- “Matter” cannot be found to exist in any experiential reality.
- Consciousness is fundamental to observational measurement.
- The fundamental behaviors of reality can only be explained, or properly characterized, in terms of abstract concepts, such as mathematics, probabilities and logic.
- Information, and the logical/mathematic processing of information including necessary observational state variables, will be found to be the root of reality.
- Information transfer is fundamentally instantaneous and not intrinsically limited by either time or space.
- The mind can directly affect what we call the physical world because the mind is an essential variable in how information is processed into the experience we call “reality.”
- Individual minds, or consciousnesses, survive what we call “death.”
- Individual minds, or consciousnesses, preceded birth.
- Other experiential realities potentially exist and are distinguished from each other by variances in the set of information and the information processing algorithms that express reality experience parameters and results.
- These “reality” sets of experience can be shared by anyone accessing the same same base set of information and algorithmic interpretation.
- The capacity to visit and have shared experiences in this and of other realities only requires the mental capacity to switch one’s attention from one information/algorithm set to another, and have a broad enough set of identity-defining information that can include this kind of experience.
- Potentially, trans-reality set communication is possible.
All of these predictions have been successfully evidenced, including the ones listed as “potential”. The theory doesn’t predict those are necessary extrapolations of the theory, but might be the case depending on whether or not there exist alternate algorithms that can produce identity-sustaining experience sets that differ qualitatively from each other. Since we already have evidence of these alternate realities and have succeeded in visiting there and establishing communication, these potentials have been discovered as valid.
84 Replies to “12 Successful Predictions of Mental Reality Theory”
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…Ups! So much with your mental theory …
How has 7, and 8, definitely 8, but how have these two been proven, I kinda see NDEs but these are not a smoking gun for consciousness after death, they are highly debated, and have other explanations.
I agree with AaronS1978.
Consciousness(immaterial) is OFFLIMIT for science(study of matter) .
You clearly have succeeded in predicting these claims.
NDE’s are only one line of scientific evidence that demonstrates the continuation of consciousness after death. There are many other lines of evidence that demonstrate to what can be reasonably considered a scientific fact. These lines of evidence show that a “life” in this experiential arena is something consciousnesses choose to participate in.
The evidence and research is available to anyone who wishes to conduct a good faith search for it.
Your statement is scientifically incorrect. Conscious observation or measurement has repeatedly been demonstrated to affect photons, electrons, and other entities on a quantum mechanics scale.
See this 5-minute video of the explanation:
How someone would know how behave an electron when is not under observation…if is not under observation? :)))
Of related note:
Could it be said then that “Individual minds, or consciousnesses, preceded conception?” If not, why not?
Linear time appears to be an artifact of the entropic value of this experience. Since individual minds precede birth and survive death in a non-entropic state, they would therefore ultimately exist eternally – they are neither created or destroyed.
Understood but what evidence tsp we have of this preceding, I can’t think of normal can I find really anything substantial
I’m not here trying to convince anyone of anything. If you’re interested, look into it. If not, don’t. It doesn’t really matter; you’ll be find whether you follow it up or not.
William I’m very interested in it and I’ve looked on the Internet I could never find anything saying that Consciousness exist prior to the human
I’m just asking for some examples any examples that would be nice
And you’re part of my source when it comes to looking into it that’s why am asking you because I’m not asking you to convince me I’m asking you if you have any examples of this
And again I’m not trying to be rude because I’m very much on the side of ID and I desperately want there to be a soul
But when you say the above statement it just seems like you’re avoiding my question because you don’t have an answer
I honestly can’t find anything so anything would be nice
This might get you started : Science and the Afterlife Experience : Evidence for the Immortality of Consciousness by Chris Carter. It’s available on Amazon.
From the Book Depository description:
* Examines 125 years of scientific research into reincarnation, apparitions and communication with the dead showing these phenomena are real
* Reveals the existence of higher planes of consciousness where the souls of the dead can choose to advance or manifest once again on earth
* Explains how these findings have been ignored and denied because they are incompatible with materialist doctrines
* Carter’s rigorous argument proves – beyond any reasonable doubt – not only that consciousness survives death and continues in the afterlife, but that it precedes birth as well.
I don’t buy into the “spiritual” perspectives a lot of authors put on the evidence, but it’s still evidence.
There are an immense number of books on amazon and videos on youtube about consciousness, the afterlife, OOBEs, NDEs, etc.
Thank you 🙂
When an electron is not being observed or measured, it doesn’t exist except as a mathematical probability wave.
As soon as it’s observed or measured the probability wave, which is also called the wave function, collapses. In this case, this collapse brings an electron into existence.
