Intelligent Design

Kairosfocus’ Errors Of Logic In MRT Discussion

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(Since the original thread is way down the list and there has been no response in that thread, I’m making a new post for him to respond in. KF, if you don’t have time to properly engage this discussion, please just say so instead of cutting and pasting the same things as if they are responsive to actual MRT theory but are only responsive to your straw man version of it.)

KF, you’re using straw man, category error, irrational appeal to consequences and circular reasoning in your argument against MRT. I’ll show you where and how.

STRAW MAN:
KF said:

WJM, nope. On the contrary, any frame of thought that leads to the conclusion that the broad common sense view on the reality of our common world is delusional, is an appeal to grand, pervasive delusion.

No, it isn’t, as I’ve already pointed out. It’s not delusional to think that there is an external world; it’s an error of categorization based on a faulty assumption. Nothing more.

MORE STRAW MAN:

You cannot have your cake and eat it, if you imply grand delusion like that,

Only I’m not implying any such thing, so I’m not trying to have my cake and eat it too.

APPEAL TO CONSEQUENCES:

you imply the equally pervasive discredit of rationality, knowledge claims etc leading to collapse in self-referential absurdity.

You can repeat this all you want, but again, I’ve implied no such thing. I’ve stated directly that it’s a categorization misidentification based on an an erroneous assumption. Nothing more. It doesn’t lead to self-referential absurdity or solipsism, as I’ve repeatedly and exhaustively explained, so that is an irrational appeal to consequences.

CIRCULAR REASONING:

We may safely set such aside.

Sure, if you assume external physical world speculation is true and ignore the self-evidently true nature of our experiential existence.

When you have a an argument against MRT that isn’t circular (a priori assumption of your external-world conclusion that insists MRT implies “grand delusion,” which it does not) to make the case against MRT, let me know. I haven’t called anything a delusion nor have I implied anything is a “grand delusion” (other than identifying “delusion” as a “deviation from the norm that renders social participation problematic,” or something to that effect in a discussion on how MRT would classify and treat mental illness.)

YET MORE STRAW MAN ARGUMENT:

Yes, we are prone to error and are limited, but we are not victims of grand delusion about our common world.

Please stop insisting I’m implying things, or saying things that I am clearly not and which I have repeatedly said and shown I am not.

As to evidence, once we accept that our senses, acting in an environment they were made for and were made to give us a generally sound access to that world, will on the whole give us a reasonably accurate view; including our rational common sense that allows us to think straight.

This can be equally said by recategorizing that “world” as “shared consistent, measurable and mutually verifiable experiences” without invoking the pure speculation that it is caused by an external physical world.

CATEGORY ERROR:

The consistent testimony is that we live in a physical, spatially extended world [of perhaps 90+ B LY across], with matter based on quantised micro particles interacting in accordance with significantly intelligible laws and giving rise to phenomena at various stages.

This is a blatant and obvious categorization error. There is simply no possible way anyone can give testimony about an external physical world; the only thing they can possibly be giving testimony about is their mental experiences. We can speculate that those mental experiences are caused by an external physical world, but that can only ever be speculation.

There is no reason to deny such,

Other than it’s blatantly impossible to ever experience “an external physical world.” All we can possibly experience are mental states and phenomena.

and say the Smith Cybernetic model allows us to see how a two-tier controller can be part of a cybernetic entity, with room for quantum influences so that there is ground to see how mind-body interaction can bridge gaps suggested.

That model is 100% unnecessary under MRT.

Yes, arguably, in Him we live and move and have our being, but that does not make physical reality evaporate;

I didn’t say physical reality “evaporated” under MRT, it only recategorizes what “physical reality” is, and where and how it occurs.

it simply means, source and sustainer actively present every-where, every-when. Such points to precisely the framework of Divine attributes already highlighted. KF

MRT just makes most of that Rube Goldberg, domain-transfer gulch, pure speculation and denial of our self-evidently true existential state unnecessary.

