By accepting the fundamental, unequivocal logical fact that our experiential existence is necessarily, entirely mental in nature, and accepting the unambiguous scientific evidence that supports this view, we can move on to the task of developing a functioning and useful theory of mental reality. I will attempt to roughly outline such a theory here, with the caveat that trying to express such a theory in language that is thoroughly steeped in external, physical world ideology is at best difficult. Another caveat would be that, even though the categorical nature of the theory probably cannot be disproved (mental reality would account for all possible experiences,) some models might prove more useful and thus be better models.
IMO, the phrase “we live in a mental reality,” once properly understood, is realized as a self-evident truth. Self-evident truths cannot be “disproved.”
For any particular theory to even get off the ground, there must be a structure that can organize it into something comprehensible, testable (for usefulness), and which corresponds to current experience while making predictions and retrodictions.
There are at least two indisputable structures to mind and how it generates experience; logic and mathematics. These may be two different ways of expressing the same universal principle of mind. In this model, this “mathlogical” principle is that which takes a set of information and processes it into experience. I’m going to simplify the term and say it this way: experience is the algorithmic expression of a data set.
The data set that the algorithm processes can be roughly stated as that set of data which represents the mental structures we identify as individuals. No two individuals are comprised by the exact same identity set or they would be the same person, which follows the logical principle of identity.
And so, no two people experience the same exact thing even though the algorithm follows the same rules for expression. Two individuals can be connect to the some or even much of the same data, but not all of it. Note: there are infinite varieties of data sets because there is infinite information available that can be arranged an infinite number of ways.
Innumerable individuals can have included in their individual data sets large blocks of arranged information which they are, essentially, sharing. The algorithmic expression of such data blocks, even with innumerable individual variances of data not contained in the shared data block, could result in what we observe as a shared, external, physical world. In fact, it may be that the “external physical world” is a data block that acts as filtering information that other individual information is processed through – at least to a large degree.
And so, we experience what seems to be a consistent, shared “world” that is governed by logic and math. However, the model is fundamentally incomplete unless we bring in another fundamental quality of experience: free will.
In this model, free will is precisely defined as the capacity to unilaterally, free of both the data and the algorithmic process, direct one’s attention. It is absolutely free and unfettered, and as such it is also ineffable. Free will represents a single variable in the algorithm. Although this variable cannot change the principles by which the algorithm processes the data into experience, the variable establishes what information is included in the data set the algorithm is procedurally processing into experience.
Usually, people use their free will capacity in no other way than to provide an experience-sustaining feedback loop. We focus our attention on the current expression of the data set and largely limit our attention to that which is logically implied by what the algorithm is already producing. We’re usually trapped in our own feedback loop because we identify with the algorithmic expression we experience as the very definition of what is real. Oddly, as a result of confusing cause and effect, we erroneously think that our experience is caused by what we experience, when that can’t possibly be the case. It’s logically absurd.
In this model, we actually have the free will capacity to put our attention on any information, even if it is “outside” of our current identity data set and outside of what we’re experiencing as “shared physical reality.” We can set this variable of the algorithm to refer back to any information we want out of infinite information available. We call this capacity our “imagination.”
Boom! Mental reality without a trace of solipsism.
38 Replies to “Outlining A Functional Mental Reality Theory”
Some sort of mental reality is certainly possible but if you unmoor our conscious experience from any external reality then why do we experience anything at all and what can it be other than a fantasy?
If there is no external reality then all the weird and wonderful phenomena of the quantum level of external reality are just fantasies. The nature of entangled particle pairs and any apparent research into them are meaningless because neither photons nor entanglement exist at all.
This would also be true of our memories of the past. How could we know if any of it happened or whether we came into existence last Thursday with an apparently complete set of entirely fictional memories?
In fact, while it is fun to play around with such concepts, if it were true it would make the entire human explanatory enterprise – philosophy, science, religion, logic mathematics – pointless. There is nothing to explain. Beyond what am I and why am I experiencing what I am experiencing, that is.
Intertwined thoughts are the only reality. We choose our reality by choosing what thought(s) to believe. There are 2 primordial thoughts : a very intelligent God or a very intelligent chaos. ? Chaos(blind natural laws) don’t produce thoughts because thoughts are not matter so an intelligent human being would believe in the right primordial thought.
I explained what we are experiencing. The word “fantasy” only has meaning in an external-reality perspective.
