Intelligent Design

Simple, Unambigous Evidence We Do Not Live In An Objective, External Material World

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When how I choose to observe a photon at a particular time and place can (1) instantaneously affect a photon a billion light years away and (2) retroactively changes the history of that photon (delayed choice quantum eraser), and when we have searched far, wide and deep and have not found any “matter,” we have comprehensive, conclusive evidence that we do not live in an objective, external, material world.

At some point, if your views are guided by reason and evidence, you will have to accept that whatever “experience” is, it is not caused by an objective, external, material world.

93 Replies to “Simple, Unambigous Evidence We Do Not Live In An Objective, External Material World

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    SUPER DETERMINISM I SWEAR

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    I’ll grant that matter is a convenient shorthand for waves. I won’t go along with the rest of this stuff.

    I don’t observe photons here or a billion light years away. I observe waves gathered into compact resonances conveniently called objects, and these objects don’t change when I “choose how to observe them.” Everything in my house remains in the same place until I move it with my hands. After I move it, it remains in the same place until I move it again. It doesn’t move when I “choose how to observe it”, whatever that phrase might mean.

  3. 3
    doubter says:

    One explanation for this weirdness is that our reality is some form of virtual reality hyper-computer simulation. I think the evidence for this is fairly compelling.

    The concept seems to well explain such mysteries as the ultimate nature of quantum mechanics and its well-verified but mysterious undergirding of our physical reality.

    All of the physics of our world, including Einstein’s relativity equations, E = MC^^2, etc. etc. would merely be what was programmed into the virtual reality hyper-simulation.

    Absolutely all of our world, the physical reality we experience and observe and in which we observe all the weirdness and bizarre nature of quantum mechanical behavior, would be illusory and basically information computed in some other (higher) reality. This higher level of reality of the hyper-simulation would itself be deterministic.

    We as participators in the cosmic simulation would not be artifacts of the simulation – we would be the users, true conscious sentient thinking entities inhabiting that higher reality. Freeman Dyson and other materialists imagine that human beings are also generated as part of this cosmic simulation software, but this is of course untenable – the so-called “hard problem” of consciousness and a large body of evidence shows that although human consciousness is usually in life tied to material brains it is not of these material neural structures and can separate from the physical body.

    A spiritual/metaphysical interpretation of this could be that this hyper-simulation reality is merely the underlying mechanism by which Spirit creates the playground of experience and limitation and learning for eternal souls.

    The case for the simulation hypothesis seems compelling because of the way the analogy of an iterative computer calculation/simulation makes sense of quantum mechanical phenomena. All the philosophical, metaphysical and spiritual implications of such a theory are irrelevant to the likely truth of the theory.

    I think that Ross Rhodes makes some key points on this, summarized in his paper A Cybernetic Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics at www.http://www.mysearch.org.uk/website1/pdf/615.1.pdf.

    Just one part of this analysis is examination of the way electromagnetic waves are not really waves in any sort of medium, but behave exactly as if they are waves of calculation.

    …in the 1920s it was shown that objects — everything from electrons to the chair on which you sit — exhibit exactly the same wave properties as light, and suffer from exactly the same lack of any medium. One way to resolve this seeming paradox of waves without medium is to note that there remains another kind of wave altogether. A wave with which we are all familiar, yet which exists without any medium in the ordinary sense.

    This is the computer-generated wave. Let us examine a computer-generated sound wave. Imagine the following set up. A musician in a recording studio plays a synthesizer, controlled by a keyboard. It is a digital synthesizer which uses an algorithm (programming) to create nothing more than a series of numbers representing what a sampling of points along the desired sound wave would look like if it were played by a “real” instrument. The synthesizer’s output is routed to a computer and stored as a series of numbers. The numbers are burned into a disk as a series of pits that can be read by a laser — in other words, a CD recording. The CD is shipped to a store. You buy the CD, bring it home, and put it in your home entertainment system, and press the play button. The”music” has traveled from the recording studio to your living room. Through what medium did the music wave travel? To a degree, you might say that it traveled as electricity through the wires from the keyboard to the
    computer. But you might just as well say it traveled by truck along the highway to the store. In fact, this”sound wave” never existed as anything more than a digital representation of a hypothetical sound wave which itself never existed. It is, first and last, a string of numbers. Therefore, although it will produce wavelike effects when placed in your stereo, this wave never needed any medium other than the computer memory to spread itself all over the music.

