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-   -   Is there an omniscient interpreter in the cosmos? (http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=101921)

 droog Nov29-05 10:44 AM

Is there an omniscient interpreter in the cosmos?

1)According to Paul Davies, most physicists who work on fundamental physics believe the laws of physics have some independent existence to the universe
2)The laws of physics are propositions if they exist independently to the universe
3)Propositions are semantic-based structures
4)We are justified in believing that the laws of physics are propositions and are semantic structures(from 1, 2, 3)
5)Semantic structures only have existence if they are interpreted and comprehended by an interpreter
6)Propositions require interpretation and comprehension by an interpreter to exist (from 3, 5)
7)We are justified in believing that the laws of physics require interpretation and comprehension by an interpreter to exist (from 3,6)
8)An interpreter exists independent of the proposition and the fictional or non-fictional world(s) that the proposition refers to (defined as having "implicit freedom")
9)An interpreter of a proposition is restricted by rules of interpretation which are separate from the proposition itself (i.e., defined as not having "explicit freedom")
10)An omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent being (God) is defined as having implicit freedom with respect to the propositions of the universe
11)The interpreter of the laws is God (from 4, 8, 9, 10)
We are justified in believing that God is the cause of the laws and the universe(s) that results from the laws (from 7,11).

Where can this logic be faulted? (it's not mine BTW!)

 Paul Martin Nov29-05 11:09 AM

1) Is superfluous. It neither adds nor detracts from the rest of the argument.
2)The laws of physics are propositions whether or not they exist independently to the universe.
3) through 9) seem to be OK to me.
10) It is fair to make any definition you like. However this definition is overkill in the extreme. There is no justification for a belief that such a being exists, and defining such a being adds nothing to this development.
11)The interpreter of the laws (as characterized in 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9) must exist.
We are justified in believing that this "interpreter" is the cause of the laws and the universe(s) that results from the laws (from 7,11).

The conclusion is that there is a finite, limited, conscious entity which is responsible for the universe as we see it, and which is immensely powerful from our perspective judging from the immensity of the universe. There is no evidence or reason to believe that this entity is perfect, infinite, complete, omnipotent, omniscient, or immutable. Occam's razor would also suggest that since this one conscious entity (the "interpreter") must exist, and since each of us knows implicitly that a conscious entity known to each of us as "I" must also exist, to be parsimonious we should consider that these various conscious entities are in reality all one and the same entity.

Paul

(IMHO, the only justification for accepting the notions of omni-whatever as attributes of "God", is to remain consistent with the notions offered by ancient thinkers. Those notions have no grounding in rigor and amount to nothing but guesswork that modern mathematics has shown to be erroneous. The various religions, of course, have embedded those notions so deeply into their doctrines, and so many people have been taught to believe those notions since childhood, that the ideas are very deeply ingrained in our cultures. That does not make them true, but it sure has made them dangerous.)

 droog Nov30-05 03:02 AM

Thanks Paul. As I read it you are accepting the transformation of concepts from the Platonic realm into realities. But in (2)The laws of physics are stated to be propositions but if they were not fully independent then how can they be interpreted? It seems to me that we would arrive at a totally different conclusion if the laws were contingent.

Quote:
 Quote by Paul The conclusion is that there is a finite, limited, conscious entity which is responsible for the universe as we see it, and which is immensely powerful from our perspective judging from the immensity of the universe.There is no evidence or reason to believe that this entity is perfect, infinite, complete, omnipotent, omniscient, or immutable.
You disagree with (10) saying that the definition given to the interpreter is extreme overkill but you restate (11) "We are justified in believing that this "interpreter" is the cause of the laws and the universe(s)" Isn't that a contradiction?

 Careful Nov30-05 03:42 AM

Just a silly remark: it is known since ancient times that if you keep on asking the reason why something is what it is´´ or what mechanism makes X follows these and these rules´´ you either never stop asking questions or you take a shortcut and put God somewhere in by hand. The funny thing is that God evolves (just as the reduction in QM) with the detailed knowledge we have about the world. So therefore, it is entirely justified at this moment in time that physicists believe that God was at the origin of our universe. In some other science fiction pet theories, the universe starts as a side branch of another universe and so on and so on (this is good for employment in physics :cry: )... but it is logical we shall never answer the question what triggered the process. In the end, something just IS, if you call that God, fine.

