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Experiment: Quantum particles can violate the mathematical pigeonhole principle

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Which says that if there are more holes than pigeons, some pigeons must share:

In the study, three photons took the place of the pigeons. Rather than crowding the photons into holes, the researchers studied the polarization of the particles, or the orientation of the photons’ wiggling electromagnetic waves, which can be either horizontal or vertical. Since there were three photons and two polarizations, standard math would suggest that at least two must have had the same polarization. When the scientists compared the particles’ polarizations, the team found that no two particles matched, verifying that the quantum pigeonhole effect is real.Emily Conover, “Photons reveal a weird effect called the quantum pigeonhole paradox” at Science News

Paper. (paywall) Significance:

We have demonstrated the quantum pigeonhole paradox with three single photons. The effect of variable-strength quantum measurement is experimentally analyzed order by order and a transition of violation of the pigeonhole principle is observed. We find that the different kinds of measurement-induced entanglement are responsible for the photons’ abnormal collective behavior in the paradox. The experimental violation of pigeonhole principle presents a challenge to the fundamental counting principle of nature. – Ming-Cheng Chen, Chang Liu, Yi-Han Luo, He-Liang Huang, Bi-Ying Wang, Xi-Lin Wang, Li Li, Nai-Le Liu, Chao-Yang Lu, and Jian-Wei Pan PNAS January 29, 2019 116 (5) 1549-1552; published ahead of print January 29, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1815462116

See also: Whether or not man has free will, quantum mechanics means that nature does

and

If quantum mechanics were a researcher, she’d be fired

Note: The recent uproar around a review of Adam Becker’s book at Inference Review, denounced by Becker at Undark, turned on issues in quantum mechanics. “So Inference Review allows dissenting opinion and Peter (PayPal) Thiel made money in the new economy. Which proves what, exactly? Becker goes on at length, editorializing against Inference Review, which he is compelled neither to read nor support through his tax funds. – News

89 Replies to “Experiment: Quantum particles can violate the mathematical pigeonhole principle

  1. 1
    daveS says:

    Since there were three photons and two polarizations, standard math would suggest that at least two must have had the same polarization. When the scientists compared the particles’ polarizations, the team found that no two particles matched, verifying that the quantum pigeonhole effect is real.

    This is very strange, seemingly violating a self-evident truth. Namely that if there are only two possible states, it is impossible for three particles to all have different states. I would guess that those in the know find this phenomenon less paradoxical than I do …

  2. 2

    Probably a follow-up to this previous work that showed similarly paradoxical experimental results (with no paywall).

  3. 3
    hazel says:

    The experimental violation of pigeonhole principle presents a challenge to the fundamental counting principle of nature

  4. 4
    daveS says:

    Hazel,

    Yes, that is an unfortunate use of language which will be confusing to students of combinatorics.

  5. 5

    DaveS @1:
    I don’t think it violates a self-evident truth. Upon reading the non-paywall experiment, it seems to me that what is being violated is fundamental premise that the results of many quantum experiments have also violated: the premise that we are living in material/physical world that is has distinctly separable qualities and parts, and is distinctly separable from consciousness/mind. We keep expecting it to fundamentally behave in a material-physical way even though it keeps refusing to do so. It has been apparent for decades that we need an entirely different premise, but the stranglehold of metaphysical materialism on physics refuses to accept this.

  6. 6
    hazel says:

    Yes, but counting is dependent on “distinctly separable parts”, so at the level and in the circumstances in which the world doesn’t act as if it were made of distinctly separable parts, counting won’t work.

  7. 7

    Hazel @6,

    I agree, which is why I think “counting” and distinguishable locations & characteristics break down at the fundamental levels of experimentation. As KF points out, those things are embedded in the world we experience, but where KF and I disagree is what “that world” really is, and what “experience” is and how it works. To exist as an individuated identity, there must appear to be distinction and separation (which directly implies countability) which is fundamentally orchestrated by logical principles, which IMO reflect the necessary aspects of the perception of individuated identity.

    While these are necessary perceptual, ordered constructs for individuated experience, IF the nature of our existence is fundamentally unitary and whole (metaphorically, “beneath the illusion), there would be a limit as to how deep one could examine their experience and still get results that correspond to the idea that there are separable parts with intrinsic, distinct qualities.

    But, this is nothing new. Quantum experimentation has been providing support for a deep unity ever since non-local, instantaneous entanglement was discovered, indicating a profound entanglement of everything in the entire universe.

  8. 8
    hazel says:

    Very good post, wjm.

  9. 9
    PeterA says:

    WJM @7:

    Maybe I don’t understand your comment well.
    Are you saying that KF and you are the same person?
    You just have two separate aliases or avatars?
    Did I get this right?
    Thanks.

  10. 10
    hazel says:

    re 9: Why do you think that? Wjm writes, “KF and I …”: they are without a doubt different people! 🙂

  11. 11
    PeterA says:

    Hazel @10:
    WJM wrote:
    “there would be a limit as to how deep one could examine their experience and still get results that correspond to the idea that there are separable parts with intrinsic, distinct qualities.”

    Doesn’t that imply that WJM and KF are the same person deep down there at the end of the day? Their apparent differences are just illusionary?

  12. 12
    jawa says:

    Peter @9:
    Wow!!!
    WJM and KF the same person with two aliases or avatars?
    Now you really hit it out of the stadium buddy.
    Maybe you should take some time off to rest?

  13. 13
    jawa says:

    Peter @11:

    Are you saying that Hazel and you are the same person?

    What are you going to say next? That you and I are the same person too?
    Scary, isn’t it?

  14. 14
    daveS says:

    A more salient question: Are PeterA and Jawa the same person?

    Edit: ninja’d by Jawa himself!

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    The experimental violation of pigeonhole principle presents a challenge to the fundamental counting principle of nature.

    This experiment further validates Dr. Gordon’s contention that quantum mechanics falsifies materialism. Specifically, it verifies that “these entities, whatever they are, fail the criterion of material individuality.”

    Why Quantum Theory Does Not Support Materialism – By Bruce L Gordon:
    Excerpt: Because quantum theory is thought to provide the bedrock for our scientific understanding of physical reality, it is to this theory that the materialist inevitably appeals in support of his worldview. But having fled to science in search of a safe haven for his doctrines, the materialist instead finds that quantum theory in fact dissolves and defeats his materialist understanding of the world.,,
    The underlying problem is this: there are correlations in nature that require a causal explanation but for which no physical explanation is in principle possible. Furthermore, the nonlocalizability of field quanta entails that these entities, whatever they are, fail the criterion of material individuality. So, paradoxically and ironically, the most fundamental constituents and relations of the material world cannot, in principle, be understood in terms of material substances. Since there must be some explanation for these things, the correct explanation will have to be one which is non-physical – and this is plainly incompatible with any and all varieties of materialism.
    http://www.4truth.net/fourtrut.....8589952939

    And this experiment also further validates Dr. Gordon’s contention that the “reality of our experience can be seen to be best explained by an occasionalist idealism of the sort advocated by George Berkeley (1685-1753) or Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758). In the metaphysical context of this kind of theistic immaterialism, the vera causa that brings coherent closure to the phenomenological reality we inhabit is always and only agent causation. ”

    Divine Action and the World of Science: What Cosmology and Quantum Physics Teach Us about the Role of Providence in Nature – Bruce L. Gordon – 2017
    Excerpt page 295: In light of this realization, the rather startling picture that begins to seem plausible is that preserving and explaining the objective structure of appearances in light of quantum theory requires reviving a type of phenomenalism in which our perception of the physical universe is constituted by sense-data conforming to certain structural constraints, but in which there is no substantial material reality causing these sensory perceptions. This leaves us with an ontology of minds (as immaterial substances) experiencing and generating mental events and processes that, when sensory in nature, have a formal character limned by the fundamental symmetries and structures revealed in “physical” theory. That these structured sensory perceptions are not mostly of our own individual or collective human making points to the falsity of any solipsistic or social constructivist conclusion, but it also implies the need for a transcendent source and ground of our experience. As Robert Adams points out, mere formal structure is ontologically incomplete:
    [A] system of spatiotemporal relationships constituted by sizes, shapes, positions, and changes thereof, is too incomplete, too hollow, as it were, to constitute an ultimately real thing or substance. It is a framework that, by its very nature, needs to be filled in by something less purely formal. It can only be a structure of something of some not merely structural sort. Formally, rich as such a structure may be, it lacks too much of the reality of material thinghood. By itself, it participates in the incompleteness of abstractions. . . .
    [T]he reality of a substance must include something intrinsic and qualitativeover and above any formal or structural features it may possess.117
    When we consider the fact that the structure of reality in fundamental physical theory is merely phenomenological and that this structure itself is hollow and non-qualitative, whereas our experience is not, the metaphysical objectivity and epistemic intersubjectivity of the enstructured qualitative reality of our experience can be seen to be best explained by an occasionalist idealism of the sort advocated by George Berkeley (1685-1753) or Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758). In the metaphysical context of this kind of theistic immaterialism, the vera causa that brings coherent closure to the phenomenological reality we inhabit is always and only agent causation. The necessity of causal sufficiency is met by divine action, for as Plantinga emphasizes:
    [T]he connection between God’s willing that there be light and there being light is necessary in the broadly logical sense: it is necessary in that sense that if God wills that p, p occurs. Insofar as we have a grasp of necessity (and we do have a grasp of necessity), we also have a grasp of causality when it is divine causality that is at issue. I take it this is a point in favor of occasionalism, and in fact it constitutes a very powerful advantage of occasionalism. 118
    http://jbtsonline.org/wp-conte.....ressed.pdf

  16. 16

    PeterA said:

    Are you saying that KF and you are the same person?

    Of course not. “Person” refers to an individual, an individuated experience/perspective.

  17. 17
    PeterA says:

    WJM,

    You wrote:

    “there would be a limit as to how deep one could examine their experience and still get results that correspond to the idea that there are separable parts with intrinsic, distinct qualities.”

    How does that relate to what you wrote last?

    ““Person” refers to an individual, an individuated experience/perspective.”

  18. 18
    hazel says:

    Peter, I don’t think you are understanding. wjm said there are limits to how deep separable parts can be found. He didn’t say that there are no separable parts.

  19. 19

    PeterA @17,

    I don’t see how it could be interpreted to not relate. At the macro or our normal perceptual level, experience occurs as from the perspective of individuated persons. At the quantum level, all of existence appears to be an inseperable whole – nonlocal and instantaneous, not even distinct in terms of intrinsic characteristics or locations in space or time.

  20. 20
    Barry Arrington says:

    Two caveats: (1) this is extremely speculative theology; (2) the Bible is not a science text and it is dangerous to treat it as such.
    Colossians 1:17. “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
    I wonder if the fundamental “inseparable whole” at the quantum level to which WJM alludes can be accounted for by the fact that at the most fundamental ontological level of all, all things are held together in God. I make no claim. Again, just speculating.

  21. 21

    BTW, I just want to clear something up. In the prior comments I’m using the term “fundamental” from a physicalist perspective. From an idealist perspective (my perspective), the quantum field level is only partly fundamental to experience; consciousness and psyche are also fundamental aspects of experience, and individuation is achieved by consciousness using what we usually describe as the quantum field as a means to generate the “illusion” of a distinct identity.

  22. 22

    Barry Arrington @20:

    I think that’s a fairly good way to phrase it, although I would phrase it differently. I wouldn’t say “God is holding it all together”, rather, I would say “The whole IS God.” This gives a good perspective on the qualities we usually assign to God – omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient. Those would be the necessary qualities of God if God IS everything that exists, including throughout what we call time. It also makes God both universal and personal, both within and without, and something that can be apprehended/known regardless of one’s location or perspective.

    And, to be clear, by “the whole” I mean everything that exists, not just that which we assign to physicality or the physical universe.

  23. 23
    Barry Arrington says:

    WJM,
    As an orthodox (small “o”) Christian, I obviously do not agree that “the whole is God.” That is pantheism. However, I think conceptually you and I are not far apart. Christian orthodoxy holds that God is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient. It also states that God is simultaneously within and without (i.e., both immanent and transcendent). And it states that God can be apprehended/known regardless of one’s location or perspective. I am not sure what you mean by both “universal and personal,” but Christians believe that God is universal in the sense that he is omnipresent and that “of him, and through him and to him are all things.” And Christians believe God is personal in that he deals with each of us as an individual.

  24. 24
    StephenB says:

    Barry

    As an orthodox (small “o”) Christian, I obviously do not agree that “the whole is God.” That is pantheism. However, I think conceptually you and I are not far apart. Christian orthodoxy holds that God is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient. It also states that God is simultaneously within and without (i.e., both immanent and transcendent). And it states that God can be apprehended/known regardless of one’s location or perspective. I am not sure what you mean by both “universal and personal,” but Christians believe that God is universal in the sense that he is omnipresent and that “of him, and through him and to him are all things.” And Christians believe God is personal in that he deals with each of us as an individual.

    I basically agree with Barry’s well framed formulation. God, *as the whole* (defined as being a part of his own creation or vice versa), seems untenable to me.

    I would add that matter is the principle of individuation. Anything that you can imagine, such as a triangle, is particularized. Two units of matter cannot be in the same place, if it were so, they would be exactly the same thing and therefore, not individuated particulars. (Ontology)

    You can know the universal essence or definition of a triangle , but you can only imagine this or that triangle, which could be small, scalene, colored etc. (Epistemology). I submit, therefore, that we know universals and we sense particulars. If I feel the hard wood on an oak tree, my senses are operating, but when I apprehend a tree for what it is (essence), my mind is operating by interpreting what my senses present to it.

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    To further solidify Barry’s contention that the findings of modern science support Colossians 1:17 in particular and Christianity in general,,

    Colossians 1:17
    “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

    To further solidify Barry’s claim,,, in quantum mechanics, especially with the necessity of appealing to a non-local, i.e. beyond space-time, cause in order to explain quantum entanglement,,,

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
    http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

    ,,, in quantum mechanics it easy to see exactly why quantum non-locality supports what Colossians 1:17 ‘predicted’. But as WJM’s remarks make clear, this still does not completely differentiate WJM’s classical Theism from Christianity in particular. To do that we must go further into exactly what modern science reveals.

    But before we get into that, I would like to point out that Barry’s objection that WJM’s classical view of Theism, (“The whole IS God.”), is dangerously close to Pantheism has some merit.
    Although WJM objected that his classical view of Theism did not directly imply Pantheism, none-the-less, it is interesting to note that “it is almost natural for a Jewish or Muslim intellectual to become a pantheist.” In fact, Stanley Jaki holds that the ‘natural’ drifting into Pantheism by Jewish and Muslim intellectuals is one of the major reasons why modern science was never born out of the ancient Jewish and Muslim cultures and why it was born uniquely out of the Christian cultures of medieval Europe..

    The War against the War Between Science and Faith Revisited – July 2010
    Excerpt: Jaki notes that before Christ the Jews never formed a very large community (priv. comm.). In later times, the Jews lacked the Christian notion that Jesus was the monogenes or unigenitus, the only-begotten of God. Pantheists like the Greeks tended to identify the monogenes or unigenitus with the universe itself, or with the heavens. Jaki writes: Herein lies the tremendous difference between Christian monotheism on the one hand and Jewish and Muslim monotheism on the other. This explains also the fact that it is almost natural for a Jewish or Muslim intellectual to become a pantheist. About the former Spinoza and Einstein are well-known examples. As to the Muslims, it should be enough to think of the Averroists. With this in mind one can also hope to understand why the Muslims, who for five hundred years had studied Aristotle’s works and produced many commentaries on them failed to make a breakthrough. The latter came in medieval Christian context and just about within a hundred years from the availability of Aristotle’s works in Latin,,
    http://www.scifiwright.com/201.....revisited/

    But anyways, to get back to the primary question of exactly where modern science differentiates Christianity from classical Theism.
    Where WJM’s view of classical Theism breaks down, “The whole IS God.”, i.e. where that particular view of classical Theism breaks down, and where Christianity differentiates itself from WJM’s classical Theism, is when we bring gravity into the mix.

    General Relativity, (i.e. Gravity), and Quantum Mechanics are, by far, our two most precisely tested theories in science.

    The Most Precisely Tested Theory in the History of Science – May 5, 2011
    Excerpt: So, which of the two (general relativity or QED) is The Most Precisely Tested Theory in the History of Science?
    It’s a little tough to quantify a title like that, but I think relativity can claim to have tested the smallest effects. Things like the aluminum ion clock experiments showing shifts in the rate of a clock set moving at a few m/s, or raised by a foot, measure relativistic shifts of a few parts in 10^16. That is, if one clock ticks 10,000,000,000,000,000 times, the other ticks 9,999,999,999,999,999 times. That’s an impressively tiny effect, but the measured value is in good agreement with the predictions of relativity.
    In the end, though, I have to give the nod to QED, because while the absolute effects in relativity may be smaller, the precision of the measurements in QED is more impressive. Experimental tests of relativity measure tiny shifts, but to only a few decimal places. Experimental tests of QED measure small shifts, but to an absurd number of decimal places. The most impressive of these is the “anomalous magnetic moment of the electron,” expressed is terms of a number g whose best measured value is:
    g/2 = 1.001 159 652 180 73 (28)
    Depending on how you want to count it, that’s either 11 or 14 digits of precision (the value you would expect without QED is exactly 1, so in some sense, the shift really starts with the first non-zero decimal place), which is just incredible. And QED correctly predicts all those decimal places (at least to within the measurement uncertainty, given by the two digits in parentheses at the end of that).
    http://scienceblogs.com/princi.....sted-theo/

    And yet despite General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics being confirmed to almost absurd levels of precision, General relativity simply refuses to be mathematically unified with quantum mechanics in any acceptable way. And this ‘discrepancy’ is where Christianity differentiates itself from classical Theism.