> 5. Information transfer is fundamentally instantaneous and not intrinsically limited by either time or space
I am not aware of any evidence for this claim. In fact, quite the opposite. While the collapse of wave-function is indeed instantaneous, it does not seem to be possible to use it to communicate real information faster than the speed of light.
There is a difference between horoscopes and quantum physics? I’ve heard quantum psysics reached conclusions crazier than horoscopes. Maybe,for now, they don’t have the necessary tools to work with, that’s why they invent dumbest theories .
The probability wave function collapse into specific states includes whatever the thing being observed is entangled with, such as entangled photons. The information about what state the entangled photon must be in is instantaneous regardless of how far away the entangled state thing is.
Also, the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment demonstrates that this instantaneous information transfer is not limited to linear time. It indicates that the past, present and future are all actually in the same place at the same time – something only MRT and Simulation theory could possibly predict.
I don’t buy into reincarnation. Number 1, the scientific evidence I’ve seen is, to put it mildly, really shaky. Shoot the Dalai Lama himself said that he may not be reincarnated,,
Number 2, it disagrees with basic Christian presuppositions. Namely, via your own merit, and not by the grace of God, it holds that you reincarnate and/or more provocatively ‘evolve’ to a lower or higher state of existence. i.e. think Shirley MacClain and all her New Age nonsense..
On the other hand, the scientific evidence for the validity of NDE’s is MUCH stronger than it is for reincarnation. Shoot, it is much stronger than the purported evidence for Darwinian evolution is.
Inspiring Philosophy recently posted a video that goes over much of that scientific evidence for the validity of NDEs. Personally, I think he makes a very compelling case for the validity of NDEs from the scientific evidence.
Another thing I would like to touch upon is that it is widely believed that NDEs are the same across all cultures. While that may be a comforting belief for some people who are uncomfortable with the notion of hell, that simply is not the case. There is a profound difference between cultures.
A Small Glimpse At The Preponderance Of Negative Near Death Experiences Being Found In Foreign, Non-Judeo-Christian, Cultures:
Verse and articles
Is it possible you have not investigated the scientific evidence for reincarnation as thoroughly as you might research other information because, as you said, “it disagrees with basic Christian presuppositions?”
Also, I’m not sure what you mean by including the Dalai Lama’s statement. How is that relevant? Outside of religious or spiritual interpretations, I’m not aware of anyone who claims incarnation, much less reincarnation, is a necessary aspect of existence; only that it factually occurs in some cases.
Philosophical or spiritual characterizations of reincarnation are separate issues and does not actually speak to the evidence itself.
The recent, largest NDA study ever reported:
I’ll let viewers reach their own conclusions.
My experience of matter certainly exists. My toe hurts if I stub it on a stone. Whether that experience is caused by an external, objective reality or everything is a figment of my imagination is undecidable as far as I can tell.
Observing and measuring what? According to mental reality theory there is nothing ‘out there’ to observe and measure.
Again, what reality is there to have fundamental behaviors which need to be explained?
Information about what?
Again, information about what? And space and time are properties of an external reality which may not exist
If there is no physical world then there is nothing for the mind to affect.
If there is no physical body to die then there is no death and if there is no death then there is no life after it.
No death, no birth.
In other words, there could be more than one consciousness having experiences. But wouldn’t those consciousnesses be external to each other in some way, something we can never know?
Again presupposing an external database and others able to access it. It may be true but, according to mental reality theory, there is no way for us to know. It may all be just imaginary.
If there is no objective reality then how is that any different from just talking to yourself?
The problem with mental reality theory seems to be that, if true, it is a scientific dead-end and indeed makes the whole enterprise of science a waste of time.
Blind watchmaker evolution and materialism are dead-ends- well they are really just dead. Materialism makes the whole enterprise of science a waste of time.
Your personal inability to reach a decision on the matter doesn’t mean it is intrinsically “undecideable.”
Now THIS is a great question! Relative to any observing consciousness, there are three categories of information; (1) information about self-identity (we roughly call that subconscious programming, (2) information about potential experiences (infinite,) and (3) information that forms the algorithmic processing of experiential potentials into actual experience in accordance with (1).
This is technically true. There is no death, and there is no afterlife in the manner that most currently conceptualize them. This are gross mischaracterizations. There is only eternal experiencing regardless of what it looks like and how we conceptualize it and label various sets of experiences or events in those sets of experience.
Because we are subconscious, deeply trained to see the arrow of reality extending outward from us, it is extremely difficult to grasp the ramifications of reversing that arrow to point inward. We habitually see and evaluate that “inward arrow of reality” from the external reality framework. Most of the objections I come across suffer from this basic conceptual block.