  4. 4
    Querius says:

    The problem with understanding matter-wave duality is that the “waves” part are mathematical probability waves in a field of information, not electromagnetic waves. Probability waves are not tangible or directly measurable. They only manifest themselves as mass-energy when they are observed or measured and the wave function collapses into reality.

    Yes, that’s what quantum mechanics seems to demonstrate experimentally and physicists have been squirming under the implications for decades, although materialistic philosophers and academics remain largely clueless of these scientific discoveries. They are happy to live in the world of James Watt, Charles Darwin, and Karl Marx.

    -Q

  5. 5
    doubter says:

    Querius

    The most sophisticated version of the simulation hypothesis is currently the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Simulation Hypothesis developed by philosopher Marcus Arvan, at
    https://www.p2p-simulation-hypothesis.com/ . It is based on serious scientific and philosophical sub-hypotheses, and I think it encompasses the probabilistic quantum mechanical behavior you mention..

    It explains features of the physical world (including quantum world) that no other theory explains. And it makes predictions about our world, and so may be confirmed or falsified.

    The P2P hypothesis holds that we are living in a peer-to-peer networked computer simulation. Some computer simulations have a “dedicated” central server (a single computer running the simulation that all other computers access). However, peer-to-peer networked simulations have no central server. The “simulated reality” is simply a vast network of different computers (a “cloud”).

    What the P2P Hypothesis Explains: Quantum Mechanics & Relativity:

    Because each computer on a peer-to-peer network runs its own simulation, the computational structure of a peer-to-peer simulation inherently has all of the following properties:

    The location of any “object” within the simulation is a computational superposition, i.e. an object represented at position A on computer A, position B on computer B, position C on computer C, etc. will be coded, at the level of the whole simulation, as being simultaneously in positions A, B, C, etc. (superimposed in all of those locations at once).

    “The” location of any object or property in a P2P simulation is therefore also indeterminate, given that each computer on the network has its own representation of where “the” object or property is, and there is no dedicated server on the network to represent where the object or property “really” is (any object or property “really” is represented at many different positions on the network, thanks to slightly different representations on many computers all operating in parallel),

    Any measurement taken by any single measurement device a P2P network also thereby affects the network as a whole (since what one computer measures will affect what other computers on the network are likely to measure at any given instant), giving rise to a massive measurement problem (one can only measure an object is on the network by disturbing the entire network, thereby altering where other computers on the network will represent the particle as being).

    Because different machines on the network represent the same object in slightly different positions at any given instant (with some number n of machines representing a given object at position P, some other number n* of machines representing a given object at position P*, etc.) a dynamical description of where a given object/property probably is in the environment will have features of a wave (viz. an amplitude equivalent to the number of computers representing the object at a given instant, and wavelength equivalent to dynamical change of how many computers represent the object at a given point at the next instant).

    By a similar token, any particular measurement on any particular computer will result in the observation of the object as located at a specific point.

    Any particular measurement on any particular computer will result in the appearance of a “collapse” of wave-like dynamics of the simulation into a single, determinate measurement.

    It is also a natural result of a peer-to-peer network that single objects can “split in two”, becoming entangled (in a peer-to-peer network multiple computers can, in a manner of speaking, get slightly out of phase, with one or more computers on the network coding for the particle passing through a boundary, while one or more other computers on the network coding for the particle to bounce backwards – in which case, if the coding is right, all of the computers on the network will treat the “two” resulting objects as simply later continuants of what was previously a single object).

    All time measurements in a P2P simulation are relative to observers. Each measurement device on a P2P simulation (i.e. game console) has its own internal clock, and there is no universal clock or standard of time that all machines share.