They exist as experiences, which is all we have of “reality” in any event, under any model. Any “meaning” for any experiential pursuit is a quality of individual experience.
Memories, in mental reality theory, are not what they are in current external reality theory. Regardless of theory, the only “time” you actually exist is “now,” and certain kinds of mental qualia, regardless of theory, serve to orient the individual within their experience.
Well, if you mean there’s nothing left to explain, at least on an existential and “how existence works” level, I agree. This theory explains everything. You’re welcome.
Lololol! What are you talking about, delusional kiddo? Your materialist superstition collapses into subjective idealism.
Naturalism’s Epistemological Nightmare
Coming from an evo/ materialist whose weird ideology leads to global skepticism.
Naturalism’s Global Skepticism Plantinga’s EAAN
You are a joke.
If “our experiential existence is necessarily, entirely mental in nature”, then how can, “the unambiguous scientific evidence” support that view? ALL the scientific evidence is obtained using equipment and experimental setups that assume and utilize matter and energy. Using science based on matter and energy and the assumption of an external physical world to “prove” that matter does not exist and that the only reality is mental does not seem like a promising approach to “proving” idealism. If no external material reality exists, then why base metaphysical or philosophical arguments on the basis of material evidence that assumes realism?
You might want to look into the numerous scientific experiments affirming superposition, the collapse of the wave function, entanglement, the quantum zeno effect, and quantum erasure. There’s tons of scientific evidence.
The experimental results are considered incontrovertible, but the interpretations on what these results mean with regard to reality are confusing, shocking, and wildly controversial.
‘Moored’ and ‘unmoored’ are metaphorical expressions. And what kind of reality do metaphorical expressions possess? Why, semantic. Which again is a product of mind.
Naturalism simply assumes the primacy of the objective. When pressed, it then tries to present objective reasons for this assumption – which is another way of stating the infinite regress at its basis,
Not sure I understand your question. In the theory, there is no matter or energy, only mental phenomena we experience as such. The equipment are mental constructs. Our very bodies are mental constructs. The reason the quantum results come back the way they do is because they are not actually experimenting on or with physical things. We’re actually conducting mental tests on the nature of our experiences, even if we assume we are not. There’s nothing else to conduct a test on or with.
First, there’s no such thing as “material evidence” because it is a logical and a practical impossibility. Second, it doesn’t matter what you assume you are investigating; under mental reality theory, the only thing you can actually be investigating is the nature of mental experience. All evidence gathered under any paradigm necessarily would support a well-made mental reality theory, because all evidential processes and facts are experienced in mind.
By the death of a thousand quantum cuts, Materialism is dead,
And since Darwinian evolution is based on the presupposition of reductive materialism, (where it is assumed, without any evidential basis I might add, that both information and consciousness are somehow ’emergent’ from some material basis), then the death of materialism, of course, necessarily entails the death of Darwinian evolution itself.
In regards to quantum mechanics, Steven Weinberg, an atheist, put the irresolvable problem for Darwinian explanations like this, “In the instrumentalist approach (in quantum mechanics) 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.,,, In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,,, Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,”
In fact Weinberg, again an atheist, rejected the instrumentalist approach precisely because, via their free will choices, “humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level” and precisely because it undermined the Darwinian worldview from within.
The existence of free will is simply completely incompatible with Darwinian materialism. In fact, although we all experience free will first hand, Darwinists deny the existence of free will. That is to say that Darwinists deny what we all know to be true from our first hand experience.
As militant Darwinist Jerry Coyne stated, “Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it.”
The claim that free will is an illusion is simply insane. Besides denying the reality of what we all know to be true from our first hand experience, the denial of free will also necessarily undermines any claim the Darwinist may make that he is reasoning in a rational coherent manner in the first place.
As Martin Cothran pointed out, “The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.”
And it is exactly this ‘perspective outside the physical order’ that lies outside the purview of Darwinian explanations and which undermines any claim the Darwinist may make that he reasoning in a rationally coherent fashion in the first place.
As Jerry Coyne further explained,
Yet, regardless of how Jerry Coyne, Steven Weinberg, and other atheists may prefer the world to behave, quantum mechanics itself could care less how atheists prefer the world to behave.