Under mental reality theory, your consciousness is inward of mine, and mine is inward of you. At the deepest level, theoretically, there is just one consciousness having experiences from multiple perspectives. But, “deepest level” or “highest level” automatically generates a spatially separated visualization, when that is not the case. It is an informational structure variance, not an actual time or space variance.
This might be the most beautiful and elegant aspect of MRT. Every “external of mind” reality theory suffers from this same fundamental problem: there is no way to discern between imagination (what goes on in mind) and reality. External reality theorists characterize this as the “brain in a vat” problem; there’s no way to tell if you’re just a brain in a vat imagining an external world or not. They argue that this position cannot be rationally held as true even though it cannot be disproved (or even contra-evidenced) because of the “self-referential absurdity” (as KF likes to phrase it) issue that would ensue. The existence of an objective world external to mind must be taken as a matter of pure faith.
But that argument is entirely rooted in the very perspective it argues for. It’s a circular argument. That argument is non-existent from a mental, non-external reality framework. In MRT, there is no reason to distinguish, in terms of reality value, between mental phenomena. It’s all completely, totally real. The difference between what we normally refer to as “exterior, physical world” and “imagination” is not the difference between what is real and what is not, it’s just the difference between what information your experiential algorithm is currently generating as “physical” experience and that which it is not.
An analogy to better understand this, in external world terms, using the imagination would be comparable to running a search for live camera feeds from around the world which you can watch on your monitor. Does watching it remotely on your monitor provide the same experiential fullness of being in that location? Not even close. Does that variance of experiential fullness mean that the place your are looking at via your internet connection is not real? Of course not. It’s only a difference of experiential fullness, not the “realness” of that place.
There are “things” that are not real, if that phrase can be said to be meaningful. The “not real” set would be things that are impossible to imagine for anyone, anywhere, in any situation, at any time. For example, a four-sided triangle. Yes, we can say those words, but it is literally impossible to imagine.
Ultimately, regardless of one’s existential theory, you can only be “talking to others” in the form of a mental distinction between yourself and other people as they are represented entirely in mind. Even if there was an external world, you’re only talking to your mental representation of that person and your mental projection of what they are saying. There is no way to determine if what is going on in your mind has anything whatsoever to do with whatever might be occurring in the external world.
IOW, mental reality theory is really about admitting inescapable, existential fact and proceeding from there, instead of basically living in de facto denial of that inescapable, self-evident truth.
This is really a baffling assessment. Literally everything we have experienced in history that can be accredited to the “enterprise of science” could only have been mentally conducting experiments involving mental experiences and evaluated via entirely mental criteria whether or not any external physical world actually existed. How exactly would changing the categorical label of what we are conducting scientific tests on invalidate the “enterprise of science?”
WJM (at 22), I included the Dalia Lama’s statement since he is the supposed ‘pinnacle’ of belief in the validity of reincarnation:
Moreover, although you seem to lack any real skepticism towards the validity of reincarnation, the skepticism against the validity of reincarnation is very well warranted.
For instance, Ian Stevenson himself stated, “the evidence (for reincarnation) is not flawless and it certainly does not compel such a belief. Even the best of it is open to alternative interpretations,”
Here are a few more criticisms of the evidence that is purported to support reincarnation. I’ll let readers judge for themselves.
Moreover, the belief in reincarnation to not be without harm.
First and foremost, as ancient historian Paul James-Griffiths points out in the following lecture, Darwinian evolution finds its main metaphysical root, not in Ancient Greek materialism, but instead its main root is found in the ancient Hindu cultures which taught reincarnation.
Secondly, as I have already referenced, eastern cultures which believe most strongly in reincarnation are the cultures which report the greatest number of negative, even horrific, NDEs.
All foreign, non-Judeo-Christian cultures, NDE studies that I have looked at have a extreme rarity of encounters with ‘The Being Of Light’ and tend to be very unpleasant NDE’s save for the few pleasant children’s NDEs of those cultures that I’ve seen (It seems there is indeed an ‘age of accountability’). The following study was shocking for what was found in some foreign, i.e. non-Judeo-Christian, NDE’s:
This testimony of a hellish NDE in a Eastern culture is particularly sobering:
Whereas, on the other hand, the vast majority of NDEs in Judeo-Christian cultures, as is commonly known, are found to be positive, i.e. ‘heavenly’.
Here are two ‘typical’ descriptions from Judeo-Christian NDEs:
Oh my Gosh, miracles do happen! After years of vigorously disagreeing with each other, me and Seversky finally find a point that we both can agree on. 🙂
In regards to his theory, WJM himself has repeatedly stated this,
WJM apparently finds no problem between that statement that he made, and the scientific method.