Quote:
 Quote by careful In the end, something just IS, if you call that God, fine.
OK, but there is no reason is there, to ascribe an incoherent property like omniscience or omnipotence to that something? Or human motivations either!

 sameandnot Nov30-05 04:14 PM

what if mind is not limited to "individual" organisms? i only mention this because, where would that omnipotent "thing" be? i ask, what if the mind is not limited to "individual" organisms, but only seems to be? since we have no clear explanation for what the mind is, we surely, cannot ignore the possibility. what if the idea that the mind is contained "within" the skin is an illusion? you can take this or leave it, but i think that it adds something to the logic, for if the mind (the place where feelings/thoughts occur and are transmitted) is not limited to "the skin", then it, surely, extends indefinitely, or infinitely. maybe the "laws" of physics are more like the manifestations of mental predispositions of matter... ok ok, u say "new-age" crap, but really, is there a difference between my response to the environment and a planets response to another planet, via gravity, other than the complexity and, therefore, various possibilities of action? is mind simply the act of responding to the world, through action, in particular ways? can it be said that the universe is aware of itself? then how can it be ignored that mind might also permeate all existence? this gives a peculiar view of the "omnipotent" or "all power"-ful, entity that is commonly called "G*d".

maybe "mind" is really an undifferentiated "net"/wholeness of awareness, response, only more complex within more complex "things"/organisms.

does this make the argument stronger ot weaker? i guess we must see if we can differentiate between awareness and "mind". and further, to see what, in fact, "mind" means. how simple can it be and still be called "mind"? how small? how large?

 Careful Nov30-05 04:22 PM

Quote:
 Quote by selfAdjoint OK, but there is no reason is there, to ascribe an incoherent property like omniscience or omnipotence to that something? Or human motivations either!
As you might have discovered already, I am a grandpa realist´´ (as ZapperZ says :smile: ) so I am only running hot for the good old fashioned, solid, no-nonsense approach.

 sameandnot Nov30-05 04:40 PM

where is g*d? where is this thing that has omniscience, omnipotence? WHERE?!?! if we are to talk about such a "thing", musn't we have a clear idea of what we are talking about?!? what are we talking about??? i am momentarily frustrated by those who talk about that "thing", but don't, themselves, have a concept of what they are discussing. tell me what that omniscient thing is, or where it is, then we can talk about this rationally. otherwise we are talking about beliefs founded in assumption and emotion, and therefore non-rational!! you don't believe in "god", what don't you believe in? you do believe in "god" what do you believe in? tell me PLEASE!!

 Careful Dec1-05 04:03 AM

Quote:
 Quote by sameandnot i am momentarily frustrated by those who talk about that "thing", but don't, themselves, have a concept of what they are discussing. tell me what that omniscient thing is, or where it is, then we can talk about this rationally. otherwise we are talking about beliefs founded in assumption and emotion, and therefore non-rational!! you don't believe in "god", what don't you believe in? you do believe in "god" what do you believe in? tell me PLEASE!!
Oh, but we have; here is a provisionary definition: God is (a) the collection of all why and what questions which are not known (by the entire humanity) and not likely (by reasonable analogy) to have an answer based upon a materialistic worldview (b) the assignment we give to peculiarities of our reality vis a vis our understanding of it.
For example, under (a) might fall consciousness (but not everyone agrees upon that of course), under (b) we can put the very special initial conditions of the universe. Physicists like to start from the idea of a very general dynamics (GR) and would hope that our universe is just the generic one if you let it evolve for some time´´. This is NOT the case (unlike what the inflationary picture claims) so you might say that God must have really chosen us. However, it is my opinion that conversations about this usually do not make much progress ...

 sameandnot Dec1-05 06:41 PM

 sameandnot Dec1-05 06:49 PM

what you call god is wisdom. wisdom is omniscience. wisdom is freedom. wisdom is omnibenevolent and omnipotent. wisdom cannot be labeled. it is that which can only be defined in infinite words. the idea of infinite itself confounds the mind-analysis to triviality. unfolding the mind to see its ignorances and assumption is the path of finding/having Knowledge/wisdom; actualizing The Actuality. don't look outside, look inside. see what is inside. that which is looking out, in the first place. know that and the rest wil follow naturally. that is a promise. the desire to know must be unswerving and of absolute dedication and determination, otherwise we become distracted and deluded by our sub-conscious beliefs. the sub-conscious must be made conscious, through the unceasing desire to unfold the mind and see what it contains. that is where the "pearls" of wisdom lay. they are not "out there".

