Prove existence

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  • #1
zelldot
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does nothing exist apart from my mind?
 

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  • #2
selfAdjoint
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zelldot said:
does nothing exist apart from my mind?

WHo says your mind exists? Perhaps you are just a figment of mine!
 
  • #3
Lacy33
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selfAdjoint said:
WHo says your mind exists? Perhaps you are just a figment of mine!

Good morning selfAdjoint,

From what perspective do you ask if zelldot if he is just a figment of YOUR mind.

What part of our mind guestions the minds own existence?

Is there a true objective preception for the human mind?

Suzanne
 
  • #4
Iacchus32
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Perhaps we are all just legends in our own minds, huh? :rofl: Of course without the "physical" world, to interact with our "physical" senses, what would our minds interact with? At least we know this "interaction" is real ... I guess?
 
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  • #5
Jameson
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zelldot said:
does nothing exist apart from my mind?

Does something exist just because it's part of your mind? :tongue2:
 
  • #6
Iacchus32
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Jameson said:
Does something exist just because it's part of your mind? :tongue2:
Well, if the brain was merely a matter of being "physical" ... then yes. :wink:
 
  • #7
dubmugga
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zelldot said:
does nothing exist apart from my mind?

Yes, nothing exists apart/independently of your mind

Your mind exists apart/independently of you

You are a part but not independent of nothing...

...and your mind is not your own

I think you are confusing mind with brain and nothing with something

nothing is perfect...

...there is always room for improvement

:wink:
 
  • #8
ryanvergel
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cogito ergo sum?

If there is something(you) pondering existence, then it must have existence to even be pondering upon it, correct?

After that, there is nothing proveable. The only thing one can truly know, with certainty, is that one is an entity of some sort. I know I am something, because I am pondering my own existence. You? I don't know with certainty if you are what you are or anything of that nature, I can only undoubtedly know I am something.
 
  • #9
nameless
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zelldot said:
does nothing exist apart from my mind?
Define 'existence'?
Are you assuming that there is a 'me' to 'have' a mind?
Are you assuming that 'mind' exists?

'Cogito ergo sum' seems like a self-referrential fallacy. Does 'thought' always reflect absolute 'reality'? If not, why assume your 'existence' from thought. We have heard this quote for so long that it is assumed to have validity. Another cognitive fallacy.

What if there were a 'thought' floating through the mists hallucinating a 'Me' and a 'my universe'?
 
  • #10
Sikz
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On Existence

Because my existence is a fundamental aspect of my experiences, if I do not exist, neither do my experiences.

Because my experiences are the sole source of my belief and knowledge of the “exterior world”, if they do not exist, the exterior world does not exist.

If neither the exterior nor the interior worlds exist, nothing exists.

If nothing exists, truth does not exist.

If truth does not exist, the statement "I do not exist," is not true.

Therefore, I exist.







The last point doesn't requre "I do not exist," to be false; only for it not to be true.

If you do not accept that: if you take the statement "I do exist," in the place of "I do not exist," (or replace "truth" with "falsehood" in the previous point), it is apparent that such a statement is not true either. If such is the case, we have a logical paradox... Which renders our assumption impossible.

It could be argued that a logical paradox cannot occur, because if we accept our assumption "logic" cannot exist either; however, that conclusion itself is only valid through logic-- and therefore, by logic, invalid in its absence.

My entire point is that logic proves itself. Logic is a self-validating and self-containing system.
 
  • #11
nameless
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Sikz said:
If nothing exists, truth does not exist.
Are you saying that 'Truth' is a 'thing'? Like a bicycle? I think that your reasoning is faulty here. For 'Truth' to 'exist' in your hypothesis, it must be a 'thing'. Can 'existence' be considered for that which is not a 'thing'? If 'truth' is nothing more than a human concept, is a 'concept' a 'thing'? If 'truth' is Consciousness, is Consciousness a 'thing'? Perhaps there is no such 'thing' as 'truth', but I think that your reasoning here is incapable of logically determining such a 'thing'. Logic itself, being nothing more than an artificial 'construct' within mind, seems rather 'circular' in it's 'self-validation', and limited in scope for determining ultimate 'truth', if any. Logic cannot even determine if there really IS an 'out there'... out there!

Because my experiences are the sole source of my belief and knowledge of the “exterior world”, if they do not exist, the exterior world does not exist.
Actually, you can never actually 'know' if there is any 'external' world to your 'mind'. Your senses are not arbiters of 'truth' any more than your mind is. Every sensory 'given' is a fiction. The greatest 'fiction' of all is that there is an 'out there', out there.

My entire point is that logic proves itself. Logic is a self-validating and self-containing system.
Yes. But it has limited scope. Very limited in determining ultimate reality/truth. Which it has been unsuccessful in so doing up to this moment.
Something having SELF validation and containment is not evidence for 'truth' and validity any more than the self-referrential Bible is God's Word because that is it's 'claim'!

Your syllogism is faulty for proving that you have any 'real' existence, as your logic contains (possibly) faulty assumptions (premises)...
 
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  • #12
Sikz
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nameless said:
Are you saying that 'Truth' is a 'thing'? Like a bicycle? I think that your reasoning is faulty here. For 'Truth' to 'exist' in your hypothesis, it must be a 'thing'. Can 'existence' be considered for that which is not a 'thing'? If 'truth' is nothing more than a human concept, is a 'concept' a 'thing'? If 'truth' is Consciousness, is Consciousness a 'thing'? Perhaps there is no such 'thing' as 'truth', but I think that your reasoning here is incapable of logically determining such a 'thing'. Logic itself, being nothing more than an artificial 'construct' within mind, seems rather 'circular' in it's 'self-validation', and limited in scope for determining ultimate 'truth', if any. Logic cannot even determine if there really IS an 'out there'... out there!

Is a bird like a bicycle? Is an atom? Howabout heat, or motion, or gravity?

These are all 'things'. You can't compare one concept to that of one specific 'thing' and then disregard the first concept's "thingness".

If truth is a human concept, and human concepts are either
a) Metaphysical 'thing's or
b) Physical patterns in the brain, which is a 'thing',
then yes, truth is a 'thing'; it is a type of concept, which is either itself a 'thing' or is a type of physical system, which is a 'thing'.

If you say that this logic does not apply to truth, then you are claiming that if "nothing exists", truth still exists. You're saying that truth existing and the lack of existence at all are not contradictory.

And you could be correct about logic; but if so, that would only hold BECAUSE of logic. The ideas you have about logic would be 'true'; which is a concept WITHIN logic, is it not? Without logic, there is no meaning to saying that there is no logic-- or to saying anything else.

Actually, you can never actually 'know' if there is any 'external' world to your 'mind'. Your senses are not arbiters of 'truth' any more than your mind is. Every sensory 'given' is a fiction. The greatest 'fiction' of all is that there is an 'out there', out there.

You can't know for certain that there is an external world; but if there isn't, you can just skip my first two points and the rest still reads perfectly fine.

And it isn't a 'fiction' if you don't know whether it's true or not. It's uncertain, not false.


Yes. But it has limited scope. Very limited in determining ultimate reality/truth. Which it has been unsuccessful in so doing up to this moment.
Something having SELF validation and containment is not evidence for 'truth' and validity any more than the self-referrential Bible is God's Word because that is it's 'claim'!

Your syllogism is faulty for proving that you have any 'real' existence, as your logic contains (possibly) faulty assumptions (premises)...

But we exist within the system of logic, and reality is DEFINED by logic. It is only through the logical concepts of 'truth', 'falsehood', 'reality', 'yes', and 'no' that "existence" even has any meaning. Existence is a thing of logic, as are all concepts with meaning; logic is self-validating because the concepts of 'validation', 'truth', 'existence', and 'logic' only exist WITHIN the framework of logic. It's a self-containing set (ie 'logic' is only a meaningful word when taken logically, in contrast with 'nonlogic' and interpreted according to logical principles applied to information we already have), so it can prove itself just as well as anything else.
 
  • #13
nameless
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Sikz said:
Is a bird like a bicycle? Is an atom? Howabout heat, or motion, or gravity?
How are they all 'alike' beyond 'superficial' differences? From one perspective, QM has followed the trail of 'thingness' down to 'possibility/potential/probability waves' of all possible 'futures' until the touch of Consciousness collapses the wave into one of the 'potential realities'.

From another perspective, please permit an analogy. When you dream at night, of what 'materials' is the universe of your 'dream reality'? Do you think that if you studied, within the dream, the 'physics' of the 'material world' (that you find yourself in within the dream) you would find the same qualities, paradoxes, logics as you would find in your 'real, waking, daytime reality'? But ultimately, you might reason, since your night-time 'reality is only a 'dream' within your mind, that the physics be damned and it is not 'different stuff' but all mental hologram. Of what 'stuff' is a hologram, in this case? At this level, is not all of the same 'stuff' with the only 'differences' being appearance only?

These are all 'things'. You can't compare one concept to that of one specific 'thing' and then disregard the first concept's "thingness".
Concepts of this and concepts of that are still concepts. A concept is a concept. A concept of a banana and a concept of a dragon are not made 'different' by the hologramic content. They are still concept. 'Content' does not change the 'conceptness' of concepts.

If truth is a human concept,
I have no idea if there is a corresponding 'reality' to our concept of 'truth', and there are many differing concepts, from the Sage's understanding, to the imaginings of the 'sleepwalkers'. Truth might just exist as a concept, or it might not. I cannot necessarily accept this statement as a 'given'.


and human concepts are either
a) Metaphysical 'thing's
What, please, is a 'Metaphysical thing'?

or
b) Physical patterns in the brain, which is a 'thing',
then yes, truth is a 'thing'; it is a type of concept, which is either itself a 'thing' or is a type of physical system, which is a 'thing'.
If you wish to accept the 'mental holographic representation of illusion' as a definition of 'thing' than I will accept your definition.

If you say that this logic does not apply to truth, then you are claiming that if "nothing exists", truth still exists.
Not necessarily. But if 'ultimate Truth' is, for instance, wholistic, as is often claimed, a linear 'tool' such as logic, would be inappropriate for the examination thereof. Logic is strictly linear.
Truth is not a 'thing'. If one accepts the commonly accepted and offered (by those that have reached any real depth in the study thereof) attributes of Truth, such as non-temporal and therefore non-physical, eternally symmetrical, unchanging and unchangeable, non-dualistic, non-linear (wholistic), etc.. So, if Truth is not a 'thing' but a possible 'ground state', it cannot have 'existence' as 'things' exist as concepts and Truth cannot be conceptualized... Existence is still a duality, where you have 'existence' there must be 'non-existence'.