Although there have been several major loopholes in quantum mechanics over the past several decades that atheists have tried to appeal to in order to try to avoid the ‘spooky’ Theistic implications of quantum mechanics, over the past several years each of those major loopholes have each been closed one by one. The last major loophole that was left to be closed was the “setting independence” and/or the ‘free-will’ loophole:
And now Anton Zeilinger and company have recently, as of 2018, pushed the ‘free will loophole’ back to 7.8 billion years ago, thereby firmly establishing the ‘common sense’ fact that the free will choices of the experimenter in the quantum experiments are truly free and are not determined by any possible causal influences from the past for at least the last 7.8 billion years, and that the experimenters themselves are therefore shown to be truly free to choose whatever measurement settings in the experiments that he or she may so desire to choose so as to ‘logically’ probe whatever aspect of reality that he or she may be interested in probing.
Thus regardless of how Jerry Coyne, Steven Weinberg, and other atheists may prefer the universe to behave, with the closing of the last remaining free will loophole in quantum mechanics, “humans are (indeed) brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level”, and thus these recent findings from quantum mechanics directly undermine, as Weinberg himself pointed out, the “vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.”
Moreover allowing free will and/or Agent causality into the laws of physics at their most fundamental level has some fairly profound implications for us personally.
First and foremost, allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,,, (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”. Here are a few posts where I lay out and defend some of the evidence for that claim:
To give us a small glimpse of the power that was involved in Christ’s resurrection from the dead, the following recent article found that, ”it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.”
Besides the empirical verification of ‘free will’ and/or Agent causality within quantum theory bringing that rather startling solution to the much sought after ‘theory of everything’, there is, to put it mildly, also another fairly drastic implication for individual people being “brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level” as well.
Although free will is often thought of as allowing someone to choose between a veritable infinity of options,,,
,,, although free will is often thought of as allowing someone to choose between a veritable infinity of options, in a theistic view of reality that veritable infinity of options all boils down to just two options. Eternal life with God, or Eternal life without God.
C.S. Lewis stated the situation for people as such: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”
Moreover, in order to support the physical reality of heaven and hell, I can appeal directly to two of our most powerful and precisely tested theories ever in the history of science. Special Relativity and General Relativity respectfully.
Moreover, and on top of all that, (as impressive as that confirmation of a basic Christian presupposition is), I can also appeal to advances in quantum biology to, number one, further undermine the materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution, and to, number two, support the physical reality of a immaterial soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies.
The interesting thing about finding quantum information to be ubiquitous within living organisms is that quantum information, like quantum entanglement itself, requires a ‘non-local’, i.e. beyond space and time, cause in order to explain it. As the following article noted, “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,”
Moreover, it is also important to realize that quantum information is conserved. As the following article states, “In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed.”
The implication of finding ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, and ‘conserved’, quantum information in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every important biomolecule in our bodies, is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious.
That pleasant implication, of course, being the fact that we now have very strong empirical evidence suggesting that we do indeed have an eternal soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies. As Stuart Hameroff states in the following article, the quantum information,,, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed.,,, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
Of somewhat related interest, I have not watched it yet, but Inspiring Philosophy has just recently uploaded the fifth and final video from his ‘Irreducible Mind’ series,
Here is the video playlist of all 5 of his videos in his ‘Irreducible Mind’ series
R.I.P. materialism. You won’t be missed.
Bye-bye, arrivederci, hasta nunca. 🙂
Materialism’s Evident Falsity
The mental reality theory I’ve outlined completely allows for the the life/afterlife spiritual/religious experiential architecture you’ve described, including heaven and hell. Fortunately for everyone else, it allows for every possible experiential architecture, not just religious/spiritual versions. Mental reality theory also predicts one can experience all sorts of evidence that supports their belief in any particular architecture.
Unless one can demonstrate that their particular architecture is the only one logically possible under the mental reality premise, then there is no significant reason that there cannot be other experiences which do not correspond to the “heaven/hell” paradigm.
All spiritual and religious doctrines that I am aware of are, IMO, at their core, expressions of materialism. in that an objective, external reality exists which arbitrarily enforces a strict limitation to experiential possibilities.
Under mental reality theory, one might argue that the only experiential possibilities available are those which conform to a particular theological or spiritual perspective, but one would have to make the case why that particular limitation is a necessary commodity for all identities being translated into experience.
Trying to get my head around this (metaphorically speaking). (Should I say that my algorithm + data finds this stimulating?)