NDE’s are real, but they are not evidence of an afterlife. Rather, they are evidence of basic low-level mental activities of the human brain. One piece of evidence that out-of-body experiences don’t presage an afterlife is that they also occur during general anethesia (GAE’s). The NDE talk by Jeffrey Long on youtube is mainly propaganda. He presents many fallacious arguments, e.g. (1) that NDE afterlife skeptics can’t agree on a materialistic cause for NDE’s, which only indicates that the skeptics have more open minds than NDE afterlife believers; (2) that NDE’s from non-western countries are “strikingly similar” to those from western countries, which is ludicrous; and (3) that NDE skeptics believe that NDE’s aren’t real, which is blatantly false. NDE skeptics believe that NDE’s are real experiences, but that they are caused by materialistic processes in human brains. Long doesn’t present any convincing evidence that would refute this.
Well…some people really believe they are so special/intelligent/…that they understand reality better than everybody else. Of course they understand nothing but nobody can help them because …they know everything better. :))
Unfortunatelly for budhism and others asian religions ,the ideea of reincarnation make no sense because destroys 2 fundamental ideeas:1) the ideea of free will+ 2)the ideea of purpose , you live in bodies of different animals (!?),humans till you are forced to become enlightened(??? nirvana=extinguished ,nothingness) .Make no sense.
A frog after is dead, became prince. :))
Reincarnation is a joke ,not good one.
I said trying to change other people’s minds is an exercise in futility. I didn’t say that people’s minds don’t change and I didn’t say those minds do not change because of what what you or I say.
While I share your skepticism on NDEs, what do you do with well-documented cases of people who experience these and remarkable visual recollections of out-of-body experiences?
WJM, before humans discovered rings around the planet Neptune, in what sense did they exist and where did they exist?
Out-of-body experiences may be interesting evidence that (live) humans are able to subconsciously experience sensory input, possibly through the ears, and then incorporate that input into memories using knowledge and guesses about their surroundings, along with prompts from other sympathetic people. Some of it may be staged or mis-reported, since it’s mainly believers reporting to other believers. It’s hard to tell without data from controlled studies by skeptics or neutral researchers. In this day and age, I don’t believe any facts or data that aren’t agreed to by both sides. In the Missouri Medicine article, Long repeats the same propaganda as in his talk, including his ludicrous, poorly-documented claim that non-western NDE experiences are “strikingly similar” to western NDE’s. BA77 presented a lot of well-documented evidence to the contrary in Comment #28 above.
MikeW at 30, before you adamantly claim that NDEs are ’caused by materialistic processes in human brains’, might you first show us how free will and consciousness itself can possibly be caused by ‘materialistic processes in human brains’?
You know that whole ‘hard problem of consciousness’ thing? Certainly that is not too much to ask from someone who seems so certain that his conclusion that NDEs must be a result of the material brain is true?
Moreover, there are many astonishing cases of NDE’s which are simply inexplicable for any coherent materialistic explanations, where the NDErs see things that they could not have possibly seen while they were ‘clinically’ dead. Here are a few examples,,
Moreover, what we now know to be true from special relativity, (one of our most powerful theories ever in the history of science), lines up perfectly with NDErs testimonies of ‘going through a tunnel towards a bright light’, i.e. ‘the headlight effect’, and of ‘timelessness’, i.e. time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light.
Moreover, it is not as if we, as ID advocates, do not have a very plausible mechanism to explain NDEs.
The transcendent nature of ‘immaterial’ information itself, which is the one thing that, (as every ID advocate intimately knows), unguided material processes cannot possibly explain the origin of, directly supports the transcendent nature, as well as the physical reality, of the soul:
As Dr. Stephen Meyer explains in this following video, information is immaterial in its fundamental nature and therefore, by its very nature, is beyond the scope of, and is therefore irreducible to, any possible materialistic explanation.
Moreover, on top of the ‘classical sequential immaterial information in DNA and proteins, (the classical sequential information in DNA that has been the source of endless debate among Darwinists and ID advocates), there is also now found to be quantum information that is ubiquitous within life. (within every important bio-molecule). For instance, “practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it”
The interesting thing about quantum information is that it is non-local, i.e. beyond space and time, and that it is also conserved, i.e. it cannot be created nor destroyed.
The obvious implication of finding ‘non-local’, (beyond space and time), and ‘conserved’, (cannot be created nor destroyed), quantum information in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every DNA and protein molecule of our material bodies, is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious.
That pleasant implication, or course, being the fact that we now have very strong physical evidence directly implying that we do indeed have an eternal soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies.
As Stuart Hameroff states ‘the quantum information,,,, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed,,, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
I guess you didn’t bother reading the article on the National Institutes of Health website that I provided. That’s too bad.
There were several large-scale studies cited that studied NDEs and OBEs, which apparently occur in about 17% of the cases.
