The Universe Exists Because It Has To

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Logical and mathematical relations are simply the way we structure observation.
Top, bottom, left, right, are no different, just more useful in certain situations, than PT.
PT doesn't actually describe anything that exists.

Math is a map, a language, a description, and way of describing, experience.

The source of experience is your deeper truth, but since it is always mediated by subjective experience, as Kant said, its unknowable, except as subjective experience.

Which isn't to say that we can't build a really good map.
Observation may just be a way to structure mathematics. It gives us a picture of the mathematical world. Reality is more than what we observe - it is something underneath our observation that is mathematical or inseparable from mathematical structures.

To me it is a fallacy to assume a priori that the world is just what we observe.

Math certainly can be used as a language - but it is far more than that and much of it is unrelated to experience. Experience on the other hand, is always related to math. This is because it is the math that is real, the experience fleeting and uncertain.
 
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I didn't mean the immortality of the soul per se but the notion of the inability to create new ideas - that they exist immortally because they are indestructible - that all ideation is therefore really memory. When did the Pythagorean theorem become true and when was it false before that?
Why can't the universe be much like a mind and the creation of physical phenomena such as particles much like memory - in the Platonic sense? From this point of view it is not mathematics that is the underpinning of reality but an indestructible substance that forms the world much in the same way as the mind brings ideas into consciousness.

We can be conscious of ideas much in the same way that we can observe empirical phenomena. But we can not be conscious of the mind directly - nor can we observe the world directly.
 
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1+1=2 - what exactly is the mind abstracting here that is not 'real'? I am interested to know.
I'm not saying math, observation, or the universe aren't 'real'. That's a loaded word.
I'm simply distinguishing between them.

We learn early on about sensations, and this allows us to distingish the 'self' from 'everything else'. We then group sensations into objects.
Identity is a first order abstraction.

Then we learn to group similar objects, and observe a flow, a direction; how objects follow one another. These are second order abstractions, the concepts of category and causation.

From these we get our ability to define(describe things that don't exist as observations) and deduce (discover what follows from these definitions), which involve third order abstractions.

Logical deduction doesn't create new information, it merely discovers what is implied by our definitions, or axioms.

Physics and math both feed off of each other and help define each other. Math allows us to explore in great detail the limits of assumptions we make based on observation, and in turn, it gives us new things to look for.
"And you can't have math without a mind"
Pythagoras Law, Laws of Physics exist whether there is a human mind or not don't they?
There are no perfect triangles in the universe, a triangle is an ideal.
The planets do not circle the sun in perfect little ellipses, because they are not perfect spheres, and the sun, and milky way, are not stationary, so the path of each planet is much more complex than an ellipse. If all you wish to do is predict the seasons, or even where certain lights will occur in the sky, assuming a stationary sun is perfectly reasonable.

Which isn't to say that math and physics suck, or that they are 'wrong', or not real. Google map isn't the 'basis' of the earth, its just a model, but its pretty darn useful if you want to find where you are going.
 
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I don't understand why there can not be perfect triangles in the universe.
 
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Observation may just be a way to structure mathematics. It gives us a picture of the mathematical world. Reality is more than what we observe - it is something underneath our observation that is mathematical or inseparable from mathematical structures.
Our experiences are extremely consistent. Mathematics is deductive, so its very useful.
To me it is a fallacy to assume a priori that the world is just what we observe.
When you start using words like 'world' and 'reality' it can get confusing, because often people are referring to different things.

Many philosophers would argue the world we observe is the only one we have access to.
But they would also distinguish the 'world' and 'reality' from the cause of reality, or what exists. Further, they would distinguish the world of the senses from the 'constructed' world of our mind. Even math can be described as a world.
Math certainly can be used as a language - but it is far more than that and much of it is unrelated to experience. Experience on the other hand, is always related to math. This is because it is the math that is real, the experience fleeting and uncertain.
The ancient greeks thought that geometry was the real world, because it had a perfection and consistency that they did not see in the physical world. The physical world was chaotic; thoroughly unpredictable. Modern science has shown us that our world is very complex, but also very consistent.