    Because the quantized data comprising the physical information of a P2P simulation will have to be separated/non-continuous much as there are “spaces” between pits of data on a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray disc, there must be within any such simulation something akin to the Planck length, an absolute minimum length below which measurements of space-time cannot be taken in principle (a feature of our world for which, at present, “there is no proven physical significance”).

  6. 6
    Latemarch says:

    I reject your reality and substitute my own. 😝

  7. 7
    Latemarch says:

    SABINE HOSSENFELDER

    Indeed, the biggest divide in the quantum foundations community today is metaphysical: It is that between realists and non-realists. Those in the camp of realism long for a theory whose mathematical structures can be interpreted as how things really are, while the non-realists take quantum mechanics to be a theory about what we know. “Know about what?” you may ask. Ah, but that’s a question only a realist would ask.

    Heh!

  8. 8
    Viola Lee says:

    I like that, Latemarch! 🙂

  9. 9
    chuckdarwin says:

    Simple, Unambiguous Evidence We DO Live In An Objective, External Material World: Next time you are driving down the interstate in your car, ramp it up to full speed and drive it head on into a concrete and rebar overpass pylon…….

  10. 10
    Querius says:

    Sorry Chuckdarwin @9, but your description has been falsified experimentally.

    The “you” in your sentence means that someone by their observation has collapsed the wave function into atoms and molecules, hence the collision. Both the driver and his cat, “Schrödinger,” are now dead.

    An international team of researchers has published their paper demonstrating quantum teleportation between two Canary Islands. Last May [2012], European researchers reported successfully teleporting photons over a distance of 143 km – a little over 88 miles- between two Canary Islands.

    Quantum teleportation of macro objects such as a human is at least theoretically possible.

    Quantum superposition was demonstrated at the scale of 25 times the size of the Covid-19 virus and captured photographically. It was the first time quantum superposition was (barely) visible to the naked eye. Fusion of hydrogen nuclei in the sun is made possible by quantum superposition and this of course is visible to the naked eye as well.

    The creation and collapse of the wave function can also be observed in the famous double-slit experiment:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1YqgPAtzho

    Quantum levitation is demonstrated here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXHczjOg06w&feature=youtu.be&t=7m9s

    But it seems like you’re more comfortable in the world of James Watt, Charles Darwin, and Karl Marx. That’s certainly ok, but scientifically out-of-date by about a century.

    -Q

  11. 11
    Querius says:

    Doubter,

    Yes, you’ve illustrated my point about physicists squirming under the implications of a non-material, non-deterministic reality.

    While quantum mechanics has been validated more than any other branch of physics, you’re pointing out that the interpretation of the experimental validation of quantum effects is wildly controversial, in some cases reportedly leading to shouting matches at conferences.

    I can understand why. There’s a lot at stake ideologically.

    -Q

  12. 12
    Querius says:

    Latemarch,

    I really respect and appreciate Dr. Hossenfelder’s no-nonsense, show-me approach. Her short and simple presentations on her channel are well worth watching. Here one that’s about seven minutes long:

    The Problem with Quantum Measurement
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be3HlA_9968

    She presents her own ideas to a panel of the top quantum physicists in the world here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YglT09Korr0
    (Warning: Her presentation and the questions and critiques that follow is long and deeply technical.)

    -Q

  13. 13
    Viola Lee says:

    Up in post 4, Querius made some correct observations, in my opinion, when he wrote,

    The problem with understanding matter-wave duality is that the “waves” part are mathematical probability waves in a field of information, not electromagnetic waves. Probability waves are not tangible or directly measurable. They only manifest themselves as mass-energy when they are observed or measured and the wave function collapses into reality.

    But then Querius wrote,

    physicists have been squirming under the implications for decades, although materialistic philosophers and academics remain largely clueless of these scientific discoveries.

    It is indeed true that physicists in general have struggled, and continue to struggle, to understand the meaning and implications of QM in respect to reality. But I think virtually all philosophers and other academics that address the nature of reality, be they “materialists” or of some other philosophical view, accept the quantum nature of reality, and have long ago left the classical Newtonian world of solid things. I really doubt that any of them are clueless about the scientific discoveries that have shown us something of the quantum world underlying the macroscopic world we experience.

