The Central Role of Consciousness in Physics

  • Thread starter Thanatos
  • Start date
  • #61
1,513
0
Originally posted by Mentat
Wrong, the thing that is immediately evident is that which we percieve, not how we percieve it. That is added later, which is what (I think) Tom was trying to explain to you.

Please read that part of my post again. You say I am wrong then say the same thing that I did. First we perceive. All perceptions are subjective. perceptions in this case are interpretation of our sensory inputs.


[QOUT]
Obviously you are not educated in these fields (I mean no offense, simply an observation), since if you were you would know that these theories are substantiated by enormous bodies of evidence (except for the string theory, but we're still working on that one :wink:), and that denying that weakens your side immeasurably.
[/QUOTE]

We have been over this before, Mentat. There is no evidence that the Big Bang actually took place. The only real evidence that supports it is the value of the background microwave radiation detected by COBE
is the same or nearly so as it would be if the BB did take place about when we think that it would. If you have other hard evidence of the BB then please direct me to it because I have yet to be able to find it. I base my comment about string theory on what little I have read and mainly on the NOVA program that I watched Tuesday evening called the Elegant Universe hosted by Brian Green. Those are the only two theories that I mentioned anything about. So maybe you had better tell Brian Greene and John Gribbin that they are not educated enough in those subjects to make comments.


But, really, that is not a belief at all, it is the lack of a belief. Much like atheism (which is the choice not to take for granted that god exists; but also not taking for granted that he doesn't), it satisfies Occam's Razor much better than those that have gone "a step further" by making an assumption. You see, Tom has not taken for granted anything but what can be observed. While you, OTOH, have assumed that there is a metaphysical part to this, which we can't observe (and thus can't show to exist at all).

Nobody is talking about beliefs here. We are discussing views or stances. But, Tom has made an assumption, the assumption that his perceptions of the objective material world are real and true and that any evidence other than objective material evidence is not evidenvce at all. I disagree and dispute this statement.


Seriously, ask a child who was raised completely seperate from civilization, and see whether he tells you of the things that exist seperate from him, or instead, tells you of some metaphysical mind which he possesses that processes all of the incoming data.
I can't ask a child who was raised completely seperate from civilization. None are alive that I know of and the only such child that I know of could not speak at all. If you are talking about primative tribes people, they usually have a rich mythology and religious beliefs and believe far more in the metaphysical than we do.
The first time I came across such a concept as the objective material world being an illusion was hering about the
Austrailian Aborigenes calling this the "Dream Time."

My views are less valid onlyif one perscribs to the assumptions of the objective materialist view. From my view point those assumption are not valid or logical. Science has nothing to do with this discussion as science does not have anything to say abot philosopy or meataphysics at all.
 
  • #62
quantumdude
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,566
23
Originally posted by Royce
The thing that is immediately evident is that the only evidence that we have of the material world is subjective perceptions of our sensory inputs which are know to be limited and fallible even with the best instruments to augment our senses. Your evidence is no more substantial than the subjective evidence of my personal experiences and the testemony of other who say that they have seen the same things.

The evidence that is collected about the natural world by scientific investigation is certainly more substantial than your personal experiences. Your personal experiences cannot be verified or falsified to anyone but you. Furthermore, your noting that any evidence gathering endeavor is "limited and fallible" only serves to strengthen my point. It is precisely because the gathering of evidence is so limited that the most objective standard must be sought after. And it is because scientists seek that objective standard that there is so little variation in the evidence we collect. The same cannot be said of those who use personal experience as evidence. Put two philosophers in a room who use such a sloppy standard, and they will fight like cats and dogs.

Just as your evidence must be collaborated so must mine.
You take the word of other scientists. I take the word of other metaphysiscists or idealist as well.

This is so inaccurate, I can't believe you even said it, especially after being at Physics Forums for so long. Scientists have no need to "take the word of other scientists". Our evidence is objectively verifiable. That means that any scientist can go into a laboratory or observatory, do the same experiment, and get the same result, to within some experimental error.

I did not say that the "other (super) mind" did not have a body. That is you assumption. I do not know if it, God, does or does not have a body whether material or immaterial.

You don't get it.

What you do say is that there is a some "super mind", and you do this without having ever observed the behavior of the "other body". For that there is no justification, and that was my point.


Some thing that the universe itself may be the superminds body.
It is no more implausable than the Big Bang or string hypothisis as there is no known way to test either or varify predictions no matter how well the math fits and supports them. It is no more unintuitive or weird than QM.

As it stands, the above is false. The Big Bang theory, string theory, and QM are all both verifiable and falsifiable. Your idealism is neither. Perhaps you would like to cast it in a form that is both verifiable and falsifiable, by something other than personal experience? By some test an independent observer can do, and on whose results can concur with you?