    But before we get into that, it is also important to note that the ‘almost absurd’ levels to which General Relativity has been confirmed in particular has stymied attempts for alternate theories that seek to reconcile Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity into a ‘theory of everything’

    Confirming Einstein, scientists find ‘spacetime foam’ not slowing down photons from faraway gamma-ray burst (Update) – Mar 16, 2015
    Excerpt: Albert Einstein formulated the general theory of relativity, one of the theory’s basic assumptions: the idea that all light particles, or photons, propagate at exactly the same speed.,,
    The researchers analyzed data, obtained by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, of the arrival times of photons from a distant gamma-ray burst. The data showed that photons traveling for billions of years from the distant burst toward Earth all arrived within a fraction of a second of each other.
    This finding indicates that the photons all moved at the same speed, even though different photons had different energies. This is one of the best measurements ever of the independence of the speed of light from the energy of the light particles.,,,
    One of the attempts to reconcile the two theories (Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity) is the idea of “space-time foam.” According to this concept, on a microscopic scale space is not continuous, and instead it has a foam-like structure. The size of these foam elements is so tiny that it is difficult to imagine and is at present impossible to measure directly. However light particles that are traveling within this foam will be affected by the foamy structure, and this will cause them to propagate at slightly different speeds depending on their energy.
    The fact that all the photons with different energies arrived with no time delay relative to each other indicates that such a foamy structure, if it exists at all, has a much smaller size than previously expected.
    “When we began our analysis, we didn’t expect to obtain such a precise measurement,” said Prof. Tsvi Piran, the Schwartzmann University Chair at the Hebrew University’s Racah Institute of Physics and a leader of the research. “This new limit is at the level expected from quantum gravity theories.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-03-e.....-foam.html

    Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity – April 30, 2018
    New observations of extreme astrophysical systems have “brutally and pitilessly murdered” attempts to replace Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
    Excerpt: The neutron-star collision was just the beginning. New data in the months since that discovery have made life increasingly difficult for the proponents of many of the modified-gravity theories that remain. Astronomers have analyzed extreme astronomical systems that contain spinning neutron stars, or pulsars, to look for discrepancies between their motion and the predictions of general relativity — discrepancies that some theories of alternative gravity anticipate. These pulsar systems let astronomers probe gravity on a new scale and with new precision. And with each new observation, these alternative theories of gravity are having an increasingly hard time solving the problems they were invented for. Researchers “have to sweat some more trying to get new physics,” said Anne Archibald, an astrophysicist at the University of Amsterdam.,,,
    For any alternative theory of gravity to work, it has to not only do away with dark matter and dark energy, but also reproduce the predictions of general relativity in all the standard contexts. “The business of alternative gravity theories is a messy one,” Archibald said. Some would-be replacements for general relativity, like string theory and loop quantum gravity, don’t offer testable predictions. Others “make predictions that are spectacularly wrong, so the theorists have to devise some kind of a screening mechanism to hide the wrong prediction on scales we can actually test,” she said.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/troubled-times-for-alternatives-to-einsteins-theory-of-gravity-20180430/

    The main reason that Gravity has yet to be successfully included into a theory of everything with Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity (Quantum-Electrodynamics) is because the infinities that crop up in that attempt are not renormalizable as they were in Quantum-Electrodynamics (QED).

    Does quantum mechanics contradict the theory of relativity?
    Sanjay Sood, Microchip Design Engineer, Theoretical and Applied Physicist – Feb 14, 2016
    Excerpt: quantum mechanics was first integrated with special theory of relativity by Dirac in 1928 just 3 years after quantum mechanics was discovered. Dirac produced an equation that describes the behavior of a quantum particle (electron). In this equation the space and time enter on the same footing – equation is first order in all 4 coordinates. One startling by product of this equation was the prediction of anti matter. It also gave the correct explanation for the electron’s spin. Dirac’s equation treats an electron as a particle with only a finite degrees of freedom.
    In 1940s Dirac’s equation was incorporated into the relativistic quantum field theory that’s knowns as quantum electrodynamics (QED) independently by Feynman, Schwinger and Tomonaga. This is the theory that describes the behavior of electrons and photons and their interactions with each other in terms of relativistic quantum fields that have infinite degrees of freedom. QED allowed extremely precise calculation of anomalous magnetic dipole moment of an electron. This calculated value matches the experimentally measured value to an astonishing precision of 12 decimal places!
    The integration of Einstein’s general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics has proved to be far more difficult. Such an integration would give a quantum theory of gravity. Even after a sustained effort lasting more than half a century, no renormalized quantum field theory of gravity has ever been produced. Renormalization means a theory that’s free of infinities at zero distance or infinite energy because 2 point particles can interact with each other at zero distance. A non renormalizable theory has no predictive value because it contains an infinite number of singular coefficients.
    https://www.quora.com/Does-quantum-mechanics-contradict-the-theory-of-relativity

    Unified field theory
    Excerpt: Gravity has yet to be successfully included in a theory of everything.
    Simply trying to combine the graviton with the strong and electroweak interactions runs into fundamental difficulties since the resulting theory is not renormalizable. Theoretical physicists have not yet formulated a widely accepted, consistent theory that combines general relativity and quantum mechanics. The incompatibility of the two theories remains an outstanding problem in the field of physics.
    – per wiki/Unified_field_theory#Current_status

    Quantum Leaps – Jeremy Bernstein – October 19, 2018
    Excerpt: Divergent series notwithstanding, quantum electrodynamics yielded results of remarkable accuracy. Consider the magnetic moment of the electron. This calculation, which has been calculated up to the fifth order in ?, agrees with experiment to ten parts in a billion. If one continued the calculation to higher and higher orders, at some point the series would begin to break down. There is no sign of that as yet. Why not carry out a similar program for gravitation? One can readily write down the Feynman graphs that represent the terms in the expansion. Yet there remains an irremediable difficulty. Every order reveals new types of infinities, and no finite number of renormalizations renders all the terms in the series finite.
    The theory is not renormalizable.
    https://inference-review.com/article/quantum-leaps
    Jeremy Bernstein is professor emeritus of physics at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

    Besides Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity not being mathematically renormalizable with each other, the theories, when combined, actually predict that spacetime, atoms, and the universe itself should all be literally torn apart. Here are a few references that get this point across.

    “There are serious problems with the traditional view that the world is a space-time continuum. Quantum field theory and general relativity contradict each other. The notion of space-time breaks down at very small distances, because extremely massive quantum fluctuations (virtual particle/antiparticle pairs) should provoke black holes and space-time should be torn apart, which doesn’t actually happen.”
    – Gregory J. Chaitin , Francisco A. Doria, and Newton C. a. Da Costa – Goedel’s Way: Exploits into an Undecidable World

    “In order for quantum mechanics and relativity theory to be internally self-consistent [Seeking consistency between quantum mechanics and relativity theory is the major task theoretical physicists have been grappling with since quantum mechanics emerged], the physical vacuum has to contain 10^94 grams equivalent of energy per cubic centimeter. What that means is, if you take just a single hydrogen atom, which is one proton and one electron and all the rest of the atom is ‘empty space,’ if you take just that volume of empty space, … you find that you end up with a trillion times as much vacuum energy as all the electromagnetic energy in all the planets, all the stars, and all the cosmic dust in a sphere of radius 15 billion light-years.”
    To summarize, the subtle energy in the vacuum space of a single hydrogen atom is as great as all the electromagnetic energy found in everything within 15 billion light-years of our space-time cosmos.” ,,,
    Dr. William Tiller – Human Intention

    Cosmic coincidence spotted – Philip Ball – 2008
    Excerpt: One interpretation of dark energy is that it results from the energy of empty space, called vacuum energy. The laws of quantum physics imply that empty space is not empty at all, but filled with particles popping in and out of existence. This particle ‘fizz’ should push objects apart, just as dark energy seems to require. But the theoretical value of this energy is immense — so huge that it should blow atoms apart, rather than just causing the Universe to accelerate.
    Physicists think that some unknown force nearly perfectly cancels out the vacuum energy, leaving only the amount seen as dark energy to push things apart. This cancellation is imperfect to an absurdly fine margin: the unknown ‘energy’ differs from the vacuum energy by just one part in 10^122. It seems incredible that any physical mechanism could be so finely poised as to reduce the vacuum energy to within a whisker of zero, but it seems to be so.
    http://www.nature.com/news/200.....8.610.html

    The 2 most dangerous numbers in the universe are threatening the end of physics – Jessica Orwig – Jan. 14, 2016
    Excerpt: Dangerous No. 2: The strength of dark energy
    ,,, you should be able to sum up all the energy of empty space to get a value representing the strength of dark energy. And although theoretical physicists have done so, there’s one gigantic problem with their answer:
    “Dark energy should be 10^120 times stronger than the value we observe from astronomy,” Cliff said. “This is a number so mind-boggling huge that it’s impossible to get your head around … this number is bigger than any number in astronomy — it’s a thousand-trillion-trillion-trillion times bigger than the number of atoms in the universe. That’s a pretty bad prediction.”
    On the bright side, we’re lucky that dark energy is smaller than theorists predict. If it followed our theoretical models, then the repulsive force of dark energy would be so huge that it would literally rip our universe apart. The fundamental forces that bind atoms together would be powerless against it and nothing could ever form — galaxies, stars, planets, and life as we know it would not exist.
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/.....57366.html

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    Of course since the universe is not blowing itself apart, and yet our two best theories in science predict that it should be blown apart, then it is readily apparent that something very powerful must be holding the universe together. For the Christian this should not be surprising. Christianity predicts that Christ is before all things, and in him all things hold together, and that He upholds the universe by the word of his power.

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    Hebrews 1:3
    He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

    As to the scientific plausibility of Christ Himself holding all things together, it is first important to note that both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics have now overturned the Copernican Principle as being a valid principle in science and have restored humanity to ‘centrality’ in the universe:

    Overturning of the Copernican Principle by both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/bill-nye-should-check-wikipedia/#comment-671672

    Moreover, with the closing of the free will loophole in Quantum Mechanics by Anton Zeilinger and company in 2018, then, as Steven Weinberg states in the following 2017 article, “humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level”.

    ,,, In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.,,, the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans.,,, In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,,
    – Steven Weinberg – The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics
    – JANUARY 19, 2017

    Thus, with the overturning of the Copernican Principle by both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, and with humans being “brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level”, then of course that makes it entirely plausible that Christ could have possibly reconciled General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics into the ‘quote unquote ‘Theory of Everything” with his resurrection from death.

    In order to provide empirical evidence for this claim I will appeal to the Shroud of Turin.

    First off, given the extreme scrutiny that the Shroud of Turin has been through, as well as the disingenuous, (i.e. Darwinian), way atheists have tried to refute the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, I hold the Shroud to be 100% authentic:

    The Shroud of Turin – Evidence it is authentic
    Below is a summary of scientific and historical evidence supporting the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin as the ancient burial cloth of the historical Jesus of Nazareth.
    https://www.newgeology.us/presentation24.html
    Why is the Turin Shroud Authentic? – Giulio Fanti* – November 2018
    Conclusion excerpt: If, as discussed above, by authenticity of the Shroud is meant a funerary sheet, of very ancient manufacture, of about 2000 years ago, that wrapped the corpse of a man hard tortured and dead on a cross, all the scientific clues considered seem favorable to this hypothesis.
    Six [8, 10-14] out of seven independent dating methods (and [9] has been widely criticized) indicate that this linen Sheet is datable to a period including the first century after Christ. The most important Relic of Christianity wrapped a corpse. The blood traces correspond to those of a tortured man. The body image cannot be explained, but the most reliable hypotheses refer to an intense and probably very brief burst of energy. The
    corpse, endowed with considerable corpse rigidity, remained wrapped in the Shroud for a short period, not exceeding forty hours. All these clues therefore confirm the authenticity of the Shroud [27]
    https://juniperpublishers.com/gjaa/pdf/GJAA.MS.ID.555707.pdf

    Moreover, the repeated ‘voluntary forgetfulness’ of established facts and the repeated ‘distortion of scientific evidence’ by leading critics of the authenticity of the Shroud are gone over in the following paper, and contrary to what the critics would prefer, actually, due to the dishonest tactics the critics themselves have to resort to to try to refute it, actually bolsters the claim that the Shroud is authentic.

    Why is the Turin Shroud Not Fake? – Giulio Fanti* – December 04, 2018
    Excerpt page 5:
    a. As reported above, some important arguments in favor of authenticity are forgotten in an apparently voluntary way. For example the scientific fact [6,19,20,25] that the Shroud wrapped the corpse of a severely tortured man, scourged, crowned with thorns and crucified according to Roman techniques is forgotten when a painting technique to explain the body image of the Shroud is supposed. Other recent results are also forgotten, such as the numismatic dating of the Shroud through the Byzantine coins [25], which sees it already in 692 AD, while someone keeps on stating that the Shroud did not exist before 1300 AD.
    b. The reality of scientific experiments are distorted and the global result is forgotten at the expense of a particular detail useful for the present goal. For example the work [22] detected the presence of pigments of various colors on the Shroud, probably due to the contamination with other paintings, but only the red pigments have been mentioned in a paper [13] to sustain a particular thesis.
    c. Statements relative to a distorted reality can be found when for example we read that pollen grains detected by a researcher on the Shroud have not been seen afterwards [13]. In fact, the same kind of pollen grains [29] together with other particles coming from powders vacuumed from the Shroud have been recently detected thus confirming more dated results.
    d. Not correct statements are still frequent like that asserting that the sample of Shroud used in 1988 for
    radiocarbon dating had been perfectly cleaned or that the pollutant should weigh about 80% of the total weight of the fabric to reach the age in which Jesus Christ lived in Palestine.,,,
    https://juniperpublishers.com/gjaa/pdf/GJAA.MS.ID.555715.pdf

    As well, seeing is believing

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Hologram
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TL4QOCiis

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tmka1l8GAQ

    And as Isabel Piczek and Chuck Missler note in the following video and articles, the Shroud of Turin reveals a strange ‘event horizon’:

    “When you look at the image of the shroud, the two bodies next to each other, you feel that it is a flat image. But if you create, for instance, a three dimensional object, as I did, the real body, then you realize that there is a strange dividing element. An interface from which the image is projected up and the image is projected down. The muscles of the body are absolutely not crushed against the stone of the tomb. They are perfect. It means the body is hovering between the two sides of the shroud. What does that mean? It means there is absolutely no gravity. Other strange you discover is that the image is absolutely undistorted. Now if you imagine the clothe was wrinkled, tied, wrapped around the body, and all of the sudden you see a perfect image, which is impossible unless the shroud was made absolutely taut, rigidly taut.”
    Isabel Piczek – Turin shroud – (Particle Physicist explains event horizon) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIpdIz5Rp3I

    THE EVENT HORIZON (Space-Time Singularity) OF THE SHROUD OF TURIN. – Isabel Piczek – Particle Physicist
    Excerpt: We have stated before that the images on the Shroud firmly indicate the total absence of Gravity. Yet they also firmly indicate the presence of the Event Horizon. These two seemingly contradict each other and they necessitate the past presence of something more powerful than Gravity that had the capacity to solve the above paradox.
    http://shroud3d.com/findings/i.....-formation

    A Quantum Hologram of Christ’s Resurrection? by Chuck Missler
    Excerpt: “You can read the science of the Shroud, such as total lack of gravity, lack of entropy (without gravitational collapse), no time, no space—it conforms to no known law of physics.” The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically. Dame Piczek created a one-fourth size sculpture of the man in the Shroud. When viewed from the side, it appears as if the man is suspended in mid air (see graphic, below), indicating that the image defies previously accepted science. The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically.
    http://www.khouse.org/articles/2008/847

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    To support Isabel Piczek’s claim that the Shroud of Turin does indeed reveal a true ‘event horizon’, the following study states that ‘The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image.’

    Particle Radiation from the Body – July 2012 – M. Antonacci, A. C. Lind
    Excerpt: The Shroud’s frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same amount of intensity, independent of any pressure or weight from the body. The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image. Radiation coming from the body would not only explain this feature, but also the left/right and light/dark reversals found on the cloth’s frontal and dorsal body images.
    http://www.academicjournals.or.....onacci.pdf

    Moreover, besides gravity being dealt with, the shroud also gives us evidence that Quantum Mechanics was dealt with. In the following paper, it was found that it was not possible to describe the image formation on the Shroud in classical terms but they found it necessary to describe the formation of the image on the Shroud in discrete quantum terms.

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete (quantum) values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/mus/541/1/c1a0802004.pdf

    Kevin Moran, an optical engineer working on the mysterious ‘3D’ nature of the Shroud image, states the ‘supernatural’ explanation this way, “This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector.”

    Optically Terminated Image Pixels Observed on Frei 1978 Samples – Kevin E. Moran – 1999
    Discussion
    Pia’s negative photograph, from 1898, showed what looked to be a body that was glowing, but slightly submerged in a bath of cloudy water. This condition is more properly described as an image that is visible, at a distance, but by locally attenuated radiation. The unique front-and-back only image can be best described as gravitationally collimated. The radiation that made the image acted perfectly parallel to gravity. There is no side image. The radiation is parallel to gravity and, if moving at light speed, only lasted about 100 picoseconds. It is particulate in nature, colliding only with some of the fibers. It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique,,,
    Theoretical model
    It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed.
    Discussion
    The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was “lifted cleanly” from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state.”
    https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/moran.pdf

    Moreover, the following article found that it would take 34 Trillion Watts of what is termed VUV (directional) radiation to form the image on the shroud.

