is an interaction between what the human senses and our reasoning. Our very interaction with physical reality changes it thru our perception. For example the old conundrum, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" The answer would be, it makes the concussive force in the air capable of creating noise but if no ear hears it, then no sound is perceived. So creatures have changed the very nature of reality by developing a unique feature to interact with it through hearing as ears.

It's similar with quantum mechanics as Schrodinger's cat paradox or a particle wave function collapse that the universe is affected or possibly brought into focus by the act of being observed. The interaction of a creature sensing a vast array of information, through the limited senses, acts as a conscious focal point to give an otherwise unbounded dimension a point in space and time to coordinate and center itself. A way of separating and forming the boundaries between the endless blurry potential into finite definition.

It could be that only consciousness is actually real and unchanging, while physical existence is an extension of our perception as a continuously moving simulation. The universe, through nature, is a movie being played and our minds are the screen on which it's viewed. Maybe?
 

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Physics will never achieve a 'theory of everything', until they include the observer as part of the solution...

That can't be, by definition.

Reality existed for a very long time before even our solar system even started to develop.

The universe does not need an observer to exist. We are just a result of a random event of an asteroid wiping out the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago.

The universe does not need any observers to exist. We know that much.

That's why Cosmological Reality (tm) is rational : humans are irrelevant to the universe.
 

grip

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That can't be, by definition.

Reality existed for a very long time before even our solar system even started to develop.

The universe does not need an observer to exist. We are just a result of a random event of an asteroid wiping out the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago.

The universe does not need any observers to exist. We know that much.

That's why Cosmological Reality (tm) is rational : humans are irrelevant to the universe.


We don't know what reality really is without our ability to consciously perceive it. It may be something akin to a computer simulation, with all the necessary components to operate but doesn't exist in a manner that would make sense to us without our interaction. It may be pure endless energy and we're only perceiving a very small amount of the information available to inhabit it. The physical universe needs an observer to be conscious as far as we can tell, because this component doesn't exist without creatures.

The question now is how does reality (universe) exist without being perceived? It has no sight, sound, feeling, smell or taste only the potential energy to create these effects through an avatar. It's like a software program, with the code to make new information, but has yet to be realized without a focal point. Light is merely electromagnetic waves traveling thru space, until they enter an eye and get refracted on the back of a retina and become an image in a brain. The program is always running in the background, it simply doesn't have any biological connections to tune it in.
 

shagg

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They are all wrong. How do they explain quantum entanglement? They can't because they were just not aware of what we are aware of now.

Their intellect is not in question. Their statements and claims are, though, because all Philosophy has to be aware of Physics in order to be potentially relevant to reality.

Logic functions independent of physics, even quantum physics. Arguments and theories based on logic and observations, that don't make baseless assumptions, are just as valid despite our advancements in science. Science would have made it easier for the author, all those years ago, and possibly confirmed some things that were not quite provable with logic alone, but you can't categorically call all of it wrong (by necessity no less) because they didn't have our scientific knowledge. Modus Tollens was just as true 3000 years ago as it is now.


That can't be, by definition.

Reality existed for a very long time before even our solar system even started to develop.

The universe does not need an observer to exist. We are just a result of a random event of an asteroid wiping out the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago.

The universe does not need any observers to exist. We know that much.

The bolded is the assumption that quantum physics seems to be chipping away at. You're probably still right, but things don't line up quite the way they should if it were that simple.
That's why Cosmological Reality (tm) is rational : humans are irrelevant to the universe.
 

grip

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The universe appears to exist to humans as an endless energy expanding from a dimensionless source that institutes the parameters, by which it can have dimensions using a measure of spatial extent, especially width, height and length.

Through our conscious perception we are able to interact with this limitless energy thru a symbiotic relationship giving that which had no dimension the ability to now come into limited recognition (reality), which is a form of existentialism.

The human brain operates as electrical impulses firing across waves of neurons. Electrical signals between neurons generate electric fields that radiate out of brain tissue as electrical waves. Brainwaves as tiny impulses constantly race among billions of interconnected neurons, generating an electric field that surrounds the brain like an invisible cloud.

If consciousness is the product of a higher and more complex energy that results in perception, then the brain may be a biological quantum computer that taps into and shares part of its core function with an undetected universal quantum field. We are physically activated and connected to this quantum field of awareness at a certain level of mental alertness. The same way the Higgs field gives particles their mass through the Higgs boson this unseen field that permeates all of space may give us our source of consciousness, through its interaction with certain brain waves.

The way we know that energy, like particles, can be connected by a dimensionless field is that in quantum physics, entangled particles remain connected so that actions performed on one affect the other, even when separated by great distances. This action seems to violate the limitations of the space/time continuum.

One could hypothesize that the original hidden and dimensionless energy, of which the physical universe is an extension, is a singularity of pure thought that is conscious awareness incarnate. Devoid of form or dimension, self existent, without beginning or end. As an indeterminable and static energy source at rest it transformed conscious thought into active physical energy by delineating space and time from matter, then inflating these dimensions with the outward expansion of intermixed super heated gaseous plasma, which eventually turned into particles. Physicists now say that the singularity that created the Big Bang came from nothing, which is what an infinite dimensionless energy would appear as.

It's a crazy theory. :lol:
 

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The universe appears to exist to humans ...

Another failed anthropocentric view of reality.

Human beings are irrelevant to the universe. Reality exists indepedently of human beings.
 
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