Until you do that, your idealism does not have even a sliver of the plausibility of any of those scientific theories.

Your assumption is that your sensory inputs and you subjective perceptions are true and real, more true and real than my subjective perceptions of the metaphysical. This is simple bias.

No, it is not "simple bias". Data taken by the senses, and by extension, scientific instruments, is reproducible and objectively verifiable. Furthermore, it is consistent with my more fundamental assumption that reality is known a posteriori, in contrast to the idealist assumption that reality is known a priori. I do not reject the latter out of bias, I reject it because it has consistently failed to produce any insight into the workings of the natural world. Until someone shows me that the universe can be understood apart from observation, then I will change my mind.

Your view is that the material is real and prime, the ultimate reality; and' metaphysics is illusion. My view point is that the metaphysical is real ad prime, the ultimate reality; and, the material is the illusion. Who, if either of us, is right? I don't know any more than you do.

It is not that I reject metaphysics. It is that I reject *your* metaphysics. That is, I reject idealist ontology in general as a way to reason about reality, and I reject your idealism in particular for its logical incoherence. I pointed this out in my last post.

Tom there are thousands of books, articles, stories and first hand tesemony of personal experience with methaphysics and God as well as my own personal experience. Since they collaborate my experienc I am not willing to dismiss them as not real evidence. Again the above statement is pure materialistic bias.

The above statement makes it clear that the bias is on your part.

You take the "thousands of books" that agree with your idealism as evidence. So what do you do with the "thousands of books" that don't agree with it?

The fact is, those books you mention do not mean anything without an objectively verifiable way for anyone to test them.

"It aint so unless I say its so." It is the very thing that keeps any materialist from seeing anything that they don't want to see or have to admit might be real. "If I don't accept or look at any such evidence then I can honestly say that there is no evidence." This is the open mind of a true scientist?

LOL, you sure do know how to spin things to make yourself look good!

You are talking about subjective, anecdotal, experiential "evidence". How on earth could I possible "look" at your "evidence" when I do not have access to your mental states?

The point is, is that there is no conflict, no contradiction between the metaphysical and the physical.

What are you talking about?

I did not say that there is a contradiction between "the metaphysical and the physical", I said that there is a contradiction between "Royce's metaphysics and Royce's epistemology", and I presented a good argument to back it up.

Here it is again:

The metaphysics of your idealism insists that absolute truths can be ascertained by reason alone in the form of a priori knowledge of reality. But the epistemology of your idealism must necessarily include "evidence" that is only subjectively verifiable to support its assumptions about the mind. Without some objective standard for distinguishing between my "evidence" and your "evidence", the attainment of absolute truths--which must be true for everyone---is impossible.

Do you see the contradiction now?
 
  • #63
quantumdude
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,566
23
Originally posted by Royce
But, Tom has made an assumption, the assumption that his perceptions of the objective material world are real and true and that any evidence other than objective material evidence is not evidenvce at all. I disagree and dispute this statement.

You have not disputed the statement, you have simply denied it. So, here is your chance to dispute it:

Royce, tell me, how can you know something apart from perceiving it? And furthermore, how can I know that you know something, apart from verifying your perceptions with my own?

Until you or anyone else can answer that satisfactorily, I'm sticking with what I said.

My views are less valid onlyif one perscribs to the assumptions of the objective materialist view.

Actually, I argued that your views are not logical even if one adopts only your premises, precisely because your views are not consistent with each other. Maybe you will have something to say about that after re-reading my argument that pits your metaphysics against your epistemology.

From my view point those assumption are not valid or logical.

Since you have yet to show that materialism is logically invalid, this assertion is floating in a total vacuum right now.
 
  • #64
quantumdude
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,566
23
Originally posted by Rader
Because nothing has evolved into something that realizez there is someting greater than I. Thats the answer.

That is no answer.

Your original statement spoke of the impossibility of such a thing occurring. Your statement here speaks of the uniqueness of it occurring. One does not follow from the other.

Try again?

The answer will be the same for you or I. Enate matter if you like has organized itself into conscioussly questioning its beginnings.
Future generations will know more and more of the HOW but the WHY will not change.

Since I think the "WHY" question is unanswerable, that doesn't bother me.

By what means is it possible then?

By means of electromagnetic processes. Ask me again, and I'll tell you the same.

Tom: "Atoms are colorless. Cats are made of atoms. Therefore, cats are colorless."

Rader: How did you come up with that statement.

My point was not about atoms, colors, or cats, but about the fallacy of composition. To avoid getting hung up on irrelevant details, I'll change the argument.

The fallacy of composition works two ways:

1. Constituents {xi} have property p. Composite X is composed of constituents {xi}. Therefore, Composite X has property p.