You're saying that truth existing and the lack of existence at all are not contradictory.
Contradiction has 'existence' within/as concept and is also logical, temporal, linear... There IS no contradiction possible to Truth (if it Is as posited by those who 'have been there') as Truth is non-dualistic.
Neils Bohr remarked once that "There are trivial truths and there are great Truths, the opposite of a trivial truth is obviously false, the opposite of a great Truth is still true."
Perhaps he also 'understood' the wholistic non-dual nature of Truth that I am struggling to analogise into linear words and concepts.

And you could be correct about logic; but if so, that would only hold BECAUSE of logic. The ideas you have about logic would be 'true'; which is a concept WITHIN logic, is it not?
In the land of nails, the hammer is king! Concepts are available to the scrutiny of logic. The whole linear, temporal, material omniverse is fodder for the razors of logic. That which is unable to be conceptualized, beyond words, is likewise beyond the usefulness of the tool of logic (and logic is merely a tool for understang the dream, not for achieving lucidity within the dream).

Without logic, there is no meaning to saying that there is no logic-- or to saying anything else.
True, there is that which is beyond words and beyond logic. Because logic can be applied to this and not that does not arbit 'value', any more than a nail is of more value than a screw because a hammer won't work on a screw (especially when there is a screwdriver in your pocket!) but will work on a nail. That is one reason for metaphor and analogy and music and poetry.. logic is not always the correct tool for the job.

And it isn't a 'fiction' if you don't know whether it's true or not. It's uncertain, not false.
Sorry, a lie is a lie. That which is an 'illusion', a fiction, remains an 'illusion' no matter how hard you scrinch your eyes and ball your fists and exclaim "I Believe, I Believe!" At that point, though, with belief, illusion becomes delusion. Not 'uncertain', insane. Deluded. Believing in that which is false, does not alter that 'falsity', that 'fictitious' nature..

But we exist within the system of logic, and reality is DEFINED by logic.
True, but it is our 'apparent' reality, though, the 'reality' of the 'illusion' that is available to the disecting blades of logic..

It is only through the logical concepts of 'truth', 'falsehood', 'reality', 'yes', and 'no' that "existence" even has any meaning. Existence is a thing of logic, as are all concepts with meaning; logic is self-validating because the concepts of 'validation', 'truth', 'existence', and 'logic' only exist WITHIN the framework of logic. It's a self-containing set (ie 'logic' is only a meaningful word when taken logically, in contrast with 'nonlogic' and interpreted according to logical principles applied to information we already have), so it can prove itself just as well as anything else.
Sure, fine, within the limitations that I have already explained.
 
  • #14
Sikz
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You're confusing the issue, purposely or not, by demanding resolution of every philosophical issue raised by a discussion of my ideas. The issues at hand are only my points themselves, and any issues that are directly required in order to examine those points.

If nothing exists-- if there is no existence-- is there truth? One of my points was that there was not, which you argued against. I say that by definition, without existence there can be no truth; the exact definition of truth is not relevant, only the fact that it cannot exist without there being any existence.

Truth is not a 'thing'. If one accepts the commonly accepted and offered (by those that have reached any real depth in the study thereof) attributes of Truth, such as non-temporal and therefore non-physical, eternally symmetrical, unchanging and unchangeable, non-dualistic, non-linear (wholistic), etc..

How could that possibly be accepted by anyone at all? Truth is demonstrably temporal in that "I have a house." is true-- but if I went out and sold it tomorrow, the statement would no longer be true.

You might argue that truth is some 'thing' separate from the universe and time, a description separate from that which it describes, and that a location in time must be described in order for the truth of any given statement to be ascertained (and therefore truth would be non-temporal), but that just obscures the definition of "temporal". We can set any idea outside of time and require a time location in order to examine specific instances of it, but that doesn't make it non-temporal. Truth is demonstrably and undeniably temporal-- "wholistic" is a totally meaningless term.

And half of the other "commonly accepted and offered attributes of Truth" fall apart with that. By your capitalization, I assume that some baseless distinction between "Truth", a hypothetical concept that has the attributes that we WANT truth to have, and "truth", the actual reality that annoys us" has been made by "those that have reached any real depth in the study thereof".

Sorry, a lie is a lie. That which is an 'illusion', a fiction, remains an 'illusion' no matter how hard you scrinch your eyes and ball your fists and exclaim "I Believe, I Believe!" At that point, though, with belief, illusion becomes delusion. Not 'uncertain', insane. Deluded. Believing in that which is false, does not alter that 'falsity', that 'fictitious' nature..

You're making the unwaranted assumption that "every sensory 'given' is a fiction". There may be doubt as to the reliability of sensory perception as a representation of reality, but there is no more (perhaps even less) basis for an assumption of falsehood than of truth. For some reason you've just decided this and began to make points about it in your posts...?

I have no idea if there is a corresponding 'reality' to our concept of 'truth', and there are many differing concepts, from the Sage's understanding, to the imaginings of the 'sleepwalkers'. Truth might just exist as a concept, or it might not. I cannot necessarily accept this statement as a 'given'.

It wasn't a given, or I would have phrased it as a statement instead of an unsupported "if" clause. I was replying to a case that you used in your earlier post.
 
  • #15
nameless
154
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Sikz said:
If nothing exists-- if there is no existence-- is there truth? One of my points was that there was not, which you argued against.
I just said that one cannot 'know'. There might not or there might be... I just demonstrated that it cannot be a 'given' relating 'Truth' and 'existence' like that.

I say that by definition, without existence there can be no truth; the exact definition of truth is not relevant, only the fact that it cannot exist without there being any existence.

The 'definition' is everything here. If you accept 'truth' as a 'thing', than it would be true that no-*thing* can exist if there were no-thing existing. If it is a 'thing'. For example, if there is a 'state' of 'non-duality', which 'Truth' has been posited as, it would not 'exist' nor 'not-exist', as both terms are within 'dualism'.
There are little trivial truths, which fit your argument, but there seem to be greater 'Truth' that will not. If all of your personal experience regards this 'trivial truth', then I can see why there is only available in your argument that particular 'truth'. There are tiny truths that apply to my car; there are universal truths; there is (possibly) 'Truth' beyond that... Material existence (I am assuming that this is what you are referring to..) is definitely necessary for the existence of 'material' truths.

How could that possibly be accepted by anyone at all? Truth is demonstrably temporal in that "I have a house." is true-- but if I went out and sold it tomorrow, the statement would no longer be true.
See above...
And, how can this be accepted by anyone? Actually, it is a common definition among millennia of Metaphysists, Sages, the 'Enlightened', Mystics, the 'Awakened, actually, anyone who has dug deep enough into a search for Truth. That which is in omniversal state of permanence. Right away, all materiality is excluded by definition. All materiality is always changing within Time within 'mind'... Temporality can only equate to trivial truths...

You might argue that truth is some 'thing' separate from the universe and time, a description separate from that which it describes, and that a location in time must be described in order for the truth of any given statement to be ascertained (and therefore truth would be non-temporal), but that just obscures the definition of "temporal".
'Truth/Reality' describes nothing, explains nothing.. Trivial 'truths' perhaps, but they are not what I'm referring to, and they seem to be all of which you have experience.
Not at all. 'Temporal' has a very simple and well understood definition. It just ain't everything on the buffet.

We can set any idea outside of time
No we cannot. You'd have to demonstrate this one! Time is a necessary for any 'material existence'.

Truth is demonstrably and undeniably temporal-- "wholistic" is a totally meaningless term.
Big talk from a 'one-eyed fat man'!
*__-
(Sorry, that was a misquote from a John Wayne movie..)
You would have a very difficult time (impossible, I'd wager) 'proving' these absurd assertions. Should you wish to make the attempt, though, I'll be around... My understanding of 'Truth' is that it is NOT temporal (but of course, I'm referring to something totally alien to your experience and therefore has no 'existence' in your world), so I am denying 'Truth's' temporality. So, right away that puts the lie to your assertion that it is UNDENIABLY temporal. I deny it. Feel free to demonstrate...
As for 'wholistic', you can simply begin your education with a dictionary. You don't have to agree with the definition, but that is certainly a reasonable starting point for developing an acceptable definition for you. Definition and meaning are two sides of the same coin..

You're making the unwaranted assumption that "every sensory 'given' is a fiction". There may be doubt as to the reliability of sensory perception as a representation of reality, but there is no more (perhaps even less) basis for an assumption of falsehood than of truth. For some reason you've just decided this and began to make points about it in your posts...?
My apologies. I have explained this in so many places and so often that I innappropriately made an assumption of understanding on your part. Again, apologies. Here is a short quote from my upcoming book,..

from said:
How much credence should we give our Original Five senses to portray a true and accurate representation of "what's out there"? I open my eyes and look up at the sky and the evidence of the senses is that there is a beautiful blue sky up there. ‘Reality’, right? You see the same thing don't you? Does consensus define reality? Should it?
Let's look at that blue sky up there for a moment. Picture a perfectly dark, clean room. There are windows on two opposing walls. Through one window is shined a light aimed out the opposing window. It is a coherent beam of light, not spreading out at all, not hitting the walls, and there is no glass in windows. There is no dust in the air of this clean room to disturb the happy passing of this beam of photons. In order for us to perceive light, out there, photons have to enter the eye and stimulate the cells in the retina and associated receptors, sending information to the brain for analysis (for possible action), or storage. (These brain functions produce a slightly, to one extent or another, toxic byproduct called 'thought'. More on that later.) We sit in this room and see no beam of light because no photons are being reflected into our eyes. Our eyes give us information that there is no light in this room. Yet we know that there is! The photons don’t have any kind of magic that makes them glow. Photons are dark! They emit NO light! But, you argue, we fortunate sighted people all SEE a world of color, light, patterns... out there! We just saw, in a simple experiment, how photons are completely dark. They have to stimulate the appropriate sensory receptor, finally having information translated in the brain into light, color, etc... OUT THERE. Putting two and two together, shaken, not stirred, we find we live in a totally, absolutely blackest of black, dark universe. All those colors, patterns, old familiar faces, ...are all in your head. Literally! In front of your nose, despite the information of one of the Original Five senses, is absolute darkness! So much for the "obvious"...
OK, so the title is 'tentative'.. *__-
The same can be shown for all the rest of your sensory 'input'. No sound, texture, movement, odors, etc... in front of your nose. This is not mysticism, it is science. Just not high school science. Of course it is difficult to accept as it does violate the assuredness of the ego and is about as 'counterintuitive' as you can get. That is why even physicists can/will not accept this, as they are emotional, egoic beings before all the intellect. Gallileo was just recently 're-communicated' for the heresy of of his science! But, now we would enter the murky world of psychology...