So why does my algorithm seem to need a thrice-daily input of the data that represents “food”? What caused that apparent requirement? Me or something outside of me?
How can I test your idea? Is there something I can do to cause an unexpected result or thought to occur?
What caused our existence to be structured in this way?
Incompleteness (of Godel) is true in all systems including in mental reality . Information from outside the system are required to understand(objective) the system.
Human imagination is “helping” only to create multiple false realities.
“Revelation”(information from “outside” and “off limit” for human experience ) is only way to access The Reality because humans are actors not creators of this universe/system.
“Free will ” become really free only after integration of “Revelation” as starting point for Reality .
You can’t access Reality without informations from outside the “human system” , those informations can be integrated only by “believing” aka faith aka religion .
Which religion? Only One of all religions… but this is another discussion.
William J Murray at 14, and observational evidence counts for what in your worldview? If it counts for nought then your worldview is, for all intents and purposes, worthless as far a observational science is concerned.
Whereas, on the other hand, in my posts I’ve appealed to the most powerful theories in science to support the Christian worldview.
In short, as we have discussed before, you have a rather glaring hole in your theory.
EDTA @ 17:
Nothing caused our existence to be structured this way. It’s just the nature of identity in mind. As for the particulars of what you might call your mortal existence, you chose this kind of existence by the nature of your identity. IMO and according to various information, there are many other kinds of experiences to have.
To work with the model, you do it by placing your attention on something. In my experience, it works best when you have emotional investment in whatever you are placing your attention on. You can focus on something you’re already experiencing to tune the algorithm into developing more of that, or your can focus on something in your imagination that generates the kind of sensation you want to experience more of.
In my experience (and in the experience of many others,) you should start seeing the effects as the algorithm begins the work. Keep in mind that the algorithm has to work with all of your other identity characteristics as well. It can be a lot of fun. It can also cause some changes that you feel resistant to, especially if you’re trying to move something new into your experience.
I can see why you think it would be worthless to you because there would be no way to assert a particular experiential architecture as that which is true for everyone. I can see why you would think that all the evidence you have supporting your beliefs represent a “hole” in my theory, but it in fact does not from the perspective of the theory itself. To put a hole in the theory, you have to do so from inside the theory, explaining how it is internally inconsistent or problematic. In mental reality theory, there can be supporting evidence for all sorts of experiential architectures.
Since you did not attempt a logical argument that your Christian doctrine is necessarily the only possible experiential architecture an individual could access, I’m assuming you can’t make that argument. Without that, the Christian experience would just be one of an infinite variety of experiential patterns one could experience in mind.
WJM, back in the 1800’s, a eccentric man in San Francisco declared himself “Emperor of the United States”.
WJM, my question for you is, since you have apparently forsaken observational evidence, how would you go about trying to convince him otherwise?
Of note: You claimed I did not make a logical argument for Christianity. I don’t know what subjective, and in this case imaginary, reality you have constructed in your own mind, but my posts on this very thread, particularly post 10, is ‘observational evidence’ that directly refutes your claim that I did not make a logical argument for Christianity.
For crying out loud, I specifically made a ‘inductive logical’ argument for Christianity by appealing to our most powerful theories in science and by arguing that Christ’s resurrection from the dead, (unlike string theory, etc..), provides a very plausible solution to the much sought after ‘theory of everything’.
(1) I haven’t forsaken observational evidence. I just evaluate it through a different perspective. ALL evidence is interpreted through a filtering paradigm.
(2) Why would I try to convince the man otherwise?
That’s not what I claimed at all. There are several good, logical arguments for Christianity. Those are not the argument I asked for. Just because there are good, logical arguments for a thing doesn’t mean that thing is true. Also, logical arguments that specifically extend from an external-reality interpretation of evidence simply do not apply to mental reality theory. It’s like judging a basketball game using logic based on watching a baseball game.
Only I didn’t make that claim. I said you didn’t make an attempt at the specific logical argument I asked for.
And those are very good arguments. I’ve enjoyed reading them every time you make them. However, they are not the argument I asked for. The argument I asked for was one that showed that the Christian perspective was the only possible experiential architecture one could experience. I didn’t ask for an argument that you felt made it the most likely.
I agree that the Christian heaven and hell exist, but only as two of infinite available “dimensions” of mental experience. I agree with everything you said about the Shroud of Turin. Quite a miraculous event, but it is not evidence that Christian cosmology is the only possible experiential architecture one can experience.