Now one could argue, using the above schema, that since quarks, leptons, and gauge bosons have the property of being not devoid of consciousness, and since the brain is composed of those constituents, then the brain is also not devoid of consciousness. The conclusion is true, but the schema does not make the premise true.

A counterexample is that since sodium and chlorine are have the property of being dangerous for humans to consume, and since sodium chloride is made of sodium and chlorine, that sodium chloride is also dangerous for humans to consume. Here we use the schema with true premises and a false conclusion, so it cannot be valid.

2. Composite X has property p. Composite X is composed of constituents {xi}. Therefore, each consistuent {xi} has property p.

One could argue, using the above schema, that since brains are composed of quarks, leptons, and gauge bosons, and that since brains have the property of being conscious, that the quarks, leptons, and gauge bosons that compose the brain also have the property of being conscious. Is this valid reasoning? Let's see, using different premises.

This post that Rader is reading is composed of pixels, and the post has the property of containing a message from Tom. Therefore, each pixel has the property of containing the message from Tom. Here again, we use the schema with true premises and a false conclusion, so it too cannot be valid.

As far as I can see, your arguments fall along those lines.

I do not think we are getting anywhere, you arguments for you are as valid as mine are for me.

You have a basic misunderstanding about logic. Whether or not an argument is logically valid is not up for debate. I may disagree with the truth of your premises, but if you use valid logic I can and will recognize and acknowledge it.

But you simply have not used valid logic.

But take this for a thought. That concious intellengece evolved from inerte nothing for no reason is in a materialistic standpoint ilogical.

Rader, this is not how philosophy is done. This is just an empty assertion with no argument to back it up. It is not food for thought, it is junk food for non-thought.

edit: fixed italics bracket
 
Last edited:
  • #65
quantumdude
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,566
23
Originally posted by Rader
You would have to agree that free will decision and human consciousness is a human and only human attrubute?

Let's break up your compound statement.

"Free will decision is a human and only human attribute."

I am not certain that it is a human attribute at all. Materialist models of consciousness have been produced that state that human brains have enough bandwidth (if you will) to give the illusion of free will decision. However, I would not agree that this thing you speak of, whether it is real or illusion, is exclusive to humans. I cannot, since I do not have access to the mental states of any other being, including those of other organisms.

"Human consciousness is a human and only [color==blue]human[/color] attribute."

I would have to agree that this is true by definition.

I do not wish to find consistency in any social science experiment. I have a free will and can consciously decide what to believe. Human understanding and conscioussness is ever evolving. What is true today was not yesterday and will not be tomorrow. Not the whole truth but our truth. Ask Copernicus.

How does this have anything to do with the issues on the table?

edit: fixed color bracket
 
  • #66
1,513
0
Originally posted by Tom
The evidence that is collected about the natural world by scientific investigation is certainly more substantial than your personal experiences. Your personal experiences cannot be verified or falsified to anyone but you. Furthermore, your noting that any evidence gathering endeavor is "limited and fallible" only serves to strengthen my point. It is precisely because the gathering of evidence is so limited that the most objective standard must be sought after. And it is because scientists seek that objective standard that there is so little variation in the evidence we collect. The same cannot be said of those who use personal experience as evidence. Put two philosophers in a room who use such a sloppy standard, and they will fight like cats and dogs.

While I agree that my personal experience can not be verified of falsified by any one but myself, the personal experiences of many can be compared and act as support. I did not come up with this view out of a vacuum or on my own as an individual. It is only after I found collaboration from outside sources did I begin to think that these views may have some validity. Nor am I a pure idealist. My views are idealistic and metaphysical in nature so for convience I use those terms. I do not doubt the value of science or the scientific method nor do I doubt the reality of the objective material world. I say that the same rules of evidence or the same strict adherence to such rules can be used to verify the common features of subjective experience.




This is so inaccurate, I can't believe you even said it, especially after being at Physics Forums for so long. Scientists have no need to "take the word of other scientists". Our evidence is objectively verifiable. That means that any scientist can go into a laboratory or observatory, do the same experiment, and get the same result, to within some experimental error.

No it is not inaccurate. Only a handful of scientist have the means and opportunity to actually perform the experiments and verify the data. Once collaboration is found from independant sources then there is no need to do this over and over again. others read the published works and take the word of the authors that it is correct and accurate or sometimes find errors and/or mistakes. Books are published and the subject is taught in schools and colleges whether right or not. Much of what I was taught in high school and college has since been proven wrong but at the time it was the accepted scientific knowledge at the time.
I would assume that you like the rest or most of use get your information by reading books, articles and papers. I seriousdly doubt that you yourself verify scientifically everything that you accept as true or correct. It that not taking other peoples word for the truth. Yes some scientist can and do verify or disprove another scientists work. You and anybody else can also test what I and others have written of what we have "seen" of "found." It may take a few dozen years of meditation and study but then so does scientific study.