Again, while I’m skeptical of a lot of popular reports and YouTube videos, I did actually take the trouble to read some of the studies. They seem to indicate that something real is happening that’s NOT an oxygen-starvation hallucination.
I don’t claim that NDE’s are caused by materialistic processes, nor that consciousness and free will are caused by materialistic processes. What I claim is that it hasn’t been proven one way or the other. NDE’s may provide evidence that subconscious mental activity is possible that can’t be measured by current brain monitoring devices. We simply don’t know.
The videos you cite have testimonials similar to ghost sightings and alien abduction stories. Even Pam Reynolds account can potentially be explained by subconscious sensory experiences coupled with knowledge of the scene and promptings from others. I remain skeptical.
I do agree with you that Stephen Meyer and other ID proponents provide convincing evidence that complex biological information can only have been produced by a higher intelligence. Still, I don’t see any evidence that God has provided us with out-of-body consciousness.
They exist before, during and after any observation the same way – as information.
I did read the NIH article that you linked to in Comment #33. But that link sent me to a Missouri Medicine article by Jeffrey Long that I referred to in my response. Is there a different NIH article that I missed? Long does claim a high percentage of OBEs that he doesn’t think are explainable, but I can potentially explain all of the examples that I’ve looked at, including Pam Reynolds. I remain skeptical.
In mental reality theory, the algorithm is not only representing information into the form of what we call the external world; it is also generating a representation of the information that defines “self.” The two are interdependent. The algorithm simultaneously manufactures experience (such as evidence) and thoughts, memory, and what we call cognitive biases and filters about the experience. Whatever the observer “looks at” will be represented in terms of the identity structure of the individual. Perspective and evidence are both aspects, essentially, of the same thing – the identity structure of the individual. It is what is driving the entire experience.
IOW, the pattern of the individual is cast on whatever he or she observes and interacts with. Multiple people can look at the same thing and see entirely different things that support their individual perspectives.
This is why I consider it futile to try and change other people’s minds.
WJM: They exist before, during and after any observation the same way – as information.
Information requires a medium. What is the medium?
First, let me apologize for my previously frustrated tone. Yes, the article was linked from the NIH site and is a bit long, but it really does cite studies about NDEs and OBEs that provide scientific evidence for people who were able to recall information about their environment that would not otherwise be accessible to them.
Again, I’m skeptical about most reports of NDEs and OBEs, but there does seem to be legitimacy in the ones that were documented in a medical environment. So I was asking for your opinion on (only) those.
William J Murray @20
> Also, the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment demonstrates that this instantaneous information transfer is not limited to linear time.
It depends on how one interprets the results 🙂 In the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment they use a co-incidence counter in order to obtain their results, and they immediately assume that the detection of the signal photon happens when that photon hits the detector (while the idler photon is then detected 8 ns later). It never occurs to them that it is entirely possible (and even very likely) that the signal photon wavefunction collapse happens not when the photon hits the detector, but rather when they are looking at the results of their co-incidence counter many minutes later! Then the mystery of the “delayed choice” goes away entirely.
MikeW at 39
If not materialistic processes, what ‘non-material’ cause is causing them then?
You go on,,
So we can’t measure any brain activity during these experiences and yet you prefer to believe that some unknown and unmeasurable materialistic process of the material brain is somehow generating these experiences? HUH???
But I thought that you just said that, “I don’t claim that NDE’s are caused by materialistic processes”.
Oh well, so much for maintaining consistency in your argument.
I would like to point this article out to further strengthen my position, ‘NDEs are an indication that the mind is independent of the brain because impaired brain functions would be expected during the clinical situation that the NDErs underwent, but his research found no corresponding impairment of mental functions in NDErs.”
So the burning question becomes how can mental activity possibly be enhanced when the material brain and the corresponding brain activity is severely compromised?
It makes no sense to say, as you do (paraphrase), “Well, we just can’t, with our current technology, measure the brain activity”.
The argument you are trying to make simply is a ‘materialism of the gaps’ argument that fails the smell test.
MikeW, you go on,
I certainly do not agree with you. Besides you invoking your dubitable ‘materialism of the gaps’ argument, you simply have ‘hand waved’ off their testimonies, (with suggestion and no hard evidence mind you), as ” knowledge of the scene and promptings from others.”
Yet, as the lead surgeon in the Pam Reynold’s case stated, (paraphrase), “What she (Pam) described during her NDE simply was not available to her at the time’.
So once again, here are the videos that I listed for anyone who wants to weigh the evidence for themselves
MikeW, you finish with,
Well, whether or not you agree with the evidence for NDEs or not, (and especially with your concession that you currently have no materialistic explanation as to how it is these (vivid) experiences can possibly occur when the brain is severely compromised), it is simply disingenuous for you to claim that “I don’t see any evidence that God has provided us with out-of-body consciousness.”