  14. 14
    Querius says:

    Viola @13,

    You may be right, but I’m always running into attempts to preserve determinism and materialism online in forums and YouTube videos by science celebrities. Even realism is now very shaky, pressing us toward idealism, in which the mind creates or participates in the creation of reality.

    A good case in point is the astonishing quantum zeno effect, where changes such as radioactive decay can be arrested by continuously observing the particle.

    -Q

  15. 15
    Eugene says:

    > We Do Not Live In An Objective, External Material World

    We live in a mind-blowingly-powerful quantum computer / simulator. Now, whether that QM computer exists objectively and materially is nearly the same question as whether the virtual world inside your favorite computer game exists objectively and materially. Actually, it does indeed exist – it exists as electron flows in the XBox silicon CPU in our world. Similarly, our QM simulator may exist as some kind of a techno-gadget in the higher-level reality. (That gadget may even be on sale there for just $299).

    It should be pretty obvious by now that in our reality at the most basic level there is nothing but pure math and random numbers. There are definitely no “things” there. However, there are certainly rules and constraints on math.

  16. 16

    I think the simulation theories are better than current physicalist theories, but they generally all suffer from backdoor materialism. IOW, it’s materialists trying to characterize a non-material existence from the materialist perspective. What’s the virtual reality system made of? How do users log in? When they aren’t logged in, what is the non-virtual environment? How does the system get us to forget what was going on before we logged in?

    The simulation theory is a decent analogy and a good start but it tries to solve “this world” issues by either (1) conceptually copying and pasting another “this world” on top of this world and calling this world a simulation run by the world above us (simulations all the way up?), or (2) saying nothing about the “real world” at all and we’re just supposed to take it on faith it can produce these kind of computerized systems.

    IOW, simulation theories are attempts to preserve materialism essentially by saying the things that disprove materialism here “aren’t real.”

  17. 17

    P2P network and other simulation theories might be useful analogies, but they basically just shift the burden of explaining reality/existence in terms of the evidence we have available. Would life in the “real world” beyond the simulation be any different than what we experience here?

    Also, these theories largely ignore the evidence we have from people who have left their “simulation avatars” here. Is that part of the simulation? Is producing a computing system powerful enough to render on-demand, local, interconnected, fully immersive sensory “CGI” even possible in a world that doesn’t have quantum behaviors like this one? Good luck with that.

    The simplest explanation is that we exist entirely within a mental reality. Even if we were in a simulation we would still be experiencing everything entirely within our mind and completely dependent upon how it generates anything we experience with no way to access any so-called “external world” even if we log out of the simulation technology.

    IOW, once we log out, there would be no way to validate the actual existence of an external world that built the virtual reality system we just logged out of. We would still be in Plato’s Cave.

    Until we accept this basic, inescapable fact and start treating it seriously instead of finding ways to ignore it, IMO we will never be able to understand the nature of our existence. We won’t be able to approach investigation and research of this situation as effectively as possible, and we will keep coming up with increasingly convoluted and problematic theories to avoid it.

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    Querius at 12

    While quantum mechanics has been validated more than any other branch of physics, you’re pointing out that the interpretation of the experimental validation of quantum effects is wildly controversial, in some cases reportedly leading to shouting matches at conferences.
    I can understand why. There’s a lot at stake ideologically.

    The only ‘interpretation’ of quantum mechanics that does not collapse into absurdity is an interpretation where consciousness and free will play a fundamental role in the measurement process.

    Multiple lines of experimental evidence all confirm that the immaterial mental attributes of free will and ‘the experience of the now’ are irreducible parts of the measurement process.