You don't get it.

What you do say is that there is a some "super mind", and you do this without having ever observed the behavior of the "other body". For that there is no justification, and that was my point.
Yes I do get it. I do observe in a purely subjective way this super mind that I call God and the Oneness of the universe. It is not just my personal experience but that of many, a number of them members here a PF that describe the same phenomenon in almost the same words.
I never wrote of the experiences of mine until others asked me specifically or all of us generally and others started writing of their own experiences. With this collaboration and affermation I began to form my views and began writing about them.


As it stands, the above is false. The Big Bang theory, string theory, and QM are all both verifiable and falsifiable. Your idealism is neither. Perhaps you would like to cast it in a form that is both verifiable and falsifiable, by something other than personal experience? By some test an independent observer can do, and on whose results can concur with you?

It may be my ignorance or my misunderstanding but here I think that you and mentat are wrong. From what I have read and seen as last as last Tuesday ther is no way to test string theory yet and no way to test its predictions again according to PBS's NOVA and author/host Brian Greene. The Big Bang theory is based on the present expansion of the universe played backwards to its ultimate conclusion. The COBE supports this with the measurement of background radiation but none of this is hard scientific evidence that proves anything nor does the BB make any scientific predictions. If I am wrong in this Please direct me to a site or book that explains or shows this differently.


Until you do that, your idealism does not have even a sliver of the plausibility of any of those scientific theories.

But, Tom, I am not the only one nor am I the only one to claim any of this as I have said before. I invite you or anyone else to do the study and work and take the time and make the effort to verify it for yourself. Your experience wll be different than mine or anyone else's but it will all so be remarkably alike in very important ways.

The rest of our pos is much the same. This view of mine is a work in progress and is not complete. I started with a few observations
of reality different from the objective material reality. I am trying to bring it al together in a coherent form. It is almost impossible to argue its points with someone who is an objective materialist. It does however make me think and try to get it more coherent and rational. For this I thank all of you.
While I am not playing devils advocate, I am not an idealist nor am I a materialist but some of both. I believe that the metahysical is real just as real if not more real than the physical.
 
  • #67
quantumdude
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,566
23
Originally posted by Royce
I say that the same rules of evidence or the same strict adherence to such rules can be used to verify the common features of subjective experience.

The rules of evidence that apply to objectively verifiable evidence are such that, when one finds evidence that disagrees with one's viewpoint, one changes one's viewpoint.

The rules of evidence that apply to subjectively verifiable evidence are such that, when one finds evidence that disagrees with one's viewpoint, one rejects the offending evidence out of hand.

They are not the same!

No it is not inaccurate. Only a handful of scientist have the means and opportunity to actually perform the experiments and verify the data.

(snip)

I would assume that you like the rest or most of use get your information by reading books, articles and papers. I seriousdly doubt that you yourself verify scientifically everything that you accept as true or correct. It that not taking other peoples word for the truth. Yes some scientist can and do verify or disprove another scientists work.

Right, I have not done every experiment that can be done. But during my education I have done a significant number of them, and I have analyzed plenty of data taken by others. I have done enough experimental work to know the difference between objective and subjective evidence.

You and anybody else can also test what I and others have written of what we have "seen" of "found." It may take a few dozen years of meditation and study but then so does scientific study.

There is no way for me to test your personal experience. Furthermore, even if I did "test" it and come to agree with you, I would have to do so only by completely disregarding the subjective "evidence" of equally sincere people who reach the opposite conclusion. This is the same problem I keep pointing out.

It may be my ignorance or my misunderstanding but here I think that you and mentat are wrong.

Yes, it is your misunderstanding. I said that those theories are verifiable and falsifiable. That does not mean that they have been tested, it means that their claims are of the logical structure that they can be tested, when technology catches up. Your claims, on the other hand, can only be verified or falsified definitively when humans develop the ability to directly access each other's mental states, as well as the mental states of this "god" you speak of.

But, Tom, I am not the only one nor am I the only one to claim any of this as I have said before. I invite you or anyone else to do the study and work and take the time and make the effort to verify it for yourself. Your experience wll be different than mine or anyone else's but it will all so be remarkably alike in very important ways.

And as I keep saying, there are plenty of people who have "found" the opposite conclusion by subjective experience. You can only claim that you have "evidence" by disregarding that.

While I am not playing devils advocate, I am not an idealist nor am I a materialist but some of both. I believe that the metahysical is real just as real if not more real than the physical.

I still don't know what you mean by "metaphysical". Metaphysics is not about some fuzzy glowing "energy" floating around out there, it is a human discipline that seeks to make sense of the world around us.