The most that you can claim is that you personally do not find the evidence for NDEs compelling. What you cannot claim is claim that there isn’t any evidence. Shoot, you yourself feebly tried to explain the evidence away.
Personally, I found your feeble ‘materialism of the gaps’ attempt at ‘explaining away’ the evidence for the validity of NDEs to be, to put it mildly, what is less than compelling,
Actually, yes, there’s a difference. Quantum mechanics has been subjected to the most rigorous scientific testing in all of physics. It’s been experimentally verified to a precision of down to 10 parts per billion. Some quantum effects are even visible to the naked eye.
The interpretation of those verified effects are subject to scientific debate and the people involved are far from “dumb.”
Does that answer your question?
Whose mind a million years ago?
Same as any time. Universal mind.
WJM: Same as any time. Universal mind.
Well, okay. It’s as good as an “explanation” as any other (because ultimately all explanations are irrational.)
Do you agree that all explanations of the universe are irrational?
And/or do you agree that whatever Ultimate Reality is (the “root” reality), is beyond human description, apprehension, reason, etc.? Something…. totally… “other”?
Consider, readers, for a second, humans can’t even describe the difference between the conscious experience of red and blue.
I would think it obvious to the armchair philosophers that whatever exists as transcendent beyond our universe, or as the ultimate root of existence, is impossible to describe using human reason. All attempts are nonsense. Yet people keep blathering on as if the words mean something. They don’t. Hehehehe. Hehehehehehehe. Humans can’t even describe the difference between the conscious experience of red and blue. Hehehehe. Hehehehehehehe.
Shut up and get some humility.
Now you have me excited! Literally, no sarcasm. I’d LOVE to read that argument. Can you provide it here or direct me to it?
Not sure how that case could be made, but I’m eager to read it.
Do you mean other than “they look different?”
I honestly eagerly anticipate having my eyes turned to such a glaring and obvious blind spot should it exist. Please, proceed!
I think that Mike 1962 is almost certainly correct when he wrote,
Viola Lee said:
Why do you think that?
Because we have limited experiential capabilities of the world that do not extend past certain boundaries, and do not reach the level of “ultimate reality”. Also, history shows that human beings are endlessly inventive in making up stories to account for what we really don’t know. I prefer to be practical, accept my epistemological limitations, and see metaphysical beliefs as useful narratives that are, however, not “true” in any objective sense.
Viola Lee @ 56:
I’m also a pragmatist – actually a philosophical pragmatist. I adopt models for their practical benefit in my life, not because I assign them as “objectively true.”
However, I do find it practical to find the most efficient model that involves the least risk and the most potential reward while proving highly useful in the here an now. That means I explore various models to assess their potential.
We do have limited experiential capabilities, but a good question to explore is what those capabilities are actually limited by. Are they limited by physical constraints or mental? As you can probably see just from that question, there could be an enormous difference. It’s sort of like when people believed it was impossible to run a mile in under 4 minutes. It was considered an experiential limitation. After Bannister accomplished it, it became more common. Why is that? Was it because physical bodies changed? Physics? Or did it have more to do with Bannister visualizing himself breaking it and believing he could, and once others saw it could be done, their internal limitations, or beliefs, were broken down by his example?
Furthermore, the idea that our experiential limitations mean we cannot understand – at least in principle – the nature of our existence would require that we know the nature of our existence for that claim to be a rational assessment. It’s essentially an argument that can’t be made without knowing the nature of the very thing one assumes cannot be known.
It could also be that the nature of our existence – at least in principle – is knowable for any sentient, intelligent creature with any assortment of experiential limitations. In fact, I posit that this is in fact the case. Is there any place any sentient, intelligent creature can have an experience except in mind?
If not, then the nature of our existence is one of mental reality, and the existential principles derived from that perspective aren’t all that difficult to comprehend from any experiential perspective. Like logic, mathematics and geometry.
Good points, Viola, and I agree with you, William J Murray.
Here’s my perspective.
Science and math team up to create a succession of improved models of causes and effects. We don’t know whether they are true, but they are temporarily useful. Pragmatism.
We appear to be trapped in Plato’s cave, but we also hear people who claim insights, mostly false.
Change in scientific understanding is based on experimental results that challenge the current thinking. However, new insights and theories are usually rejected until enough of the proponents of the status quo pass away. As Max Planck famously stated this principle:
Thus, after nearly 100 years, physicists and philosophers are still struggling to preserve materialism and determinism.
