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The Great Outsider

  1. May 28, 2003 #1
    This is a carry over from a discussion with M. Gaspar regarding God, "The Great Outsider" ...

    Anybody have any replies? ... Comments? ...
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2003 #2
    Could be...things that you don't percieve simply don't exist? In either case, things which you cannot percieve are 'practically' nonexistant; you cannot make observations, therefore you are wasting your time trying to define their properties. It is nothing more than a huge game of 'what if?', and you get to fill in whatever answer satisfies you.
  4. May 28, 2003 #3
    What if the Universe had purpose then? And what is it about purpose, if not that which is closely associated with consciousness? Is it possible then that man is an anomaly in the Universe, and that purpose and consciousness exist only with him? If not, then where does it come from? ... A greater brain perhaps? Or, a greater intelligence?
  5. May 28, 2003 #4
    The Matrix ...

    From the URLAT, http://www.probablefuture.com/matrix.htm ...

  6. May 28, 2003 #5


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    It is possible, but I see little to make it probable. I think it can be established that purpose is something given only with an external conscious observer, and hence to say that there is an universal purpose is reasonable if and only if a god exists. I don't think you can place humanity as an anomaly, or say that only we have this consciousness. It's a self-consistent statement, certainly. But you can't put it as really true. Without observation, it can only be indeterminate.
  7. May 28, 2003 #6
    Again, all you have is questions, with no practical way of answering them.
  8. May 28, 2003 #7
    Exactly. All of the previous attempts you have made (as in the first post of this thread) have been an addition of assumptions and propositions, which is (of course) a contradiction of Occam's Razor.
  9. May 28, 2003 #8
    This is a very fundamental question, in fact so fundamental that it almost "implies" the answer. The only question is, why won't science bother to do the research?

    From the thread, https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2352&perpage=15&pagenumber=4" ...
    That's the whole beauty of it, it doesn't require Science for the answer (at least for oneself). Matter of fact it would be a long time in waiting to see when Science gets off its duff and actually does something about it. And, while it's one thing to dismiss something, it's entirely another to disprove it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  10. May 29, 2003 #9
    Where were YOU when we first "saw" an atom (via the scanning tunneling microscope maybe 30 years ago) after CENTURIES about it's (the atom's) speculated existence.

    We can't "see" black holes -- which, by the way, were speculated upon in 1783 -- yet most cosmologists swear by them now.

    Although there are many "things" we cannot "see"...we can THINK ABOUT THEM perfectly well.
    Last edited: May 29, 2003
  11. May 29, 2003 #10
    Another way of looking at an "assumption" might be to say that "one takes the case that..." in order to provide a "bridge" between what is "known" and what is "unknown". This is done for the purpose of "thinking outside the box" -- so to speak -- and has been a USEFUL DEVICE for getting to NEW IDEAS...that may eventually be "proven" ...or not.

    When I'm approached by Occam's Razor, I become fearful that someone wants to excise my creative mind.

    I believe this is NOT your intention, but, rather, my reaction ...even though I value the REMINDER from time to time.

    Please read my response to Zero (above) for more about the "delay time" between speculation and proof.
  12. May 29, 2003 #11
    What you are speculating on is the paradox of existence. To say that the universe has a purpose is to imply a primal cause for existence, but even if you could prove there is a cause for existence, it would remain an irrational cause. In the case of the religious, Love or somesuch. Hence, it is outside the realm of science and squarely in the realm of philosophical metaphysics and theology.
  13. May 29, 2003 #12
    We can only think about those things when they have a consistant, measurable, repeatable affect on things we CAN see. Note those three words: consistant, measurable, repeatable. When something that previously was seen as 'magical' or 'metaphysical' shows those three traits, I will give it another look.
  14. May 29, 2003 #13
    Gravity was thought of as magical at one time, matter was thought of as mechanical and rational at one time. Now we have a very reasonable explanation for gravity, but a totally unreasonable one for matter. Go figure. What Quantum Mechanics demonstrates, however, is that just because something appears to be magical does not mean we are capable of proving Anything really is magical. By definition, it is simply impossible to prove something is magical. That is why this entire thread is silly.
  15. May 29, 2003 #14
    This is true. However, Occam's Razor still doesn't allow for one to formulate a theory, which only has the same degree of accuracy as another theory, but uses more assumptions. The theory with the least assumptions, that describes the same phenomenon to the same (or greater) degree of accuracy, is the "better" theory (according to Occam).
  16. May 29, 2003 #15
    And how does what you have just said relate to the existence of atoms and black holes BEFORE they were observable, measurable or "repeatable??"

    I understand the scientific process -- so don't trouble yourself to say more on that -- just address what advanced thinkers :wink: were supposed to DO with their advanced THINKING while they were waiting for "science" to CATCH UP?

    Not ALL hair-brained concepts turn out to be "true".

    But SOME do.
  17. May 29, 2003 #16
    I've never used the word "magical" in any of MY posts.

    Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think I'm a "MATERIALSIST"...with the only difference between others who think themselves so is that I PROPOSE that one of the "materials" is CONSCIOUSNESS.

    When I have more time, I'm going to the menu of threads on this Forum and list all those that are "silly" to pursue as a discussion.

    Some play golf. Some go bunji-jumping. They have THEIR "facilities". Is not THIS the "facility" for games of the mind?

    P.S. And please do not allow yourself to give into the temptation to discredit the "game".
    Last edited: May 29, 2003
  18. May 29, 2003 #17
    Ground of One's Being

    All I know is that I exist, and I base everything else upon this. Like wu li said, the only thing that's "absolute" is the "ground of one's being."

    At least I "know" that I'm conscious ... everything else is "speculative." Therefore it's perfectly acceptable to pose it in the form of a question, because this is all it is, "speculation." What is so God awful wrong about asking a question? ... Because it means we might have to supply the answer?

    So what does it suggest? -- and indeed it does suggest something -- that the only fundamental thing about who we are is "consciousness." Therefore there should nothing wrong about asking what it is, where it comes from, and why does it "imply" a sense of purpose? ... Unless of course we wish to "dismiss" rather than "disprove."

    Like I said this is very "fundamental stuff" ... and it all begins with the "absolute fact" that we exist.
  19. May 29, 2003 #18
    Perhaps magic is all just in the eyes of a child? And what is it about life that shouldn't entail a sense of wonder? Are we to squeeze every single last drop so that there's none left?

    Yes, you know what? It's very important that we question ourselves ... Or else where will the answer come? ... From the outside? But how can you acknowledge it if not "from within?"
  20. May 29, 2003 #19
    To say everything is consciousness, energy, or whatever and has no cause is essentially indistinguishible from using the word magic. Hocus Pocus, Presto Esto, Poof... and there it is. Just what the heck is "consciousness" without matter, energy without matter, etc.? Such things are inconceivable using reason and logic because there is nothing else to compare them to. You could just as easily say dill pickles explain the meaning of life, the universe, and everything and it makes just as much semantic and logical sense.

    As for questions, they are wonderful tools, but more than once I've had to tell someone to shut up and stop asking questions so they can listen to the answers.
  21. May 29, 2003 #20
    Actually M. Gaspar extended it so far as to the say this. Whereas I base everything on the fact that I'm conscious, and really have no other means by which to determine anything, except through "being conscious."

    Why? Does it "matter?" ... Ha ha! ... In order for it to "matter" it would imply a sense of purpose by the way.

    And yet to the dill pickle, the fact that it exists, "is" the meaning to life ... And guess what? We are speaking of the "faculty" of consciousness here.

    Oh well, maybe it's just my style? Hmm ... Another question ...
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