15 Replies to “Kairosfocus’ Errors Of Logic In MRT Discussion

  1. 1
    Sandy says:

    Redacted – WJM

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, in due course. I suspect I am hardly the only one who finds the argument quite unpersuasive. KF

    Whether or not it is persuasive is not the focus of this thread, nor something I care about in general. I’m only interested in fair and logical criticism of MRT.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Redacted – if your post isn’t in the form of a logical, coherent objection to MRT, it will likely be removed. – WJM

  4. 4
    redwave says:

    “APPEAL TO CONSEQUENCES:

    you imply the equally pervasive discredit of rationality, knowledge claims etc leading to collapse in self-referential absurdity.

    You can repeat this all you want, but again, I’ve implied no such thing. I’ve stated directly that it’s a categorization misidentification based on an an erroneous assumption. Nothing more. It doesn’t lead to self-referential absurdity or solipsism, as I’ve repeatedly and exhaustively explained, so that is an irrational appeal to consequences.”

    So … what are the consequences of MRT? Or, are all appeals to consequences irrational? How does one escape those consequences, if one wishes to escape?

    Argumentum ad Consequentiam

    “Description: Concluding that an idea or proposition is true or false because the consequences of it being true or false are desirable or undesirable. The fallacy lies in the fact that the desirability is not related to the truth value of the idea or proposition. This comes in two forms: the positive and negative.” [1]

    Logical reasoning is “at bottom” arguing from or to consequences. The conclusion from the premises is the consequent. And this approach to reasoning is contingent on the truth or falsity of the proposition (premises, axioms). Yet the logical fallacy for
    Argumentum ad Consequentiam appears to derive from accepting the consequent as true or false without direct contingency from the truth or falsity of the proposition. A simple question helps clarify a reasonable logical situation: Does the consequent follow from the proposition? But this is, as it were, a tip of the iceberg when identifying logical fallacies.

    There is the presumption in logical reasoning that something true or false, a proposition, from which one can deduce a true or false conclusion, a consequent, can be in a near unbroken linear path, to wit: a veridical set of truth statements which hold inviolably. And this is clearly not an easily obtainable result. Identifying logical fallacies appears an easier task than the task of identifying a non-fallacious argument, from proposition to conclusion. While deduction is a primary approach for logical reasoning, induction and abduction (inferential) provide alternative approaches yet without the unyielding constraints of the deduction process. This could be one reason science, and the near endless talking about science, prefers induction and abduction. This could be one reason Popper’s proposition for asymmetry in empirical theories uncovered falsification criteria over verification criteria, that a demarcation is seen between empirical and non-empirical theoretical propositions for science.

    According to the prevailing definition given, Argumentum ad Consequentiam is more appropriately, logically Argumentum ad Desiderium or Argumentum ad Cupiditatem.

    Argumentum ad Consequentiam is a misnomer or not a logical fallacy at all.

    ——————————————

    References and Notes:

    1. Logical fallacies:
    https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/26/Appeal-to-Consequences, Walton, D. (1999). Historical Origins of Argumentum ad Consequentiam. Argumentation, 13(3), 251–264.

  5. 5
    redwave says:

    “STRAW MAN:
    KF said:

    “WJM, nope. On the contrary, any frame of thought that leads to the conclusion that the broad common sense view on the reality of our common world is delusional, is an appeal to grand, pervasive delusion.

    “No, it isn’t, as I’ve already pointed out. It’s not delusional to think that there is an external world; it’s an error of categorization based on a faulty assumption. Nothing more.”

    Or,

    Mental Reality Theory vs External Reality Theory: Checkmate

    Posted on August 4, 2020 Author William J Murray

    Belief in any kind of extra-mental world is unsupportable, unwarranted, unnecessary, without even the potential for evidence, and thus entirely irrational. In effect, the “external, physical world” perspective can only ever be an irrational belief in an imaginary world – or perhaps more appropriately, a delusion.

    8.4.20 10:05 am Edited for clarity: last paragraph.

  6. 6

    Redwave @#5:

    Knowing our existential facts and employing sound reasoning, but still insisting on the existence of an unproved, unexperienced external physical world might be more appropriately characterized as a delusion. That doesn’t mean that most people who don’t really examine the logic and evidence but assume they live in such a world are delusional any more than people were delusional for believing all sorts of things based on superficial appearances.