    Astonishing discovery at Christ’s tomb supports Turin Shroud – NOV 26TH 2016
    Excerpt: The first attempts made to reproduce the face on the Shroud by radiation, used a CO2 laser which produced an image on a linen fabric that is similar at a macroscopic level. However, microscopic analysis showed a coloring that is too deep and many charred linen threads, features that are incompatible with the Shroud image. Instead, the results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”.
    ‘However, Enea scientists warn, “it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come only to several billion watts)”.
    Comment
    The ENEA study of the Holy Shroud of Turin concluded that it would take 34 Thousand Billion (trillion) Watts of VUV radiation to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.
    http://www.predatormastersforu.....er=3014106

    To provide further plausibility to Christ’s resurrection from the dead providing the correct solution for the much sought after ‘Theory of Eerything” it is also important to note that humans ‘naturally’ emit quantum light:

    Photocount distribution of photons emitted from three sites of a human body – 2006
    Excerpt: Signals from three representative sites of low, intermediate and high intensities are selected for further analysis. Fluctuations in these signals are measured by the probabilities of detecting different numbers of photons in a bin. The probabilities have non-classical features and are well described by the signal in a quantum squeezed state of photons. Measurements with bins of three sizes yield same values of three parameters of the squeezed state.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16520060

    Photonics – Quantum Optics
    Excerpt: Another area of quantum optics involves nonclassical light, such as squeezed states of light, having unusual quantum noise properties.
    https://www.rp-photonics.com/quantum_optics.html

    Evidence of quantum nature of life in human photon emission – video (22:31 minute mark)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....dM#t=1351s

    And here is a picture of a human emitting quantum biophotons,,,

    Image – This first image shows one of the test subjects in full light. The middle image shows the body giving off weak emissions of visible (biophotonic) light in totally dark conditions. The rightmost image of the subject, captured in infrared wavelengths, shows the heat emissions.
    http://msnbcmedia1.msn.com/j/M.....#215;2.jpg

    Thus to sum up what we have thus far, when we rightly let agent causality back into the picture of modern physics, as quantum physics itself now demands with the closing of the free will loophole, and as the Christian founders of modern physics originally envisioned, (Sir Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, Michael Faraday, and Max Planck, to name a few), then a empirically backed reconciliation, (via the Shroud of Turin), between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity, i.e. the ‘Theory of Everything’, readily pops out for us in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

    And to further differentiate Christianity for the classical Theism that WJM holds, and to see how nicely Christianity meshes with the evidence presented thus far, it is also important to read the entire context of the exact Bible passage that Barry cited:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    Thus in conclusion, while WJM may feel that classical Theism does fine and well at explaining what we see in Quantum Mechanics (and it does), when gravity is brought into the picture we find that Christian Theism alone provides a coherent solution for the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything’, and classical Theism is left wanting for a singular explanation as to why Quantum Mechanic and General Relativity will not reconcile into a single overarching ‘Theory of Everythng”.

    IMHO, that is a pretty gigantic unexplained hole to have in one’s worldview.

    Verse:

    Matthew 28:18
    And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.

  28. 28
    PeterA says:

    Hazel,
    If you read the comments starting @ 20 , you should see why I was asking the questions I asked earlier. Actually, it seems like WJM’s comments on my questions eventually led to a few very insightful comments posted by BA, BA77, StephenB.
    If you still don’t understand it, feel free to ask what exactly you don’t understand.
    WJM and KF differ in at least one fundamental point, according to WJM himself. The same can be said about WJM and BA or WJM and BA77.
    Truth is absolutely exclusive:
    (1) They both could be wrong, or
    (2) one of them could be right and the other wrong, but
    (3) both can’t be right.
    I strongly believe that in this case KF, BA and BA77 are in the right side of that philosophical argument.

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    Here another finding from quantum mechanics that is inexplicable for Darwinian materialists. Specifically, in quantum mechanics, “an object’s physical properties can be disembodied from the object itself”

    Physicists add ‘quantum Cheshire Cats’ to list of quantum paradoxes – November 25, 2013
    Excerpt: Given all the weird things that can occur in quantum mechanics—from entanglement to superposition to teleportation—not much seems surprising in the quantum world. Nevertheless, a new finding that an object’s physical properties can be disembodied from the object itself is not something we’re used to seeing on an everyday basis. In a new paper, physicists have theoretically shown that this phenomenon, which they call a quantum Cheshire Cat, is an inherent feature of quantum mechanics,,,
    The physicists begin their paper with an excerpt from Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel Alice in Wonderland:
    ‘All right’, said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.
    ‘Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin’, thought Alice, ‘but a grin without a cat!
    It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!’
    Just as the grin is a property of a cat, polarization is a property of a photon. In their paper, the physicists explain how, “in the curious way of quantum mechanics, photon polarization may exist where there is no photon at all.” ,,,when the photon’s location and polarization are measured simultaneously, the results are identical to those of the original experiment: the photon is in the left arm while the polarization is in the right arm.
    http://phys.org/news/2013-11-p.....doxes.html

    39:00 minute mark:
    “Mass turns out not to be an intrinsic property of matter either”
    – Bruce Gordon: –
    The Incompatibility of Physicalism with Physics: A Conversation with Dr. Bruce Gordon
    https://youtu.be/wk-UO81HmO4?t=2344

    LOL 🙂

  30. 30

    BA @29:
    I don’t think I could be classified as a classical theist anymore. As Mr. Arrington noted, I’m better described as a Pantheist.

    Edited to add: to be perfectly clear, I am first and foremost a metaphysical pragmatist. All my other views are adopted, informed and dismissed accordingly.

    PeterA:
    I differ with probably everyone here on multiple points, not just one.

    Addressing your comment about the absolute exclusivity of truth, the most important part is to begin with a sound dichotomy. If you are referring to my position that in one fundamental way we are the same thing (unity), and in another we a distinct, individual identities (self/other), I refer you to the example of the apparent paradox of the quantum wave/particle effect. One can ask what the truth is and apply the exclusion principle and demand that it is true that something is either a wave OR a particle (compare to unity OR indviduality), but both cannot be fundamentally true. However, experimentation has shown that this is in fact the case and that it (apparently) depends upon the observer as to how it (whatever light is) behaves or how it appears. It also apparently violates our normal sense of linear cause and effect (quantum eraser) and, from the information in this thread, many other qualities that appear to violate certain truth dichotomies we previously thought were exclusionary in nature.

    Or, perhaps I don’t understand your objection?

  31. 31

    Meant to say about my metaphysical pragmatism: All my views are adopted, evaluated and dismissed accordingly.

  32. 32
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM, post 29 was not addressing your worldview. Post 29 was a supplemental note to the OP. Makes me wonder whether you even read my posts. You say you are a Pantheist, exactly how do you reconcile the dichotomy of consciousness necessarily preceding wave collapse? By necessity consciousness cannot be coterminous with what we perceive to be material reality but must precede it. That facet of the ‘measurement problem’ in quantum mechanics simply is irreconcilable with pantheism as it is commonly held.

    The Measurement Problem
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

    Perhaps your worldview would be more in line with Panentheism rather than classical Pantheism:

    Christianity and Panentheism
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xki03G_TO4

  33. 33
    daveS says:

    Apparently this claimed violation of the PHP is quite controversial. Here’s a non-technical analysis by a Google software engineer/physicist (Craig Gidney) of the original paper authored by Y. Aharonov et al.
    A couple of quotes by Gidney:

    My personal opinion is that the paper’s details are correct, but that the authors’ framing of those details is off-the-wall ridiculous.

    That’s really all there is to it. The paper’s strategy is clever, sure. But concluding the pigeonhole priciple was violated because you cleverly discarded all the cases where coins were caught in the same state? That’s just wrong. And describing this as world-view shattering? That’s downright absurd.

    Gidney’s blog post includes links to other physicists’ tepid to skeptical reactions as well. For example, Stephen Parrott:

    When I saw this a few weeks ago, I looked forward to an amusing puzzle, in view of previous experience with writings of some of the authors. I did not expect to find a convincing quantum violation of the classical pigeonhole principle, and after reading the paper’s short and simple example, I did not find one.

  34. 34
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks DaveS, from your link we find that they used ‘non-local’ entanglement in a disingenuous manner to try claim ‘a challenge to the fundamental counting principle of nature’:

    By the logic the paper uses to conclude that the pigeonhole principle doesn’t apply to quantum states, the above paragraph proves the pigeonhole principle doesn’t apply to classical states. Alternatively, having a clever indirect way of knowing if a single unknown parity check came up odd doesn’t quite equate to “all the parities must have been odd and reality is a lie!”. And the fact that overlapping parity checks, the ones that would actually confirm an impossible pigeonhole violating state, prevent the strategy from working is kind of a big hint.
    That’s really all there is to it. The paper’s strategy is clever, sure. But concluding the pigeonhole priciple was violated because you cleverly discarded all the cases where coins were caught in the same state? That’s just wrong. And describing this as world-view shattering? That’s downright absurd.
    Summary
    Measuring the parity of two qubits can entangle them. You can rotate the parity of that entanglement by rotating the individual qubits. This allows you to sometimes determine if a parity measurement was odd, by using the resulting entanglement to toggle the parity and watching for all-parities-agree states.
    The way this paper was framed and presented by the media, and especially by the authors, makes me sad.
    https://algassert.com/quantum/2016/01/30/quantum-pigeonhole.html

    Thanks again DaveS, I will erase this paper from my notes.

  35. 35

    BA@32:
    I don’t believe in a “material reality,” my current view is that we all exist in what can best be described as “universal mind” that can provide the experience of consensual physicality. As the quantum eraser experiment shows, causality is not confined to a linear model of time, and therefore does not, experimentally, have to precede effects. IOW, we can actually change the history of a particle’s path and characteristics depending upon our observational choices.

    In my view, we’re not actually collapsing anything other than our own experiential framework by the observational choices we make (big subject). IMO, ultimately, time is just another dimensional axis. ALL locations described by all axis vectors eternally exist; in this framework set, we observe our “neighborhood” of location potentials as “wave” potentials, and when we pick a path (observationally) that “wave” is actualized in our experience as specific locations and characteristics. One might characterize this as constantly traveling through a neighborhood of associated dimensions.

    Also to be clear, I characterize myself as a pantheist only inasmuch as it fits my views. It’s not like I adhere to any particular belief structure because I think it is objectively true. As I said, I’m more fundamentally a metaphysical pragmatist, meaning I adopt whatever beliefs and views that work best for me in my experience, and only as long as they work well for me.

  36. 36
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM, while the usual cause and effect relationship of ‘material’ reality is definitely not applicable in quantum mechanics, in the ‘measurement problem’ conscious observation, and even free will itself, STILL necessarily takes precedent to whatever way we may choose to collapse and/or measure the wave function.

    Pantheism, as it is classically understood, simply cannot account for this.

    Moreover, I don’t hold that we ourselves are collapsing the wave function per se. I hold that only the infinite Mind of God has the causal sufficiency to collapse the wave function. At best, we can be thought of as ‘participating’ with God, via our free will, in what type of reality is ultimately presented to us via wave collapse.

    Double Slit, Quantum-Electrodynamics, and Christian Theism
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK9kGpIxMRM

    Also see Zeilinger: Kochen-Speckter Theorem

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in a certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

  37. 37

    I’m not here to talk anyone out of their views or into mine, BA. At best, I hope to have my views and logic critically challenged in case there’s something I missed, am in error about or a different perspective is presented that is a more pragmatic option.

    When Mr. Arrington suggested I was a pantheist, I looked it up and saw several definitions like this: “a doctrine which identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God.” That pretty much corresponded with my current views, although I did add the caveat that what I call “God” is interchangeable with “everything that exists” – including what exists that lies beyond what we refer to as our consensually experienced physical universe.

    However, if some aspect of my views is not compatible with pantheism according to you, some other definition or consensus here, we can just call what I believe “Murrayism”. It doesn’t make me any difference.

  38. 38
    hazel says:

    I like what wjm says about philosophical labels. I ran into this problem here one time when I spoke favorably of one idea associated with a particular label, and all of a sudden it seemed I was held accountable for that entire philosophical perspective. I’ve learned my lesson, and hereby declare that any philosophical perspectives I may express are part of “hazelism”, and nothing else! 🙂

  39. 39
    bornagain77 says:

    William J Murray,

    Pantheism identifies everything, collectively, with God, as a single unified being. For the pantheist, the universe itself is God.
    https://www.iep.utm.edu/panpsych/

    Yet, from the Big Bang, to the falsification of ‘realism’, modern science has consistently shown us that the universe is contingent upon the Mind of God. Modern science certainly does not support the pantheistic notion that the universe itself IS God.

    WJM, you yourself, in the past, have argued very strongly against the pantheistic position.

    “In any philosophy of reality that is not ultimately self-defeating or internally contradictory, mind – unlabeled as anything else, matter or spiritual – must be primary. What is “matter” and what is “conceptual” and what is “spiritual” can only be organized from mind. Mind controls what is perceived, how it is perceived, and how those percepts are labeled and organized. Mind must be postulated as the unobserved observer, the uncaused cause simply to avoid a self-negating, self-conflicting worldview. It is the necessary postulate of all necessary postulates, because nothing else can come first. To say anything else comes first requires mind to consider and argue that case and then believe it to be true, demonstrating that without mind, you could not believe that mind is not primary in the first place.”
    – William J. Murray

  40. 40

    BA @39

    I really don’t see how how that is relevant, considering I’ve already stated that my views change and I’ve already said that if you don’t find Pantheism to be an appropriate label for my views as I’m expressing now, we can dispense with it.

    Or, are you asking me how I would respond, under my current views, to my prior argument?

  41. 41
    hazel says:

    First, I will start with Barry’s caveat: what I offer is highly speculative. It takes into account modern quantum mechanics (QM), and is stimulated by it, but is about things that are beyond the reach of evidence.

    My thought, which I have shared a number of times, is that there is some kind of unknowable “oneness” that is “behind” (or the source of, or the foundation of) both mind and matter. In the world we experience these are separate, but they arise from some source which is neither mind nor matter. We have no idea how mind and matter interact within ourselves, but they do.

    It is true that the physical world at the quantum level is extremely different than our sensory experience of the physical world. Among other things, we suspect that the individual “parts” of the physical world we can experience when we study QM are connected/entangled into what might be a comprehensive whole throughout the physical world. However, this oneness of the physical world is “behind the quantum curtain”, inaccessible to us, and arises from the underlying oneness that is neither/more than mind and matter.

    Similarly, I think my human consciousness is probably as much unlike what mind “really is” as my experience of a tree is compared to the tree’s “real” nature as a thoroughly quantum phenomena. In particular, I think things like conceptual knowledge and willful, chosen actions are part of the nature of an individuated consciousness in a person, but I don’t think those qualities are likely to apply to the oneness that is the source of mind any more than “redness” would apply to the source of matter.

    So I think applying adjectives like omniscient, omnipotent and personal to the source of mind is wrong: those are anthropomorphisms. I doubt that the source of mind thinks, knows, acts, or cares in ways that are at all analogous to the ways that we think, know, act, or care. Another way of saying this is that I think “personhood” is a quality that arises out of the underlying oneness in certain conditions, such as human beings, but that the underlying oneness which manifests as mind (as well as matter) is not like a person. Thus, I don’t think of this underlying oneness as having qualities traditionally associated with a divine being, nor as “God”.

    /highly speculative philosophy>

  42. 42
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM, you ask “are you asking me how I would respond, under my current views, to my prior argument?”

    Sure, but given that your prior argument stated that,

    “To say anything else comes first requires mind to consider and argue that case and then believe it to be true, demonstrating that without mind, you could not believe that mind is not primary in the first place.”
    – William J. Murray

    ,,, given that your prior argument stated that, just don’t use your ‘primary’ mind to argue your case for pantheism.

    It seems with pantheism you have gone from the clarity of classical Theism into a fog where it will be impossible for you to make clear distinctions.

  43. 43
    bornagain77 says:

    hazel claims that “So I think applying adjectives like omniscient, omnipotent and personal to the source of mind is wrong: those are anthropomorphisms. I doubt that the source of mind thinks, knows, acts, or cares in ways that are at all analogous to the ways that we think, know, act, or care”

    She admits that it is ‘highly speculative philosophy’, which means, in other words that she has no evidence, nor would I hold, sound logic to her claims.

    On the flip side of that self admitted evidence free philosophical posturing on her part, I will say that I do have empirical evidence for supporting my claims that God does indeed care for us, think about us, know about us (indeed created each of us), and that He is indeed Omniscient, Omnipotent and Eternal.

    Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to reference the testimonies of Near Death Experiences,, particularly of the life review portions of NDEs.

    Around the 20 minute mark of the following Near Death Experience documentary, the Life Review portion of the Near Death Experience is highlighted, with several testimonies relating how every word, thought, deed, and action, of a person’s life (all the ‘information’ of a person’s life) is gone over in the presence of God:

    Near Death Experience Documentary – commonalities of the experience – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uDA4RgHolw

    Moreover, I can appeal to special relativity and general relativity to match what the people in Near Death Experiences claimed happened to them, (about going through a tunnel to a higher heavenly dimension (or to a lower hellish dimension)

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity (USA)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4QDy1Soolo

    Verse:

    Matthew 12:36-37
    “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

  44. 44
    PeterA says:

    Oops!
    Didn’t expect my comments to provoke such a lengthy debate. 🙂

    When crossing a road, would you look out for oncoming cars, trucks, buses, or disregard them as illusions?
    🙂

  45. 45
    PeterA says:

    “either or” ?
    “both and”?
    🙂

  46. 46

    Bornagain @42

    I’m not arguing a case for pantheism. I don’t know how I can make that more clear.

    PeterA @ 44:

    I’m assuming your question was meant for me in response to my statement: “While these are necessary perceptual, ordered constructs for individuated experience, IF the nature of our existence is fundamentally unitary and whole (metaphorically, “beneath the illusion), there would be a limit as to how deep one could examine their experience and still get results that correspond to the idea that there are separable parts with intrinsic, distinct qualities.”

    I didn’t close my scare quotes around “beneath the illusion”, but I think it was apparent that I wanted to set it apart from a common translation. I don’t mean illusion in the sense that a truck would only be a visual image and wouldn’t be tangible ( better word for that may be “mirage”). I meant it in the sense of “a deceptive appearance or impression” in relation to it’s foundational qualities of being 99.9999999% empty space at the subatomic level, or just another uniform part of the quantum wave field from that perspective.