Maybe I missed something, but mental reality theory accounts for the existence of all the evidence you’ve provided. There isn’t any of that which anyone experienced outside of their mind. The only way you can make a meaningful argument for Christianity being the only available experiential mental architecture would be to show that it is logically necessary that it be the only one that any consciousness can possibly experience. Arguing that there is evidence that it just exists isn’t enough.
Thinking that everyone must be a part of a single experiential architecture set is a remnant of external, objective, materialism.
In your theory, you simply have reduced the importance of observational evidence to the point that it is meaningless. Again, as far as science itself is concerned, that renders your theory worthless as far as science is concerned.
Duh, it is a false view of reality. And, more importantly, to prove that your theory can properly differentiate between false views of reality and true views of reality.
You then claim that I must prove that ‘your Christian doctrine is necessarily the only possible experiential architecture an individual could access’, and then you claim ‘I’m assuming you can’t make that argument.’
For crying out loud, I would NEVER make such a preposterous argument.
As my example of the ‘Emperor of the United States’ pointed out, people can construct all sorts of false views of reality in their own minds. Reference to the external world, i.e. observational evidence, is absolutely necessary to try to correct his view, (and even then a person can refuse to accept evidence against the mental reality they have constructed in their own mind, as Darwinists constantly refuse to accept evidence against their worldview right here on UD)
That is a fatal flaw for you. Reference to the ‘outside world’ i.e. Observational evidence in necessary to properly differentiate between an infinite variety of false ‘mental’ views of reality and the true Christian view of reality.
I can see why you think that from your perspective. From my perspective, this isn’t true at all. Observational evidence is very important, just not in the way it is important to you under your model.
Until you can show how it is an internal “fatal flaw,” you haven’t demonstrated it to be a flaw at all. Again, you might as well be saying that the “fatal flaw” of basketball is that it doesn’t have bases or a bat. Your argument is, essentially, that mental reality’s “fatal flaw” is that it is not compatible with external reality theory. That’s not something you even need to argue.
Here’s an actual “fatal flaw” for external reality theory because it represents an internal, unbridgable problem: You can’t ever actually experience any supposed external world, period, full stop. Therefore, nothing you say about “observational evidence” from the “external world” has any potentially verifiable validity whatsoever. What you imagine about the “outside world” is factually, necessarily, all “in your head” anyway. That’s an existential fact that is self-evidently true.
The only potential difference between you and the guy on the street in your example is that in your mind, you have more people agreeing with you than he does. And even so, you have no idea how many people are agreeing with him in his mind. In his mind, you’re probably the crazy one – if he even notices you at all.
More argument that pre-assumes the validity of the external-world hypothesis. You’re arguing your case from your external-world material reality perspective. It’s inapplicable when attempting to evaluate my mental reality theory.
Well, I don’t know that it would be “preposterous,” but at least we have settled this much: you’re not making the argument I asked for.
Has it occurred to you that my mental reality theory is actually, itself, a description of what “objective reality” is?
WJM, you still have not demonstrated how you can convince the ’emperor of the United States’ that he is not the emperor without referencing the ‘outside’ world.
I am not playing semantics. I honestly want to know how you would go about trying to convince him of the truth in your ‘mental model’.
“There are at least two indisputable structures to mind and how it generates experience; logic and mathematics.”
Well…unfortunarely for your theory first indisputable structure of mind is duplicity ,logic and mathematics are both on last place.
About the truth of Christianity I think one observation is obvious : not being invented by humans is hated by everyone .? Some won’t hate it forever and became christians.
As we see reason don’t help us to find the truth in “mental reality” because reason was perverted and nobody can deny that.
Your question is directly analogous to the following:
I’m trying to explain basketball to you. You’re a baseball fan. You ask me, “Okay, but how does the pitcher in basketball alter his throws in order to make it less likely that that batter will get a hit?” None of that question even makes sense. It’s frame of reference is from an entirely different game.
The best answer I can give you given our two entirely different perspectives is this: trying to change other people’s minds is an exercise in absurd futility. The only mind I can change is my own.
Yep…because logic and mathematic are on last place
Interesting claim seeing that many minds have been changed by pointing people to scientific evidence.
For instance, almost everyone thought that physics was all but sewn up, then along came Einstein, Planck, Heinsenberg, and Schroedinger and all of physics was practically turned on its head.