I understand that you have your 'truths' and are describing the parameters and definition of that 'truth'. I also have my experiences and understanding of 'truth' which considerably differs from your's. Please don't assume that your truth is the only one or is a one size fits all proposition. It isn't, obviously.
It is not a case of 'right' or 'wrong' (emotional/ego).

I think that the problem in our 'communication' is that,

"A 'model' or 'picture' (of the 'Truth' to which I refer) will only become intelligible to the subject (you) if it is made of 'ideas' (concepts/constructs/analogs) already (having meaning) in his (your) mind."

As the 'Truth' of which I speak is absolutely (apparently) alien to you (in your 'reality'), it is reasonable and natural for you to argue it's 'existence' and 'meaning', especially as it HAS NO EXISTENCE OR MEANING to you, in your 'world'!
 
  • #16
dubmugga
66
0
nothing is perfect
in the space where nothing exists
will one find perfection
the perfect nothing

accept nothing as fact
question everything
determine your own truth
define your own reality

...but if you want to talk about absolute truth and ultimate reality then your guess is as good as mine

all I am is what i think/feel/know/believe, which is totally different to what you are...
 
  • #17
Sikz
245
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nameless said:
How much credence should we give our Original Five senses to portray a true and accurate representation of "what's out there"? I open my eyes and look up at the sky and the evidence of the senses is that there is a beautiful blue sky up there. ‘Reality’, right? You see the same thing don't you? Does consensus define reality? Should it?
Lets look at that blue sky up there for a moment. Picture a perfectly dark, clean room. There are windows on two opposing walls. Through one window is shined a light aimed out the opposing window. It is a coherent beam of light, not spreading out at all, not hitting the walls, and there is no glass in windows. There is no dust in the air of this clean room to disturb the happy passing of this beam of photons. In order for us to perceive light, out there, photons have to enter the eye and stimulate the cells in the retina and associated receptors, sending information to the brain for analysis (for possible action), or storage. (These brain functions produce a slightly, to one extent or another, toxic byproduct called 'thought'. More on that later.) We sit in this room and see no beam of light because no photons are being reflected into our eyes. Our eyes give us information that there is no light in this room. Yet we know that there is! The photons don’t have any kind of magic that makes them glow. Photons are dark! They emit NO light! But, you argue, we fortunate sighted people all SEE a world of color, light, patterns... out there! We just saw, in a simple experiment, how photons are completely dark. They have to stimulate the appropriate sensory receptor, finally having information translated in the brain into light, color, etc... OUT THERE. Putting two and two together, shaken, not stirred, we find we live in a totally, absolutely blackest of black, dark universe. All those colors, patterns, old familiar faces, ...are all in your head. Literally! In front of your nose, despite the information of one of the Original Five senses, is absolute darkness! So much for the "obvious"...

Imagine that I have a couch; this couch is either flourescent, or a light is shone upon it. I sit in your dark, sterile room with two windows; the couch is outside one of the windows. Assuming, as in your experiment, that I do not go to the window and look out of it, I will not see the couch. Is this indication that my sensory perception is not in-line with reality? Does this mean that the couch is "dark" or that it does not exist?

Of course not! All you are showing is one's inability to see something that is not within one's range of sight. You are making a few, seemingly innocuous, incorrect assumptions and constructing a monstrosity from them. Your eyes, first of all, do not "see" light; your eyes see objects by interpreting the light waves reflected off of them and onto your retinas. So of course you wouldn't see the photons, which are light; if you are positioned correctly, your retinas will make contact with those photons and you will see the light source. Being positioned so that this source is not in your field of vision does not imply the "darkness" of photons in any way.

You're twisting and confusing things so that you can make an argument for what you WANT to be true sound logical:

"Our eyes give us information that there is no light in this room." False. Our eyes give us the information that no light is reflecting off of the room and contacting our retinas. If I put a pop-tart in my mouth but avoid touching my tongue with any part of it, my tongue does not tell me that my mouth is empty; it tells me that nothing with taste is contacting my taste buds. Eyes are the same way; if light is in the general area, but not contacting the visual organs, of course you won't detect the light. This is an obvious fact, not some amazing indicator of the subjectiveness of reality.

"Photons are dark! They emit NO light! " False. They are not dark; they are, by definition, light. Of course light does not emit itself, it doesn't need to; this doesn't make it dark. This conclusion of yours in no way derives from your experiment.

"We just saw, in a simple experiment, how photons are completely dark." False. We just saw, in a simple experiment, how you have to look at something in order to see it.

"Putting two and two together, shaken, not stirred, we find we live in a totally, absolutely blackest of black, dark universe." False. The fact that not every photon in the universe impacts our retinas does not mean that these photons do not exist, nor does it mean that they are "dark". It just means that the objects from which they come are not within our field of vision.

"All those colors, patterns, old familiar faces, ...are all in your head." In the sense that they are now memories, yes. But in the sense you appear to be trying to use, that they are not 'real' in the first place, no. Your experiment, as I've already said, merely shows that you cannot see something unless you are looking at it.

"In front of your nose, despite the information of one of the Original Five senses, is absolute darkness!" The statements are less subtly false now, and are rather obvious. The lack of eyes on my nose does not mean that it is dark in front of it. This, like your other conclusions, has been drawn from incorrect definitions and from other illogical conclusions.

And, how can this be accepted by anyone? Actually, it is a common definition among millennia of Metaphysists, Sages, the 'Enlightened', Mystics, the 'Awakened, actually, anyone who has dug deep enough into a search for Truth. That which is in omniversal state of permanence. Right away, all materiality is excluded by definition. All materiality is always changing within Time within 'mind'... Temporality can only equate to trivial truths...

An idea is not correct on the merit of those who accept it. You use this same false justification for your views on QM...

A true statement is one which accurately describes objective reality. If you want to create some subset of this, 'Truth', which is 'that which is in omniversal state of permanence', fine. Anyone can postulate an idea; but without any sort of evidence for the ideas correctness, you can't use it in a valid argument.

If this 'Truth' is omniversal and permanent, it should not be difficult to give an example. Without a valid example, there is no reason to think that 'Truth' exists at all. What comes to mind for me are the laws of physics; they are omniversal, permanent, and non-temporal. However, if there was no existence, we have both agreed that material objects would not exist. If this were the case, the laws of physics would no longer hold any meaning or be true, because they would no longer describe reality. Without physical objects to be governed, the laws would be meaningless. So the laws of physics, while they could be said to be non-temporal, are contingent upon the existence of physical 'things'; they do not provide a counterexample to my argument that truth would not exist in the absence of existence.

No we cannot. You'd have to demonstrate this one! Time is a necessary for any 'material existence'.

We can set any idea outside of time as "nontemporal" and require a time location for any particular instance of it. I could say that life is not temporal-- that it exists outside of time-- but that in order to check the reality of any specific instance of the larger 'Life', a time location would be needed. The instance of life at my location in space at my location in time would describe reality (just as the instance of truth of "I have a house" at the same location and time describes reality), but life at another location might not describe reality (just as truth in another time, or another instance of truth, might not describe reality). This is all I meant with my comment about setting ideas outside of time; if 'truth', which can clearly be seen to change, is claimed to be 'nontemporal' in this way, it is only obscuring the definition of 'temporal' by circumventing it with fancy terms.

My apologies. I have explained this in so many places and so often that I innappropriately made an assumption of understanding on your part. Again, apologies. Here is a short quote from my upcoming book,..

What was inappropriate was not your assumption of my understanding, but your assumption of my agreement and of your correctness in lieu of any real supporting evidence or reasoning. It is easy to understand the idea you are putting forth, but that does not mean that you are free to claim the ideas correctness without scrutiny. You are making a large (and, from the weak and twisted arguments you've thus far put forth, unwarranted) assumption that "every sensory 'given' is a fiction".

The same can be shown for all the rest of your sensory 'input'. No sound, texture, movement, odors, etc... in front of your nose. This is not mysticism, it is science. Just not high school science. Of course it is difficult to accept as it does violate the assuredness of the ego and is about as 'counterintuitive' as you can get. That is why even physicists can/will not accept this, as they are emotional, egoic beings before all the intellect. Gallileo was just recently 're-communicated' for the heresy of of his science! But, now we would enter the murky world of psychology...

The same can indeed be shown for all of the rest of your sensory 'input'; "the same" is just not what you seem to think it is. This, the idea you are putting forth, is not mysticism; it is pseudo-science. Definitely not high school science, nor any other kind of actual science. It is difficult to accept because it is clearly wrong, not because it violates the assuredness of the ego (which seems to be the only reason that you refuse to accept that it is incorrect). Physicists won't accept it because it's totally baseless and demonstrably false, obviously.

How can you even tote this as science? Do you understand the scientific method?

I understand that you have your 'truths' and are describing the parameters and definition of that 'truth'. I also have my experiences and understanding of 'truth' which considerably differs from your's. Please don't assume that your truth is the only one or is a one size fits all proposition. It isn't, obviously.
It is not a case of 'right' or 'wrong' (emotional/ego).

I agree that my idea of truth as a whole is not entirely correct, and I realize that many parts of it will be proven wrong and have to revised-- people generally call this learning. However, this issue is, at large, a case of 'right' and 'wrong' (for some reason in quotes)-- which are not the emotions and the ego, but words that describe the relationship of an idea to objective reality. If you deny the existence of an object reality at all, any child can tell you (though in smaller words and with a bit less grammatical complexity) that in order for "there is no objective reality" to be totally and absolutely true, it must itself be an element of objective reality; an obvious disproof by contradiction. This observation is so common and simple that its significance is generally ignored; but I'm sure you understand that, representing a logical contradiction, the only way around it is the denial of logic-- and if that's the road you're taking, you admit that your views are logically incorrect, and you are therefore delusional. I doubt you deny logic, but you seem to be twisting a lot of things to validate your ideas instead of objectively looking for their truth or falsehood.

As the 'Truth' of which I speak is absolutely (apparently) alien to you (in your 'reality'), it is reasonable and natural for you to argue it's 'existence' and 'meaning', especially as it HAS NO EXISTENCE OR MEANING to you, in your 'world'!