  7. 7

    Redwave @#4: Not all appeals to consequences are irrational. If MRT in fact led to the breakdown of the validity of logic, it would not be be valid. You can’t saw off the branch upon which you are sitting. However, KF’s appeal is not valid, as I’ve pointed out.

  8. 8

    Redwave said:

    So … what are the consequences of MRT?

    Not sure how you mean this. There’s lots of consequences to MRT. As far as I can tell, none of them undermine the soundness of the premises or are contradicted by the available evidence.

    How does one escape those consequences, if one wishes to escape?

    Not sure what this means, either. You can’t “escape” the necessary logical consequences of your premises. There’s a difference between a consequence one personally dislikes and a consequence that makes the premises or argument invalid or directly contradicts the available evidence.

  9. 9
    redwave says:

    William J Murray. Thank you for the clarity of your responses to my comments. My comments and questions arise from an otherwise “hidden agenda” of inquiry unopposed to MRT. My otherwise “hidden agenda” is a tentative observation that the narrative you offer between MRT vs ERT bears similarities with narratives between Madhyamika Buddhism and Brahmanical Logicians. Nagarjuna and Candrakirti are the ancient proponents for MRT, in a manner of speaking, and the Brahmanical Logicians would be proponents for ERT. Now, why would this occur to me? Your posts about the immense negative impact of external realty theory: “But, even worse, ERT is responsible for an enormous amount of human suffering. KF argues that materialism led to philosophies that caused the death of hundreds of millions and incalculable human suffering; historically speaking, he’s right about that. But materialism didn’t pop into existence out of thin air. External physical world theory birthed materialism. Materialism would not have existed without it.” (https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-immense-negative-impact-of-external-reality-theory)

    The identification of “suffering” is here key to understanding the consequences; consequences which were central in my previous comment concerning “escape”.

    MRT postulate 1. All experience is mental, regardless of whether or not anything extra-mental causes or informs it.

    First (of four) noble truths of Buddhism: all is suffering. The fourth noble truth is the path of cessation (escape from) of suffering.

    So my otherwise hidden agenda pertains to the consequences.of MRT as a practical means of personal transformation, to wit: the cessation of suffering.

    “You can’t “escape” the necessary logical consequences of your premises.” – presents a consequential conundrum for resolving the immense negative impact of external reality theory. The necessary logical consequences of MRT has not, as presented, provided a means of escape, a cessation of suffering. But as a logical theory no means of escape might have or have no value in the scheme of things when the scheme entails practical human results.

    I am not suggesting that MRT must conform with a Buddhistic understanding nor that MRT must “at bottom” bear practical consequences otherwise MRT is not valid. Yet I am afraid MRT’s limitations are contained and constrained within its own logical system, so to speak, or “the necessary logical consequences” of its premises. Is this logical prison better than the prison of materialistic thinking?

    Notes:

    Emptiness, a study in religious meaning, by Frederick j. Streng, Abingdon Press, 1967.

    https://iep.utm.edu/nagarjun/
    Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way (Mulamadhyamakakarika)

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/madhyamaka/

  10. 10
    chuckdarwin says:

    I don’t see how your Mental Reality Theory is any different than Idealism

  11. 11

    Redwave @9, said:

    “You can’t “escape” the necessary logical consequences of your premises.” – presents a consequential conundrum for resolving the immense negative impact of external reality theory.

    My point about the human suffering caused by materialism was part of my response to the claim that ERT had produced value in the world that MRT could not. I was making the case that ERT not only did not provide anything of value above MRT (all of its accomplishments could have occurred under MRT,) but it was also responsible for the birth of materialism, which according to those I was making the case to (based on prior articles and comments,) was responsible for an enormous amount of suffering. It was a value-comparison article, and as such has nothing to do with whether or not MRT is logically sound and a better theory, in terms of explanatory power and efficiency (not in terms of “human suffering” totals.) I haven’t made a case that MRT reduces suffering; only that ERT is a necessary cause for materialism and the suffering it generated.

    MRT is a general classification like ERT. There would be all sorts of possible variations – such as you mentioned above, apparently. I’m not familiar with Buddhism enough to speak on the subject.

    Yet I am afraid MRT’s limitations are contained and constrained within its own logical system, so to speak, or “the necessary logical consequences” of its premises. Is this logical prison better than the prison of materialistic thinking?