In order to ‘change everyone’s mind’, these men referenced observational evidence that was outside of any logical or mathematical argument they made.
So for you to claim that trying to change other people’s minds is ‘absurd futility’ simply is not true.
And again, if observational evidence means so little in your ‘mental theory’ so that changing minds is an exercise in ‘absurd futility’, then your theory is, for all intents and purposes, useless as far as empirical science is concerned.
In every event you have any knowlege of, in any way, of people changing their minds, where did you experience every bit of those events? IOW, if you experience arguing with someone, and that person at some point says to you, “OMG, you’ve changed my mind,” where did you experience the argument and that person saying what they did?” If their behavior changed after the argument, where did you experience that?
Trying to change other people’s minds is an exercise in absurd futility. The only mind I can change is my own.
WJM repeats his claim that “Trying to change other people’s minds is an exercise in absurd futility”,
According to WJM’s logic, since UD itself exists to, hopefully, change minds in regards to Intelligent design, I guess we should all leave UD??? Furthermore, I guess WJM himself should stop trying persuade us that his theory is logically coherent?
To push his claim even further, I guess jury trials should all cease since trying to change other people’s minds is an exercise in absurd futility???
I guess I will take WJM’s advice in at least one instance and stop trying to convince WJM himself that his mental theory is useless as far as empirical science is concerned. It is clear that that is an exercise in ‘absurd futility’ since WJM has, apparently, fallen in love with his own theory to the point of denying the central importance of ‘outside’ empirical evidence in trying to persuade someone to ‘change their mind’.
It is entirely understandable that you interpret and respond to what I say and my ideas from the external world paradigm. “Persuading others” by debate or argument is an external-reality perspective. That may be what you are trying to do here, but it is not what I am doing.
What other people should or should not do doesn’t even factor into my mental processes. I only ask, “what do I want to experience, and what should I put my attention on in order to facilitate that experience?”
How other people use the model of mental reality is up to them, and there’s no such thing as “outside empirical evidence.” The only place any evidence can possibly exist is in mind. That latter is a self-evidently true statement of fact about existence. That any evidence is also a faithful representation of some imagined “external world” is necessarily an entirely unsupportable proposition, even in principle.
Boring. Any cam has a blind angle/blind spot. A cam can’t “analyze” itself objectively nor a human…nor you. You say it’s possible : welcome to “Alice in Wonderland”.
WJM, I’m trying to summarize your MRT theory. I’m particulary interested in what makes an individual and what makes the experience of a shared, external, physical world. Perhaps you would like to comment.
(1.) There is a mental reality.
(2.) There is the algorithm which processes data/information.
(3.) There are mental structures we identify as individuals, who are represented by sets of data.
(4.)The algorithm processes data sets into individual experience.
(5.) Individuals share large data blocks, which the algorithm processes into what we observe as a shared, external, physical world.
Good luck with that.
Self-evident truth: We live in a mental reality.
Also WJ Murray:
So, the very start of the alleged self-evident truth “we live in a mental reality”, that is the “we” —which obviously implies a belief in other minds—, is, according to WJM, “necessarily irrational.” One might think that this is not a great start for a self-evident truth.
(2.) … live in …
The term “live in” seems to imply a belief in a world external to the subject, since without anything external to the subject there is nothing for the subject to “live in.”
The problem with this is that elsewhere WJM has argued that the “…belief in an extra-mental reality is necessarily irrational …
In other words, the belief in a world external to the subject is “necessarily irrational”. So, this poses a problem for “live in.”
(3.) … a mental reality
We do not live in a shared mental reality, in the sense that I cannot access the mind of others and vice versa. I cannot experience the thoughts and feelings of other people and I cannot experience what it is to be the other person (the viewpoint).
So, the only way in which it can be self-evident, that we live in a mental reality, is when it is self-evident that what we experience as a shared material world is in fact a shared mental world. Perhaps with the assistance of discoveries in quantum mechanics one can make such a case, but to me that is a far cry from being self-evident.
So, experience—including the experience of oneself; the “I”; conscious self-awareness—is the result of a particular set of data processed by the algorithm.
How can the “I”, which is the result of a particular set of data processed by the algorithm, make a decision “free of both the data and the algorithmic process” ?
How can it be a coherent idea that something that is the result of X, is completely free of X ?