 sameandnot Dec1-05 06:57 PM

not speculation or analysis, founded in pre-conceived notions. this will not yield truth. only self-awareness, will do. awareness is the cure for ignorance. ignorance is simply the ignoring what is. ignoring comes from falling into habits of mind (speculation and exterior analysis). awareness stops ignorance instantly. never stop being aware, and never fall into ignorance. don't start to speculate, because it is then that you have lost awareness of "what is" and are engaged in the ideas of "what could be"/"what might be". why do that, when "what is" is always right before, and within, you?... for the experiencing/living/being. god is That which is, before a mental construct is imposed on It. It is the infinite, from which particular ideas and theories and beliefs are generated. once they are generated, That infinity becomes covered by finitudes, which, in themselves, can never be confused with truth, as they conceal the truth and the self, becomes ignorant of It. know what it is to ignore what is.

 Les Sleeth Dec1-05 07:40 PM

Quote:
 Quote by Careful Oh, but we have; here is a provisionary definition: God is (a) the collection of all why and what questions which are not known (by the entire humanity) and not likely (by reasonable analogy) to have an answer based upon a materialistic worldview (b) the assignment we give to peculiarities of our reality vis a vis our understanding of it.
The best physicists theorize from what they can experience, which is a good thing. But if they lack the ability to experience God, isn't it a bit egocentric to think God is therefore not possible to experience but rather merely what's unexplainable and peculiar?

Quote:
 Quote by Careful For example, under (a) might fall consciousness (but not everyone agrees upon that of course), under (b) we can put the very special initial conditions of the universe. Physicists like to start from the idea of a very general dynamics (GR) and would hope that our universe is just the generic one if you let it evolve for some time´´. This is NOT the case (unlike what the inflationary picture claims) so you might say that God must have really chosen us. However, it is my opinion that conversations about this usually do not make much progress ...
On the other hand, why isn't what mechanics can't explain (and really, that's all science is) significant? There is no doubt that the universe has a mighty mechanical backbone. Even consciousness is at the very least entwined in a very mechanical brain.

Yet there are things about reality which aren't explained by mechanics alone despite the efforts of scientism devotees to convince us otherwise. I'll let the exalted role of genetic variation-natural selection pass for now; everyone seems a bit sore at my challenging that sacred cow. Instead I'll return to my perennial objection, the one I have argued here for nearly three years.

The physicalist believer says chemistry can self-organize itself into a cell. What's the evidence of this supposed self-organizing ability? Why, it is a decades old experiment where a few amino acids self-organized for Miller and Urey.

Here's the logic of that supposition. Amino acids self-organize for a few steps, therefore, chemistry can self-organize for a million steps to become a cell. Do you see a problem with this logic? I do, and what I see is scientism "believers" making HUGE inferential leaps to justify their belief system. It certainly isn't the attitude of the normally conservative scientist very, very carefully interpreting his evidence. The fact that he/she has entered the theoretical realm seems to turn that usually careful empiricist into a wildly speculating science fanatic. :tongue2:

Finally, are you sure there isn't a way to experience what some refer to as God? I would say that if there is, it isn't via the same epistomology as what reveals mechanics. You might consider studying, if you are interested in an informed opinion about the God adepts, the long history of the practice which requires one to turn one's attention inward (i.e., rather than "outward" through the senses).

 Paul Martin Dec1-05 10:50 PM

Quote:
 Quote by droog Thanks Paul.
You're welcome. Sorry this response is so late; I have been out of town.
Quote:
 Quote by droog As I read it you are accepting the transformation of concepts from the Platonic realm into realities.
You read it right. Your mention of "concepts", "Platonic realm", and "realities" is very similar to Roger Penrose's analysis. He describes three "worlds", 1) the Mental World, 2) the Platonic World, and 3) the Physical World, and he points out that a tiny fraction of each of these somehow leads to, or accounts for, the entire next world.

The Mental World contains many conceptions, thoughts, perceptions, feelings, desires, etc. A tiny fraction of those are the precise mathematical constructs such as geometric forms, mathematical systems of theorems, and maybe even such things as truth and beauty.

A tiny fraction of those inhabitants of the Platonic World, are the equations that comprise the true laws of physics (which we hope to discover in totality some day). And, somehow, this relatively tiny set of laws seems to give rise to, or be responsible for, our Physical World.