    In terms of it being more logically sound, efficient and explaining current evidence, yes.

  12. 12

    Chuck Darwin @10,
    There are some forms of idealism that apparently concede the existence of a physical world external of mind, but outside of those, I would say that MRT and Idealism could be two ways of saying basically the same thing. I’m not that familiar with idealism philosophy so I’m not comfortable using that term in my posts.

  13. 13
    drc466 says:

    WJM,
    So, I think I’ve finally grasped what you are saying with MRT (thanks for your last response in the other thread, btw, regarding my “non-experiences” objection). Here’s my summary of the challenges I see for holding to an MRT view of existence:
    1) Level of Detail: Sort of a TL;DR version of other posters’ objections, if our universe is a mental construct as opposed to an external physical reality, why is it so fine-grained and universally consistent? The other forms of mental experience we have (VR, NDEs, dreams, etc.) lack the equivalent of scientific laws and restrictions on our mental experience, down to the quantum level. Why define a Higgs-Boson, when a molecule will do?
    2) Control of experience: One of your postulates for MRT is that although control of our experience is almost entirely external, we can exercise a certain amount of influence over our reality through the exercise of mind. I’m not certain this follows – e.g. in the gamut of mental realities, the amount of mental control of our environment runs from complete (dreams) to none (VR).
    a) What is your warrant for stating we can/should be able to influence our environment mentally (e.g. “psi”)? Isn’t it just as likely we as individuals have no control?
    b) If such mental control is possible, why do we not see it more (e.g. in children who desire control and lack the mental constraints to understand the idea of ERT, let alone be inhibited by it), and (on a planet of 7B+) not found a single documented and repeatable example (e.g. scientific journal articles)?
    c) While a lack of mental control of our environment doesn’t rule out MRT, it does support an external physical reality model.
    3) Inability to confirm/verify: Like a dream state, unfortunately a mental reality is only really verifiable from outside the reality – e.g., from our current reality, we recognize that “solipsism” is a pretty good definition of our dream “reality”. From outside the universe, we might be able to define whether we live in a mental or physical reality, but until then I think MRT has to face the “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” problem. Appeals to such experiences such as NDE’s face the weakness that a) such experiences are not universal, and b) are artifacts of a still-living mind – a report of an experience not indisputably different from dreams. (Note: I’m not arguing against the validity of NDE’s, I happen to lean towards a belief they are real, external-to-the-universe experiences. I just don’t think they can be used as “proof” for any given scientific/religious viewpoint).
    4) Effectiveness of belief in external physical reality: MRT would be easier to believe in if a belief in an external physical reality wasn’t so darn effective. Western science exploded with the definition and exploration of what it perceives as external physical matter, energy, and forces. While MRT is certainly compatible with a mental reality that does follow rules as expansive and precise as our universe’s, it wouldn’t seem to demand or even indicate such behaviors. Probability that our universe follows such laws (ert = must, mrt = can) seems to favor a belief in external physical reality.
    5) Religious objections: For a majority of the world’s religions, a) our universe was created as something other than purely mental (God looked on His creation and saw that “it” was good) and external to the Creator; and b) our “minds” have a finite beginning (conception) with an infinite future. Belief in MRT, as you have described it, involves more than a little bit of religion, as it speaks to supernatural topics external to the testable universe.
    6) Limitations of Logic: I believe your chain of logic is valid in getting us to the point of “as all of our experience is mental, there is no way to prove physical reality actually exists”. Unfortunately, at that point, the logical exercise no longer eliminates possibilities, just argues for which is more sane/logical/rational. It is a exercise in personal belief, and for most people I think the points above tilt the lever towards an external physical reality.

    I know you have addressed much of the above in other posts, just thought you might appreciate what I believe to be a fair and respectful summary of challenges to accepting MRT.

  14. 14

    Drc466 @13 said:

    Level of Detail: …

    A progressive algorithmic processing of information is capable of producing extremely fine detail.

    The other forms of mental experience we have (VR, NDEs, dreams, etc.) lack the equivalent of scientific laws and restrictions on our mental experience, down to the quantum level.

    Have you personally put the attention and effort in to these other forms of experience to support this claim?