In any case, you still have not addressed the most important part of my posts, namely the argument that your whole position is internally inconsistent. I don't reject your view merely because it starts from different premises as mine. I also reject it because it is illogical in and of itself.
 
  • #68
200
0
Tom,

You have my respect for your intelligent and level-headed critique of Idealist nonsense.

Keep up the good work!
 
  • #69
162
0
Originally posted by Mumeishi
... Idealist nonsense.
Your very nice animated logo shows that reality has many ways of expression. Thinking, consiousness and all mental processes are of course also 'energy'.
I think Royce refers to that.

Tom is right that personal experience is not exchangeable.

And as said you have a nice avatar! You made it yourself?
 
  • #70
200
0
Originally posted by pelastration
Your very nice animated logo shows that reality has many ways of expression.

Absolutely - and some of its manifestations are even more incredible than my avatar!

Thinking, consiousness and all mental processes are of course also 'energy'.

I think this is a source of philosphical confusion, in terms of the 'hard problem of consciousness'. The brain is ultimately energy, but the mind is not identical to the brain. Mental states are what the brain (and thus the enrgy) is doing. But that's another topic.

I think Royce refers to that.

Where?

And as said you have a nice avatar! You made it yourself?

I wish I had. I found it elsewhere, and resized it, reduced the number of colours and halved the frame rate to make it permissable here. I couldn't resist it.
 
  • #71
1,513
0
I referred to it in another thread on this forum in a discussion with mentat.

If from the materialist view point all that exist is matter and energy. Thought, thinking, is obviously not matter so it must be energy. The mind being made up of pure thought must then be pure energy. The brain is the hardware and wiring that makes all of this possible. The mind, energy, is the result of the brains activity.
Since energy can and does effect matter, our minds and thoughts can and do effect the matter that is our bodies and through our bodies effect the rest of our material world. Thus thought which is subjective can effect and control matter which is material.

I expanded on this saying that the mind may be the portal through which the spiritual realm of reality interacts with the material reality. The spiritual world is in this instance, God, the Creator.
Since I am not allowed to use the terms idealism or metaphysics because in my ignorance I use them wrongly , I must refer to this part of reality as the spiritual reguardless of its unfavorable connotations.

My view point is that there are three facets of reality, the spiritual, the subjective and the material and that they are all interactive and merely parts of the one ultimate reality. Also, that the spiritual, God, is the ultimate or prime cause of all that is.
That the material is the effect rather than the cause. This I have in other threads compared to the three characteristics of Man, the spiritual or soul which is part of the spirit of God, the subjective mind, and the material body. I have said numerous times that this is only my opinion and view point and that I have no physical material or objective support or evidence.

Mentat and I have been having ongoing conversations and discussions on this and similar topics since I first joined the PF's and of course others have joined in and followed these discussions. I often refer to things that have been said at other times in other threads. I realize that this can be hard to follow and make what I say incoherent,illogical and even foolish if taken at face value out of context of the ongoing dialog.

I also say that there is evidence that is anecdotal and subjective that supports and afferms this view point and that it is not original with me nor just my personal experience and thoughts that have lead to this view point.

This is as simple, clear and consise as I can make it.
 
  • #72
quantumdude
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,566
23
Originally posted by Royce
If from the materialist view point all that exist is matter and energy.

Materialists put matter and energy in the same category of existence. This equivocation is warranted by Einstein's relativity, wherein mass and energy are found to be equivalent. I would say that the real categories of existence are, roughly:

1. Concrete Objects: Things that take up space.
2. Abstract Objects: Things that exist as concepts.

Category #1 is held to be independent of consciousness, while Category #2 is completely dependent on it. Abstract objects cannot be without a mind to think of them.

Thought, thinking, is obviously not matter so it must be energy. The mind being made up of pure thought must then be pure energy. The brain is the hardware and wiring that makes all of this possible. The mind, energy, is the result of the brains activity.

Thought is not energy. If it were, then one should be able to convert one's thoughts into matter a la Einstein. If that were the case, I would have thought myself up a real, material Porsche 911 convertible a long time ago.

Thought is something the brain does, just like walking is something the legs do. Walking is not energy, any more than thought is.

Since energy can and does effect matter, our minds and thoughts can and do effect the matter that is our bodies and through our bodies effect the rest of our material world. Thus thought which is subjective can effect and control matter which is material.

Hopefully you can see now that this is wrong.

You go on to talk about subjective evidence again, but at no point do you address the argument I gave, and the one to which I keep referring. That being the case, I see no reason to argue against your subjective evidence again.

This is as simple, clear and consise as I can make it.

Thanks for the effort, but I never thought you were being overly complicated, unclear, or longwinded. I just think that what you presented here is both false and illogical, for the reasons I gave.
 