There are four primary factors involved in our scientific pathology:
1. A flood of crackpot ideas that must be fought off.
2. The momentum from a flood or published papers with irreproducible experimental results.
3. The momentum of academic books and teaching that haven’t kept up or are doctrinaire.
4. A destabilization of academic and professional power structures and jealousies that are hostile to new participants.
On point 3 above, consider that most courses still teach that lift from wings is due to the Bernoulli’s Principle. This would disprove the idea that airplanes can fly upside down, which is experimentally falsifiable. Nevertheless, it still appears in books and on tests.
For more information on the lift controversy, see
The allegory of the cave assumes there’s an “outside” of the cave. What if there is not?
Thanks, Q. I believe strongly that our scientific understanding can progress, and that paradigm shifts do happen as time goes by, but human foibles and fallibility make it a messy affair. I also agree that, as you say, “Science and math team up to create a succession of improved models of causes and effects.”
FWIW, however, there is more to our beliefs and understandings than scientific knowledge. But whatever the case, I disagree with William, who believes “that the nature of our existence is knowable for any sentient, intelligent creature with any assortment of experiential limitations.” I think our consciousness, mind, and intelligence are wonderful aspects of our nature, but I don’t think they are such that they transcend all limitations concerning our ability to know the “root of reality”.
Thank you, Viola.
William J Murray,
Notice that the fire in the cave that’s behind the prisoners casts the shadows from the objects in front of the fire onto the wall. The shadows are real so by experience we know that the objects in the cave are real.
Actually, Plato addressed your question initially, but let me ask you, “How could you determine that there’s not an outside?”
P.S. Did you see what I meant with the time-independent finite-state machine patterns? There are several types of fliers in Life and similar CAs.
Hi Q. This is a side topic, but even though Life is a “time-independent finite-state” simulation, there is no reason one couldn’t run it with a very, very small constant time period between generations, essentially producing the illusion of constant change and motion. In fact, the question of whether the universe as we know it is ultimately discrete in respect to time, space, gravity, and quantum events is an open question. Rovelli’s book “Reality Is Not What It Seems” addresses this issue.
And if we want to be science-fictiony about it, it could be that there are pauses between what we perceive as moments of time, but we wouldn’t/couldn’t notice them because the state of our being, as one of the discrete states, would only be aware of the next state, not the pauses between states. 🙂
Science is not the answer. Study of composition of a brick(atom) can’t explain the purpose of cathedral (universe). Limit of science is obvious.
If God exist then Morality is the answer because is accessible to everyone ,poor or rich, dumb or genius,anytime,everywhere.
Hi JohnB. You might notice that I said that I believe there is more to our beliefs and understandings than scientific knowledge.
Viola Lee @62,
Well,maybe I didn’t understand…so you believe truth can’t be known because in the science we don’t have tools and intelligence and on the other side religion is also a limited subjective human construct?
JohnB, I didn’t say that we don’t have the intelligence or tools to gain scientific knowledge, although all scientific truth is provisional because new facts can change it, sometimes in just small ways, and sometimes in larger ways. (And actually, I’m thinking of science here very broadly as facts based on empirical experience that can be shared and consensually confirmed with others: the fact that my front door is green with one small window is empirically true and would not be denied by a normal person even though it is not part of any formal scientific body of knowledge.)
Although I didn’t mention religion specifically, yes, I think metaphysical beliefs are a limited human construct. They are also a different kind of thing than scientific beliefs. Also, metaphysical beliefs aren’t the only kind of non-scientific beliefs we have: we have all sorts of opinions, values, principles, emotions, preferences, etc. that can be very important to us but aren’t true in the same way the existence of my green door is true.
You used a limited(subjective) metaphysical belief unprovable scientific to assert an objective truth (that you presupposed through a second metaphysical belief) while other ideeas must be false:
…but,but ,but …you use some principles to make a value statement( about your door)whilst you destroy same principle you just used…
I’m afraid I don’t understand what you’re saying, JohnB.
The allegory of the cave is fundamentally flawed. There are shadows on the wall that you cannot explain in terms of your current correlation of objects in the cave and shadows on the wall. You decide that there is something “outside” the cave that is casting those shadows. This assumes there there is an opening that is allowing information from outside the cave to be cast on the wall in the form of a shadow.
The problem is this: there cannot be an opening to the cave. It’s literally impossible for there to be an opening from the cave of mental experience to something else. It’s a fundamentally flawed visualization of the “problem” it is supposed to represent. The allegory is itself rooted in the assumption that something can exist outside of the cave, which is, ultimately, as nonsensical a proposition as 4-sided triangles.
The cave we are talking about is mind, not a cave. You can imagine something existing outside of a cave; you cannot imagine something existing outside of mind. The allegory of the cave is nonsensical as an attempt to characterize mental experience.
