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To be, not to be or ?

  1. Oct 26, 2005 #1
    I am a supporter of the idea that man perceives the "real world"
    through a depiction he has made. And this depiction is made combining
    his senses with his logic. So, in the lowest level of analysis, he treats the world
    as parts that "are being" or they "are not being", e.g. either there is a particle or
    either not. There seems to be an "on-off" property assigned in the basic structure of the world.
    We say the electron has two states 1)it exists 2)it does not exist. No third or forth or even more states are assigned.
    Is this only the only way to make a depiction of the real world? Is this the most integrated logic? Does it make sense talking of more states or it is self-contradictory?
    These are some thoughts that I am lately having and have confused me.


    PS In the case of matter, I don't think we should perceive the term "anti-matter" as the 3rd state of matter, but as a different component of the world, so we can say that anti-matter either exists or not.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 26, 2005 #2
    Just a little clarification. You say either an electron exists or it doesn't, but if it doesn't exist, why would you refer to it as "an electron"? Do you mean, that everything in our perceived depiction of the real world exists, and anything else doesn't? I'm a little confused on you post.

    I do like this topic though.
     
  4. Oct 27, 2005 #3
    maybe there is a "It sort of exists" state?" or against some of PF debater's thoughts,i believe there is always a "I dont know" answer maybe that is 3 and 4?
     
  5. Oct 31, 2005 #4
    "...You say either an electron exists or it doesn't, but if it doesn't exist, why would you refer to it as "an electron"?...."

    Refering to an electron, that is in the state 2)"not exist", does not alter or contradict my thought. You can imagine the possible states of electron, matter etc. as a property.

    "... Do you mean, that everything in our perceived depiction of the real world exists, and anything else doesn't? ... "

    Try not using the words and meanings of "exist" and "not exist" because this is the topic and in this way you may contradict your thoughts. So, what I think is that the perceived world is a way for us, the humans, to understand the real world. All the theories, philosophical and scientific, constitute our perception of the world. Whenever a new theory is established and the old is rejected, our perception of the real world changes. Thus, we can say we have two worlds:the perceived world (dynamic) and the real world (static).

    In order to "make" the perceived world we have to "take data" from the real world. In order to take data we use our senses, then our greatest tool,logic, processes the data and makes the perception. For example, our eye either is stimulated in the presence of what we call photons, or not. Then we make the assumption that the photon either exists or not. There is no third assumption.
    Although the example maybe oversimplified in a way, it depicts my thoughts and doubts over the (dogmatic?) perception that something either exists or not.

    I hope I made some points clearer.
     
  6. Nov 6, 2005 #5
    In a world of uncertainty
    It's essential for us to see
    that we explain what we perceive
    in a way that we believe

    It's not for us to know
    what is right and what is wrong
    because the wheel of Karma
    keeps moving time along


    It goes to show that our perceptions of reality that we all depict include the depiction that people will perceive reality the way they depict

    huh?

    more fun with words...

    So the next time you think about the ability to predict predetermined results of a reasonable depiction from your perception, keep in mind that your perception is partly predicted by your previous determinations in the light that you believe what your perceptions depict.

    I believe that my perception depicts my belief of said perceived depiction

    To believe is to depict a deductive reason towards a predetermined perception with a reasonable development in correspondence with your depicted perceptions of reason when predicted with the deductions of and for your concurrently developed perceptual belief about predetermination.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2005
  7. Nov 7, 2005 #6
    Try studying quantum mechanics. There you are taught NOT that an electron exists or does not exist, but that an electron has a probability of existence in a given spacetime. Or try the famous 2-slit interference experiment with photons, and ask "which slit did the photon go through" - no simple answer here.

    Conclusion - the world is not as simple as we maybe would like it to be

    MF
     
  8. Nov 8, 2005 #7
    maybe you should word it like this:
    (We perceive and object is present) or ( we perceive no such object)
    that clarifies what you said to me


    as for "the world is not as simple as we maybe would like it to be"

    does this go against ockman's razor? i have always been told that the simplest solution is usually right, but maybe the contradiction comes from my lack of knowledge in physics?...

    could you explain your personal philosophies about that statement and some real life applications ( if you can come up with some, i know most philo is too abstract for that, but plz try )
     
  9. Nov 23, 2005 #8
    moving finger said:"...Try studying quantum mechanics. There you are taught NOT that an electron exists or does not exist, but that an electron has a probability of existence in a given spacetime...."

    I think you are misguided.
    Quantum mechanics tell the propability between two possible states 1)existence 2)non-existence.
    Quantum mechanics still assumes these two states, no third or no forth or more.
    It doesn't say that there is a third state, but describes our uncertainity
    over the clarification of whether this or that exists or not.
     
  10. Nov 23, 2005 #9

    loseyourname

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    I think what he is getting at is this question: What would be the difference between an electron that didn't exist and a painting by Van Gogh that didn't exist? Both would have exactly the same properties; that is, they wouldn't have any properties.

    The point he may be getting at is that you may be misapplying the law of excluded middle, which states that a given proposition must either be true or not true and it cannot be anything else. To say that an electron must either exist or not exist is absurd in the sense that, in order for any given entity to even possibly be an electron, it must first exist. A better application of these rules of logic to empirical reality would probably be to say the following: For any given existing entity, it must either be an electron or not an electron. Generalize this to: Any given entity must either be X or not X. This statement seems to hold everywhere we apply it, except possibly in the quantum cases that MF brings up wherein a given entity floats in some quasi-state between wave and particle. Even in that case, however, an electron doesn't float between electron and proton; it's either an electron or not.
     
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