    Just because a truck is not fundamentally what one thinks it is in terms of materialism or physicalism in no way changes or invalidates what one experiences when they step in front of it. The experience is utterly valid and real; but how one conceptualizes how that experience is generated and what the components fundamentally are can be completely wrong.

    We’ve seen just such paradigm shifts occur in science – quantum physics is one example. Information theory (in a cosmological sense) is one going on right now. That we change what we think about about the nature of existence and experience doesn’t invalidate the experience, but it can be used to better frame what that experience is/represents/means.

    And, unless it has practical applications, I have no use for it.

  47. 47
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM per 46

    “I’m not arguing a case for pantheism. I don’t know how I can make that more clear.”

    WJM per 30:

    “I don’t think I could be classified as a classical theist anymore. As Mr. Arrington noted, I’m better described as a Pantheist.”

    Seems your metaphysical pragmatist position would have noted that.

    Frankly, I don’t care what you believe. I have laid out the empirical evidence that strongly supports my Christian position and have basically been given nothing of substance from you that either counters my position or else puts your position on some type of ‘real world’ empirical footing. For instance, your appeal to quantum eraser (retrocausality) does not support pantheism (or whatever in blue blazes you call yourself today) but in reality supports classical theism and even supports Christian Theism. As does every other experiment in quantum mechanics:

    Albert Einstein vs. Quantum Mechanics and His Own Mind – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxFFtZ301j4

    Whatever,,,, I can see this is going nowhere.,,,, but I find your position foggy and without rigorous empirical support to put it as friendly and mildly as I can.

  48. 48
    PeterA says:

    BA77:
    “foggy and without rigorous empirical support”
    That’s a pretty mild description in this case.
    Perhaps a more accurate description would include the term “nonsense” or an equivalent?

  49. 49
    hazel says:

    ba77 or wjm? 🙂
    And don’t leave me out!

  50. 50
    StephenB says:

    As a general summary, I submit that it is impossible to understand the concept of unity except in the context of diversity, and vice versa. Unity, properly understood, refers to the purpose for which diverse elements are brought together. On the flip side, diversity, properly understood, refers to the diverse elements that serve the unified purpose. If we don’t speak of one in the context of the other, then we are misusing the term. Unity without diversity yields rigid uniformity; diversity without unity yields mindless chaos: in both cases, disorderliness is the consequence.
    WJM

    I don’t mean illusion in the sense that a truck would only be a visual image and wouldn’t be tangible ( better word for that may be “mirage”). I meant it in the sense of “a deceptive appearance or impression” in relation to it’s foundational qualities of being 99.9999999% empty space at the subatomic level, or just another uniform part of the quantum wave field from that perspective.

    Yes, I agree that impressions and appearances can mislead. It would seem, though, that deception can cut both ways. In my judgment, it is for more realistic to define a truck by its purpose, design, and proper function than to understand it as a collection of molecules and atoms or as a manifestation of quantum events. I submit that knowing what the crankcase does is far more useful (and less likely to deceive) than knowing how many alpha particles are involved.

    We don’t find unity in the constituent (diverse) parts of a thing, but in the ways in which those parts are arranged (unified). That is when we begin to understand what the word “design” really means. I don’t think is a coincidence that the structure of an atom at the micro level resembles the structure of the solar system at the macro level.

  51. 51

    Hazel @41,

    My thought, which I have shared a number of times, is that there is some kind of unknowable “oneness” that is “behind” (or the source of, or the foundation of) both mind and matter.

    Until someone can show me “matter” at the fundamental level, I cannot hold “matter” to be anything more than an experiential construct. Logically, I agree that “oneness” or “unity” cannot be known or experienced in any way that means what we normally mean by the terms “known” or “experienced”, which requires identity and non-unity/non-“oneness”. But, I think it can be “known” and ‘experienced” in ways that are unlike what we usually mean by those terms.

    In the world we experience these are separate,

    No, they are not. Experience is a mental phenomena. Whether or not it relates to a hypothetical, exterior world of matter is entirely irrelevant. Every experience you have is mental in nature, regardless of the supposed nature of what is supposedly causing it. Dreams can feel every bit as solid and real. So can a delusion.

    but they arise from some source which is neither mind nor matter.

    We can postulate all sorts of things that are “not mind” or that exist “outside of mind” or which “cause mind”; unfortunately, it can never be anything other than a theory brought forth in mind regarding experiences that occur in mind.

    We have no idea how mind and matter interact within ourselves, but they do.

    You might want to stop universalizing your own limitations and perspectives as if they apply to everyone.

    It is true that the physical world at the quantum level is extremely different than our sensory experience of the physical world. Among other things, we suspect that the individual “parts” of the physical world we can experience when we study QM are connected/entangled into what might be a comprehensive whole throughout the physical world. However, this oneness of the physical world is “behind the quantum curtain”, inaccessible to us, and arises from the underlying oneness that is neither/more than mind and matter.

    Again, you can theorize something other than mind exists in order to make the whole thing more mysterious or complicated, but if we go by occam’s razor, there’s no reason to add such things to one’s metaphysics unless one simply has some ideological/psychological need. “Matter” and “an external world” and “something other than mind or matter” add absolutely nothing necessary to the table that “mind” doesn’t already have covered.

    Similarly, I think my human consciousness is probably as much unlike what mind “really is” as my experience of a tree is compared to the tree’s “real” nature as a thoroughly quantum phenomena. In particular, I think things like conceptual knowledge and willful, chosen actions are part of the nature of an individuated consciousness in a person, but I don’t think those qualities are likely to apply to the oneness that is the source of mind any more than “redness” would apply to the source of matter.

    I think there’s a far longer and deeper conversation to be had about this before we can even begin to sort this out, beginning with basic terms and definitions and concepts about “universal mind” vs “individual mind”, consciousness (including being conscious, the subconscious, and the unconscious), what the “observer” is, what identity is and how it is achieved, what it means as compared to unity/oneness, etc.

    So I think applying adjectives like omniscient, omnipotent and personal to the source of mind is wrong: those are anthropomorphisms.

    Depends on how you’re using them. In oneness, everything that is or can be known, everything that is or can exist, and everything that can be or is done exists within that oneness, which can be termed as that oneness being omniscient, omnipresent and and omnipotent. The personal nature of the oneness depends upon how it relates to and interacts with and through the individual.

    I doubt that the source of mind thinks, knows, acts, or cares in ways that are at all analogous to the ways that we think, know, act, or care. Another way of saying this is that I think “personhood” is a quality that arises out of the underlying oneness in certain conditions, such as human beings, but that the underlying oneness which manifests as mind (as well as matter) is not like a person. Thus, I don’t think of this underlying oneness as having qualities traditionally associated with a divine being, nor as “God”.

    That’s fairly well stated (except for the unnecessary “source of mind” part). IMO, if by “traditionally” you mean in Judeo-Christian theologies. There are other traditional religions/spiritualities that actually define the nature of God pretty much like you did, so the term “God” or “Divine Being” would be completely appropriate even given your perspective under other traditional views.

  52. 52

    Oh, StephenB, thank you. You have just made this conversation SO much fun for me. However, it’s late and I’ll respond tomorrow.

  53. 53
    PeterA says:

    New Age devotees, who today are unlikely to call themselves by this name, may not share a cohesive focus or an organizational center, but there are certainly consistent and underlying tenets of thought among them. The movement is syncretistic, in that it incorporates any number of spiritual and religious ideologies at one time, but it is consistently monistic and pantheistic. New Age seekers are informed by the belief that all of reality is essentially one. Thus, everything is divine, often including themselves; for if all is one, and there are no distinctions, then all is God. Or, in the words of Shirley Maclaine in Dancing in the Light, “I am God, because all energy is plugged in to the same source…. We are individualized reflections of the God source. God is us and we are God.”

    Within its historical context, mysticism, like many other Christian movements, was an expression of faith in response to faithless times. In this regard, New Age seekers are not entirely different. Some New Age seeking is, I think, a legitimate reaction to the comfortable and shallow religious life we find within our society. But as New Age seekers long for the depth and freedom to believe in everything, the result is often contrary to what they seek. Their theology and spirituality are entirely segregated. The quest for illumination is a quest that can begin and end anywhere; thus, they find neither depth nor freedom. On the contrary, Julian of Norwich and other early Christian mystics sought an authentic experience of faith as a result of an already dynamic understanding of that faith. Their theology in and of itself is what led them to spirituality.

    For the Christian today, illumination still begins with Light itself, God unobscured, though incomprehensible, revealed through the glory of the Son. Starting with light and standing beside Christ, the Christian begins his or her journey as a seeker knowing there is one unique being who hears our prayers and cries and longings. There is a source for all illumination, and that God is light of the world.

    Those for whom New Age thought seems attractive would perhaps be helped to know there is a great tradition of seeking within Christianity, a tradition that began with the recognition that we could not fix what is wrong, and a tradition that continues because there is one who can, one who also longs to find and to be found. The human heart is ever-seeking, showing the longing of a soul to be known. In the words of Julian of Norwich, “We shall never cease wanting and longing until we possess [Christ] in fullness and joy… The more clearly the soul sees the Blessed Face by grace and love, the more it longs to see it in its fullness.”(4) For the Christian seeker, communion with God is far more than self-discovery or personal freedom; it is theology that has become doxology, which in turn becomes life.

    —Jill Carattini (RZIM)

  54. 54
    bornagain77 says:

    Hazel comments:

    I doubt that the source of mind thinks, knows, acts, or cares in ways that are at all analogous to the ways that we think, know, act, or care. Another way of saying this is that I think “personhood” is a quality that arises out of the underlying oneness in certain conditions, such as human beings, but that the underlying oneness which manifests as mind (as well as matter) is not like a person. Thus, I don’t think of this underlying oneness as having qualities traditionally associated with a divine being, nor as “God”.

    WJM seems to agree with Hazel’s sentiment and/or with her self-admitted unsubstantiated and speculative opinion.

    That’s fairly well stated (except for the unnecessary “source of mind” part). IMO, if by “traditionally” you mean in Judeo-Christian theologies. There are other traditional religions/spiritualities that actually define the nature of God pretty much like you did,

    Thus it seems that WJM (and Hazel) are drifting away from classical Theism, like many ancient and modern Muslim and Jewish intellectuals did and do, and are drifting into some type of eastern mysticism and/or pantheism, where “All is One” and/or “God is all”.

    Though Hazel and WJM may quibble over philosophical details, I hold that they both have not presented a robust empirical defense of their philosophical position(s) and/or claims (however they may philosophically define them contrary to Judeo-Christian Theism).. Nor have they countered the empirical evidence I presented in posts 25 through 27 pointing out that Christian Theism alone provides a coherent solution for the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything’.

    Classical Theism (and WJM and Hazel’s ill-defined Pantheism or whatever they want to call it) is left wanting for a singular explanation as to why Quantum Mechanic and General Relativity will not reconcile into a single overarching ‘Theory of Everything”. Christianity provides a empirically robust solution for that ‘oneness’. That would, IMHO, constitute a fairly gigantic hole in both of their overall ‘oneness’ philosophies.

    In short, although WJM and Hazel may speak of the ‘oneness’ of God being lofty and beyond us, (and, in the process, seemingly disparage the Judeo-Christian conception of a personal God who became one of us and defeated death on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins), yet WJM and Hazel cannot account for the empirical fact that the ‘oneness’ for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ is found in none other than Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

    If WJM and Hazel were truly trying to be empirically rigorous and robust in ‘challenging their worldview’ (instead of, more or less, just putting forth highly speculative philosophical positions), I would certainly consider that, (the resurrection of Christ from the dead providing a empirically robust solution for the ‘theory of everything), to repeat the emphasis, to be a major unresolved problem of the overall ‘oneness’ that seems to be integral to their current philosophical positions.

    On top of that, I would be remiss in my duties as a Christian if I did not warn both WJM and Hazel of the dangers associated with forsaking Christianity in particular. I already referenced Near Death Experiences, in post 46, in my reply to Hazel’s false claim that God is not personal, (and could have referenced much more empirical evidence to counter Hazel’s overall claim that God does not care about each of us personally),

    Atheistic Materialism vs Meaning, Value, and Purpose in Our Lives
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqUxBSbFhog

    And while I’ve already referenced Near Death Experiences in my reply to Hazel’s false claim that God is not personal, I can further reference Near Death Experience to support my claim that Christianity is true.

    All foreign, non-Judeo-Christian cultures, NDE studies 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’).

    Near-Death Experiences in Thailand:
    Excerpt: The Light seems to be absent in Thai NDEs. So is the profound positive affect found in so many Western NDEs. The most common affect in our collection is negative. Unlike the negative affect in so many Western NDEs (cf. Greyson & Bush, 1992), that found in Thai NDEs (in all but case #11) has two recognizable causes. The first is fear of `going’. The second is horror and fear of hell. It is worth noting that although half of our collection include seeing hell (cases 2,6,7,9,10) and being forced to witness horrific tortures, not one includes the NDEer having been subjected to these torments themselves. (Murphy 99)
    http://www.shaktitechnology.com/thaindes.htm

    Near Death Experience Thailand Asia – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8M5J3zWG5g

    Near-Death Experiences in Thailand: Discussion of case histories By Todd Murphy, 1999:
    Excerpt: We would suggest that the near-constant comparisons with the most frequently reported types of NDEs tends to blind researchers to the features of NDEs which are absent in these NDEs. Tunnels are rare, if not absent. The panoramic Life Review appears to be absent. Instead, our collection shows people reviewing just a few karmically-significant incidents. Perhaps they symbolize behavioral tendencies, the results of which are then experienced as determinative of their rebirths. These incidents are read out to them from a book. There is no Being of Light in these Thai NDEs, although The Buddha does appear in a symbolic form, in case #6. Yama is present during this truncated Life Review, as is the Being of Light during Western life reviews, but Yama is anything but a being of light. In popular Thai depictions, he is shown as a wrathful being, and is most often remembered in Thai culture for his power to condemn one to hell. Some of the functions of Angels and guides are also filled by Yamatoots. They guide, lead tours of hell, and are even seen to grant requests made by the experient.
    per shaktitechnology (dot) com

    Near-Death Experiences of Hindus Pasricha and Stevenson’s research
    Except: “Two persons caught me and took me with them. I felt tired after walking some distance; they started to drag me. My feet became useless. There was a man sitting up. He looked dreadful and was all black. He was not wearing any clothes. He said in a rage [to the attendants who had brought Vasudev] “I had asked you to bring Vasudev the gardener.,,, In reply to questions about details, Vasudev said that the “black man” had a club and used foul language. Vasudev identified him as Yamraj, the Hindu god of the dead.
    http://www.near-death.com/hindu.html

    Near-Death Experiences Among Survivors of the 1976 Tangshan Earthquake (Chinese)
    Excerpt: Our subjects reported NDE phemenological items not mentioned, or rarely mentioned in NDE’s reported from other countries: sensations of the world being exterminated or ceasing to exist, a sense of weightlessness, a feeling of being pulled or squeezed, ambivalence about death, a feeling of being a different person, or a different kind of person and unusual scents. The predominant phemenological features in our series were feeling estranged from the body as if it belonged to someone else, unusually vivid thoughts, loss of emotions, unusual bodily sensations, life seeming like a dream, a feeling of dying,,, These are not the same phemenological features most commonly found by researchers in other countries. Greyson (1983) reported the most common phemenological feature of American NDE’s to be a feeling of peace, joy, time stopping, experiencing an unearthly realm of existence, a feeling of cosmic unity, and a out of body experience.
    http://www.newdualism.org/nde-.....-39-48.pdf

    The Japanese find death a depressing experience – From an item by Peter Hadfield in the New Scientist (Nov. 30th 1991)
    Excerpt: A study in Japan shows that even in death the Japanese have an original way of looking at things. Instead of seeing ‘tunnels of light’ or having ‘out of body’ experiences, near-dead patients in Japanese hospitals tend to see rather less romantic images, according to researchers at Kyorin University. According to a report in the Mainichi newspaper, a group of doctors from Kyorin has spent the past year documenting the near-death experiences of 17 patients. They had all been resuscitated from comas caused by heart attacks, strokes, asthma or drug poisoning. All had shown minimal signs of life during the coma. Yoshia Hata, who led the team, said that eight of the 17 recalled ‘dreams’, many featuring rivers or ponds. Five of those patients had dreams which involved fear, pain and suffering. One 50-year-old asthmatic man said he had seen himself wade into a reservoir and do a handstand in the shallows. ‘Then I walked out of the water and took some deep breaths. In the dream, I was repeating this over and over.’ Another patient, a 73-year-old woman with cardiac arrest, saw a cloud filled with dead people. ‘It was a dark, gloomy day. I was chanting sutras. I believed they could be saved if they chanted sutras, so that is what I was telling them to do.’ Most of the group said they had never heard of Near-Death Experiences before.
    http://www.pureinsight.org/node/4

    Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences in a Melanesian Society by Dorothy E. Counts:
    Excerpt: “When you were in your village you claimed to be an important man. But in this little place you have been eaten up by a knife, a dog, and a pig. And now fire will utterly destroy you.” When the loudspeaker had finished, a fire blazed up and destroyed the remains.
    http://anthropology.uwaterloo......Death.html

    Needless to say, these far eastern NDE’s, based more or less on pantheism, and indeed ALL religions other than Judeo-Christianity, are drastically, horrifically, different from the ‘typical’ Judeo-Christian NDEs

    The Easter Question – Eben Alexander, M.D. – March 2013
    Excerpt: More than ever since my near death experience, I consider myself a Christian -,,,
    Now, I can tell you that if someone had asked me, in the days before my NDE, what I thought of this (Easter) story, I would have said that it was lovely. But it remained just that — a story. To say that the physical body of a man who had been brutally tortured and killed could simply get up and return to the world a few days later is to contradict every fact we know about the universe. It wasn’t simply an unscientific idea. It was a downright anti-scientific one.
    But it is an idea that I now believe. Not in a lip-service way. Not in a dress-up-it’s-Easter kind of way. I believe it with all my heart, and all my soul.,,
    We are, really and truly, made in God’s image. But most of the time we are sadly unaware of this fact. We are unconscious both of our intimate kinship with God, and of His constant presence with us. On the level of our everyday consciousness, this is a world of separation — one where people and objects move about, occasionally interacting with each other, but where essentially we are always alone.
    But this cold dead world of separate objects is an illusion. It’s not the world we actually live in.,,,
    ,,He (God) is right here with each of us right now, seeing what we see, suffering what we suffer… and hoping desperately that we will keep our hope and faith in Him. Because that hope and faith will be triumphant.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....79741.html

    Life After Life – Raymond Moody – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z56u4wMxNlg

    Verse:

    Matthew 7:13-14
    Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.…

  55. 55
    PeterA says:

    “As I see our world right now, I have never seen greater confusion, greater loss of meaning, greater uncertainty, and greater fear of what looms in front of us. Politics has gotten out of control everywhere. Nobody sees a mascot or a leader, and everyone wants to know what really lies ahead here. But instead of thinking on the outside of all that’s wrong, the Gospel of Christ brings me inside. My life has to change, my life has to be transformed. Before asking the question of evil around me, I have to ask of the evil in me – my proclivities, my drives, my temptations, my struggles. And I believe only Christ is enough to transform my heart. And so, it’s sort of a multiplied opportunity of individual conquest. That’s the way I look at it. The Gospel of Christ, as we speak to the masses, is multiplied opportunity of individual conquest. His message conquers the individual, and life changes.”