Then to complete the cycle, a tiny fraction of the Physical World, i.e. brains, seems to be capable of producing the Mental World with all its contents.

Penrose claims that this loop constitutes a mystery. I say that the mystery would be solved if we only establish a starting point. Since the Mental World is the only thing I know for sure exists, I think the Mental World should be the starting point. It is relatively easy to see how the Platonic World and then the Physical World can follow from there. Gregory Bateson seems to have come to the same conclusion taking a different route.

Quote:
 Quote by droog But in (2)The laws of physics are stated to be propositions but if they were not fully independent then how can they be interpreted? It seems to me that we would arrive at a totally different conclusion if the laws were contingent.
Using Penrose's three worlds again, I would say that the laws of physics are independent of the Physical World, but they are contingent on the Mental World. I don't see how you can have concepts, like the laws of physics, without mentality. You can certainly encode the laws into language and write them into the Physical World, for example as ink on book pages, but in that physical form, the laws are powerless either to create anything or to compel conformance. I think it takes mentality to do either of those.

Quote:
 Quote by droog You disagree with (10) saying that the definition given to the interpreter is extreme overkill but you restate (11) "We are justified in believing that this "interpreter" is the cause of the laws and the universe(s)" Isn't that a contradiction?
It isn't that I disagree with (10); you can't really disagree with a definition. It's just that in order to support the argument being made, there is no need for the "interpreter" to be "omniscient, omnipotent, and ... having implicit freedom with respect to the propositions of the universe". I think there is ample evidence in just what we can see, that our Physical World, and by implication its "interpreter", is far from perfect.

Paul

 droog Dec3-05 11:05 AM

Quote:
 Quote by Paul Martin You read it right. Your mention of "concepts", "Platonic realm", and "realities" is very similar to Roger Penrose's analysis. He describes three "worlds", 1) the Mental World, 2) the Platonic World, and 3) the Physical World, and he points out that a tiny fraction of each of these somehow leads to, or accounts for, the entire next world. The Mental World contains many conceptions, thoughts, perceptions, feelings, desires, etc. A tiny fraction of those are the precise mathematical constructs such as geometric forms, mathematical systems of theorems, and maybe even such things as truth and beauty. A tiny fraction of those inhabitants of the Platonic World, are the equations that comprise the true laws of physics (which we hope to discover in totality some day). And, somehow, this relatively tiny set of laws seems to give rise to, or be responsible for, our Physical World. Then to complete the cycle, a tiny fraction of the Physical World, i.e. brains, seems to be capable of producing the Mental World with all its contents. Penrose claims that this loop constitutes a mystery. I say that the mystery would be solved if we only establish a starting point. Since the Mental World is the only thing I know for sure exists, I think the Mental World should be the starting point.
Hold on, there's a mysterious loop here. Surely it shouldn't be quite so easy to jump out of it like that?
Quote:
 Quote by Paul Martin It is relatively easy to see how the Platonic World and then the Physical World can follow from there. Gregory Bateson seems to have come to the same conclusion taking a different route.
Cybernetic wisdom aside, it's only natural for the Platonic and Physical worlds to follow on from there -- but that's true if we break out of the loop in any other way!
Quote:
 Quote by Paul Martin Using Penrose's three worlds again, I would say that the laws of physics are independent of the Physical World, but they are contingent on the Mental World. I don't see how you can have concepts, like the laws of physics, without mentality.
And I don't see how we can have mentality without the laws of phyiscs :confused:
Quote:
 Quote by Paul Martin You can certainly encode the laws into language and write them into the Physical World, for example as ink on book pages, but in that physical form, the laws are powerless either to create anything or to compel conformance. I think it takes mentality to do either of those. It isn't that I disagree with (10); you can't really disagree with a definition. It's just that in order to support the argument being made, there is no need for the "interpreter" to be "omniscient, omnipotent, and ... having implicit freedom with respect to the propositions of the universe". I think there is ample evidence in just what we can see, that our Physical World, and by implication its "interpreter", is far from perfect. Paul
And there you leave me puzzled. This question could perhaps be further reduced to mind and matter -- or, seeing as how they are interchangeable, mind and energy. Now call me a hippy if you will, but when it comes to karma I like to think of it more in terms of energy. :tongue:

 Careful Dec3-05 05:38 PM

**The best physicists theorize from what they can experience, which is a good thing. But if they lack the ability to experience God, isn't it a bit egocentric to think God is therefore not possible to experience but rather merely what's unexplainable and peculiar? **

For the traditional physicist who has not the ability to experience God in the sense of a transcendent being, it is unexplainable that someone else can; therefore he will categorize the transcendent creature believers´´ in the God bag :biggrin:

**
Yet there are things about reality which aren't explained by mechanics **

Such as ?? You could make an effort to define consciousness (I exposed myself to criticism by making a provisionary definition of God).