  • #73
200
0
If from the materialist view point all that exist is matter and energy. Thought, thinking, is obviously not matter so it must be energy. The mind being made up of pure thought must then be pure energy.

Woah! There's some serious flaws in your argument there friend.
Premise 1: According to the materialist view, all things are either matter or energy.
Premise 2: Thought exists
Premise 3: Thought is 'obviously' not matter
Conclusion: Therefore thought is energy

First of all, there is a variety of materialist views. Anyway, to be more precise, there is only energy, since matter is just a particular form of energy (how does that affect your argument?)

Secondly, the materialist view that all that exists is energy and matter is not necessarily correct. And is it clear that they mean that this is the only sort of property that exists - the only defining characteristics to describe reality, or could they just mean that this is the only fundamental sort of 'substance'? To illustrate my question, what is the difference between a 20kg mountain bike and a 20kg microwave oven? The answer is form, or organisation. What is the difference between a 1kJoule telephone message wishing you luck and a 1kJ telephone message of abuse? Again the answer is form, organisation or information.

I would argue that mental states are informational properties of the brain. It doesn't really matter what the brain is composed of, all that matters is the information it has and what it does with it.

The brain is the hardware and wiring that makes all of this possible. The mind, energy, is the result of the brains activity.
Since energy can and does effect matter, our minds and thoughts can and do effect the matter that is our bodies and through our bodies effect the rest of our material world. Thus thought which is subjective can effect and control matter which is material.

I think you are confused. Matter does not produce energy. Matter is energy, and energy only changes form it is neither created nor destroyed.

I expanded on this saying that the mind may be the portal through which the spiritual realm of reality interacts with the material reality. The spiritual world is in this instance, God, the Creator.
Since I am not allowed to use the terms idealism or metaphysics because in my ignorance I use them wrongly , I must refer to this part of reality as the spiritual reguardless of its unfavorable connotations.

Hmmm... Perhaps you could use the term 'Celestial Realm' or 'Astral Plane' - that's essentially what you are saying.

My view point is that there are three facets of reality, the spiritual, the subjective and the material and that they are all interactive and merely parts of the one ultimate reality. Also, that the spiritual, God, is the ultimate or prime cause of all that is.
That the material is the effect rather than the cause. This I have in other threads compared to the three characteristics of Man, the spiritual or soul which is part of the spirit of God, the subjective mind, and the material body. I have said numerous times that this is only my opinion and view point and that I have no physical material or objective support or evidence.

Hmmm... How would they interact anyway? By the way, energy is not 'spiritual' any more than matter is - it is 100% physical.


I also say that there is evidence that is anecdotal and subjective that supports and afferms this view point and that it is not original with me nor just my personal experience and thoughts that have lead to this view point.

Like what? Anecdotes don't count for much in the world of science, except inspiration to start collecting real data parhaps.
 
Last edited:
  • #74
1,513
0
Originally posted by Tom
Materialists put matter and energy in the same category of existence. This equivocation is warranted by Einstein's relativity, wherein mass and energy are found to be equivalent. I would say that the real categories of existence are, roughly:

1. Concrete Objects: Things that take up space.
2. Abstract Objects: Things that exist as concepts.

Category #1 is held to be independent of consciousness, while Category #2 is completely dependent on it. Abstract objects cannot be without a mind to think of them.

Yes, Tom, I agree with everything that you say here. I was invovled in the original dscussion in another thread and was using his definition of martialism. He would not admit that any abstrat or subjecttive thing actually exists, now he will not even admit that thought exists or that thinking is made up of thoughts. I was therefore very limited in what I could discuss and the way that I could discuss it. In our world, the one that we actually live in rather than Einstein's world it is convient to speak of matter and energy as seperate forms of material, even though we know that they are really diffent forms of the same thing.



Thought is not energy. If it were, then one should be able to convert one's thoughts into matter a la Einstein. If that were the case, I would have thought myself up a real, material Porsche 911 convertible a long time ago.

Again I was addressing Mentat and trying to make the point that thought exists. As thought is the result of electrochemical processes of the physical brain, information is encoded on the energy produced by these processes thus it can be said that thought is or consists of energy, that thought is the result of a physical process involving energy and thus exists. I think that when looked at this way it is a valid point, a means of tying the objective and subjective realm together and allowing the subjective to exist in Mentats material world.
Using E=MC^2 It would take a whole lot of thought to make even a hubcap much less a 911.


Thought is something the brain does, just like walking is something the legs do. Walking is not energy, any more than thought is.

No, walking is not energy but it does take energy to walk and the command impulses that the brain sends to the legs to walk is a form of electrchemical energy, just as thought must be as that is the only known media in which the brain works.


Hopefully you can see now that this is wrong.