    “I think this was being talked about in the cultural revolution of the sixties and seventies, where we were heading. Everett Coop, Frances Schaefer were talking about it in the United States; Malcolm Muggeridge in England; prior to that, G. K. Chesterton. If you go back, actually, as far as William Booth. He was talking about all that was looming ahead, the possibilities of travel and knowledge, gain and profit making, and so forth. Yes, we are in a post-Christian era in that the terms are not understood, but ironically, we are still living off of the bequest of its values in the West. And once those values have been expended, and we no longer have the roots from which to draw, then we will find out the ramifications of it. Nietzsche, of all people – the atheist – warned us. He said, “Will there be any up or down left? Who’ll give us a sponge to wipe away the horizon? Will we need lanterns to be lit in the morning hours? Will we need to invent sacred games?” And so on.”

    —Ravi Zacharias (2015 interview at Baltimore Post-Examiner)

  56. 56

    StephenB @50 said:

    Yes, I agree that impressions and appearances can mislead. It would seem, though, that deception can cut both ways. In my judgment, it is for more realistic to define a truck by its purpose, design, and proper function than to understand it as a collection of molecules and atoms or as a manifestation of quantum events. I submit that knowing what the crankcase does is far more useful (and less likely to deceive) than knowing how many alpha particles are involved.

    So you’ve actually used two different words here to describe what I assume you would think is the best way to define ( and by “define”, do you mean “characterize the existence of”?) a truck – “realistic” and “useful”. I think you are probably using “realistic” in the sense that something “is useful”. Being a metaphysical pragmatist, I would wholeheartedly agree that the best way to characterize the existence of something is so that it provides the best practical use for that thing.

    However, I’m not talking about the usefulness of the things that exist; I’m talking the usefulness of how we characterize or model our experiences of things – not “an” experience, but the very model of everything I experience (consensual physicality, dreams, imagination, thought, logic, math, etc.) So it’s not about the truck, per se, it’s about the nature of the experience of the truck and everything else.

    Believing there is an external, material reality and that we are having mental experiences caused by that reality is a fairly useful model of experience, but is it the most useful? Or is it unnecessarily complicated, unprovable and ultimately, does it cripple us more than empower us? How effective or useful would a different model be?

    I don’t think is a coincidence that the structure of an atom at the micro level resembles the structure of the solar system at the macro level.

    I think the fundamental mathematical, logical and geometric principles that generate form at all levels would of course reflect throughout the whole from top to bottom, so to speak, in every single part.

    So to bring your design, purpose, parts and whole perspective into play: if we take all the parts (everything that exists), the question would be, is there a deliberate, conscious purpose that integrates all things that exist (are experienced) into a one overall design? From my perspective, the answer is not in the way we think of consciousness or deliberate design of “a” thing. The whole (God) is not designed for a purpose; it simply is. As “all that exists,” it (from the “whole” perspective) doesn’t design anything for a purpose because all things that can exist have always existed within that whole (which includes all temporal locations). All possible designs and purposes are all already fulfilled in the whole. The only way the “whole” can have an overall, specific designed purpose is if something designed the whole to serve a purpose. That’s irrational because everything that exists is contained within the whole, including all temporal locations; there was no “before God” or “something other than God” that could have designed the parts of God to serve this other thing’s purpose.

    The experience of purpose and design that we are familiar with can only come from an individuated perspective that doesn’t have immediate access to the whole. Purpose requires limitations that drive the direction of purpose; the whole has no such limitations (well, in the ordinary sense, but it does have a limitation in a non-ordinary sense, which I’ll get to later). Therefore, from our perspective, inventions and purpose can be experienced in a way that it makes sense – in a passage through the temporal axis from where the purpose is manifest from limitations and context, then the design to fulfill that purpose is created (found, really, along the way – discovered) and the design is, let’s say, manufactured into the truck.

    The non-ordinary limitation that the whole has is this: it cannot experience something because it is innately and ubiquitously everything “all the time”. Only a “self” has experiences; “self” requires a non-self context – the identity of any “A” requires that “not-A” exists in order to provide identification of A.

    Let me see if I can organize this more succinctly an simply:

    1. At the unity or “whole” “perspective” (which cannot actually be “a” perspective, but bear with me conceptually/hypothetically), everything is an uncollapsed wave field because it is the whole potential of the wave field.

    2. The only way for identifiable things to exist is if a correlated consciousness experiences both the A and the not-A of it (what we might call the local collapse of the quantum wave field in relationship to an observer).

    3. The “observer” (an individual) cannot be the whole because it must have a not-self for contextual identification, but cannot escape being of the whole; it would necessarily have to be a subset of the whole. So, we have universal mind and individuated mind, individuated minds being limited subsets of the whole. I call them “psyches”, or we can call each an individual an “identity matrix.”

    4. Each psyche is a unique perspective, a unique individual that necessarily exists within a corresponding wave-collapsed context that has both complimentary and contrasting elements. To say that the psyche is causally creating the collapse, IMO, is a somewhat problematic framing. Perhaps more on that at some later date.

    5. All possible psyches exist. All possible experiences are being had.

    6. In that sense, the “parts of the whole” are required for the whole to exist, but also the whole must exist for all the parts to exist.

    7. In order for any particular thing to exist, the whole of what can exist must exist. (Version of Parmenides’ argument).

    8. In order for the whole (not “a” whole) to be complete, every possible thing/psyche experience must be realized, or else the whole is incomplete (something possible is not realized as an experience).

    Sorry, it’s a work in progress. Not really expecting that to be well understood. This is the first time I’ve gone down this particular line of reasoning and I’m still unpacking and sorting through the concepts. Very exciting!

  57. 57
    StephenB says:

    WJM

    So you’ve actually used two different words here to describe what I assume you would think is the best way to define ( and by “define”, do you mean “characterize the existence of”?) a truck – “realistic” and “useful”. I think you are probably using “realistic” in the sense that something “is useful”. Being a metaphysical pragmatist, I would wholeheartedly agree that the best way to characterize the existence of something is so that it provides the best practical use for that thing.

    I hold that a proper definition characterizes what a thing is – not the fact of its existence, but the essence of its *whatness.* By realistic, I mean in accordance with reality, or what *is*

    However, I’m not talking about the usefulness of the things that exist; I’m talking the usefulness of how we characterize or model our experiences of things – not “an” experience, but the very model of everything I experience (consensual physicality, dreams, imagination, thought, logic, math, etc.) So it’s not about the truck, per se, it’s about the nature of the experience of the truck and everything else.

    If I understand you correctly, you are defining a truck by your experience of it, or how “useful” the definition may be to you. For me, this would be problematic since I don’t know how we could we discuss trucks if I define one as a large heavy motor vehicle used for transporting things and you define it as something that may kill you if you step in front of it? I don’t understand why the nature of your experience has anything to do with the whatness of a truck.

    Believing there is an external, material reality and that we are having mental experiences caused by that reality is a fairly useful model of experience, but is it the most useful? Or is it unnecessarily complicated, unprovable and ultimately, does it cripple us more than empower us? How effective or useful would a different model be?

    I submit that we can apprehend reality as it is (in a limited sense) and do not need to formulate models to make sense of everything. However, I will respond based on my understanding of your premise that we merely perceive reality and form mental “models” in that context.

    I think that the assumption of an extra-mental reality is the most useful model precisely because it seems to correspond to reality. It provides information about what is possible and what is impossible. Example: The music is played before we hear it. The process begins with the former event followed by our experience. We cannot reverse the process, extend our ear, and expect it to generate the music, but we can go somewhere where music is being played and luxuriate in it. So it is with the truck. First, it runs over the poor victim, and then he dies (or wishes he had). Knowing this, we don’t get in the way of a moving truck– very useful. With these examples, the physical event precedes the mental event.

    In other contexts, the order is reversed and the mental event precedes the physical event, as in the case of Intelligent Design. I could provide numerous other examples where this reverse order of events happens, (suggesting a circumstance where we cease being an effect and start being a cause), but the broader point is that it is extremely useful to know the truth about when we can change reality and when we must conform to it.

    I don’t understand why a false model, perceived as useful, would provide any long-lasting benefits. If it’s really true, for example, that men and women are different then it is exceedingly harmful to propagate mental models of reality that reject the complementary of the sexes. Even if that model might work for or be useful to a transgender, it would be harmful to the common good. Truth doesn’t deceive us, but it allows us to know when we have been deceived (if we want to know).

    From my perspective, the answer is not in the way we think of consciousness or deliberate design of “a” thing. The whole (God) is not designed for a purpose; it simply is.As “all that exists,” it (from the “whole” perspective) doesn’t design anything for a purpose because all things that can exist have always existed within that whole (which includes all temporal locations). All possible designs and purposes are all already fulfilled in the whole. The only way the “whole” can have an overall, specific designed purpose is if something designed the whole to serve a purpose. That’s irrational because everything that exists is contained within the whole, including all temporal locations; there was no “before God” or “something other than God” that could have designed the parts of God to serve this other thing’s purpose.

    For me, God is God and he transcends the creation that he designed. Obviously the creator cannot also be his creation. He is the first cause of every other cause or movement just as the engine of a train is the first cause of a moving caboose. That seems very simple and true to me. What seems unbelievably complex (and false) is the “all is one” philosophy that might lead some to think that the engine could also be the caboose.

    The experience of purpose and design that we are familiar with can only come from an individuated perspective that doesn’t have immediate access to the whole. Purpose requires limitations that drive the direction of purpose; the whole has no such limitations (well, in the ordinary sense, but it does have a limitation in a non-ordinary sense, which I’ll get to later). Therefore, from our perspective, inventions and purpose can be experienced in a way that it makes sense – in a passage through the temporal axis from where the purpose is manifest from limitations and context, then the design to fulfill that purpose is created (found, really, along the way – discovered) and the design is, let’s say, manufactured into the truck.

    If we are searching for a useful paradigm, couldn’t we just say that God has no limitations, but in an act of loving generosity, decided to create a purposeful universe in which is creatures could purposefully pursue their eternal destiny? Couldn’t we just say that the Creator, who is eternal and exists outside of time, created time and space and endowed his creatures with the capacity to design and manufacture trucks?

    The non-ordinary limitation that the whole has is this: it cannot experience something because it is innately and ubiquitously everything “all the time”. Only a “self” has experiences; “self” requires a non-self context – the identity of any “A” requires that “not-A” exists in order to provide identification of A.

    Can’t we just say that there is [a] a thinking self (who he is) and [b] the object of his thought (what he is thinking about). Some people refer to it as the subject/object model. I find that paradigm much easier to understand and apply. I also think that it is consistent with the real world. Why do we need a “whole” to carry out that transaction?

    I would also suggest that there is a big difference between having the capacity to be anything at all (potential) and being everything all the time (actual).

    1. At the unity or “whole” “perspective” (which cannot actually be “a” perspective, but bear with me conceptually/hypothetically), everything is an uncollapsed wave field because it is the whole potential of the wave field.

    I am not sure how this is possible, but we can follow the thought and discover where it takes us.

    2. The only way for identifiable things to exist is if a correlated consciousness experiences both the A and the not-A of it (what we might call the local collapse of the quantum wave field in relationship to an observer).

    For my part, a things existence (both its origins and its continuation) depends totally on the creator’s actions, which would include the action of creating a wave field if things were designed that way. The take home message, though would be this: A thing is comprehensible only if it was designed to be comprehended (ontology) and only if we were designed to comprehend it (epistemology). One without the other is useless. I don’t understand how a wave field could integrate those two spheres.

    3. The “observer” (an individual) cannot be the whole because it must have a not-self for contextual identification, but cannot escape being of the whole; it would necessarily have to be a subset of the whole. So, we have universal mind and individuated mind, individuated minds being limited subsets of the whole. I call them “psyches”, or we can call each an individual an “identity matrix.”

    Is the universal mind at peace even though the individual minds may be at war with one another? Or is the universal mind at home with millions of contradictory formulations conceived by individual minds with no reference to objective truth? If so, of what use is the universal mind?

    4. Each psyche is a unique perspective, a unique individual that necessarily exists within a corresponding wave-collapsed context that has both complimentary and contrasting elements. To say that the psyche is causally creating the collapse, IMO, is a somewhat problematic framing. Perhaps more on that at some later date.

    Yes, this hearkens back to my comment about physical events preceding mental events, mental events preceding physical events, and the task of knowing which is the case in any given situation. We really need to know how much control do we have over these things so we exert ourselves or back off at the right time for the right reason. In my judgment, to say that God is our creator and that we are his creatures serves that purpose.

    5. All possible psyches exist. All possible experiences are being had.

    I don’t think that all possible psyches or experiences can exist (in actuality) because I don’t believe that infinity (in numbers) can be instantiated in reality. Whether all such things can exist *potentially* is a decidedly different question, which I will not pursue right now. Since you didn’t use the word “potential,” I assume that you meant actual.

    In that sense, the “parts of the whole” are required for the whole to exist, but also the whole must exist for all the parts to exist.

    Agreed.

    Sorry, it’s a work in progress. Not really expecting that to be well understood. This is the first time I’ve gone down this particular line of reasoning and I’m still unpacking and sorting through the concepts. Very exciting!

    Thinking hard to solve intellectual challenges is one of the noblest of human activities. I define education as a series of questions, the answers to which cause confusion and frustration, and a whole new set of questions at a higher and more important level.

  58. 58
    hazel says:

    I have a few comment on wjm’s post at 56.

    Wjm writes,

    Believing there is an external, material reality and that we are having mental experiences caused by that reality is a fairly useful model of experience, but is it the most useful? Or is it unnecessarily complicated, unprovable and ultimately, does it cripple us more than empower us? How effective or useful would a different model be?

    I think I now have, somewhat, an understanding of “murrayism”, and I remember he said things like the above before.

    But what I don’t understand is why he thinks his model is better than having a model that there is actually a external, material reality. How does that cripple us in ways his model would empower us. What better results about anything would result if I, or people in general, adopted wjm’s model.

    William, can you explain more about the pragmatic benefits of your model?

    Wjm writes,

    … the question would be, is there a deliberate, conscious purpose that integrates all things that exist (are experienced) into a one overall design? From my perspective, the answer is not in the way we think of consciousness or deliberate design of “a” thing.” …
    The experience of purpose and design that we are familiar with can only come from an individuated perspective that doesn’t have immediate access to the whole. Purpose requires limitations that drive the direction of purpose; the whole has no such limitations

    I don’t think that this is actually what wjm means, but I read this as somewhat compatible with something I wrote earlier:

    I think things like conceptual knowledge and willful, chosen actions are part of the nature of an individuated consciousness in a person, but I don’t think those qualities are likely to apply to the oneness that is the source of mind any more than “redness” would apply to the source of matter. …I doubt that the source of mind (or whatever whole wjm envisions) thinks, knows, acts, or cares in ways that are at all analogous to the ways that we think, know, act, or care. Another way of saying this is that I think “personhood” is a quality that arises out of the underlying oneness in certain conditions, such as human beings, but that the underlying oneness which manifests as mind (as well as matter) is not like a person. Thus, I don’t think of this underlying oneness as having qualities traditionally associated with a divine being, nor as “God”.

    Wjm seems to be saying something similar when he writes,

    The non-ordinary limitation that the whole has is this: it cannot experience something because it is innately and ubiquitously everything “all the time”. Only a “self” has experiences; “self” requires a non-self context – the identity of any “A” requires that “not-A” exists in order to provide identification of A.

    Yes: human beings are “selfs”, but the underlying oneness or wholeness is not a self. It is not like a person, and in my opinion, it is a mistake to personify it as such,

    Then, in the context of summarizing some points, wjm writes,

    5. All possible psyches exist. All possible experiences are being had.

    I don’t understand what this could mean. It sounds like a “many worlds” philosophy. Is there another Hazel in some other quantum branch that is almost just like me, or many (a very large number) Hazels, and likewise wjm’s? Stephen points out that such psyches being actual, rather than potential, brings up problems of instantiated infinities.

    Taken to what I think is a logical conclusion (but I doubt my understanding is correct), this implies that there are not only an infinite number of slightly different branches of this universe since it’s beginning, but perhaps an infinite number of universe of which this universe is just one branch.

    I really don’t think this is what wjm means, but I don’t know know what he does mean.

  59. 59
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM says that he is first and foremost a ‘metaphysical pragmatist’ who says that he hopes to “have my views and logic critically challenged in case there’s something I missed, am in error about or a different perspective is presented that is a more pragmatic option.”