    July 2020 – How the mental attributes of ‘the experience of the now’ and of ‘free will’ correlate with recent advances in quantum mechanics
    https://uncommondescent.com/neuroscience/michael-egnor-talks-with-podcaster-lucas-skrobot-about-how-we-can-know-we-are-not-zombies/#comment-706147

    Sept. 2020 – An old entry in wikipedia described the Quantum Zeno effect as such, “an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.”,,,
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/researchers-have-been-confirming-quantum-entanglement-in-brain-tissue/#comment-713170

    How Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness Correlate – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f0hL3Nrdas

    Of course atheists are upset that quantum mechanics overwhelmingly supports a Theistic, even Christian, worldview. I believe Steven Weinberg, an atheist, has said something to the effect of ‘to hell with it’, when faced with the, in his view, ‘unappealing’ option of having to accept that we live in a Theistic universe where consciousness is fundamental.

    Why atheists would, much like they do with in their fight against Intelligent Design, fight tooth and nail against what is staring them right in the face, and find the option of God to be ‘unappealing’, I have no idea.

    It is not like atheists have a better option than God. Far from it. In their rejection of God, atheists have chosen a life that is devoid of any true meaning, value, or purpose.

    Is There Meaning to Life? – Dr Craig videos (animated video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKGnXgH_CzE

    As Dr Craig pointed out in the video, many leading atheist philosophers themselves agree that life has no objective meaning, value, or purpose if God does not exist.

    And even though leading Atheists themselves agree with Dr. Craig’s premise that God is necessary for life to be truly meaningful, Atheists choose not to live their life as if it had no meaning and purpose and, in an exercise of self-delusion, choose to create illusory meanings and purposes for their lives.

    The Absurdity of Life without God – William Lane Craig
    Excerpt: Meaning of Life
    First, the area of meaning. We saw that without God, life has no meaning. Yet (atheistic) philosophers continue to live as though life does have meaning. For example, Sartre argued that one may create meaning for his life by freely choosing to follow a certain course of action. Sartre himself chose Marxism.
    Now this is utterly inconsistent. It is inconsistent to say life is objectively absurd and then to say one may create meaning for his life. If life is really absurd, then man is trapped in the lower story. To try to create meaning in life represents a leap to the upper story. But Sartre has no basis for this leap. Without God, there can be no objective meaning in life. Sartre’s program is actually an exercise in self-delusion. Sartre is really saying, “Let’s pretend the universe has meaning.” And this is just fooling ourselves.
    The point is this: if God does not exist, then life is objectively meaningless; but man cannot live consistently and happily knowing that life is meaningless; so in order to be happy he pretends life has meaning. But this is, of course, entirely inconsistent—for without God, man and the universe are without any real significance.
    https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/existence-nature-of-god/the-absurdity-of-life-without-god/

    Study: Atheists Find Meaning In Life By Inventing Fairy Tales – Richard Weikart
    MARCH 29, 2018
    Excerpt: However, there is a problem with this finding. The survey admitted the meaning that atheists and non-religious people found in their lives is entirely self-invented. According to the survey, they embraced the position: “Life is only meaningful if you provide the meaning yourself.”
    Thus, when religious people say non-religious people have no basis for finding meaning in life, and when non-religious people object, saying they do indeed find meaning in life, they are not talking about the same thing. If one can find meaning in life by creating one’s own meaning, then one is only “finding” the product of one’s own imagination. One has complete freedom to invent whatever meaning one wants.
    This makes “meaning” on par with myths and fairy tales. It may make the non-religious person feel good, but it has no objective existence.
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/.....iry-tales/

    Moreover this act of self-delusion on the part of atheists, of making up illusory meaning and purposes for their lives, is proof, in of of itself, that atheism must be false.

    Specifically, the impossibility for Atheists to live their lives consistently as if atheism were actually true directly undermines their claim that Atheism is true

    As the following article points out, if it is impossible for you to live your life consistently as if atheistic materialism were actually true, then atheistic materialism cannot possibly reflect reality as it really is but atheistic materialism must instead be based on a delusion.