The modern world is full of specialists, if you are a mechanic, you will see the world mechanistically, if you are in medicine, you will see the world as a living thing, and if you are a writer you will see the world as a narrative. People immersed in math are no different. But I think this is a temptation we all do best to avoid.
 
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What would it be made of?
I don't know. But it seems like there are perfect things in the Universe. Two electrons in the same spin state are identical as are other elementary particles.
 
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I don't know. But it seems like there are perfect things in the Universe. Two electrons in the same spin state are identical as are other elementary particles.
I think perfect is a difficult word choice to use. If two electrons are entangled in a quantum sense, what essence of them is 'perfect?' A triangle in geometry can be considered perfect if it fits a definition within the realm of geometry to a certain degree. But how does one label the universe as perfect or imperfect?
 
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I think perfect is a difficult word choice to use. If two electrons are entangled in a quantum sense, what essence of them is 'perfect?' A triangle in geometry can be considered perfect if it fits a definition within the realm of geometry to a certain degree. But how does one label the universe as perfect or imperfect?
Right. I just meant a triangle seems to be ideal because it is exactly as we conceive of it and so are electrons. Feynmann gives examples of scattering experiments whose results depend on the indistinguishability of incoming electrons. It seems that perfection to use an admittedly charged and perhaps vague word is common not only to triangles but to objects as modeled in Quantum physics.
 
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Right. I just meant a triangle seems to be ideal because it is exactly as we conceive of it and so are electrons. Feynmann gives examples of scattering experiments whose results depend on the indistinguishability of incoming electrons. It seems that perfection to use an admittedly charged and perhaps vague word is common not only to triangles but to objects as modeled in Quantum physics.
True, but all you're describing is perfection within the definitions given by specific human-made notions... whether those be geometry or QED. A triangle actually exists no more than a probabilistic electron cloud does. They are representations and not actual truisms. To define the universe as perfect or imperfect would be assuming certain qualities of it are more preferred than others within some rule system.
 
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True, but all you're describing is perfection within the definitions given by specific human-made notions... whether those be geometry or QED. A triangle actually exists no more than a probabilistic electron cloud does. They are representations and not actual truisms. To define the universe as perfect or imperfect would be assuming certain qualities of it are more preferred than others within some rule system.
I have a conceptual difficulty in thinking of geometric structures or things that are always true
as human made. This to me implies that the truths weren't true until a human thought of them.

Also I think that electrons do exist but they have a conceptual component. If not then maybe nothing really exists. We don't exist either. This thread doesn't exist. Are we and this thread not in part conceptual constructs?

I would say that the electron still exists even when our theory changes. I still exist even though I am not the same person as yesterday. At each instant am I instantaneously reincarnated since I am no longer in the previous instant?
 

Pythagorean

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That's fine since electrons are part of a phenomological study. Triangles are a classification. No triangles actually exist, but triangle-like shapes can be modeled as triangles if their degree of triangleness is sufficient.
 
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That's fine since electrons are part of a phenomological study. Triangles are a classification. No triangles actually exist, but triangle-like shapes can be modeled as triangles if their degree of triangleness is sufficient.
Right. But electrons still have this property of uniformity found in mathematical objects.

Electrons are certainly part of a phenomenological study but so is everything.
 

Pythagorean

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Right. But electrons still have this property of uniformity found in mathematical objects.

Electrons are certainly part of a phenomenological study but so is everything.
That can be argued sure, but it's not necessarily true:
wiki said:
The boundaries between theory and phenomenology, and between phenomenology and experiment, are fuzzy. Some philosophers of science, and in particular Nancy Cartwright argue that any fundamental laws of Nature are merely phenomenological generalizations
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenomenology_(science)

I would consider geometry more theoretical and self-contained, like mathematics. If we study something consistently enough, we eventually give it a name (electron in this case). It's defined more as "the thing that gives rise to this phenomena" and sure, we could argue that electrons don't exist or that it's actually a set of things giving rise to the phenomena that we "blame" on electrons.