    To which I say, Okie Dokie.

    prag·mat·ic
    adjective
    dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.

    prac·ti·cal
    adjective
    1. of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory and ideas.
    “there are two obvious practical applications of the research”
    synonyms: empirical, hands-on, pragmatic, real, actual, active, applied, experiential, experimental, nontheoretical, in the field;
    2. (of an idea, plan, or method) likely to succeed or be effective in real circumstances; feasible.

    Might I be so bold as to point out to WJM the fact that Christianity, since it has given us the ‘miracle’ of modern science itself, has proven itself to, by far, the most pragmatic, practical, worldview?

    As Calvin Beisner points out in the following article, “science—not an occasional flash of insight here and there, but a systematic, programmatic, ongoing way of studying and controlling the world—arose only once in history, and only in one place: medieval Europe, once known as “Christendom,” where that Biblical worldview reigned supreme.” And that modern science arose precisely because Christians believe, “a personal, rational God designed a rational universe to be understood and controlled by rational persons made in His image.”

    The Threat to the Scientific Method that Explains the Spate of Fraudulent Science Publications – Calvin Beisner | Jul 23, 2014
    Excerpt: It is precisely because modern science has abandoned its foundations in the Biblical worldview (which holds, among other things, that a personal, rational God designed a rational universe to be understood and controlled by rational persons made in His image) and the Biblical ethic (which holds, among other things, that we are obligated to tell the truth even when it inconveniences us) that science is collapsing.
    As such diverse historians and philosophers of science as Alfred North Whitehead, Pierre Duhem, Loren Eiseley, Rodney Stark, and many others have observed,, science—not an occasional flash of insight here and there, but a systematic, programmatic, ongoing way of studying and controlling the world—arose only once in history, and only in one place: medieval Europe, once known as “Christendom,” where that Biblical worldview reigned supreme. That is no accident. Science could not have arisen without that worldview.
    http://townhall.com/columnists...../page/full
    Several other resources backing up this claim are available, such as Thomas Woods, Stanley Jaki, David Linberg, Edward Grant, J.L. Heilbron, and Christopher Dawson.

    And as pointed out in the following article, “Real science arose only once: in Europe”—in Christian Europe. “China, Islam, India, and ancient Greece and Rome each had a highly developed alchemy. But only in Europe did alchemy develop into chemistry. By the same token, many societies developed elaborate systems of astrology, but only in Europe did astrology develop into astronomy.”,,,

    The Christian Origins of Science – Jack Kerwick – Apr 15, 2017
    Excerpt: Though it will doubtless come as an enormous shock to such Christophobic atheists as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and their ilk, it is nonetheless true that one especially significant contribution that Christianity made to the world is that of science.,,,
    Stark is blunt: “Real science arose only once: in Europe”—in Christian Europe. “China, Islam, India, and ancient Greece and Rome each had a highly developed alchemy. But only in Europe did alchemy develop into chemistry. By the same token, many societies developed elaborate systems of astrology, but only in Europe did astrology develop into astronomy.”,,,
    In summation, Stark writes: “The rise of science was not an extension of classical learning. It was the natural outgrowth of Christian doctrine: nature exists because it was created by God. In order to love and honor God, it is necessary to fully appreciate the wonders of his handiwork. Because God is perfect, his handiwork functions in accord with immutable principles. By the full use of our God-given powers of reason and observation, it ought to be possible to discover these principles.”
    He concludes: “These were the crucial ideas that explain why science arose in Christian Europe and nowhere else.”
    https://townhall.com/columnists/jackkerwick/2017/04/15/the-christian-origins-of-science-n2313593

    And as Dr. Michael Egnor points out in the following article, “The scientific method — the empirical systematic theory-based study of nature — has nothing to so with some religious inspirations — Animism, Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Islam, and, well, atheism. The scientific method has everything to do with Christian (and Jewish) inspiration. Judeo-Christian culture is the only culture that has given rise to organized theoretical science.”

    Jerry Coyne on the Scientific Method and Religion – Michael Egnor – June 2011
    Excerpt: The scientific method — the empirical systematic theory-based study of nature — has nothing to so with some religious inspirations — Animism, Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Islam, and, well, atheism. The scientific method has everything to do with Christian (and Jewish) inspiration. Judeo-Christian culture is the only culture that has given rise to organized theoretical science. Many cultures (e.g. China) have produced excellent technology and engineering, but only Christian culture has given rise to a conceptual understanding of nature.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47431.html

    And as the following article points out, “Informed by Jewish wisdom and Greek reason, the Christian God was “not only eternal and immutable but also conscious, concerned, and rational.” Jesus Christ is the embodiment of this rational principle as “the Word (logos) made flesh,” reason incarnate.,,,”. Moreover, “Christendom ventured forward to establish freedom and capitalism, organize universities, invent science, abolish slavery while at the same time bestowing virtue on physical labor all of which drove the incomparable advances in Western technology. And finally, Christendom spread these gifts around the world.”

    No False Gods Before Me: A Review of Rodney Stark’s Work by Terry Scambray (December 2018)
    Excerpt: Informed by Jewish wisdom and Greek reason, the Christian God was “not only eternal and immutable but also conscious, concerned, and rational.” Jesus Christ is the embodiment of this rational principle as “the Word (logos) made flesh,” reason incarnate.,,,
    “The early Christians fully accepted this image of God,” Stark writes and then reasonably deduced “the proposition that our knowledge of God and his creation is progressive.” For example, even though the Bible does not condemn astrology, Augustine reasoned that if human destiny was determined by the stars, humans would lack one of Christianity’s indispensable features, free will; therefore, practicing astrology was sinful. So also slavery was normative in all ancient societies and rationalized even by many Christians; yet slavery clearly violated Jesus’ revolutionary concept that individuals are created in God’s image and thereby possess inherent value of immeasurable worth. As Paul wrote, “All are one in Christ Jesus.”
    From this theocentric faith in reason and progress, Christendom ventured forward to establish freedom and capitalism, organize universities, invent science, abolish slavery while at the same time bestowing virtue on physical labor all of which drove the incomparable advances in Western technology. And finally, Christendom spread these gifts around the world.
    Stark distances this version of progress from the meme of “Enlightenment progress,” sometimes called “Whig history.” With his usual deftness, he calls this claim, as well as other Enlightenment disinformation, “nonsense.” And that’s because progress was inherent in Jewish and Christian millenarianism, the idea that “history has a goal and humanity a destiny,” as the peerless historian, Paul Johnson puts it.,,,
    The basis for much of the antipathy toward Christianity is the image of the medieval Catholic Church fostered by “distinguished bigots,” as Stark calls Edward Gibbon and Voltaire among other Enlightenment notables. Stark, relying on primary source historians like the renowned Marc Bloch, shows, on the contrary, that medieval Catholicism was the breeding ground for modernity.
    Most, if not all, ancient societies believed in fate. However, Yahweh gave humans the wondrous and terrifying attribute of free will, freedom. Individual freedom in the West then merged with the legacy of Athenian democracy and the Roman republican tradition to form “the new democratic experiments in the medieval Italian city-states,” as Stark reminds us.
    These rival polities organized the first universities in a unique tradition of institutional learning and discourse which began at Bologna then spread to Oxford, Paris and elsewhere in Europe. From the medieval university science was born.
    The distinguished philosopher and mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead, astonished a Harvard audience in 1925 when he said that science is a “derivative of medieval theology [since it arose] from the medieval insistence on the rationality of God, conceived as with the personal energy of Jehovah and with the rationality of a Greek philosopher.”
    Whitehead’s thesis was but another bolt from out of the blue because the notion that medieval philosophy, scholasticism, led to the development of science was astonishing!
    Though it should not have been, since scholasticism was complex, diverse, penetrating and devoted to reasoning from the two books that undergird Christianity: the book of God, Scripture, and the book of nature, Creation. As Stark writes, “Not only were science and religion compatible, they were inseparable—the rise of science was achieved by deeply religious, Christian scholars.”,,,
    So Christianity, then and now, never was antithetical to science. And this is because European Christians believed in a rational God whose imprint could be discovered in nature; thus, they confidently looked for and found natural laws. As Johannes Kepler, the venerable 17th century cosmologist, wrote, “The chief aim of all investigations of the external world” is to discover this harmony imposed by God in the language of mathematics.
    Stark concludes, “That the universe had an Intelligent Designer is the most fundamental of all scientific theories and that it has been successfully put to empirical tests again and again. For, as Albert Einstein remarked, the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible” which Einstein called a “miracle.” And this “miracle” confirms the fact that creation is guided by purpose and reason.
    https://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm?frm=189497&sec_id=189497

    And as Professor Koons points out in the following article, “Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has.”

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.robkoons.net/media/.....ffd524.pdf

    Thus from WJMs criteria of being a ‘metaphysical pragmatist’ who is open to adopting “a more pragmatic option”, might I suggest that Christianity fulfills WJMs criteria of being proven to be far more practical, i.e. pragmatic, than any other worldview that has thus far been conceived of in world history.

    WJM might object that his branch of “Murrayism” might be more practical for the world sometime in the future if his worldview were somehow given a chance. To which I point out that until “Murrayism” proves itself to be more pragmatic and practical than Christianity has thus far proven itself to be, then the most ‘metaphysically pragmatic’ position that WJM could possibly take is to adopt the Christian worldview until, if an when, “Murrayism” ever proves itself to be more useful than Christianity has thus far proven itself to be.

    Quote and verse:

    “Of all signs there is none more certain or worthy than that of the fruits produced: for the fruits and effects are the sureties and vouchers, as it were, for the truth of philosophy”
    – Francis Bacon – widely regarded as the founder of the scientific method,,, a devout Anglican Christian
    https://books.google.com/books?id=xlPFDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA17&lpg=PA17#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Matthew 7:16-20
    By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

  60. 60
    PaoloV says:

    BA77 @59:
    “the most ‘metaphysically pragmatic’ position that WJM could possibly take is to adopt the Christian worldview”

    That’s a very good point. However,…

    Can one adopt it without having saving* faith in Christ, an event that requires both free will + supernatural intervention?

    (*) not just faith

  61. 61

    StephenB @57,

    First, I want to thank you for doing your best to apply the principle of charity to that stream of consciousness mess I left you to read – I was just really excited to get some thoughts down.

    If I understand you correctly, you are defining a truck by your experience of it, or how “useful” the definition may be to you. For me, this would be problematic since I don’t know how we could we discuss trucks if I define one as a large heavy motor vehicle used for transporting things and you define it as something that may kill you if you step in front of it? I don’t understand why the nature of your experience has anything to do with the whatness of a truck.

    This may be so fundamental a difference in our perspective that it might not be able to be bridged. I gather that for you, the “whatness” of what you experience as a truck is an independent quality (or set of qualities); for me, the “whatness” is about my experience. So, in one experience it may be best to consider my truck experience as “something to get out of the way of”; in another it would be best to consider it “something that can get me from point A to B with some cargo in the bed.” I can maximize the usefulness of my truck experience using different perspectives at different times because I am not tied to any external truck reality that defines its “whatness” in my experience.

    I think that the assumption of an extra-mental reality is the most useful model precisely because it seems to correspond to reality.

    I’m not sure how you are using the term “reality” here. It seems to me that we are actually debating or discussing the nature of reality, so to say that your model “better conforms to reality” seems to me to be out of order. Perhaps you mean, “better conforms to common experience”?

    It provides information about what is possible and what is impossible. Example: The music is played before we hear it. The process begins with the former event followed by our experience. We cannot reverse the process, extend our ear, and expect it to generate the music, but we can go somewhere where music is being played and luxuriate in it.

    I can enjoy music any time I want without any external music playing simply by imagining it. I can also invent entirely new music this way. Can you tell me where all musical compositions began?

    So it is with the truck. First, it runs over the poor victim, and then he dies (or wishes he had). Knowing this, we don’t get in the way of a moving truck– very useful. With these examples, the physical event precedes the mental event.

    Well, except when mental events precede physical events, like in the case of every single thing humans have ever constructed or invented or created. We also have evidence of retro-causation in quantum experimentation – where the mental observation chooses the prior path of a photon or electron, literally back through millions of years in the case of starlight.

    In other contexts, the order is reversed and the mental event precedes the physical event, as in the case of Intelligent Design. I could provide numerous other examples where this reverse order of events happens, (suggesting a circumstance where we cease being an effect and start being a cause), but the broader point is that it is extremely useful to know the truth about when we can change reality and when we must conform to it.

    I see you covered my prior point. I agree that it is extremely useful that to know how much of what we experience we can affect and how, which is why I no longer believe in an exterior physical reality and that I am operating in universal mind. I’ve spent almost the last 30 years personally experimenting with this perspective, refining it, critically analyzing it, generating variant models to explore and test. The results have been astoundingly beneficial, effective and transformative – but I’m not here to testify about any of that, I’m here solely to examine other criticisms. I’m just saying that if I never experienced any practical use beyond what the “external physical world” model provides, I would have given it up long ago.

    I don’t understand why a false model, perceived as useful, would provide any long-lasting benefits.

    Lots of models in the past that were wrong were still quite useful and provided many long-lasting benefits. Even if one’s model is that Apollo pulls the sun through the sky on a tight schedule, you can still use a sundial to tell time and that can be quite useful and provide long-lasting benefits. Often (if not always) the model is generated from repeating experience; the model might even make some very useful and accurate predictions, only to find out the model is wrong. A new model, that incorporates the same experiential commodities and more that the old model couldn’t cover, is invented.

    If it’s really true, for example, that men and women are different then it is exceedingly harmful to propagate mental models of reality that reject the complementary of the sexes. Even if that model might work for or be useful to a transgender, it would be harmful to the common good. Truth doesn’t deceive us, but it allows us to know when we have been deceived (if we want to know).

    I would say that the “harm” an exterior-world paradigm might be generating can only be evaluated through a proper and thorough examination of alternatives, perhaps accompanied by experimentation. The “harm” may more take the form of closing access to a vast potential.

    For me, God is God and he transcends the creation that he designed. Obviously the creator cannot also be his creation. He is the first cause of every other cause or movement just as the engine of a train is the first cause of a moving caboose. That seems very simple and true to me. What seems unbelievably complex (and false) is the “all is one” philosophy that might lead some to think that the engine could also be the caboose.

    I don’t see that logic as sustainable. If nothing existed but God in what we call the beginning, and God is infinite, or if God is the ground of all things which exist, then nothing exists but God. There’s nothing else that exists to make anything out of, or anywhere else to put it. If we say God created “something else” or “a different place” we’re violating basic logic – not even God can create a 4-sided triangle and God can’t create something out of nothing because “nothing” doesn’t exist – it never has and it never will. That only leaves one “substance” and one ‘place” for anything to be or to be made of : God.

    As far as the objection that the creator cannot itself be his creation, I agree, because in my view God didn’t create anything; all that exists (including all potentials, all time, space, dimensions, experiences) is what God eternally is. IOW, this is what God is, always has been, and always will be – so to speak, what we experience as “time” being just another dimensional axis in the infinity of God.

    If we are searching for a useful paradigm, couldn’t we just say that God has no limitations, but in an act of loving generosity, decided to create a purposeful universe in which is creatures could purposefully pursue their eternal destiny? Couldn’t we just say that the Creator, who is eternal and exists outside of time, created time and space and endowed his creatures with the capacity to design and manufacture trucks?

    I’m not saying that isn’t a useful paradigm. There are many useful paradigms. Generally speaking, paradigms are generated because they usefully model various aspects of experience. I’m not here to talk other people out of their useful paradigms, I’m here to explore my own via criticism. I’ve found other paradigms useful in my life; I’ve never experienced anything near as useful or productive as my current perspective. It fully incorporates every useful aspect of the “external physical world” paradigm as a subset of experiential potentials, but opens the doors wide open to other experiential subsets, many of which are cross-sectional with the external physical world subset.

    Can’t we just say that there is [a] a thinking self (who he is) and [b] the object of his thought (what he is thinking about). Some people refer to it as the subject/object model.I find that paradigm much easier to understand and apply. I also think that it is consistent with the real world. Why do we need a “whole” to carry out that transaction?

    It may provide a more useful paradigm, depending on how you are fully characterizing the self/object perspective. If there is an underlying, fundamental, correlating union between the self and the object (that union can be characterized as the self/object experience), then the experience is far more than just a self apprehending an external object as-is; the perceived existence and nature of the object is intimately and necessarily relational to the self (individuated psyche). One way of saying that is that the “object” is a synchronous collapse of potential in direct correlation to the psyche. If this model is applicable, then our psyche, what we think, how we perceive things, our will, our subconscious, etc., is important in terms of usefulness.

    To get a better idea of how this model might be very useful, let’s expand “subject/object” to “subject/context”. Any identity “A” can only exist in a supporting context that provides both complimentary and contrasting elements. If one’s context is synchronous via an underlying unity with the identity (psyche), then this makes management of your psyche extremely important and useful. If the context is synchronous with psyche, then all of one’s efforts to generate meaningful change in one’s context without addressing his or her own psyche is basically wasted effort.

    I have to attend to other things right now, but I will pick this back up when I can give it my undivided attention. I think I’ve addressed some of what others have asked, but I will get to Hazel’s and BA77’s posts in due order and time.

    Thanks to everyone for their challenges, criticisms and time.

  62. 62

    To continue with StephenB’s post:

    I would also suggest that there is a big difference between having the capacity to be anything at all (potential) and being everything all the time (actual).

    The interesting question here is, can a potential for X coherently be said to exist if X is never actualized? So, if in the whole of what exists through all axes (had to look up the plural of axis) including time, if X is never realized, it cannot be said that there ever was a potential for X – because X is unrealizable. By definition, that means there is no potential for X.

    For my part, a things existence (both its origins and its continuation) depends totally on the creator’s actions, which would include the action of creating a wave field if things were designed that way. The take home message, though would be this: A thing is comprehensible only if it was designed to be comprehended (ontology) and only if we were designed to comprehend it (epistemology). One without the other is useless. I don’t understand how a wave field could integrate those two spheres.