You say it is omniversal. Therefore it must have existence in my world unless you are using 'world' as a masked way of saying 'incorrect worldview'. In the case that my worldview is incorrect, an omniversal and permanent reality that is not contingent upon temporal and local realities should be easily demonstrable-- yet you have failed to give even one example.

You are taking the correctness of your ideas (EG 'Truth') for granted and making arguments based upon them. Without proof of their application to reality, definitions of concepts cannot simply be thrown about and said to prove things regarding reality. I can make up an idea about 'tRuTh', that which is "in a state of permanence within the body of a small cat". I cannot, without demonstrating that any such 'tRuTh' exists, use that concept to deduce information about cats.

If you want to be taken seriously, you need to validate your ideas and stop lauding baseless fantasies as "reasonable" scientific theories.
 
  • #18
nameless
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I'm sorry that you have spent so much time with your, I'm sure, well thought out post. But you have pointed out to me that you are a waste of my time.

Believe whatever you like. I have nothing to prove or convince you of. Whether you take what I say seriously or not means more to the moon than it does to me.

'Pearls before swine' and all that...

Have a nice day.
 
  • #19
Sikz
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nameless said:
I'm sorry that you have spent so much time with your, I'm sure, well thought out post. But you have pointed out to me that you are a waste of my time.

Believe whatever you like. I have nothing to prove or convince you of. Whether you take what I say seriously or not means more to the moon than it does to me.

'Pearls before swine' and all that...

Have a nice day.

Mm... Well, thanks for your time.
 
  • #20
Paul Martin
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Thanks to both of you for spending your time in this interesting thread. Your time has not been a "waste" if you consider the value you have provided to your readers, speaking for myself and I suspect for some others as well.

If you were to continue the discussion you have started, I think a possible resolution might be to acknowledge that you are using common terms to connote different ideas. You have already suggested a way out of this difficulty; by differentiating between capitalized and uncapitalized words, like 'Truth' and 'truth', you could make sure there was no ambiguity in your usage.

You have ended up concluding that each of your "worlds" is uninteresting to the other. Nameless has dismissed the Sikz's world as "trivial" and Sikz has dismissed Nameless' world as "baseless fantasy". I think that's OK in the same sense that some people find golf or rock music uninteresting. Some people find those endeavors interesting and even compelling, and others do not.

But I, for one, find both of your worlds fascinating and I would love to see a reconciliation. In my view, both of your worlds are legitimate. Sikz's world of science is undeniably useful and of great value. We should do nothing to diminish it. Nameless' World, (the capitalization is intentional in the above sense) IMHO, offers the possibility of coming to an understanding of a greater reality that transcends that of science.

We have many indications that some people (mystics etc.) have come to a deeper understanding of the World. We also have indications from the same people that the concepts involved in that understanding cannot be expressed in language, hence its appearance as "baseless fantasy".

In my view, the connection between the world and the World, is contained in Dubmugga's comment, "all I am is what i think/feel/know/believe, which is totally different to what you are...". Dubmugga even made use of the 'capitalization convention', although I think it could be improved. The key connection, as I see it, is the all-important definition of the term 'I', as others in PF have noted.

In another thread, I suggested using the 'capitalization convention' on all personal pronouns, the capitalized ones denoting whatever, if anything, about the person is non-material, and the uncapitalized ones denoting the material aspects of the person, in particular the body and brain.

So, I would change Dubmugga's comment to, all I am is what I think/feel/know/believe, which may be totally different to what You think/feel/know/believe. And, all i am is what you would see if you ever met me. And if you happened to see me, You might think that I think more or less the same way as You think.

What I am trying to say is that IMHO, thought exists outside the brain in Nameless' World, but my phenomenal behavior is firmly rooted in Sikz's world subject to all the laws of physics. And, to partially quote Dubmugga, IMHO 'I am' is the only Truth. My suggestion is to explore the consequences of the proposition that I and You and Him and Her are all identically one and the same, even though you and i and him and her have perfectly distinct and recognizable bodies. What do You think about this?

paul (the typist), and Paul (the thinker).

P.S. I almost forgot to mention that I think there is a possibility that an understanding of the significant difference between I and i, might lead to a better understanding of the role of a conscious observer in the measurement problem of QM.
 
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  • #21
Paul Martin said:
My suggestion is to explore the consequences of the proposition that I and You and Him and Her are all identically one and the same, even though you and i and him and her have perfectly distinct and recognizable bodies. What do You think about this? paul (the typist), and Paul (the thinker)
Using an analogy from biology, paul (the typist) may be considered to be the phenotypic chance consequence of the genotypic neccessity of Paul (the thinker). That is, all I, You, Him, Her are identical via genotypes as H. sapiens, whereas, all i, you, him, her actually differ significantly as genotypes correlate (interact) with environment to form phenotypical expression (e.g., as typist, etc.). Just a straw man to continue the above suggestion of P.Martin.
 
  • #22
nameless
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Paul Martin said:
thought exists outside the brain in Nameless' World,
Had you read my posting a bit more carefully, before rejection, you'd have noticed that 'brain' and 'thought' are always found 'together'. Perhaps you thought (with your brain) that you heard me imply that 'thought' is not an inherent function of Consciousness. That is different. I never said nor have found a 'thought' without a corresponding brain. Thank you.
 
  • #23
Paul Martin
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nameless said:
Had you read my posting a bit more carefully, before rejection, you'd have noticed that 'brain' and 'thought' are always found 'together'. Perhaps you thought (with your brain) that you heard me imply that 'thought' is not an inherent function of Consciousness. That is different. I never said nor have found a 'thought' without a corresponding brain. Thank you.
Please accept my apologies for being so careless. I was not so careless in reading your post, which I did not reject, but I was careless in writing the sentence which you apparently misread. I can see that I misplaced two commas which probably lead to the misunderstanding.

I wrote,"What I am trying to say is that IMHO, thought exists outside the brain in Nameless' World, but my phenomenal behavior is firmly rooted in Sikz's world subject to all the laws of physics."

I should have written, "What I am trying to say is that, IMHO thought exists outside the brain, in Nameless' World, but my phenomenal behavior is firmly rooted in Sikz's world subject to all the laws of physics."

I meant only to express a humble opinion of my own, that thought exists outside the brain. I did not mean to imply that you shared that view. The reference to "Nameless' World" was to suggest a possible place where thought might really exist if not in the brain. I understood from your remark that "temporality ain't the only thing on the buffet" (please forgive me if I didn't get that quote exactly right), that your concept of the World (capitalized to distinguish it from the material/temporal world) was "bigger" in some sense than the materialistic world of physics and cosmology. Whether or not you agree with that, I do think that there is more to reality than the 4D space-time continuum of physics and cosmology, and I think there is plenty of "room" outside of that continuum for thought to reside.

I realize that I am in a tiny minority with that opinion, but I see no logical reason to abandon it. For example, I think that the reason you have never "found a 'thought' without a corresponding brain" is the same reason that people who have never been to a radio station have never heard a radio program without a corresponding radio.

Sorry for interrupting your interesting discussion with this confusing distraction.

Paul
 
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  • #24
Paul Martin
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Rade said:
Using an analogy from biology, paul (the typist) may be considered to be the phenotypic chance consequence of the genotypic neccessity of Paul (the thinker). That is, all I, You, Him, Her are identical via genotypes as H. sapiens, whereas, all i, you, him, her actually differ significantly as genotypes correlate (interact) with environment to form phenotypical expression (e.g., as typist, etc.). Just a straw man to continue the above suggestion of P.Martin.
Thank you for the suggestion, Rade, but, with respect, it does not capture the idea I meant to express.

The analogy from biology is simply taxonomic. It simply assigns different classes of individuals to the terms 'I', 'he', 'i', 'You', etc., but all the individuals and classes of individuals are still physical bodies. I meant to suggest a much stronger idea.

My suggestion is that the capitalized terms refer to a single entity which is not of this physical world and the uncapitalized terms refer to the familiar worldly bodies of the individuals.

As I have written elsewhere, I think the way to think of the relationship between that single entity and the biological bodies is as that of a driver and a fleet of cars. The driver (analogous to the single entity) is separate and distinct from each of the cars (analogous to the biological bodies). A car by itself can't do much but sit there, or roll aimlessly down a hill. But a car with the driver on board, can stay on the road and make a purposeful trip from point A to point B. The driver can also get out of one car and get in another and thus be responsible for each and every purposeful trip made by all the cars.

Some have objected to this analogy because the driver must be in the car to drive, but when we look inside a brain, we don't find a homunculus "driver" in there. To avoid this problem, simply change the analogy to Mars rovers instead of cars, where the driver is at JPL and the rovers are on Mars. Same analogy, but now the driver is literally in another world, as I think that one conscious entity is.

Paul
 
  • #25
nameless
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Paul Martin said:
I wrote,"What I am trying to say is that IMHO, thought exists outside the brain in Nameless' World, but my phenomenal behavior is firmly rooted in Sikz's world subject to all the laws of physics."
I should have written, "What I am trying to say is that, IMHO thought exists outside the brain, in Nameless' World, but my phenomenal behavior is firmly rooted in Sikz's world subject to all the laws of physics."
I see them both still implying that in 'nameless' world, that 'thought 'exists' outside the brain. nameless is here to say that I have never found thought without a brain 'nearby'. I haven't the foggiest notion or evidence whether 'thought' is an 'entity' that can exist beyond the brain. I really feel that thought is simple waste matter, anyway, like a fart, excreted by a functioning brain. Not to be taken too seriously, at best! *__-
So, to sum up, nameless doesn't live in a world where brains and thoughts are inherently seperable. ok? ...ok!
I meant only to express a humble opinion of my own, that thought exists outside the brain. I did not mean to imply that you shared that view. The reference to "Nameless' World" was to suggest a possible place where thought might really exist if not in the brain.
I know of no 'places' existing that are not within the 'mind/brain' duality. There is no-thing beyond. No thing. Like matter or space/time.
In nameless' world, all of that which stimulate senses and mind, the whole omniverse, exists solely within mind and can never be known whether or not there actually exists anything beyond the content of our minds. So, in my world, thought cannot exist without a brain.. unlike Consciousness.
I understood from your remark that "temporality ain't the only thing on the buffet" (please forgive me if I didn't get that quote exactly right), that your concept of the World (capitalized to distinguish it from the material/temporal world) was "bigger" in some sense than the materialistic world of physics and cosmology.
I would say that was a fairly accurate assessment. Though, world might not be appropriate as the 'World" beyond the 'phenomenal' falls into no dictionary definition of world. Quaintly put, it is more the 'world of Consciousness', bearing no resemblance to any world of concepts or constructs within mind.
Whether or not you agree with that, I do think that there is more to reality than the 4D space-time continuum of physics and cosmology, and I think there is plenty of "room" outside of that continuum for thought to reside.
Actually, this 'continuum' (a poor descriptor as it is not 'continuing' nor even has inherent existence) takes no 'space' at all in 'Reality'.
I think that the reason you have never "found a 'thought' without a corresponding brain" is the same reason that people who have never been to a radio station have never heard a radio program without a corresponding radio.
First, I would wager that you have never, either, 'found' a thought without a 'corresponding brain'. You will receive no radio program on your radio without a 'corresponding sender'. All within 'Duality' partake of 'dual' nature; in/out, up/down, live/die, sender/receiver, self/other... So, beyond the phenomenal world of Duality, I've ('Conscious/Awareness') never found anything that resembles 'thought'..
It really sounds like we are describing the same 'elephant', just using different language/experience and perspective.
Sorry for interrupting your interesting discussion with this confusing distraction.
Always happy to elucidate, (like a good discussion) and, when you are here in the room, you are part of the conversation, whether lurking or contributing your perspective. Nice to meet you.