A triangle, on the other hand, is much more rigidly defined (a polygon with three sides). And once we've defined it in the frame of mathematics, we can manipulate it mathematically without going out and looking at triangles in the real world.

With an electron, we must continue to rely on observation to understand it more deeply.
 
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I have a conceptual difficulty in thinking of geometric structures or things that are always true
as human made. This to me implies that the truths weren't true until a human thought of them.
There is no such thing as a triangle. There are ways of relating to space by categorizing it from a Euclidean perspective.... but that's just a classification of the observed system. If an object has a shape in which we would label as a triangle, that is irrelevant to the actual object itself... it could be made of anything, any color, anything. The triangle itself does not exist, it is just us choosing to classify certain things as that shape.

Also I think that electrons do exist but they have a conceptual component. If not then maybe nothing really exists. We don't exist either. This thread doesn't exist. Are we and this thread not in part conceptual constructs?
We have altered our definition of an electron since they have first been discovered numerous times. They were once perceived as real objects that had a definite position in an orbit around the nucleus. Now we have seen that they are not objects in any sense we know of, they can have only a position or a velocity but not both. They are now defined as a cloud of probabilities that occur within a certain range around the nucleus. I'm not convinced that electrons exist in any sense that we have currently defined them as.

I would say that the electron still exists even when our theory changes. I still exist even though I am not the same person as yesterday. At each instant am I instantaneously reincarnated since I am no longer in the previous instant?
That depends on your perception of time which is also not fully understood by anyone. You are giving hard definitions to very theoretical questions. Are you the same person? All of your cells have cloned or replaced or rebuilt themselves using different atoms from different elements from different foods that you ate... your neural pathways will never fire in exactly the same configuration... you only perceive yourself to be the same through stored information.
 
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There is no such thing as a triangle. There are ways of relating to space by categorizing it from a Euclidean perspective.... but that's just a classification of the observed system. If an object has a shape in which we would label as a triangle, that is irrelevant to the actual object itself... it could be made of anything, any color, anything. The triangle itself does not exist, it is just us choosing to classify certain things as that shape.
While this sort of thing gets into rut after a while - it seems to me that observation only exists existentially. it is an impression - our only hope is to converge on concepts that give us a picture of a reality. While we may never be entirely certain of that reality - that does not mean that it does not exist. Mere observation is just an impression.

The idea of existence to me is somewhat meaningless. There are meaningless sense impressions - do they exist? There are theoretical constructs - do they exist? It seems that the only thing we can be certain of is the intellectual processes that enable us to develop fundamental theories - our own minds in the process of rationalizing our experience in terms a fundamental structure of the world. This certainly exists.

But that was not my point about the electron. A lot of science is purely empirical in the sense that it merely describes observed phenomena. In physics Newton's Laws, Maxwell's equation, and the Shroedinger equation are examples. But sometimes the features of the theory contains ideas which are not purely empirical but fundamental - the electron is a fundamental concept in quantum mechanics (an purely empirical concept in classical physics) and as a theoretical idea is much like a triangle in that it is exactly what it is rather than some approximation. Later the idea of the electron may be modified but that does not change it's intellectual content within current theory.
 
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While this sort of thing gets into rut after a while - it seems to me that observation only exists existentially. it is an impression - our only hope is to converge on concepts that give us a picture of a reality. While we may never be entirely certain of that reality - that does not mean that it does not exist. Mere observation is just an impression.