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.
    http://answersforhope.com/exis.....t-atheism/

    Moreover, it is not like this act of self delusion is not without consequences. The negative effect of atheists rejecting God is fairly dramatic:

    For instance,

    “In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life; higher self-esteem; better adaptation to bereavement; greater social support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction… We concluded that for the vast majority of people the apparent benefits of devout belief and practice probably outweigh the risks.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – page 100

    “Concerning suicide rates, this is the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations. According to the 2003 World Health Organization’s report on international male suicides rates (which compared 100 countries), of the top ten nations with the highest male suicide rates, all but one (Sri Lanka) are strongly irreligious nations with high levels of atheism. It is interesting to note, however, that of the top remaining nine nations leading the world in male suicide rates, all are former Soviet/Communist nations, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Latvia. Of the bottom ten nations with the lowest male suicide rates, all are highly religious nations with statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism.”[3]
    – per conservapedia

    Study: Religiously affiliated people lived “9.45 and 5.64 years longer…”
    July 1, 2018
    Excerpt: Self-reported religious service attendance has been linked with longevity. However, previous work has largely relied on self-report data and volunteer samples. Here, mention of a religious affiliation in obituaries was analyzed as an alternative measure of religiosity. In two samples (N = 505 from Des Moines, IA, and N = 1,096 from 42 U.S. cities), the religiously affiliated lived 9.45 and 5.64 years longer, respectively, than the nonreligiously affiliated. Additionally, social integration and volunteerism partially mediated the religion–longevity relation.
    – per uncommon descent

    Thus, to repeat, it is not as if atheists have a better option than God. Far from it, atheists, in their rejection of God, atheists have chosen a life that is devoid of any true meaning, value, or purpose and this choice they have made to reject God has fairly dramatic detrimental effects on their mental and physical health.

    Moreover, in my Christian worldview, after death, their choice to reject God is going to have even far greater detrimental effects than it does now. i.e. complete separation from God, i.e. ‘hell”.

    I can only hope and pray that atheists would come around to reason and finally accept God and specifically accept what God has done for us through Jesus Christ:

    Isaiah 1:18
    Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

  19. 19
    Truthfreedom says:

    18 Bornagain77

    Atheists choose not to live their life as if it had no meaning and purpose and, in an exercise of self-delusion, choose to create illusory meanings and purposes for their lives.

    With their inexistent free-will. 🙂
    10 Reasons why Atheists are Delusional
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/11-reasons-why-atheists-are-delusional/

  20. 20
    Viola Lee says:

    Hi Querius. Up at 14 you write,

    I’m always running into attempts to preserve determinism and materialism online in forums and YouTube videos by science celebrities.

    I like to read rather than watch videos, so I’m probably not familiar withe the videos you watch. ButI have two questions for further discussion, if you’re willing.

    1. I don’t understand how one can “attempt to preserve determinism” in light of the fact that probabilities underlie quantum events. Can you summarize what argument such people might make to claim that quantum events are strictly deterministic? I suspect the argument involves “hidden variables” that are supposedly truly deterministic even though those events will always appear probabilistic to us. Is that the gist of the argument?

    2. I don’t understand the concerns about “materialism”. As I stated earlier, no one believes in the outdated view of the world being made of some smallest bits of indivisible “matter”. The physical world is at its roots quantum in nature, so whatever definition of “materialistic” one has now, it has to include quantum phenomena. So, in what way are these science celebrities of which you speak trying to “preserve materialism”? Is this primarily involved with the measurement problem, and the issue of what causes the wave-form to collapse? Can you explain more about the arguments you run into.

    Also, could you mention some of the forums and science celebrity videos you watch. Even though I’m unlikely to watch long videos, I’d be interested in knowing about such places so I can take a look.

    Thanks

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, in practice, naturalism boils down to evolutionary materialistic scientism, often imposed a priori and deemed a precondition of being scientific. Yes, some talk physicalism, others talk emergentism etc but the pattern is clear and overwhelmingly common. Most people look at Q theory as mathematical weirdness useful for entertainment and technical sci-tech, it cannot compete with the macro evidence of solidity of matter. KF

  22. 22
    Viola Lee says:

    I’m sorry, Kairosfocus, but I don’t understand what your first two sentences are trying to say. As to the sentence that starts, “Most people …”, I think we are talking about people knowledgeable about quantum mechanics, not the uninformed layperson. And of course, our everyday life involves experiencing the macro world, which of course involves solid matter, but science tells us that that solidity does not extend all the way to the foundation of the physical world.

