Author Topic: Existence  (Read 391 times)

Gordon

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Re: Existence
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2020, 08:56:57 AM »

In the same way that the universe arising out of nothing....or the emergence of complexity through random variations...appears logical to you.  It is a matter of perception.  Not something that can be explained.

I think you're falling into equivocation here: what appears to you to be 'logical' isn't the same thing as 'logic'.

Moreover, if logic were a matter of perception then 'logic' would not only become subjective but would also vary depending on what was thought to be being perceived - if so, then perhaps could I convince myself that I perceived an open door that was closed. 
« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 09:51:53 AM by Gordon »

bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Existence
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2020, 11:21:49 AM »
Sriram,

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Clearly many of you have more 'God' sitting in your heads than I do.  I have not made any claims of a God as a celestial being (even though that is possible!).

Just watch the video in the OP. That is what I am talking about.

I corrected you about this a while ago, you ignored the correction and now you’ve repeated the same mistake. What’s the point?

Once again: it’s not about “god” – it’s about any faith claim. Someone’s god, your auras, someone else’s leprechauns, it doesn’t matter – these are all faith claims. Why? Because there’s no method to investigate and verify them.   

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About 'logic'.....I am only saying that there is nothing called a universal immutable logic that is valid for all time and all issues. Logic is just whatever seems reasonable given our level of knowledge, perception and beliefs at any given point of time.

Maybe, though it’s hard to see how basic logical precepts at least could be undone. So what though? Logic gives us perfectly useful truths with no appeal to universal immutability. When it does that we call these truth statements “objective”, and when it doesn’t we call other truth statements “subjective”. In epistemological terms, they’re different categories of truth.     

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Just as the idea of Consciousness being fundamental and the generator of the universe, seems illogical to you.....whereas it seems perfectly logical to me and many others.

Ah, now you’re abusing the term “logical”. “Consciousness being fundamental and the generator of the universe” seems “logical” to you only in the colloquial sense that it makes sense in your head. You have no logic at all though in the formal sense of a set of rules of inference that you can employ to justify this persona belief. Just because something “seems” to be logical to you doesn’t mean it actually is logical. That’s your problem – you cannot build a bridge from the subjective to the objective.   

Perhaps if you stopped ignoring this problem you might just find yourself on the first step at least toward learning something?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 11:23:59 AM by bluehillside Retd. »
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Sriram

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Re: Existence
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2020, 01:25:30 PM »


If you watch the video you'll understand that it is not about subjective mystical experiences.  There are plenty of reasons to thing in terms of Consciousness being fundamental.  Difficult to prove of course, just like multiverses or Strings. 

You are however ignoring it because you are old school and have clear prejudices against certain concepts and therefore don't want to see the 'logic'.

bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Existence
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2020, 06:28:22 PM »
Sriram,

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If you watch the video you'll understand that it is not about subjective mystical experiences.  There are plenty of reasons to thing in terms of Consciousness being fundamental.  Difficult to prove of course, just like multiverses or Strings.

Wrong again. Consciousness as “fundamental” is just a speculation. It rests on no knowledge we’ve obtained so far. It also presents the problem of explaining where this supposed consciousness came from to start with. In other words you could as well speculate about phlogiston or Jack Frost.

Multiverses and string theory on the other hand start with established precepts and hypothesise from there. In short, you’re attempting a false equivalence again.     

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You are however ignoring it because you are old school and have clear prejudices against certain concepts and therefore don't want to see the 'logic'.

It’s not “logic”, it’s just logic. And the reason I have a “prejudice” is that there isn’t any of it to justify your assertions. I keep explaining this to you and you keep ignoring the explanation. Why?

Each of us can speculate about anything we like – “fundamental consciousness” and leprechauns alike if the fancy takes us – but you’re still light years from finding any logic at all even in principle that would justify your claim. Scientific hypotheses on the other hand – string theory included – at least in principle could be validated logically, whether or not evidence to support the explanation is ever found.

Even for a non-thinker such as yourself this isn’t hard to grasp. Really it isn’t.     
« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 06:31:16 PM by bluehillside Retd. »
“Once we assume a creator and a plan, it makes humans objects of a cruel experiment whereby we are created to be sick and commanded to be well.”

― Christopher Hitchens

Sriram

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Re: Existence
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2020, 06:32:53 AM »



You people are in severe denial....!  ::) 

It is however said to be useful psychologically, to absorb information we are not comfortable with....

jeremyp

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Re: Existence
« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2020, 10:10:00 AM »


You people are in severe denial....!  ::) 

It is however said to be useful psychologically, to absorb information we are not comfortable with....

Being uncomfortable with information does not magically make it right.
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Gordon

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Re: Existence
« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2020, 10:24:43 AM »


You people are in severe denial....!  ::) 

It is however said to be useful psychologically, to absorb information we are not comfortable with....

Perhaps, but when it comes to the idea of 'consciousness' being somehow independent of individual biology there seems to be no information to substantiate this claim. Therefore, it isn't a matter of not being 'comfortable' and is more the case that there are no good reasons, as things stand, to take the notion seriously in the first place.

bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Existence
« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2020, 10:50:24 AM »
Sriram,

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You people are in severe denial....!   

Denial of what? When the arguments attempted to justify a belief are wrong, why would anyone not “deny” that belief?