Make no assumptions about the World of a Madman! *__-
 
  • #26
moving finger
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Paul Martin said:
Some have objected to this analogy because the driver must be in the car to drive, but when we look inside a brain, we don't find a homunculus "driver" in there. To avoid this problem, simply change the analogy to Mars rovers instead of cars, where the driver is at JPL and the rovers are on Mars. Same analogy, but now the driver is literally in another world, as I think that one conscious entity is.
another analogy is in order here - there exists a "University of Oxford" (UK), but try to locate the building of the University of Oxford, try to identify exactly where in space the University of Oxford is situated, try to point out the precise spatial coordinates to anyone, and you will fail.

Does this mean the University of Oxford does not exist? No.

Does this mean the University of Oxford exists but is actually located in another dimension or another world? No.

What it DOES mean is that the University of Oxford is not a single physical object, it is instead the institution to which the various colleges, libraries and museums of Oxford University belong.
In the same way, our inability to identify the “homunculus” of the driver of our consciousness may be a simple reflection of the fact that our consciousness is NOT a single physical object, and NOT an indication that the driver exists in another world…….

Any attempt to equate the University of Oxford with a discrete physical object is an example of what the philosopher Gilbert Ryle calls a category error – thinking of the University in terms of the same kind of thing as the physical colleges that comprise the University (ie the “driver” must be a physical homunculus in the same sense that the cars are physical). But the University is not that kind of thing at all, there is no single physical place or thing that you can point to and say “that is the University”. The University is instead the institution to which all of these physical components belong.

MF
 
  • #27
Paul Martin
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Yes, that is an excellent analogy worth discussing in this context.
moving finger said:
What it DOES mean is that the University of Oxford is not a single physical object, it is instead the institution to which the various colleges, libraries and museums of Oxford University belong.
Yes. And, by analogy, I claim that a human being is not a single physical object. Of course, you could establish a boundary around the grounds occupied by the university and claim that the University is "in there" just as you could claim that the skin of a human bounds the person. But even though this is useful for, say, directing someone to travel to the university, or for identifying a single human being, it doesn't help answer the question of what, exactly, is the essence of the University or the Human. That, I think, is what we are searching for.

In the case of the University, we have the convenient term 'institution' which you used. But simply choosing a label doesn't answer the question, What exactly is the essence of the University? To answer this question, we could do a thought experiment of systematically removing various parts of the university in an attempt to discover the point at which we lose the essence of the University. For example, if an earthquake destroyed the campus, and if there were a suitable set of buildings available in which the University could resume its work, then I think we would agree that the University survived the destruction of the buildings and grounds, so those buildings and grounds did not constitute the essence of the University.

What if all the written material associated with the University were also destroyed? Well, if the students and faculty could somehow reconstitute that material from memory maybe they could re-establish the University and we would conclude that the essence was not in those written materials either.


But what if the students and faculty, perish the thought, were somehow destroyed? Would that put an end to the University? I think it would. In short, I think that the essence of the University is to be found in the people who make up the University.

If you agree with that, then what this analogy does is to reduce the question of the essence of the University to the question of the essence of a Human Being. So, rather than help answer the question, it simply shows that whatever the essence of a Human Being is, it is more profound than simply accounting for Humans, because it also accounts for human institutions like universities.
moving finger said:
Does this mean the University of Oxford exists but is actually located in another dimension or another world?
It doesn't necessarily imply it, and it certainly doesn't prove it. But, in my view, it is consistent with that notion. And, to me, the notion that the essence of not only humans but human institutions exists and is actually located in another dimension or another world, makes sense and it seems to lead to an explanation of everything. I think that essence is pure consciousness, and I don't think any human or any institution can behave in a workable manner without it.
moving finger said:
Any attempt to equate the University of Oxford with a discrete physical object is an example of what the philosopher Gilbert Ryle calls a category error – thinking of the University in terms of the same kind of thing as the physical colleges that comprise the University (ie the “driver” must be a physical homunculus in the same sense that the cars are physical). But the University is not that kind of thing at all, there is no single physical place or thing that you can point to and say “that is the University”. The University is instead the institution to which all of these physical components belong.
My analogy does indeed contain that category error. Both the driver of the car and the scientist at JPL are physical objects much the same as the car and the rover. Since we don't have any familiar examples of non-physical entities I could use for a driver, I was more or less forced to make this error. But the whole point of the analogy was to illustrate the possibility of the driver being essentially different from the vehicle. The conclusion that I draw is that consciousness is the essential ingredient in order for the physical car, or body, to behave in a purposeful manner here on Earth or on Mars. And I not only make no claim that consciousness is a "discrete physical object", but I deny it categorically.

Thanks, MF, for your comments and for your attention to this question.

Paul
 
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  • #28
moving finger
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Paul Martin said:
In the case of the University, we have the convenient term 'institution' which you used. But simply choosing a label doesn't answer the question, What exactly is the essence of the University? To answer this question, we could do a thought experiment of systematically removing various parts of the university in an attempt to discover the point at which we lose the essence of the University. For example, if an earthquake destroyed the campus, and if there were a suitable set of buildings available in which the University could resume its work, then I think we would agree that the University survived the destruction of the buildings and grounds, so those buildings and grounds did not constitute the essence of the University.
What if all the written material associated with the University were also destroyed? Well, if the students and faculty could somehow reconstitute that material from memory maybe they could re-establish the University and we would conclude that the essence was not in those written materials either.
I agree, more or less, with the argument up to this point (and may I say that it is a very logical and rational argument - refreshing!)
Paul Martin said:
But what if the students and faculty, perish the thought, were somehow destroyed? Would that put an end to the University? I think it would. In short, I think that the essence of the University is to be found in the people who make up the University.
I do not agree at this point. If one were to remove the students and faculty, there would still remain the buildings and libraries, the documents and textbooks, - one could still "reconstruct" the University from these by adding a new set of students and faculty. It may be a slightly different version of Oxford University, the personalities of the humans involved would obviously be different, but nevertheless it could still claim to be e reconstructed version of Oxford University.
Paul Martin said:
If you agree with that, then what this analogy does is to reduce the question of the essence of the University to the question of the essence of a Human Being.
Unfortunately, as you have seen, I do not agree :smile:
The intention of my original analogy of Oxford University was to show that sometimes an entity is more than the sum of its parts, and in some senses exists independently of the existence of ANY of its parts. There is no "essence" of University which causes the various parts to amalgamate into Oxford University. It is also not possible to use reductionist logic to break down the University into its parts without, at the same time, losing the essence of the University. The same, I believe, is true of consciousness (it is impossible to identify an essence of consciousness, and impossible to use reductionism to break down consciousness into its parts without losing the essence of consciousness.
In other words, Oxford University is an emergent property of its parts, just as imho consciousness is an emergent property of the mind.
Your version seems to suggest that you believe there is still an "essence" of the University, and an "essence" of consciousness?
Paul Martin said:
So, rather than help answer the question, it simply shows that whatever the essence of a Human Being is, it is more profound than simply accounting for Humans, because it also accounts for human institutions like universities.
With respect, the purpose of the analogy (which you seem to have interpreted differently) was to show that sometimes we need to dispense with the reductionist approach of looking for an "essence" in order to achieve understanding.
Paul Martin said:
the notion that the essence of not only humans but human institutions exists and is actually located in another dimension or another world, makes sense and it seems to lead to an explanation of everything. I think that essence is pure consciousness, and I don't think any human or any institution can behave in a workable manner without it.
You are of course entitled to believe in your hypothesis (though I believe differently). Can you make any testable predictions from this hypothesis?
MF
 
  • #29
jimmie
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Is there a true objective preception for the human mind?
Yes.

I know.

i let go of every thought i ever thought, and only then I realized my true "self", at which point there is no "self", and hence, realized true vision.

So long as an individual retains any thought, that individual's "self" prevents them from realizing true vision.

True objective preception for the human mind is only: 3D vision in the "first-person".

Anyway, just a thought. :smile:

o:)
 
  • #30
Paul Martin
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nameless said:
It really sounds like we are describing the same 'elephant', just using different language/experience and perspective.
That's exactly the way it seems to me, too.
nameless said:
I see them both still implying that in 'nameless' world, that 'thought 'exists' outside the brain.
My apologies again. I did not mean to make that implication. Let me try to clear it up once and for all.

Some people are persuaded that everything that exists is found in the 4D space-time continuum of matter and energy in which we find phenomena. I am not of that persuasion; I think there is vastly more to reality than that. I think nameless would agree that the 4D space-time continuum of matter and energy does not constitute all of reality. (In fact, I think he would say that it constitutes none of it.) In my view, thought, which I consider to be synonymous with consciousness, is real and exists "outside of" or "apart from" the 4D space-time continuum. I thought, and I now regret thinking so, that the label "namless' world" might be a good identifier to use for the concept of some part of real existence that is "outside of" or "apart from" the familiar phenomenal 4D space-time continuum of physics. So I used that label for my purposes and unintentionally left the impression that nameless holds similar views to my own concerning the reality of thought. I did not mean to give that impression. Sorry,
nameless said:
So, to sum up, nameless doesn't live in a world where brains and thoughts are inherently seperable. ok? ...ok!
OK!
nameless said:
I know of no 'places' existing that are not within the 'mind/brain' duality. There is no-thing beyond. No thing. Like matter or space/time.
In nameless' world, all of that which stimulate senses and mind, the whole omniverse, exists solely within mind and can never be known whether or not there actually exists anything beyond the content of our minds.
I am very close to agreeing with what you have said here. One small change I would suggest is to replace the last two words, "our minds", with the singular word 'mind'. That would be consistent with your usage up to those last two words and it would avoid the introduction of the concept of plurality which adds unnecessary complexity at this point. Since I am of the opinion that there is only a single consciousness/mind with its thoughts, I can agree with you as long as mind stays singular.