Well is very simple : to make any judgment you use thoughts and all thoughts are “metaphysical believes”. Logic, maths , morality, imagination are all metaphysical believes among others personal believes like “opinions, values, principles, emotions, preferences”. 🙂 After all MRT got at least one thing right.
There is not even one thought that doesn’t involve a BELIEF. To do science first you have to believe=have faith in logic and math .Why is this a belief ? Because logic ,math can’t be scientifically proven( would be circular reasoning).To write a message here you have to believe your mind is working . After you believe your mind is working you have to believe your mind’s “value hierarchy “( another mental construct built from many smaller beliefs)is closer to truth than others people.
Bottom line :As crazy as it might sound: your green door involve also a chain of beliefs exactly like a religion .
John, I think we have a very different idea about what “metaphysical beliefs” are. I think you are saying that the elements of my mind, like thoughts and beliefs, are immaterial things, and even when I experience and think about the external world, I am having to trust my mind. I wouldn’t disagree with that, if that is what you are saying.
That’s not what MRT says.
William writes of Plato’s Parable of the Cave,
Actually, it is a fire within the cave that is casting the shadows. The ideal Platonic forms are the real “objects” and what we see are the shadows, just as, for a classic example, the real circle is the perfect mathematical circle and we see it manifested in the shadows on the wall.
Going outside the cave into the sunlight represents a further state of enlightenment. Once one recognizes the truth of the Platonic nature of things in the world, and adjusts one’s vision to the brightness of the fire, one is prepared to go further, out of the cave and into the sunlight, which represents the pure Platonic understanding of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.
But it is not the sun outside the cave casting the shadows, it’s the fire inside the cave.
At least, that’s how I understand it.
You say all experiences are mental which is true.
You say there is no external reality which obviously is false. You can ask a 3 year old if external reality exist and you can trust his/her answer.
Viola Lee @74,
Exactly! Nicely stated.
Thanks, Q. I have a high school English teacher friend who teaches the Parable of the Cave in her senior English class, and a few times I have been invited as a guest to talk and lead a discussion on different metaphysical views of reality. Many of the students really liked thinking about these things, as the topic was fairly new to them.
Me: Consider, readers, for a second, humans can’t even describe the difference between the conscious experience of red and blue.
WJM: Do you mean other than “they look different?”
Yeah. If you can’t use words to describe the conscious difference between red and blue, how do you suppose you could explain Ultimately Reality with words?
First things first.
By the way, when I wrote, “Shut up and get some humility”, this wasn’t against you personally. Just a kind of a re-stating of Psalms 46:10* to everyone who has “ears to hear.”
*I do not believe it is “divinely inspired scripture”, but I do think it’s a pretty good operating philosophy for humans.
Viola Lee @74:
Wow, talk about a mind-blowing Mandela Effect moment! I just looked it up and it bears little resemblance to what I read many years ago, and definitely doesn’t have the meaning I’ve been assigning to it (at least in this reality.) Thanks for the challenge that led me to this update. I’m going to stop using it.
No worries. I didn’t take it that way.
Then let’s characterize what I’m doing here in the following manner.
People create operational models of their existence. Usually, this involves the model of being a conscious physical being in a shared, objective, independently existing external physical world. Other people have other models.
Let’s say the value of the model depends on four factors:
1. Does the model account for self-evident and necessary truths?
2. Does the model fit current experience?
3. Is the model useful in terms of predicting future experiences?
4. Does the model provide a framework for expanding testable applications in developing future experiences?
There’s no denying the value of the commonly-held physical reality model according to this criteria. All I’m outlining here is what I believe to be a better model on all four counts.
Thank you, William. I had to look up Mandela Effect to see what that meant, but I also have had long-held understandings change when I revisted things I thought I knew about. That’s one of the values of discussing things with people in a productive environment.
WJM All I’m outlining here is what I believe to be a better model on all four counts.
How does your model improve upon #3 and #4 in any pragmatic way. What predictions does your model make that the “standard” “commonly-held physical reality model” does not?
Sidebar: I lean towards the universe as “virtual reality” given what quantum entanglement, erasure, delayed choice, etc., is telling us if the Copenhagen interpretation is assumed. I find the other interpretations to assume things not in evidence while denying the basic fact of my existence: consciousness as primary. So I’m not averse to what your proposing or anything else merely because it’s “different.”
Mike1962 – I made a new post on this topic.
The OMG TOO LONG I don’t wanna read all that version: I have said before it’s impossible to deny the value of the external physical world theory. In one sense it’s true – we have made a lot of scientific progress under that model. However, in comparison to what MRT could have provided and prevented, the overall effect has been disastrous, not just for science, but for the human condition as well.