    The wave field generates synchronous comprehensibility between the collapsed wave potential and the psyche through which observation occurs because what is collapsed is in correlation with the psyche.

    Is the universal mind at peace even though the individual minds may be at war with one another? Or is the universal mind at home with millions of contradictory formulations conceived by individual minds with no reference to objective truth? If so, of what use is the universal mind?

    I don’t even know how to approach a concept how universal mind “feels”, if that is even a possibility. My view is that “feelings” are only accessible at the level of the individual. As far as usefulness, it is all-providing. The observational loci within each psyche has unlimited (within the confines of logical structures necessary for identity) free will (not to be confused with conscious free action). I don’t know how anything can be MORE useful than that.

  63. 63

    Hazel said @58:

    But what I don’t understand is why he thinks his model is better than having a model that there is actually a external, material reality. How does that cripple us in ways his model would empower us. What better results about anything would result if I, or people in general, adopted wjm’s model.

    William, can you explain more about the pragmatic benefits of your model?

    First, I’m not saying anyone else should adopt my model. If you’ve read my posts to StephenB, I think I’ve covered this fairly well. IF your experiential context (what you interact with as the world around you) is synchronistically correlational (precisely so) with your psyche, then what and who appears around you, their qualities and characteristics, how you react to them and see them, everything, can all be influenced by managing your own internal psyche, and without changing the psyche (either consciously or not), your situation cannot fundamentally change in any meaningful respect (keeping in mind that “psyche” is usually primarily subconscious and also includes both the conscious and unconscious aspects of our identity-matrix).

    I don’t understand what this could mean. It sounds like a “many worlds” philosophy. Is there another Hazel in some other quantum branch that is almost just like me, or many (a very large number) Hazels, and likewise wjm’s? Stephen points out that such psyches being actual, rather than potential, brings up problems of instantiated infinities.

    I’ve found that most people don’t really follow through what the concept of “infinite” would actually mean and react thusly: “THAT is just too big to be reasonable.” Infinite is infinite. Existence is either infinite or it is not; yes, that means infinite universes, dimensions, versions of everything, etc. There is no problem – there is plenty of room in the infinite for all of this to fully exist. It might boggle the imagination, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a perfectly valid implication of what “infinite” means. As far as the question – are there infinite WJMs? Well, what do you mean by that? There are certainly trillions of “versions” of me located at every instant of time from, let’s say, birth to death. Am I the same WJM that exists 20 years ago in the subset of timeline experience I call “memory” or what you might refer to as “the” past? No. I look similar, some of my thoughts are similar, etc., but I’m certainly not the same guy. Like a photon in an experiment, there is a range of versions of me that are accessible to observers around me, so to speak.

    Taken to what I think is a logical conclusion (but I doubt my understanding is correct), this implies that there are not only an infinite number of slightly different branches of this universe since it’s beginning, but perhaps an infinite number of universe of which this universe is just one branch.

    I really don’t think this is what wjm means, but I don’t know know what he does mean.

    What we refer to as the physical universe, and all of its variations, is like one grain of sand in the Sahara compared to all that exists, IMO.

  64. 64

    Bornagain @59 said:

    Might I be so bold as to point out to WJM the fact that Christianity, since it has given us the ‘miracle’ of modern science itself, has proven itself to, by far, the most pragmatic, practical, worldview?

    I agree that for successful, long-term cohesive society in this world, no other worldview has (historically, so far) shown to be anywhere near as practical or productive.

    And as Professor Koons points out in the following article, “Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism.

    Well, to be fair, I’m not arguing against theism. As far as Christianity is concerned, just because a model works really well in many areas doesn’t mean (1) it’s the best model for all uses, or (2) it cannot be incorporated into a broader model that preserves its effectiveness.

    In my model, the entire Christian cosmology certainly exists and is experienced by billions of people; it’s just not the **only** grand cosmological structure that exist. I have no desire to pry citizens of that world from it; I’m happy they have found what the need and want, what satisfies them and makes them whole.

    Thus from WJMs criteria of being a ‘metaphysical pragmatist’ who is open to adopting “a more pragmatic option”, might I suggest that Christianity fulfills WJMs criteria of being proven to be far more practical, i.e. pragmatic, than any other worldview that has thus far been conceived of in world history.

    I think I’ve been pretty clear that I only care if my model is personally effective and pragmatically applicable in my life. What works for others, or for a majority of others, or what would be required for a successful society of a large number of people would only be relevant if it works for me.

    WJM might object that his branch of “Murrayism” might be more practical for the world sometime in the future if his worldview were somehow given a chance.

    That might be an interesting thought experiment – a whole society built upon this model. What would that look like? Total anarchy? I guess it depends on which cosmological framework you begin with. Something to ponder.

  65. 65
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM states:

    I agree that for successful, long-term cohesive society in this world, no other worldview (Christianity) has (historically, so far) shown to be anywhere near as practical or productive.

    Thus it meets your criteria of being metaphysically practical and/or pragmatic.

    WJM then states:

    Well, to be fair, I’m not arguing against theism. As far as Christianity is concerned, just because a model works really well in many areas doesn’t mean (1) it’s the best model for all uses, or (2) it cannot be incorporated into a broader model that preserves its effectiveness.
    In my model, the entire Christian cosmology certainly exists and is experienced by billions of people; it’s just not the **only** grand cosmological structure that exist. I have no desire to pry citizens of that world from it; I’m happy they have found what the need and want, what satisfies them and makes them whole.

    Well to be fair with your very own criteria of pragmatism, you have yet to practically, i.e. to pragmatically, demonstrate any other worldview, i.e. ‘model’, is better for all uses, much less have you practically and/or pragmatically demonstrated whether your ‘broader’ model is anything other than being a figment of your imagination. ,, Needless to say, that is NOT being very practical.

    WJM then states:

    I think I’ve been pretty clear that I only care if my model is personally effective and pragmatically applicable in my life. What works for others, or for a majority of others, or what would be required for a successful society of a large number of people would only be relevant if it works for me.

    Well, seeing as you have not presented any ‘practical’ empirical evidence whatsoever that your worldview is actually true, just what makes you think, from a pragmatic perspective, that your worldview is anything other than a figment of your imagination? People imagine false things all the time that make them feel good for a little while, but in the long run, it is really just self delusion that ends up harming them in the end. That is to say, you may imagine that “Murrayism” “is personally effective and pragmatically applicable in my life”, but since I myself can ‘pragmatically’ see no connection whatsoever to the real world then I am, for purely practical reasons, forced to conclude that your worldview is based on unrestrained imagination instead of any real pragmatic concerns.

    WJM then states:

    That might be an interesting thought experiment – a whole society built upon this model (i.e. Murrayism). What would that look like? Total anarchy? I guess it depends on which cosmological framework you begin with. Something to ponder.

    You just basically admitted that you got nothing to show us that your worldview is applicable to the real world, i.e. that it is ‘broadly practical’! Again, that is NOT very pragmatic nor practical of you.

    Instead of you claiming that you are a ‘metaphysical pragmatist’ perhaps you should instead claim that you are a ‘metaphysical I believe whatever make me feel good’.

    Darwinists fall into much the same ‘metaphysical camp’ or believing whatever makes them feel good whether it is actually true or not. Or as you said, “I only care if my model is personally effective and pragmatically applicable in my life.”,, I certainly can apply that very statement that you used and apply it to stubborn Darwinists who resolutely refuse to concede that their worldview is false!, i.e. they only care that Darwinism is ‘personally effective and pragmatically applicable in their lives’.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

  66. 66
    hazel says:

    Thanks, wjm. As best I can tell you have what seems to me to be a mystical approach whereby we (our minds) can actually influence the world around us (I know you don’t see it that way), and a true many worlds approach. I appreciate that you aren’t trying to convince anyone, and I appreciate the goal of having a forum for articulating your thoughts (I like that, also), but, despite the fact that there are some ways that I agree with what you say, from a different perspective, your basic view is so far removed from mine that there isn’t much more I can say.

    Thanks for offering your thoughts.

  67. 67
    StephenB says:

    WJM,

    First, I want to thank you for doing your best to apply the principle of charity to that stream of consciousness mess I left you to read – I was just really excited to get some thoughts down.

    Excellent! Emerson once described a friend as someone with whom you may think out loud. I don’t think of you as an adversary, but as a friend. I am glad that you feel free to push the envelope and express unusual ideas. I hope that you will grant me the privilege of challenging some of those ideas if they do not resonate with me.

    In keeping with that point, it is obvious to me that I must probe much more deeply into the meaning and implications of some of the words we are using. I don’t think we can achieve a meeting of the minds about the relationship between quantum dynamics and everyday events unless we agree that we can know things as they are and use common terms to identify them. I feel the need to be both specific and concrete. So here we go.

    I define a truck as a large heavy motor vehicle used for transporting things, which is another way of characterizing it for what it is, not how it affects me. When I use the word “truck,” everyone knows what I am talking about, and they also know what I am not talking about. Defining things as they are, I can make claims that are either true or false. When I say, for example, that I bought a truck, everyone knows that I didn’t buy a car, or a dog, or a statue, all of which have their own identities and are defined that way.

    That is because definitions are supposed to have boundaries; they not only include identities, they also rule out identities. In large part, logic is based on identities. Example: Trucks are heavy; this vehicle is a truck; therefore, this vehicle is heavy. That syllogism works only because, according to the laws of identity and non-contradiction, a truck’s identity is what it is and is not something else. That is what the laws of logic do; they rule out what is false or impossible, so that what is left must be the truth. This is something to think about because we not only disagree about the meaning of “truck,” we even disagree about the meaning of “definition.”

    If I understand you correctly, you think definitions should describe our experiences of or with a thing, rather than reflect its identity, form, or *whatness*. Unfortunately that doesn’t provide much information because I have no idea which experiences you are referring to, so your definition of a truck is too vague to have any meaning for me. Even if I tried to apply your formula, I would never know which of your experiences (or all of them?) are definitive. I even wonder how you could know. If, for example, you refer to two experiences – let’s say you once rode in a trailer and once changed a tire – does that obviate the need to include any other, or all other, experiences with trucks? Where are the boundaries?

    From my side, if I go out and buy a truck, am I, by your account, really buying a truck, or am I simply buying your experiences with trucks? From your side, can you even know which of your experiences are about trucks without smuggling in my definition? If, as I understand it, you deny the existence of extra-mental reality, do you also, as it would seem, deny the existence of trucks (as I and everyone else define them)?

  68. 68
    PeterA says:

    I wonder how far the discussion between WJM and StephenB can go.
    But I’m glad at least they’re referring to the trucks. 🙂

  69. 69
    PeterA says:

    The trucks were first mentioned @44.
    🙂

  70. 70

    Bornagain77 @65:

    Well, seeing as you have not presented any ‘practical’ empirical evidence whatsoever that your worldview is actually true, just what makes you think, from a pragmatic perspective, that your worldview is anything other than a figment of your imagination?

    Why would I present any empirical evidence, when I’m not trying to persuade anyone to accept it? As I said, my only goal here is to have the logic challenged and for the model to be rationally criticized. Pragmatically, it doesn’t matter if my worldview is true or not, or universally applicable or not, as long as it works in my life.

    People imagine false things all the time that make them feel good for a little while, but in the long run, it is really just self delusion that ends up harming them in the end. That is to say, you may imagine that “Murrayism” “is personally effective and pragmatically applicable in my life”, but since I myself can ‘pragmatically’ see no connection whatsoever to the real world then I am, for purely practical reasons, forced to conclude that your worldview is based on unrestrained imagination instead of any real pragmatic concerns.

    Well, to be fair, you didn’t ask what my pragmatic concerns were that led me to develop this perspective, nor did you ask what pragmatic concerns have been solved since I started using my model. Nor did you ask what techniques are used, what my experimentation looked like, or why it is that I think that applying the techniques that are used in the model had the desired effect. You also didn’t ask if I had a verification process, if others were involved, if anyone else is doing any research on this model, etc., if they had produced any similar results, etc. So, it is interesting that without any of that information whatsoever, you have concluded that it is all in my imagination.

  71. 71
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM, you are playing VERY loose with the definition of what is truly considered to be pragmatic and practical by most ordinary people.

    If you have any actual empirical evidence, rather than just your own imagination, present it.

    I can guarantee you that whatever evidence exists that you think supports, exclusively, your ‘Murrayism’ worldview, also supports Christianity which you have already conceded to be the most pragmatic worldview:

    I agree that for successful, long-term cohesive society in this world, no other worldview (Christianity) has (historically, so far) shown to be anywhere near as practical or productive.
    – WJM

    i.e. You need to differentiate, empirically, your worldview from Christianity to ‘pragmatically’ demonstrate it is indeed MORE practically useful, indeed that it is MORE superior to Christianity, as you apparently falsely believe, instead of your ‘Murrayism” being basically just self-delusional wish fulfillment, as I hold it to be.

  72. 72

    StephenB @67,

    While I was working on my reply to BA77, the last visible post in the thread was #68. Before I posted my reply, I was on the porch wondering who brought “truck” into the conversation and when. I really didn’t want to have to slog through the thread to find out. When I came in and posted my comment, post #69 appeared. Most people would consider that a cool coincidence; that kind of thing happens to me constantly in both minor and major ways. It’s a small example of the kind of things that have happened to me in my life, so much so that at the age of 31 or 32 I decided to see if I could create a working model that incorporated these experiences. BTW, “truck” is a deeply meaningful subject for me, for personal reasons.

    However, to respond to your post, if all I had in my experience of a truck was precisely what you mentioned, I doubt if I could even carry on a meaningful conversation with someone about a truck because it would be so vague a concept. I probably wouldn’t be able to differentiate a truck from an El Camino. I’ve had conversations with people where we didn’t have enough similar experience of a thing to be able to even talk about it coherently. I remember one conversation where someone asked me to check out their new car. I walked outside and it was a truck. Turns out that in their experience, “car” was synonymous with “ride”, as in “check out my new ride”, and “truck” referred to something like a semi or a dump truck or garbage truck.

    Meaningful communication is difficult precisely because of experiential and conceptual variances between people. You refer to what a “truck” is in itself; but there is simply no way to get past the fact that “what a thing is in itself” is a concept in one’s mind based on their experience (all experience is mental) and their experiences of other people including that term in reference to something being consensually experienced. Whether or not an exterior, material truck exists outside of the minds of everyone involved doesn’t change this fact.

    I would assume that if you are going to buy a truck, you would be buying what your collection of experiences inform you about what a “truck” is. My experiences would be entirely irrelevant in terms of what you were looking for. To be able to communicate effectively, we need to have similar definitions and a similar experiential base or communication will be highly problematic or even impossible, if by “communication” we mean actually understanding what each other is talking about and understanding the ideas they are articulating.

    And that is precisely why so much communication breaks down, or why people who think they are engaging in it can have two diametrically opposed ideas about what the conversation is about, or what was said, what each other means, etc. It’s a big reason why acrimony develops – calling each other liars and cowards and idiots, arguing about the meaning of what someone said and refusing clarification or correction. People are operating from different experiential frameworks and what I say gets interpreted into their framework as meaning something I certainly did not intend, and then that other person insisting that I am being disingenuous when I clarify or attempt to correct their erroneous inference/interpretation.

    When we talk about definitions, what definition are we talking about? From which dictionary? I assume you’re aware that different dictionaries carry different definitions for the same term. What or whom decides the final “whatness” about a truck, or anything a particular term may reference? We cannot say that our description of the “whatness” of a truck definitively has anything at all to do with whatever is outside of our experience, because we have no access to anything beyond our experience. Ever. At all. All we can do is theorize or assume that we are accessing something outside of our experience, and hypothesize that it has some kind of innate “whatness” to it.

    So what if it does? So what if a truck with truck “whatness” exists outside of your experience? The only way we can possibly communicate meaningfully is if we share a enough of a corresponding experiential, interpretive and cognitive base (and a dedication to charitable interpretation and a willingness to be have mistaken inferences and interpretations corrected) that it can allow/produce meaningful exchanges of ideas and criticisms.

    So, you might say we both need to agree on the external “whatness” of what an externally-existent truck is to have a meaningful conversation about it; I would say that regardless of the supposed “whatness” of a supposed external truck, our successful communication still requires a certain degree of experiential correlation, whether or not our experiential agreement accurately describes the external “whatness” of the truck (should it actually exist).

    This goes back to my original point I made in another thread some time ago: we cannot know the “whatness” of something outside of our experience because “outside of experience” means you’ve never experienced that thing. We can only describe whatness in terms of something within our mental experience, regardless of whether or not that experience is tied to something outside of our mental experience.

  73. 73

    BA77 @71 said

    If you have any actual empirical evidence, rather than just your own imagination, present it.

    (1) What would be the purpose in my doing that, given I’ve already stated that I have no desire to try to convince anyone to adopt my view?

    (2) Under Murrayism, it is literally impossible for me to convince you of anything not supported by your psyche, regardless of argument or evidence presented. So, why bother? You will always see, feel, and hear exactly what is correspondingly complimentary and contrasting to your psyche. I have no say in it regardless of what I write here.

  74. 74
    bornagain77 says:

    WJM states:

    “(2) Under Murrayism, it is literally impossible for me to convince you of anything not supported by your psyche, regardless of argument or evidence presented.”

    LOL, so goodbye empirical science altogether.,, Not very practical at all! Especially since you yourself conceded that empirical science itself is one of the main areas where Christianity has shown itself to be uniquely practical or productive among all the other worldviews available in the world.

    Moreover, your statement, “Under Murrayism, it is literally impossible for me to convince you of anything not supported by your psyche, regardless of argument or evidence presented.”, in reality, confirms my contention that your worldview is in fact ‘self-delusional wish fulfillment’, rather than confirming anything remotely resembling a truly pragmatic and/or practical worldview as you falsely imagine that it does,

  75. 75
    PeterA says:

    @70:

    “Pragmatically, it doesn’t matter if my worldview is true or not, or universally applicable or not, as long as it works in my life.”