Another problem I have with this is understanding what you mean by the "'mind/brain' duality". Here again, I could easily agree with you if you replaced ''mind/brain' duality' with 'mind'. I don't think the concept of duality adds anything to the discussion, and I think the concept of brain confuses what you wrote. You say that "There is no-thing beyond [the 'mind/brain' duality]. No thing. Like matter or space/time." But isn't the brain composed of matter? And isn't the brain extended in space and time? And if you answer 'yes' to these questions, doesn't the rest of the body which supports the brain also exist as matter extended in space and time? And if so, wouldn't that be some matter in space/time which is beyond the 'mind/brain' duality? And if so, wouldn't also the rest of the phenomenal world also exist beyond that duality?

It seems to me that the obvious fix to this difficulty is to consider the brain to be nothing more than a physical device or instrument. And, just as we use other instruments like telephones and radios to mediate thoughts among thinkers, we could consider the brain to be totally separate and distinct from the thinker (but of course not from the thoughts just as in the case of telephone or radio).

As I have said elsewhere, I think Roger Penrose has suggested a model which places all of these ideas in a sensible context. I'll summarize how I see that model:

The original ontological essence is consciousness which for the purposes of this model I will consider to be synonymous with 'mind'. We know such a thing exists, but we don't know what it is, how it exists, how it came to exist, where it is, how it works, etc. We only know what it is like. We have direct experience of it.

The next step is that we know that consciousness or mind can cause, or produce, or have, thoughts. Whether these thoughts are profound or are simply farts, is unimportant at this point. At least we know that there are such "things".

Among the thoughts that we notice, are some which could be called Ideas. Others, or maybe they are the same ones as the Ideas, could be called Concepts.

So, at this point in the development of this model, we have consciousness and thoughts. Or equivalently, Mind and Ideas, to be consistent with Penrose's and Plato's terminology.

Now, ordinary people would claim that the model so far is incomplete; it doesn't include the phenomenal world of galaxies and quarks. So to include that world, we have to ask what exactly is it? And to our great fortune, science has been working on telling us what it is for a long time now and has some pretty good answers. Science can tell us with great precision how the phenomenal world behaves. But they cannot yet tell us much about what really exists. Penrose is convinced, for example, that QM has no credible ontology ("The Road to Reality", page 860).

If you take the best guesses about the ontology of the Standard Model, or QM, or the various cosmological theories, they are all based on concepts alone. Those concepts fit right in place in my model which I base on Penrose's three "worlds". Those being the Mental world, the Ideal world, and the Physical world. Each causes, or explains, or constructs the next in sequence. And the loop seems to be closed, according to Penrose, by the Physical world causing or explaining the Mental world, i.e. brains cause thoughts.

I depart from Penrose here by breaking the loop at this point and forming a helix instead. That is, when the Physical causes mentality, it does so at a different level. It doesn't make sense to me that it could be at the same level. It doesn't make sense that the Physical world, which was caused by the original Mind could in turn cause the original Mind. But just as we humans can build machines that we can drive, or operate, I think something similar goes on when the physical world leads to another level of mentality. I think the original Mind drives or operates physical structures thus imbuing the structure with the illusion that the structure itself has mental capabilities.

I suspect that this helix has made a few turns, so if we are interested in the true ontology of our physical world, we might have to go down a few levels before we hit the ultimate bottom. This, of course, will make Occam shudder in his grave. But, I think no more so than Hubble or Einstein caused him to shudder.

In summary, according to this model "the whole omniverse, exists solely within [M]ind".

Sorry for the diversion, but our discussion has brought all this to mind and I am interested in your views of it. I think it fits right in with your views if we get past a few semantic problems.
nameless said:
Quaintly put, it is more the 'world of Consciousness', bearing no resemblance to any world of concepts or constructs within mind.
If we are talking about ultimate reality, I agree completely. The only thing that really exists is that one consciousness. The concepts and ideas it conjures up in some temporal dimension are secondary and derivative and they don't resemble the Consciousness. And, any physicality that results from any of those concepts are tertiary at best and ultimately derivative from the single Mind/Consciousness.
nameless said:
Actually, this 'continuum' (a poor descriptor as it is not 'continuing' nor even has inherent existence) takes no 'space' at all in 'Reality'.
I agree with this completely, although I am not in a position to take on science with their contrary view. I think there is nothing infinite in reality, and thus no continuum. I would love to argue the point, but we crackpots have a hard time engaging real scientists on such a sacred cow issue.
nameless said:
First, I would wager that you have never, either, 'found' a thought without a 'corresponding brain'.
Since you typed 'you' in lower case, I would say you win your wager. If, by 'you', You mean the physical body that is typing this post now, you win because that body's brain is instrumental in interpreting the thoughts attributed to me. But, if you meant 'You' instead, then all bets are off. In my view, all thoughts are ultimately thought by the one single mind whether mediated by one or more instruments like radios and brains or not. And I suspect that that Mind has indeed entertained thoughts without corresponding brains. Particularly thoughts associated with the early physical universe prior to the appearance of brains.
nameless said:
You will receive no radio program on your radio without a 'corresponding sender'. All within 'Duality' partake of 'dual' nature; in/out, up/down, live/die, sender/receiver, self/other...
From this I suspect you might have missed the 'duality' I intended to illustrate with the radio analogy. The important distinction is not between the radio and the sender, which I admit IS an important distinction in describing the ontology. The important distinction I was trying to make is that between the radio and the program coming out of it. We can ponder that pair in isolation without having any knowledge that there even is a sending station. And if we do, as I suggested in my thought experiment, it would be easy to conclude that the program originates in the radio and that you could never find a program in the absence of a radio. The point I wanted to make is that there is the possibility of a vastly more (ontologically) complex part of the "reality" that is beyond or outside the brain just as there is in the case of the radio and its music.

Nice meeting you, too, nameless. It's good talking with you.

Paul
 
  • #31
Paul Martin
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moving finger said:
Unfortunately, as you have seen, I do not agree
I don't see it as unfortunate. My purpose was to discover where you and I disagree, and it is fortunate that we have found one such place.
moving finger said:
With respect, the purpose of the analogy (which you seem to have interpreted differently) was to show that sometimes we need to dispense with the reductionist approach of looking for an "essence" in order to achieve understanding.
You are correct; I did interpret your analogy differently in an attempt to suit my needs. I fell into the trap of reductionism by assuming that it was the accepted way of analyzing a proposition. I agree that the reductionist approach will not lead to an understanding of consciousness.
moving finger said:
The intention of my original analogy of Oxford University was to show that sometimes an entity is more than the sum of its parts, and in some senses exists independently of the existence of ANY of its parts.
With or without your analogy, I agree with you completely on this point. Now, if what you just said applies to Oxford University, then we can conclude that there is something about the entity of Oxford University in addition to the sum of its parts. We would like to know what that "something" is. And, according to what you said, it might be possible that this "something" might exist independently of the existence of ANY of the parts of the University.

So, the next small step I would suggest, is to choose a term to identify that "something". I propose calling it the 'essence'.

In the context of trying to understand human consciousness, I think the very same reasoning should apply. We should consider the possibility that there is some 'essence' of a human being that exists independently of the existence of the physical body. And, I suggest that we consider the possibility that consciousness itself is just such an essence. Finally, I propose that the essence of a human being and the essence of Oxford University are one and the same thing, viz. consciousness.

Now, I don't expect these suggestions will be convincing on their own. But let's suppose that my proposal is true and let me take your comments and see how they fare in light of it.
moving finger said:
There is no "essence" of University which causes the various parts to amalgamate into Oxford University.
Let's not be so hasty. Let's suppose that the essence of the University is consciousness and let's consider two different scenarios in which the various parts might amalgamate into Oxford University. The first would be the historical emergence of the institution. The second would be the hypothetical reconstruction you suggested after all the students and faculty died and the campus and documents were destroyed.

I maintain that in both cases, conscious thought, involving images of a future state of the University, strategies and plans for how various parts of that future state might be implemented, and conscious decisions to take actions to actually implement the plans, is the necessary ingredient to cause the successful amalgamation. I think it makes no sense to assume that the University could be instituted and constructed in the absence of consciousness. I think a strong argument could be made that conscious thought is a necessary ingredient for all human artifacts and institutions to come into being. There is less of an argument to be made for consciousness being involved in order for natural structures to come into being, even though I suspect it is true.

So I disagree with you here and say that there is an essence of University which causes it to come into being.
moving finger said:
It is also not possible to use reductionist logic to break down the University into its parts without, at the same time, losing the essence of the University.
In my view, this simply boils down to the semantic question of whether you consider consciousness to be a part of the University. If you don't, then you have lost the essence immediately. If you do, then you will find the essence to be one of those parts.
moving finger said:
The same, I believe, is true of consciousness (it is impossible to identify an essence of consciousness, and impossible to use reductionism to break down consciousness into its parts without losing the essence of consciousness.
I believe my view fixes this difficulty. If consciousness is the essence of everything else, then we certainly couldn't use reductionism to break down consciousness into its parts because it wouldn't have any parts. As for identifying the essence of consciousness, in my view they are synonyms, so consciousness is its own essence: it is essentially consciousness, in a manner of speaking.
moving finger said:
In other words, Oxford University is an emergent property of its parts,
Yes, and a Rolls Royce is an emergent property of its parts (you put a complete set of Rolls Royce parts together and a Rolls Royce emerges). In both cases, consciousness is a necessary ingredient for the successful emergence.
moving finger said:
just as imho consciousness is an emergent property of the mind.
Of course you are just as entitled to hold your opinions as I am to hold mine. But I don't understand what you mean by 'mind' and I suspect that I don't understand what you mean by 'consciousness' either. What do you mean by these terms? To me they are synonyms for the capability I have to experience.
moving finger said:
Your version seems to suggest that you believe there is still an "essence" of the University, and an "essence" of consciousness?
Not quite. My version is that there is an essence of the University and that essence is consciousness. Consciousness does not have an essence; it IS essence.
moving finger said:
Can you make any testable predictions from this hypothesis?
That's a difficult request for a non-scientist. On short notice, I would say that my hypothesis would predict the phenomenon of sleep for which science has yet to provide any explanation whatsoever.