Hopefully you can see now that what I am saying, while it may not be in presice scientific language, is thought is a form of energy or at least impossed on or encoded in electrochemical energy.


You go on to talk about subjective evidence again, but at no point do you address the argument I gave, and the one to which I keep referring. That being the case, I see no reason to argue against your subjective evidence again.
__________________________________

Royce, tell me, how can you know something apart from perceiving it? And furthermore, how can I know that you know something, apart from verifying your perceptions with my own?

Until you or anyone else can answer that satisfactorily, I'm sticking with what I said.
___________________________________

Tom I think that this statement is what you are referring to above.
The answer is of course that We can't know anyhing apart from perceivig it; nor can you or anybody else know without verifying themselves my perception. I can only write about them as best I can and you can only compare what I say with your own experiences or with others who have written about this. This is why this whole topic is philosopy and not science. If we could verify these thing with ibjective evidence then it would become science. As I said we can only take each others word for it. This is not the exact opposite of what we do in science, especially those of us who are not scientist.


Thanks for the effort, but I never thought you were being overly complicated, unclear, or longwinded. I just think that what you presented here is both false and illogical, for the reasons I gave.

No, tom, thank you for making me make the effort to make my thinking as clear to myself as I can so that I can better express myself and my thoughts.

Part of the reason that I am here is to bounce my thoughts off of other to see it they have any validy and logic or if they are just mental rambings or masterbation. It is all to easy to fool ourselves into thinking that we are brilliantly cleaver until we expose our ideas to others and find what an ass we can make of ourselves.
 
  • #75
3,890
3
Originally posted by Royce
Please read that part of my post again. You say I am wrong then say the same thing that I did. First we perceive. All perceptions are subjective. perceptions in this case are interpretation of our sensory inputs.

No, you implied that the primary experience is of that which only exists in our own mind (subjective experience), when in fact the first thing we experience is the objective...we can't even contemplate subjectivity until long after we've accepted objectivity.

We have been over this before, Mentat. There is no evidence that the Big Bang actually took place. The only real evidence that supports it is the value of the background microwave radiation detected by COBE
is the same or nearly so as it would be if the BB did take place about when we think that it would. If you have other hard evidence of the BB then please direct me to it because I have yet to be able to find it.

How about the fact that the Universe is expanding? That is also a prediction of the Big Bang theory.

I base my comment about string theory on what little I have read and mainly on the NOVA program that I watched Tuesday evening called the Elegant Universe hosted by Brian Green. Those are the only two theories that I mentioned anything about. So maybe you had better tell Brian Greene and John Gribbin that they are not educated enough in those subjects to make comments.

They do not say that you cannot prove string theory, or that it's based on mere conjecture. Ed Witten (who'd be my idol, if I didn't already have a God), has already postulated empirical ways to test M-Theory.

I have to get off-line right now. Sorry. I will continue response tomorrow, maybe, but I think you should heed what Tom has been saying; I think he's pretty much covered my side of the debate better than I could hope to.
 
  • #76
1,513
0
Originally posted by Mumeishi
Woah! There's some serious flaws in your argument there friend.
Premise 1: According to the materialist view, all things are either matter or energy.
Premise 2: Thought exists
Premise 3: Thought is 'obviously' not matter
Conclusion: Therefore thought is energy

First of all, there is a variety of materialist views. Anyway, to be more precise, there is only energy, since matter is just a particularform of energy (how does that affect your argument?)

First please read my reply to Tom above as you both put forth a number of the same arguments. Next that energy is all there is actually makes my point easier to make it we can agree that even within a materialistic paradigm, thought and thinking does exist.
Mentat would not allow me that luxury. I had to show that thoughts were the result of electrochemical activity of the brain and thus electrochemical energy, a result of material processes so that they would be allowed to exists in his materialistic world.


Secondly, the materialist view that all that exists is energy and matter is not necessarily correct. And is it clear that they mean that this is the only sort of property that exists - the only defining characteristics to describe reality, or could they just mean that this is the only fundamental sort of 'substance'? To illustrate my question, what is the difference between a 20kg mountain bike and a 20kg microwave oven? The answer is form, or organisation. What is the difference between a 1kJoule telephone message wishing you luck and a 1kJ telephone message of abuse? Again the answer is form, organisation or information.

I would argue that mental states are informational properties of the brain. It doesn't really matter what the brain is composed of, all that matters is the information it has and what it does with it.

Unfortunately information does not exist ether in mantat's materialistic world. A number of us have tried to get across that very point but were unable to.


I think you are confused. Matter does not produce energy. Matter is energy, and energy only changes form it is neither created nor destroyed.

I did not say, or at least mean to say, that matter produces energy'
What I meant was the the brain work with electrochemical energy and converts it or modifies this energy by impress or encoding information on it. In order to make any point or discuss at all with Mentat I was forced to argue totally within the strict materialistic view and limits that he created.