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It is however said to be useful psychologically, to absorb information we are not comfortable with....

No doubt. Your problem though remains to establish first that it is information at all rather than asserted guesses supported by wrong arguments. To take your OP, you seem to think “why something and not nothing?” is a legitimate question. That’s dubious at best, but ok let’s go with it for now. Fundamental consciousness would be a “something” too. So, why fundamental consciousness rather than not fundamental consciousness then?

You see – you’ve been hoist by your own petard. You can’t claim it to be a legitimate question for one phenomenon and just special plead it away for a different one. Game over.       
« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 11:58:25 AM by bluehillside Retd. »
“Once we assume a creator and a plan, it makes humans objects of a cruel experiment whereby we are created to be sick and commanded to be well.”

― Christopher Hitchens

enki

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Re: Existence
« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2020, 09:50:49 AM »


You people are in severe denial....!  ::) 

It is however said to be useful psychologically, to absorb information we are not comfortable with....

I watched the video.

The first part is devoted to the idea that existence and consciousness are somehow fundamental and inseparable. Unfortunately Mr Nelson(who made the video) makes no attempt to define consciousness or even discuss its relative (un)importance compared with the unconscious/subconscious. Ditto with the idea of existence, no attempt is made to define what existence actually entails. The video somewhat blithely goes on to discuss ideas of how the two are interlinked. It poses the philosophical question of what came before the big bang(as others on this board have alluded to), but makes no real attempt to answer that question at all. Yes, it does pay lip service to the idea expressed by Stephen Hawkins that if one starts with a no boundary universe the idea of what came before makes no sense because of the lack of a time element, but it simply dismisses that by saying 'and yet for many this answer fails to satisfy' without expanding on this statement at all.

He asks questions such as why our universe should be constrained by the laws of quantum mechanics and does at least realise that any proposed answer to such a question leads to the problem of infinite regress. He also realises that the same reasoning applies to consciousness. However he makes no attempt to tackle this problem at all, simply going on to quote from selected scientists, philosophers, etc. to emphasise his  main point, which is the proposed importance of consciousness to existence. One point he makes was his dismissal of 'the material understanding of science' as being unable to deal with 'how and why consciousness exists'. Actually, science has arguably made great progress in this direction and unsurprisingly he is unable to put anything of substance in place of this. Instead he seems to rely on ideas and conjectures selected from various scientists and philosophers arguing for the fundamental importance of consciousness to reality, with particular emphasis on the circularity idea of consciousness being some sort of feedback phenomenon, views which are certainly interesting but lacking totally in precision and open to considerable debate.

He does make the point that perhaps there is no such thing as 'nothing' and therefore we should seek a self existing something as a base which obviates the need for something coming from nothing. Whilst I have considerable sympathy for the idea, he then suggests that the laws of quantum mechanics could not be such a base as they need further explanation, and that explanation, he suggests, is the state of consciousness. Of course, as Blue has said, it leads to exactly the same problem, because the idea of consciousness surely needs further explanation also.

The basis of his argument about the relationship between consciousness and quantum mechanics lies in the idea of the observer effect, that is that a quantum wave form seems only to collapse when observed, or more accurately, measured. Hence the idea is that consciousness affects the quantum basis of reality. The problem with this, of course, is that the observer does not have to be conscious at all, but can be simply a piece of apparatus. Also observers can be observed, leading to the paradox of Wigner's Friend. And then there is the subject of decoherence which mainstream science generally accepts as the natural way in which quantum effects swiftly disappear as classical physics takes over. Neither of these require a state of consciousness to be present, and neither is referred to by Mr Nelson in his video. As the physicist, John Bell inquired:
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Was the wave function waiting to jump for thousands of millions of years until a single-celled living creature appeared? Or did it have to wait a little longer for some highly qualified measurer—with a PhD?

To sum up, I can understand why the video can be appealing to some. It has lovely graphics and, as long as one isn't too critical, has an appealing message which resonates well with us as human beings where consciousness is held in such high regard. However, personally I found it all rather shallow and vague.



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Never Talk to Strangers

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Re: Existence
« Reply #34 on: October 17, 2020, 06:37:50 PM »
'Logic' is just what seems reasonable at one point of time with a certain knowledge base.  It need not be valid for all time. 

Drivel.

To think that the stars are lights in heaven would have been a perfectly logical idea to someone 1000 years ago. Today it is perfectly logical to think that they are huge balls of burning hydrogen. Some centuries ago, it would have been illogical to think of an electron as both a particle and a wave...or getting influenced by observation. But QM changed all that. 

You're confusing logic with science.
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Never Talk to Strangers

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Re: Existence
« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2020, 06:54:27 PM »
In the same way that the universe arising out of nothing....or the emergence of complexity through random variations...appears logical to you.  It is a matter of perception.  Not something that can be explained.

Again you're confused about what logic is and what it does. Logic alone cannot tell us anything about reality except insofar as to rule out the self-contradictory or inconsistent. Logic is not a matter of perception any more than mathematics is. Logic can only deduce things from premises (assumptions or axioms), which, in the case of the real world (science), are based on evidence.

I know of nobody who thinks that the universe arose from (literally) nothing - in fact the idea appears to be logically inconsistent because there could be no time at which nothing existed because if time existed, that isn't nothing.
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