    Hmm…

  76. 76
    StephenB says:

    WJM

    When we talk about definitions, what definition are we talking about? From which dictionary? I assume you’re aware that different dictionaries carry different definitions for the same term.

    Of course, I am talking about the dictionary definition. I say that an apple is “a round fruit of a tree of the rose family, which typically has thin red or green skin and crisp flesh.” You say that an apple is your “experience” of an apple. Everyone knows what I mean, but nobody knows what you mean. That is because I am talking about apples, and you are talking about yourself.

    What or whom decides the final “whatness” about a truck, or anything a particular term

    It is decided by *what* the thing is – its nature, its form, its identity. That is why almost everyone would agree with the dictionary definition of a giraffe – “a large African mammal with a very long neck and forelegs, having a coat patterned with brown patches separated by lighter lines.” That explanation explains *what* a giraffe *is* in a basic sense. An extended definition could provide yet more information about how a giraffe acts, what it eats, and how it lives. What is your “experiential” definition of a giraffe?” I am quite serious about this. Please write down your definition now (without using the dictionary definition, of course), and explain why yours is the better offering.

    We cannot say that our description of the “whatness” of a truck definitively has anything at all to do with whatever is outside of our experience, because we have no access to anything beyond our experience. Ever. At all.

    I don’t think it is reasonable to believe that, much less, to state it as an incontestable fact. Human beings also have a *whatness,* a nature, a form, an identity. Are you also saying that I don’t exist outside your experience and that you don’t have any access to me? How do you explain our interaction?

    All we can do is theorize or assume that we are accessing something outside of our experience, and hypothesize that it has some kind of innate “whatness” to it.

    That is a very good assumption to make.

  77. 77

    StephenB @76 said:

    Of course, I am talking about the dictionary definition. I say that an apple is “a round fruit of a tree of the rose family, which typically has thin red or green skin and crisp flesh.” You say that an apple is your “experience” of an apple. Everyone knows what I mean, but nobody knows what you mean. That is because I am talking about apples, and you are talking about yourself.

    You’re discounting my full experience, which includes (1) other people talking about apples and interacting with apples, and (2) my experience of dictionaries defining apples, and (3) my wealth of experience of interacting with others in my experience about how to best have good communication. Even if in your mind you are framing your experiences as if they come from the outside, from my perspective the only thing one can possibly ever talk about or reference is their experience, because they literally have nothing else to draw from or reference. Reading the dictionary is still in your experience. What other people do or say is still your experience. There’s no circumventing that existential fact except by psychologically disconnecting from that understanding of the nature of individuated consciousness.

    I said:

    We cannot say that our description of the “whatness” of a truck definitively has anything at all to do with whatever is outside of our experience, because we have no access to anything beyond our experience. Ever. At all.

    To which you replied

    I don’t think it is reasonable to believe that, much less, to state it as an incontestable fact.

    Can you talk to me about something – anything – that is outside of your physical, mental and spiritual experience? And, just so this doesn’t come off as a “gotcha” kind of question, remember that as soon as you think about something, you are having a mental experience.

    Human beings also have a *whatness,* a nature, a form, an identity. Are you also saying that I don’t exist outside your experience and that you don’t have any access to me? How do you explain our interaction?

    Countless things exist outside of my conscious experience – remember, my view is that everything that can exist, exists. I certainly don’t have “everything” in my conscious experience. However, my only conscious access to anything that exists is through my experience of it in some way or another – what we call physical, mental or spiritual (which in my view would all actually be different categories of mental experience). I can also have related experiences such as other people talking about that thing, looking a maps, reading material, dictionaries (which is, essentially, still a form of other people talking about stuff), but that is still my experience of something – other people saying stuff.

    However, all of that experience is acquired, filtered, processed and interpreted according to my own internal structures, capacities, ideas, biases, and cognition program. I can only communicate with other people and understand them to the degree that our psyches (to bundle all that up in one word) are synchronous. What I know of them can only be a product of my experience – I literally have nothing else to go on or to work with.

    My interpretation of this conversation is this: you are primarily defending the external-realism perspective as useful or practical or reasonable, and criticizing my perspective as being detached from a what you hold to be a necessary grounding reality perspective. On the former, there’s no need to defend it; I agree that it is useful practical and reasonable.

    On the latter, I think the conversation has gone off the rails a bit. I infer (perhaps improperly) from your questions that I’m making some kind of case that other people and other things are not “real”, and that the only thing that exists is my personal experience. I’m not making a case for solipsism – that’s an entirely non-pragmatic view. Nobody can even act as if solipsism is true, so it’s entirely non-functional.

    Rather, my fundamental case (back to another thread) is that the idea of an external, physical universe independent of universal mind is (other than habit and ease of thought) entirely unnecessary and obstructive. We know mind (if I don’t use a personal pronoun, I’m talking about universal mind) houses universal absolutes, which is as real as it gets. We also know individual minds can produce what one would consider very unreal things – such as imagining a dancing and singing teapot. Our minds can house very realistic 3D environments in dreams; and they can house very realistic individual and group experiences that we experience as completely real in the form of spiritual experiences and delusions. In common terminology, there seems to be no limit to what the mind can experience.

    So, what would be the problem if we took the entire category of experience we currently label “the external, physical, consensual world” and recategorized it as a subset form of mental experience? We already have mutual, consensual mental experience in the form of certain abstract universals, so it’s not like mind cannot house transpersonal reality. The very means by which we evaluate “real” from “not real”, the way we judge and sort our experiences into “real” an “not “real”, the way we reason and apply critical thought is all entirely mental.

    We can apply those same mental tools to our consensual physical experience whether we conceptualize that experience as external and independent of mind, or as an experiential subset of mind. It doesn’t decrease the “realness” of it one bit. It doesn’t decrease the mutuality of it one bit. It doesn’t make it less testable, less explorable, or less verifiable by others one bit. It doesn’t make the experience delusional or solipsistic in nature.

    In other words, you’ve lost absolutely nothing but the habit of thinking about it and related things a certain way.

    However, what have we gained? IMO, in addition to just getting rid of an ultimately useless metaphysical construct, it provides for a seamless understanding of quantum effects. It provides for a seamless understanding of how abstract and idealistic principles and forms are instantiated in the physical world. It accounts for how certain experiences occur. It provides a seamless mind-brain “connection”. It provides a seamless method of how what we call the spiritual or the mental interacts with and affects the physical world. It explains every non-normative experience. Placebo effect – explained. Etc.

    It provides a good model for understanding how information appears to be the root of our physical world. It explains the reason why our universe is designed for intelligent existence, observation and investigation. It explains the necessary instantiated synchronicity of comprehensibility between the observed and the observer. I mean, what does this model NOT provide a better framework for understanding?

    IOW, unlike science, it actually provides an explanation, not just a description, of what we observe and why we observe it.

  78. 78
    StephenB says:

    WJM

    I feel the need to be brief.

    You’re discounting my full experience, which includes (1) other people talking about apples and interacting with apples, and (2) my experience of dictionaries defining apples, and (3) my wealth of experience of interacting with others in my experience about how to best have good communication. Even if in your mind you are framing your experiences as if they come from the outside, from my perspective the only thing one can possibly ever talk about or reference is their experience, because they literally have nothing else to draw from or reference. Reading the dictionary is still in your experience. What other people do or say is still your experience. There’s no circumventing that existential fact except by psychologically disconnecting from that understanding of the nature of individuated consciousness.

    I am not discounting your experience, but I think you are discounting your own experience by denying that you experienced the whatness of things. The question persists: When you say you are experiencing a thing or event, how do you know *what* you are experiencing. I would answer by saying that it is the essence of a thing, the dictionary definition of it, that you are experiencing. But you appear not to believe in essences, and without that information, you cannot reliably interpret your experience.

    You have experienced apples; but that experience, which begins with sense impressions of a particular apple, is translated by the mind into the experience of coming to know what an apple *is* (what all apples have in common). You are denying that the mind performs that function, but it does, in fact, do that. In other words, the process begins with the experience of sense and ends with the experience of knowledge. Dictionaries provide information about knowledge, that is, the whatness of things. It is impossible to provide an “experiential” definition of anything. Again, if you disagree with me, I invite you to provide an experiential definition of anything using your own words.

    Can you talk to me about something – anything – that is outside of your physical, mental and spiritual experience? And, just so this doesn’t come off as a “gotcha” kind of question, remember that as soon as you think about something, you are having a mental experience.

    Anything that you experience – let’s say another human being – exists outside of your mental experience. That is why you are able to have a mental experience of it. Otherwise, you would simply be experiencing yourself.

    My interpretation of this conversation is this: you are primarily defending the external-realism perspective as useful or practical or reasonable, and criticizing my perspective as being detached from a what you hold to be a necessary grounding reality perspective. On the former, there’s no need to defend it; I agree that it is useful practical and reasonable.
    I am defending the external realism perspective because I believe that it is true.

    On the latter, I think the conversation has gone off the rails a bit. I infer (perhaps improperly) from your questions that I’m making some kind of case that other people and other things are not “real”, and that the only thing that exists is my personal experience. I’m not making a case for solipsism – that’s an entirely non-pragmatic view. Nobody can even act as if solipsism is true, so it’s entirely non-functional.

    I think everything turns on this question: Can we know things as they are (realism) and do they exist as they are so that we can know them as they are (realism) – or are we reduced to attaching various names to our many experiences (nominalism). You seem to be advocating nominalism in that context. As a result, I think you are taking something that is important and real – experience – and elevating it to the level of metaphysics, which for me, is problematic for the many reasons that I have stated.

    Rather, my fundamental case (back to another thread) is that the idea of an external, physical universe independent of universal mind is (other than habit and ease of thought) entirely unnecessary and obstructive.

    A thing can be “distinct from” rather than “independent of.” Also, we have not yet confronted the proper role of the universal mind. If one individual mind proposes Communism and another individual mind proposes Capitalism, how does the Universal mind achieve even a semblance of cohesiveness? What good is a universal mind that does not even acknowledge the law of non-contradiction, even as it suggests that all individual minds are cohesively connected to a universal mind.

    So, what would be the problem if we took the entire category of experience we currently label “the external, physical, consensual world” and recategorized it as a subset form of mental experience?

    The problem is that the external, physical world is not synonymous with our experience of it.

  79. 79
    PeterA says:

    StephenB,
    What do you think about the text quoted @75?
    Thanks.

  80. 80
    StephenB says:

    Peter A, @70,

    Everything turns on the truth and that should be the objective in any intellectual pursuit. The “whatever works for me” philosophy is unjust, incoherent, and destructive. Tyranny works for the tyrant, but it doesn’t do much for those who are being oppressed by it.

  81. 81
    PeterA says:

    StephenB,
    Spot-on. Absolute (objective) truth.

  82. 82

    StephenB said:

    Everything turns on the truth and that should be the objective in any intellectual pursuit.

    I try to be completely honest in both my philosophical transactions here and in my internal, critical analysis.

    The “whatever works for me” philosophy is unjust, incoherent, and destructive.

    Like any model, “what it looks like” depends on what framework one is looking at it from. Perspective is everything when it comes to judging the effectiveness, value or coherency of something.

    Tyranny works for the tyrant, but it doesn’t do much for those who are being oppressed by it.

    That depends upon the nature of reality and existence – what it actually means to be in either of those situations, what the value is for those involved, the nature of what is actually going on.

    In any event, you kind of jumped the shark here – it’s a long way from me believing and doing what works best for me to being a tyrant and oppressing others. I’d say it’s a shorter walk from believing in things as universal truths to tyranny than the walk from holding beliefs as personal opinions to tyranny. I’d say my beliefs are about as far from “tyranny” as a set of beliefs can get.

    I think everything turns on this question: Can we know things as they are (realism) and do they exist as they are so that we can know them as they are (realism) – or are we reduced to attaching various names to our many experiences (nominalism). You seem to be advocating nominalism in that context. As a result, I think you are taking something that is important and real – experience – and elevating it to the level of metaphysics, which for me, is problematic for the many reasons that I have stated.

    I’m not advocating nominalism in any context. Experience = reality, in my worldview, although I think you and I have very different ideas on what “reality” means and what it is. It may be a futile endeavor, in terms of getting ideas across and debating them, when the two parties have fundamentally different perspectives on what reality is and means.

    The problem is that the external, physical world is not synonymous with our experience of it.

    That’s a pretty interesting claim to make. How would you know that the supposed “external, physical world” is not synonymous with your experience of it?

  83. 83
    mike1962 says:

    Human Reason trying to define something clearly beyond Human Reason is folly.

    Think about that. Let it sink in. Deep.

    Get to your Koan Moment.

    (This is not directed to anyone in particular but to everyone in general.)

  84. 84

    Interesting synchronicity — just today I became aware of this book, coming out in April:

    The Idea of the World: A Multi-Disciplinary Argument for the Mental Nature of Reality
    A rigorous case for the primacy of mind in nature, from philosophy to neuroscience, psychology and physics. The Idea of the World offers a grounded alternative to the frenzy of unrestrained abstractions and unexamined assumptions in philosophy and science today. This book examines what can be learned about the nature of reality based on conceptual parsimony, straightforward logic and empirical evidence from fields as diverse as physics and neuroscience. It compiles an overarching case for idealism – the notion that reality is essentially mental – from ten original articles the author has previously published in leading academic journals. The case begins with an exposition of the logical fallacies and internal contradictions of the reigning physicalist ontology and its popular alternatives, such as bottom-up panpsychism. It then advances a compelling formulation of idealism that elegantly makes sense of – and reconciles – classical and quantum worlds. The main objections to idealism are systematically refuted and empirical evidence is reviewed that corroborates the formulation presented here. The book closes with an analysis of the hidden psychological motivations behind mainstream physicalism and the implications of idealism for the way we relate to the world.

    Sounds just a smidge like what I’ve been arguing. I’ll have to check that out, see how much this guy is sharing my data stream.

  85. 85
    PeterA says:

    WJM @82:

    “How would you know that the supposed “external, physical world” is not synonymous with your experience of it?”

    Maybe our experience of the external physical world is always limited, partial?

    Generally a part is less than the total, isn’t it?

    Actually, even seeing all the parts, still we may miss the exact interrelations between them as well as different control levels associated with the overall functional complexity of the complex functionality, as it’s the case in cellular biology. Perhaps this is why scientists trying to build a cell from scratch are dealing with the Humpty Dumpty issue.

    Also could be bias, limited perspective, emotional condition, mental concentration, attention to details. Perhaps other factors too.

  86. 86
    PeterA says:

    @85

    Just look at the polar bear thread and note how highly educated scientists look at the same object from different perspectives and arrive at different conclusions. How come?

  87. 87
    StephenB says:

    SB: Everything turns on the truth and that should be the objective in any intellectual pursuit.

    WJM

    I try to be completely honest in both my philosophical transactions here and in my internal, critical analysis.

    Of course, I never suspected otherwise, and I am sorry that you may have interpreted my comments to mean that I question your sincerity in any way. I refer only to what I perceive to be your intellectual and moral priorities, which seem to elevate pragmatism over truth.

    SB: Tyranny “works” for the tyrant, but it doesn’t do much for those who are being oppressed by it.

    That depends upon the nature of reality and existence – what it actually means to be in either of those situations, what the value is for those involved, the nature of what is actually going on.

    If, as you seem to believe, the nature of reality and existence is more about perception (one’s model of reality) and less about truth (how things are in themselves), then tyranny is an efficient model for tyrants and an inefficient model for those being oppressed. In other words, there is no such thing as objective justice, only one’s perception of justice. How is that anything other than relativism?

    In any event, you kind of jumped the shark here – it’s a long way from me believing and doing what works best for me to being a tyrant and oppressing others. I’d say it’s a shorter walk from believing in things as universal truths to tyranny than the walk from holding beliefs as personal opinions to tyranny. I’d say my beliefs are about as far from “tyranny” as a set of beliefs can get.

    Your pragmatic model may leave no room for tyranny, but the tyrant, who embraces his own pragmatic model, will find that tyranny a very efficient means for realizing his goals, just as those whom he oppresses will find tyranny a very inefficient means for realizing their goals. I don’t understand how you resolve this difficulty without finally acknowledging that there is an objective moral law that supersedes everyone’s personal model.

    Experience = reality, in my worldview, although I think you and I have very different ideas on what “reality” means and what it is. It may be a futile endeavor, in terms of getting ideas across and debating them, when the two parties have fundamentally different perspectives on what reality is and means.

    I think it is a futile endeavor if you create your own private definitions of words. We can only debate a subject profitably by using terms the way everyone else understands and uses them.

    According to the dictionary, reality is “the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.” and experience is the “practical contact with and observation of facts or events. These two concepts are, by no means, identical.

    So I think a more accurate account of your philosophy would be this: *Your* experience = *your* reality. Since you acknowledge no reality outside of your experience, it follows that you experience only yourself.

  88. 88
    PeterA says:

    StephenB @87:

    I think it is a futile endeavor if you create your own private definitions of words. We can only debate a subject profitably by using terms the way everyone else understands and uses them.

    According to the dictionary, reality is “the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.” and experience is the “practical contact with and observation of facts or events”. These two concepts are, by no means, identical.

    So I think a more accurate account of your philosophy would be this: *Your* experience = *your* reality. Since you acknowledge no reality outside of your experience, it follows that you experience only yourself.

    Excellent!

    BTW, @86, the polar bear case is the reality, while Dr. Behe’s and his critics’ interpretations of such reality are theirs. The issue is whose interpretation is closer to describing reality more accurately? Obviously I think Dr. Behe’s description is the winner. But why? Because they’re based on the observed evidences and coherent logics.

  89. 89
    jawa says:

    Well, it seems like StephenB and PeterA had the last (wrapping) words in this discussion. Well done!
    Apparently at the end of the day all those pan-whatever believes lack serious explanatory power.

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