Hmmm... How would they interact anyway? By the way, energy is not 'spiritual' any more than matter is - it is 100% physical.

This I have not yet figured out myself. I had enough problem coming up with how the subjective realm of thought can effect the objective material realm of matter.



Like what? Anecdotes don't count for much in the world of science, except inspiration to start collecting real data parhaps.


That is why this is philosophy and not science. This is the philosophy section of the Physics forum and not one of the scientific
sections or boards.
 
  • #77
765
0
This thread in this forum has a lot of pros and cons. All of our own opinions are based on who we are and what we have read and obsorbed and accepted in our lifetime for one reason or another, be they from what ever source. There is a lot of important minds out there that agree and disagree with many of us.

Let me quote the ideas of the eminent theoretical physicist David Bohm, he was one of Einsteins old collaborators.

He sees things as implicit holgrafic order. This discovery has converted holografics in a fundamental element of the scientific world. His inspired work on holgrafics has created a model of the universe envolving multiple paradoxes in cuantum mechanics. According to Bohm the world we perceive through the five sences and the nervous system with or without the use of scientific instruments only represents a small fragment of reality. From his point of view what we percieve constituts explained order, a partial aspect of a larger matrix that denominates implied order. In other words what we perceive as reality is similar to a holgrafic projection coming from a superior matrix. So the vision of Bohm of implied order is described at a level that is unacessable to our senses. Read his book "The totality of implicit order" a vision that offers modern physics the existing relationship between consciousness and matter. Bohm says the reality is a total reality, coherant and implied in a interminable process of change called holomovement. From this point of view all structures in the universe are only abstract. So it is that no matter how hard we try to describe objects, entities or events, we have to come to the conclusion admitting that all are derived from a indifinable unrecognizable totality. According to Bohm the holografic theory that illustrates the idea that energy, light and matter are all composites of pacekts of interference waves that interchange information between all other energy, light and matter directly or indirectly that they have made contact. So each fragment of energy and matter constitute a microcosmos enclosed in the totality of it all. So should we not surmise then, that life in terms of inanimate matter. Matter and life<>matter and consciousness
are abstractions of holmovement, that is to say abstrations of a indivisable totality that can not be seperated. Whatever perception or whatever knowledge including so called scientific does not constitute objective reality but a creative activity comparable to artistic expression. We can not measure the true reality because reality is essentially unmeasurable. Study the work of David Bohm and Karl Pibram a neurofisiologist if you wish more info. Bohms holografic model gives us the revolutionary possibility to understand the relationship that exists between the part and the totality.
 
  • #78
3,890
3
Royce, I'm goint to take the advice I was given long ago, by a very wise friend, and "stop kicking this dead horse". I think that Tom and Mumeishi are doing excellent without me, and I don't think that any of us can convince you that your beliefs are wrong, since belief is beyond proof and beyond objectivity. If you believe in something, and believe it beyond logic and science, then how could you possibly be convinced otherwise?

btw, the person who told me to stop kicking the dead horse was you, on another thread where belief stood in the way of pure rationalization. I'm taking your good advice this time :smile:.
 
  • #79
1,513
0
Mentat, I don't think that it is fair at all to keep throwing my own words back in my face. Just like you playing the devils advocate I am defending or supporting a philosophical position that I don't hold as a personal belief. I was a game in which I was trying to score, make points within your strict limits and definitions. It was an enjoyable exercise in mental gymnastics. Whether you admit it or not I think that I did pretty well.

Now with Tom, if he decides to continue with the discussion and Mumeishi the game has changed and we are starting all over with different definitions and limits.

I do believe that my view and my points are valid as far as they go but is is still too simplistic and needs filling out. The question of objective reality vs subjective and spiritual reality will never be satisfactorily answered here or anyplace else on earth. It will always be subjective and suportable only by subjective evidence. There is no way that objective evidence can apply to a purely subjective topic. It is and always will be a point of view of philosophy and never science.

There is no way that I can argue sujectivism against an objective materialist as he would never except purely subjective evidence.
I think Tom and I are very close to agreement with the exception that I am coming from a spiritual paradigm and he as a scientist can see nor accept any evidence of the spiritual. I think that we do come together in the belief of the objective and subjective.

I'm sure that we will soon be pitting our wits again on another thread until then, my friend.
 

Related Threads on The Central Role of Consciousness in Physics

  • Last Post
Replies
17
Views
523
  • Last Post
Replies
17
Views
3K
Replies
21
Views
10K
Replies
10
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
24
Views
861
Replies
16
Views
4K
Replies
115
Views
11K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
Replies
15
Views
3K
Replies
62
Views
6K
Top