**
Here's the logic of that supposition. Amino acids self-organize for a few steps, therefore, chemistry can self-organize for a million steps to become a cell. Do you see a problem with this logic? I do, and what I see is scientism "believers" making HUGE inferential leaps to justify their belief system. It certainly isn't the attitude of the normally conservative scientist very, very carefully interpreting his evidence. The fact that he/she has entered the theoretical realm seems to turn that usually careful empiricist into a wildly speculating science fanatic. :tongue2: **

Ah, every physicst would argue that a system with so many degrees of freedom is impossible to study exactly (for now) but that this is by no means a reason to *believe* in something different. I believe that such complicated dynamics will be studied in the forseeable future and that our theories shall give good results (as suggested by work in statistical physics).

**Finally, are you sure there isn't a way to experience what some refer to as God? **

Of course I am not sure: the same goes about telekineses for example. The point is that one should not speculate whether this can be explained by traditional physics or not as long as we cannot calculate yet the behavior of a bucket of water.

 sameandnot Dec3-05 06:15 PM

we really must re-word the question.

the question implies that the omniscient interpreter is something other than the cosmos.

this arealdy seems to assume too much. for the next, obvious question is where is it?

we are talking as if we have established that "It" is not interpreting itself. all things (string, electron, particle, atom, molecule, cell, tissue, organ, organism, environment, etc.) can be said to be interpreting the "the world to which it belongs".

all action can be regarded as a movement of consciousness, no matter how crude or limited the possible movements may seem.

i have made the analogy before, of a planet being aware of another planet, where the characteristic of that recognition/action is "attraction towards". in this case, the recognition is simultaneous with the action and so we say that it is a "mindless" occurance. (that is, "immediate", or rather, not "mediated" by a mind.)

so the question that would follow from such a model, is concerned with "a cosmos that is interpreting itself in a "seemingly infinite" continuum of relative scale. (such that, "the small" interprets within and of "the small", which forms the "structure", upon which, the next realm, or scale has it's "ground" of interpretation, and so on.)

such a continuum is one where the base, within every relative scale (quantum field, classical field, relativistic field), is "that which has been structured" (on a smaller scale), forming the "grounds" for "structuring" (or that which structures) to interpret and be interpretted and form structures that correspond to that scale. (this "next higher" scale forms the "ground" upon which "higher" structures are interpretted and formed.
"that which strucures", then, IS the continuum, and "that which has been structured" acts out the interpretations possible within the parameters of the "new" scale, or realm. (all realms are relative to each other, through the "structuring characteristic", which is self-same throughout all of the realms, but manifests itself in as many variations of form, as there are realms of structure.) this is a lot of words.

finally, it would seem that the "interpretation continuum" is actually a loop-continuum. where the (perhaps infinitely) large scale, and the (perhaps infinitely) small scale are united as a single (omniscient) interpretation. expressed as a self-contained system of self-interpretation and re-interpretation.

we can then say that the universe is interpreting itself and is, essentially, interpreting based on the information recieved, in the form of the "relative interpretations", and loops back new interpretations to the relative scales when the information is interpretted. this points to a completely symbiotic relation of interpretations, expressed as a kind of in"form"ation.

far out. but i just wanted to present the possibility that we were not considering the question correctly and that it might very well be that the universe is self-interpreting, self-structuring and all-knowing. in a way that we may never have imagined, or dreamed.

oh well, take it or leave it, or consider it and replace it.

 sameandnot Dec3-05 06:23 PM

the continuum would have to be such, that the parameters and "possiblities of structuring", were all devised (interpretted) in a moment, from, of, and within the continuum, which is eternally present, self-sustaining, self-generating, self-actualizing and self-same in all its subsequent "structurings" and "interpretations".

this idea is kind of similar to the idea of God, isn't it?

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