It's fun talking with you, MF

Paul
 
  • #32
nameless
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Paul Martin said:
In my view, thought, which I consider to be synonymous with consciousness, is real and exists "outside of" or "apart from" the 4D space-time continuum.
Paul, I'm having a very difficult time corresponding 'thought' with 'Consciousness', and here's why.
'Thought/mind' is ultimately linear (and thereby creates the universe that it 'studies' in it's own image); sequentially correlating concepts, memories, impressions, constructs, categorizing (insidious), processing, computing, analyzing... Basically a bio-computer for processing our 'sensory' data input.
'Consciousness' is the 'ground of the Matrix', (Thought IS the Matrix!) observes but doesn't record, categorize, etc... as that is the property of 'mind'. Consciousness/Awareness just 'is'. Timeless. Wholistic. Non-mechanistic, as mechanism is linear, and that would require temporality. DreaMatrix stuff.
I have tried to remove these 'objectionable qualities' of 'thought' so I could fit it into your hypothetical paradigm, but without all those temporo-physical aspects, there's nothing left of thought (besides a foul smell *__- ). What remains is Consciousness.
I thought, and I now regret thinking so, that the label "namless' world" might be a good identifier to use for the concept of some part of real existence that is "outside of" or "apart from" the familiar phenomenal 4D space-time continuum of physics.
By cracky, that IS my world outside of the 'DreaMatrix'. But 'there', there is no longer a 'me' as I am a part of the 'DreaMatrix'. 'There' is no 'differentiation' for a 'me' to exist independently from 'else'.
Calling 'Ultimate Reality' after me, 'nameless' (a Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle thing..) would not only be error, but I don't know if I could stand to continue living with/in my ego! Can't let the 'Devil" lead the Dance! Hahahahah... but thanx.. this lone voice in the wilderness appreciates your recognition. *__-
I am very close to agreeing with what you have said here. One small change I would suggest is to replace the last two words, "our minds", with the singular word 'mind'. That would be consistent with your usage up to those last two words and it would avoid the introduction of the concept of plurality which adds unnecessary complexity at this point. Since I am of the opinion that there is only a single consciousness/mind with its thoughts, I can agree with you as long as mind stays singular.
As, for reasons stated above, I can't accept an 'equivalency of Consciousness and Mind. If you can help me out with your take on mind, perhaps I'll reevaluate my understanding... (Before responding, read below..)
There is no complexity problem if we just drop 'Mind' into the phenomenal category in which, IMHO, it belongs. My mind is my DreaMatrix, your's is your's, and there is 'correspondence' due to the Oneness of Consciousness within which are all 'Matrices'.
You say that "There is no-thing beyond [the 'mind/brain' duality]. No thing. Like matter or space/time." But isn't the brain composed of matter? And isn't the brain extended in space and time? And if you answer 'yes' to these questions, doesn't the rest of the body which supports the brain also exist as matter extended in space and time? And if so, wouldn't that be some matter in space/time which is beyond the 'mind/brain' duality? And if so, wouldn't also the rest of the phenomenal world also exist beyond that duality?
Thats a lot of 'and if so's', and 'taint necessarily so...
Yes, the brain is composed of 'matter', and is of the same 'dreaMatrix' stuff as all apparent 'matter', a 'fiction'.
Yes, the same applies to the body...
No. All matter is phenomenal dream stuff within mind. Mind/brain is not a one came first proposition, they are mutually arising aspects of the same phenomenal 'event'. The brain 'exists' within mind (as does everything else) which 'exists' within the brain. As in the mutually arising phenomena of the chicken and the egg... No 'which came first'...
Ya know, I'm sitting here trying out your one mind hypothesis for size, after all, what the hell do I know? I like the notion of one mind dreaming a bunch of brains and egos, etc... Ok, if we equate Consciousness with Mind, One Mind that functions in the role that I posited for Consciousness, then that Mind 'dreams' a brain that originates 'thought' (at least among some people.. *__- ) in which arrises 'self' and universe... The Dualistic world of phenomenon. Am I close here to your conceptualization? What I was doing was perhaps interbreeding mind and thought. Thought is a function of mind, so is brain, so... An I understanding your view of the elephant??
It seems to me that the obvious fix to this difficulty is to consider the brain to be nothing more than a physical device or instrument.
Necessary for 'thought' and 'creation'.
And, just as we use other instruments like telephones and radios to mediate thoughts among thinkers, we could consider the brain to be totally separate and distinct from the thinker (but of course not from the thoughts just as in the case of telephone or radio).
AAARRRGGGHHHH! Nooooooo! Thought is linear, as above. Perhaps Mind Is, but would be wholistic, non-temporal, as Consciousness, but 'thought' is sequential, as explained above. Otherwise, Mind/Consciousness/Thought would be as limited as the DreaMatrix. That is not my 'experience'. But I think we can 'synthesize' a bit here, no?
As I have said elsewhere, I think Roger Penrose has suggested a model which places all of these ideas in a sensible context. I'll summarize how I see that model:
The original ontological essence is consciousness which for the purposes of this model I will consider to be synonymous with 'mind'. We know such a thing exists, but we don't know what it is, how it exists, how it came to exist, where it is, how it works, etc. We only know what it is like. We have direct experience of it.
To one extent or another... ok so far.
The next step is that we know that consciousness or mind can cause, or produce, or have, thoughts.
How about that the Mind/Consciousness has/creates ego which conceptualizes Duality (a 'me' as distinguished from 'other') which allows a brain (vs not brain) which views this 'created Duality' through its cognitive grid as a 'material universe'? Meditation and other disciplinary practices take us in the reverse direction of realizing 'Oneness' and Consciousness/Mind?
Whether these thoughts are profound or are simply farts, is unimportant at this point. At least we know that there are such "things".
Yes, thoughts are things, Mind is not. So far so good... I think.. My brain is starting to hurt again, though..
Among the thoughts that we notice, are some which could be called Ideas. Others, or maybe they are the same ones as the Ideas, could be called Concepts.
For something to exist in our universe, for us, it must first be conceptualized..
So, at this point in the development of this model, we have consciousness and thoughts. Or equivalently, Mind and Ideas, to be consistent with Penrose's and Plato's terminology.
Thoughts and ideas. I still can't hang with a 'thinking' mind. Much too mundane. Thinking is thought from brain within ego within Mind?
Now, ordinary people would claim that the model so far is incomplete; it doesn't include the phenomenal world of galaxies and quarks. So to include that world, we have to ask what exactly is it? And to our great fortune, science has been working on telling us what it is for a long time now and has some pretty good answers. Science can tell us with great precision how the phenomenal world behaves. But they cannot yet tell us much about what really exists. Penrose is convinced, for example, that QM has no credible ontology ("The Road to Reality", page 860).
Quarks, leptons, antimatter and bananas are all dreaMatrix. QM says that Consciousness must touch the 'possibility waves' of Chaos to collapse them into one of an almost infinite array of potential 'realities' (futures). Consciousness is necessary to 'collapse' a 'possible/probable' information wave into a lepton, quark or banana. It has been said, in QM, that "Consciousness is the Ground of all Being".
There are those classicists who will bridle and exclaim loudly that this is untrue at the macro scale, but that is just the limited vision of the classic physics. Some of the QM greats agree with this interpertation. The rest of the science world is slowly comming into line with the new world view. It takes time. Even hard-line physicists are ruled by emotional needs and processes. So, like atoms, quarks, bananas and our head is in our head! *__- Perhaps the reason classical physicists recoil at this is because it comes to light that the 'ultimate physical reality' that they have dedicated their lives to, that they are emotionally attached to, is all a hologram. All 'fiction'. Smoke and mirrors within 'Mind. Consciousness has had no place in Physics. Now, it will be change or die. There will be lots of emotional, very unscientific, noises from the 'community'! As has always been when a 'light' shineth into the 'darkness', and the 'darkness' freaketh out! hehehe...

If you take the best guesses about the ontology of the Standard Model, or QM, or the various cosmological theories, they are all based on concepts alone. Those concepts fit right in place in my model which I base on Penrose's three "worlds". Those being the Mental world, OK, I CAN DEAL WITH THE MENTAL 'WORLD' the Ideal world WHAT IS THIS?, and the Physical world = DREAMATRIX 'FICTION'. Each causes, or explains, or constructs the next in sequence. And the loop seems to be closed, according to Penrose, by the Physical world causing or explaining the Mental world, i.e. brains cause thoughts. CAUSE AND EFFECT ARE POOR CONSTRUCTS TO USE, THEY ARE NO LONGER OF VALUE WITHIN THE NEW WORLD-VIEW. TWO 'THINGS' ARE MUTUALLY ARISING ASPECTS OF THE SAME 'EVENT'. THERE IS NO TIME.

I depart from Penrose here by breaking the loop at this point and forming a helix instead. That is, when the Physical causes mentality, it does so at a different level. It doesn't make sense to me that it could be at the same level. It doesn't make sense that the Physical world, which was caused by the original Mind could in turn cause the original Mind. NOT MIND, THOUGHTS! But just as we humans can build machines that we can drive, or operate, I think something similar goes on when the physical world leads to another level of mentality. I think the original Mind drives or operates physical structures thus imbuing the structure with the illusion that the structure itself has mental capabilities. LETS NOT EQUATE (CONFUSE) MIND (OMNIVERSAL) WITH 'THOUGHTS', ABSOLUTELY SUBJECTIVE.