    Why define a Higgs-Boson, when a molecule will do?

    What do you mean by “will do.” “Will do” in what sense?

    2) Control of experience: One of your postulates for MRT is that although control of our experience is almost entirely external, we can exercise a certain amount of influence over our reality through the exercise of mind.

    Incorrect. Everything is internal, inasmuch as that word means anything when there is no “external.” Perhaps it would be better to say “everything fundamentally exists as zero-point infinite information.”

    I’m not certain this follows – e.g. in the gamut of mental realities, the amount of mental control of our environment runs from complete (dreams) to none (VR).

    I’ve never experienced complete personal control of any dream environment, including those where I am lucid.

    a) What is your warrant for stating we can/should be able to influence our environment mentally (e.g. “psi”)? Isn’t it just as likely we as individuals have no control?

    The only thing we have conscious control over at any given time in any environment is that which we put our attention on. I’m not sure “control” would even be the correct term; the more attention we put on a thing in a particular way, the more the experience processing algorithm produces that kind of thing in that way in our experience. We’re talking about a massive, complex informational structure the bulk of which we are not even consciously aware of, so there are enormous processing factors in play which would require techniques and methodologies in order to more effectively influence what one experiences. Ultimately, any logically possible experience can be had, including PSI capacity, but it may depend on various rearrangements of the personal identity information and adjustments to the processing algorithm .

    Inability to confirm/verify: Like a dream state, unfortunately a mental reality is only really verifiable from outside the reality – e.g., from our current reality, we recognize that “solipsism” is a pretty good definition of our dream “reality”.

    All gathering, verification and confirmation of any evidence or theory occurs in mind. We have no access to “outside of mind” verification regardless of the theory we support.

    c) While a lack of mental control of our environment doesn’t rule out MRT, it does support an external physical reality model.

    No it doesn’t, because you literally have absolutely no idea what any world external of mind is, or is like, or how it is transferred into mental experiences, or if that representation is remotely accurate.

    Absolute, immediate conscious control of one’s experiences would require a certain kind of identity structure being processed a certain way; out of infinite personal perspective possibilities, people having that kind of experience would be rare. But, there are people having that kind of experience.

    b) If such mental control is possible, why do we not see it more (e.g. in children who desire control and lack the mental constraints to understand the idea of ERT, let alone be inhibited by it), and (on a planet of 7B+) not found a single documented and repeatable example (e.g. scientific journal articles)?

    Because the observed and interacted presence of such people would violate our personal perspective information structures and processing, much of which is necessary to maintain in certain shared information and processing frameworks.

    IOW, we can’t experience things outside of the parameters of the algorithmic processing of the information that identifies us and which we have our attention on.

    4) Effectiveness of belief in external physical reality: MRT would be easier to believe in if a belief in an external physical reality wasn’t so darn effective.

    All science historically has been conducted entirely in mind and was entirely about mental experiences, regardless of how any characterized it. It is therefore at least as effective as ERT, which cannot be supported. MRT just does away with useless speculation.

    Religious objections:

    MRT is an entirely non-religious, secular theory. There is no such thing as “the supernatural” under MRT. All testing of anything goes on entirely in the mind, so I’m not sure what you mean by “external to the testable universe.”

    Limitations of Logic:

    Not sure what any of this is supposed to mean. MRT offers testable, researchable opportunities unavailable under ERT theory, as I’ve explained.

    I know you have addressed much of the above in other posts, just thought you might appreciate what I believe to be a fair and respectful summary of challenges to accepting MRT.

    I do in fact appreciate at least your attempt to do so.

  15. 15

    This might clarify things some, Drc46: under MRT, there are countless “worlds” or informational frameworks for shared experiences. There are infinite “alternate universes” that operate by different informational constraints. Although they all exist in the same place at the same time, any individual only experiences in conscious detail and consistency that which the algorithm has developed for that particular perspective. People with the same basic configuration “share” that experience to a very large degree, interact with each other, etc.

    Another way of saying this: we have available to our experience an infinite number of alternate dimensional constructs that countless beings “inhabit” that range from almost identical to “this universe” to entirely different. We only see and interact with those within our psychological range, so to speak.

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