The idea of existence to me is somewhat meaningless. There are meaningless sense impressions - do they exist? There are theoretical constructs - do they exist? It seems that the only thing we can be certain of is the intellectual processes that enable us to develop fundamental theories - our own minds in the process of rationalizing our experience in terms a fundamental structure of the world. This certainly exists.
You're teetering on the brink of describing Solipsism. In that case, the only thing that can be proven to exist is the mind and nothing else. Any theories of science would be irrelevant if that were true.

But that was not my point about the electron. A lot of science is purely empirical in the sense that it merely describes observed phenomena. In physics Newton's Laws, Maxwell's equation, and the Shroedinger equation are examples. But sometimes the features of the theory contains ideas which are not purely empirical but fundamental - the electron is a fundamental concept in quantum mechanics (an purely empirical concept in classical physics) and as a theoretical idea is much like a triangle in that it is exactly what it is rather than some approximation. Later the idea of the electron may be modified but that does not change it's intellectual content within current theory.
Quantum Electrodynamics, for example, is still a representation. It's a way we classify the universe's behavior as. Think of it like this... an electron only exists in measurements.
 
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Evolver

Existence has been discussed a lot here but no one has defined it. Existence within a theory is very much like a feature of an intellectual construct. If that is existence then a triangle must also exist. Observation is a fleeting impression. Such things as electrons are not observed - we can only say that our impressions are intellectually organized in terms of the idea of an electron.

I still stand by the distinction of empirical and fundamental theories. Both types explain observation - but they are intellectually distinct.
 
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Evolver

Existence has been discussed a lot here but no one has defined it. Existence within a theory is very much like a feature of an intellectual construct. If that is existence then a triangle must also exist. Observation is a fleeting impression. Such things as electrons are not observed - we can only say that our impressions are intellectually organized in terms of the idea of an electron.

I still stand by the distinction of empirical and fundamental theories. Both types explain observation - but they are intellectually distinct.
You are advocating Solipsism. Which is fine, but know that if everything exists only on an intellectual level, then that proves nothing about an 'actual' universe.
 
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You are advocating Solipsism. Which is fine, but know that if everything exists only on an intellectual level, then that proves nothing about an 'actual' universe.
Whatever the actual Universe is doesn't it mean that processes of mind are part of it?

Could you define for me what you mean by the actual Universe?

BTW: Maybe scientific theories could have a criterion of knowability attached to them that requires that they be consistent with an intellectual process - almost as if there were a rational essence to it - but without a deity. This seems to be the heart of the Principle of Sufficient Reason.
 
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Whatever the actual Universe is doesn't it mean that processes of mind are part of it?

Could you define for me what you mean by the actual Universe?

BTW: Maybe scientific theories could have a criterion of knowability attached to them that requires that they be consistent with an intellectual process - almost as if there were a rational essence to it - but without a deity. This seems to be the heart of the Principle of Sufficient Reason.
Well the alternative to solipsism would be a universe that was not effected by the beings observing it. What you are saying about the universe being innately linked to the processes of the mind could in fact mean there is no universe at all, simply the mind. Because if the processes are all that matters, the universe is not necessary. Descartes talks about this in depth. So if that's the case, there's no point in relying on any observations or measurements as they would all only be further illusions of the mind.
 
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Well the alternative to solipsism would be a universe that was not effected by the beings observing it. What you are saying about the universe being innately linked to the processes of the mind could in fact mean there is no universe at all, simply the mind. Because if the processes are all that matters, the universe is not necessary. Descartes talks about this in depth. So if that's the case, there's no point in relying on any observations or measurements as they would all only be further illusions of the mind.
This is interesting. Can you suggest some Descartes reading?

Well maybe we could do Science as though there were a rational mind and hope to come up with a scientific picture of reality consistent with it. Maybe that is as close as we can get (and that might not work either).
 
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This is interesting. Can you suggest some Descartes reading?

Well maybe we could do Science as though there were a rational mind and hope to come up with a scientific picture of reality consistent with it. Maybe that is as close as we can get (and that might not work either).
"Meditations on First Philosophy" is one of his most comprehensive works.
 

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