I suspect that this helix has made a few turns, so if we are interested in the true ontology of our physical world, we might have to go down a few levels before we hit the ultimate bottom. This, of course, will make Occam shudder in his grave. But, I think no more so than Hubble or Einstein caused him to shudder.
I think that Occam would be very satisfied with our synthesis. All apparently diverse materiality in the omniverse is just a 'dream' of 'thought', 'Mind'... not 'Real', and not a 'problem' any more than our night-time dreams need to be 'considered', studied, weighed and measured and their apparently physical components hypothesized into neat little physics boxes... Uh oh, there go the grants? Hahahahaha...
In summary, according to this model "the whole omniverse, exists solely within [M]ind".
Amen brother.
Sorry for the diversion, but our discussion has brought all this to mind and I am interested in your views of it. I think it fits right in with your views if we get past a few semantic problems.
Such is the nature of synthesis. It has been exceeding rare for me to find another that I can actually hold discourse at this depth and understanding. How do you think that we are doing so far? I feel good, still, that we are describing the same elephant, but your description of your end actually makes sense to me and inspires thought and synthesis.
Originally Posted by nameless
Quaintly put, it is more the 'world of Consciousness', bearing no resemblance to any world of concepts or constructs within mind.
If we are talking about ultimate reality, I agree completely.
What other kind of 'reality' is worth our time and effort?
The only thing that really exists is that one consciousness. The concepts and ideas it conjures up in some temporal dimension are secondary and derivative and they don't resemble the Consciousness. And, any physicality that results from any of those concepts are tertiary at best and ultimately derivative from the single Mind/Consciousness.
You GO grrl! Hahahahahaa. *__-
Originally Posted by nameless
Actually, this 'continuum' (a poor descriptor as it is not 'continuing' nor even has inherent existence) takes no 'space' at all in 'Reality'.
I agree with this completely, although I am not in a position to take on science with their contrary view.
The larger the dinosaur, the harder he dies. But, when the time comes, eventually, die indeed they do! The old scholastic/monastic grant sucking, heavily invested dinosaurs of academe, lumbering along hallowed halls can hear the knell already, and can smell their own extinction if they don't 'grow'. It is human. But, the mud will settle once again, 'till next time when the 'control voice brings you from the inner mind to the Outer Limits'!
<Cue the music..>
I think there is nothing infinite in reality, and thus no continuum. I would love to argue the point, but we crackpots have a hard time engaging real scientists on such a sacred cow issue.
They'll get there. Remember that Sacred Cows still make the best burgers!
Originally Posted by nameless
You will receive no radio program on your radio without a 'corresponding sender'. All within 'Duality' partake of 'dual' nature; in/out, up/down, live/die, sender/receiver, self/other...
From this I suspect you might have missed the 'duality' I intended to illustrate with the radio analogy. The important distinction is not between the radio and the sender, which I admit IS an important distinction in describing the ontology. The important distinction I was trying to make is that between the radio and the program coming out of it. We can ponder that pair in isolation without having any knowledge that there even is a sending station. And if we do, as I suggested in my thought experiment, it would be easy to conclude that the program originates in the radio and that you could never find a program in the absence of a radio. The point I wanted to make is that there is the possibility of a vastly more (ontologically) complex part of the "reality" that is beyond or outside the brain just as there is in the case of the radio and its music.
Gotcha. Thanx for the correction. Works for me!
Nice meeting you, too, nameless. It's good talking with you.
Thank you. I have enjoyed our discussion greatly, thus far. I like the idea of a discussion where the components attempt to understand each other and 'synthesize' instead of an egoic 'debate/argument'. I think that you are the first that I have found on the net where this has happened so 'fluently' and egolessly! Most everyone else, ... been there, done that... nothing of value. I hope that you, too, find some value here.
This is how we all might be able to 'see' the elephant.
Good night..
 
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  • #33
moving finger
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Paul Martin said:
I don't see it as unfortunate. My purpose was to discover where you and I disagree, and it is fortunate that we have found one such place.
Agreed.
Paul Martin said:
We should consider the possibility that there is some 'essence' of a human being that exists independently of the existence of the physical body. And, I suggest that we consider the possibility that consciousness itself is just such an essence. Finally, I propose that the essence of a human being and the essence of Oxford University are one and the same thing, viz. consciousness.
Interesting, but (you will not be surprised) I am not convinced.
Paul Martin said:
Let's suppose that the essence of the University is consciousness and let's consider two different scenarios in which the various parts might amalgamate into Oxford University. The first would be the historical emergence of the institution. The second would be the hypothetical reconstruction you suggested after all the students and faculty died and the campus and documents were destroyed.
I maintain that in both cases, conscious thought, involving images of a future state of the University, strategies and plans for how various parts of that future state might be implemented, and conscious decisions to take actions to actually implement the plans, is the necessary ingredient to cause the successful amalgamation. I think it makes no sense to assume that the University could be instituted and constructed in the absence of consciousness.
Let's not be so hasty. Yes, we humans have a conscious appreciation of what we (anthropocentrically) believe Oxford University comprises, but I respectfully suggest that one could (in principle) envisage a machine-version of Oxford University (where the faculty and students are replaced by non-conscious machines). This machine-version would of course NOT be identical to the human version (I am not suggesting it would be), and to any human being it would clearly "not be" Oxford University as we (humans) know it.
I would suggest the entity "Oxford University" does not pre-exist as a necessarily and exclusively human artefact in some platonic sense. Rather, the entity "Oxford University" is context-dependent and in fact it is whatever we define it to be. In a non-conscious machine society there could be the equivalent of Oxford University for machines - but no consciousness is involved.
Paul Martin said:
I think a strong argument could be made that conscious thought is a necessary ingredient for all human artifacts and institutions to come into being.
I would probably argue that the "consciousness" in this case is simply a subjective property projected by virtue of the anthropocentric perspective. By definition, any human artefact is associated with humans, humans are conscious, ergo any human artefact is associated with consciousness. I would argue that a machine-equivalent non-conscious version could be postulated in each case.
Paul Martin said:
There is less of an argument to be made for consciousness being involved in order for natural structures to come into being,.
Agreed, for the same reasons as above.
Paul Martin said:
So I disagree with you here and say that there is an essence of University which causes it to come into being.
Yes, to some extent I agree with you. There is in some sense an essence of university, which is not present in anyone of its parts, which is why the university is more than the sum of its parts.
Paul Martin said:
In my view, this simply boils down to the semantic question of whether you consider consciousness to be a part of the University. If you don't, then you have lost the essence immediately. If you do, then you will find the essence to be one of those parts.
Whilst I do now agree that there is some essence of university, I do not agree that it is necessarily consciousness, for the reasons discussed above.
Paul Martin said:
I believe my view fixes this difficulty. If consciousness is the essence of everything else, then we certainly couldn't use reductionism to break down consciousness into its parts because it wouldn't have any parts. As for identifying the essence of consciousness, in my view they are synonyms, so consciousness is its own essence: it is essentially consciousness, in a manner of speaking.
If consciousness is the essence of everything else, does this mean that any concept of an entity existing “without consciousness” is meaningless?
Paul Martin said:
Yes, and a Rolls Royce is an emergent property of its parts (you put a complete set of Rolls Royce parts together and a Rolls Royce emerges). In both cases, consciousness is a necessary ingredient for the successful emergence.
I disagree. A non-conscious machine could in principle "understand" what constitutes a Rolls Royce, and could thereby construct one, without any consciousness being involved.
Paul Martin said:
I don't understand what you mean by 'mind' and I suspect that I don't understand what you mean by 'consciousness' either. What do you mean by these terms? To me they are synonyms for the capability I have to experience.
Without giving too much thought to the definitions, I would say that "mind" is a self-consistent state of rational, coherent, and dynamic information processing that takes place either within a brain or on a brain-equivalent platform, and "consciousness" is the continued sense of identity brought about by the dynamic process of symbolic self-representation that can take place within a mind. Consciousness (to my mind) can therefore (but does not necessarily) take place entirely within a mind, without reference to anything external. “Experience” on the other hand I would define as a property of the conscious mind, it is an interaction of the conscious mind with the outside world, and experiences are the mental and conscious processing and interpretation of sensory data originating external to the mind, and seems to me to be an accidental and non-essential feature of some forms of consciousness.
In other words, consciousness could (in principle) exist without experience, but not experience without consciousness.
Paul Martin said:
I would say that my hypothesis would predict the phenomenon of sleep for which science has yet to provide any explanation whatsoever.
That is interesting. Can you explain how you arrive at the conclusion that your hypothesis would predict the phenomenon of sleep?
With respect
MF
 
  • #34
Paul Martin
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I'm pressed for time right now but I will answer your last (and easiest) question.
moving finger said:
Can you explain how you arrive at the conclusion that your hypothesis would predict the phenomenon of sleep?
I think it can be inferred from my well-worn car/driver analogy.

I would be willing to bet that right now, while you are reading this, your car is parked. I would also be willing to bet that over half of the cars in the world are also parked right now. Why are all those cars parked?

If we examined the individual parked cars trying to discover why they are parked, we would find a small percentage that were parked for reasons that had something to do with the car itself. For example, some of them are parked because they are out of gas; others because they are being repaired or serviced. But the vast majority of parked cars are in the parking lot simply because they are not being driven. The owner/driver is doing something else which in general has nothing to do with the car.

By analogy, if human bodies are vehicles driven by a single consciousness, it would be reasonable to expect that there might be times when the body simply is not being driven, for reasons having nothing to do with the body. Of course the relentless pressure of entropy requires that the engine of the body remain idling so the body doesn't deteriorate during the interim. This happens to a lesser extent with cars. For example, if a car isn't driven for several years, it is likely to have deteriorated to the point that it won't start.

I think we attach too much importance to these bodies of ours and their activities. I think that in the grand scheme of things, there is a huge amount more going on and it only makes sense to me that the bodies should be parked periodically so that the conscious driver can do something that is maybe more important.

This analogical analysis is, of course, vastly over-simplified. I think that in reality, whatever time-sharing, or multiplexing mechanism accounts for the illusion that a single driver is simultaneously driving billions of bodies, it would make the idea of a driver parking and getting out of a car overly simplistic. But I still think that the general idea applies and makes sleep a plausibly understandable phenomenon.

In contrast to this, we have sleep, which is inexplicably ubiquitous among animals, being IMHO, a huge in-your-face counter-example to the theory of evolution.

Paul
 
  • #35
nameless
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Paul, I see bodies, sleeping bodies, beds, leptons.. the whole ball of apparently material wax as solely existing holographically within Mind. I find no paradoxes worth thought in physicality whatsoever. It is Dream, with no more eternal, ultimate 'Reality' than that. Perhaps the metaphoric study of this 'dream' might be fruitful in finding a more Ultimate Reality? I have found value in looking at EVERYTHING as metaphor; me, you, quarks, cars, etc...

'Evolution' becomes an irrelevant concept (when studying 'Ultimate Truths') when the 'illusion of time' is removed from the paradigm, as the 'illusion' that it is (has been found to be).. No time = no evolution. Just another mental construct.
 

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