  23. 23
    ET says:

    Viola- materialism just means that matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions is all that is required to explain what we observe. It is untestable nonsense.

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    VL,

    I was giving a summary of the state of play in terms those who have engaged across time would recognise. Perhaps Nobel Prize holder Monod can be reckoned with. First, Chance and necessity:

    [T]he basic premise of the scienti?c method, . . . [is]
    that nature is objective and not projective. Hence it is through reference to our own activity, con-scious and projective, intentional and purposive-it is as | makers of artifacts-that we judge of a given object’s
    “naturalness” or “arti?cialness.” [pp. 3 – 4] . . . . [T]he postulate of objectivity is consubstantial with
    science: it has guided the whole of its prodigious develop-ment for three centuries. There is no way to be rid of it, even tentatively or in a limited area, without departing from the domain of science itself. [p. 21]

    Then there is reporting of a key interview he gave c 1971:

    [T]he scientific attitude implies what I call the postulate of objectivity—that is to say, the fundamental postulate that there is no plan, that there is no intention in the universe. Now, this is basically incompatible with virtually all the religious or metaphysical systems whatever, all of which try to show that there is some sort of harmony between man and the universe and that man is a product—predictable if not indispensable—of the evolution of the universe.— Jacques Monod [Quoted in John C. Hess, ‘French Nobel Biologist Says World Based On Chance’, New York Times (15 Mar 1971), p. 6. Cited in Herbert Marcuse, Counter-Revolution and Revolt (1972), p. 66.]

    the root of reality is blind matter, energy, chance and necessity. Such undergoes change based on blind chance and/or mechanical necessity giving rise to the cosmos we observe, and then OOL then all the way to us. And this is REQUIRED before you can start science. Where, science dominates and delimits serious knowledge.

    Philosophy is swept away a priori, this metaphysics is left unchallenged and unchallengeable on the field. The implications for man as a morally governed, rationally responsible, significantly free creature are patent and appalling. Such is reduced to delusion, coming round to bite the said philosopher in a lab coat in his back for he too cannot escape the evolutionary materialistic circle.

    Most people does not typically include the relevant guild of scholars.

    It is generally hard enough to communicate that the sense of solidity is a matter of interacting fields giving rise to the famous intermolecular force curve.

    I accept that say the electron double slit exercise can open up some appreciation of the quantum world but that falls into just what I spoke to.

    Shrug . . .

    KF

  25. 25
    Viola Lee says:

    Hi ET. I think I know what materialism is as a metaphysical philosophy. What I don’t understand is why quantum mechanics (QM) is or isn’t definitely about that philosophy. QM is about what we understand about the very foundations of the physical world, and we certainly know the physical world is not what we used to think it was like 100 years ago. However, no matter how much we know about the physical (i.e material) world, studying QM is not going to touch on all aspects of the world, or whether everything can be explained by QM. That’s why I’m curious about Querius’ comment that some are trying to “preserve materialism” via QM: what arguments would such people use?

  26. 26

    Viola Lee said:

    And of course, our everyday life involves experiencing the macro world, which of course involves solid matter, but science tells us that that solidity does not extend all the way to the foundation of the physical world.

    Actually, science tells us there is no such thing as matter, period – at least that we can experience.. Logic alone tells us we can never actually experience any world external of mind regardless of whether it is made of matter or energy.

  27. 27
    Truthfreedom says:

    9 Chuckdarwin

    Simple, Unambiguous Evidence We DO Live In An Objective, External Material World:

    Lol! As if Chuckie , a materialist/ naturalist had any chance of accessing that ‘external world’ he is so fond of:

    Naturalism’s Epistemological Nightmare

    “Empirical verification presupposes epistemological realism—meaning that through sensation we know directly the exterior physical world around us. Natural science proclaims that it discovers the nature of the real physical cosmos, external to our brains or subjective selves. Yet, when we trace the optics and physiology of the sense of sight, we find ourselves entrapped in epistemological idealism — meaning that we do not know external reality, but rather merely some change within our brains that we hope to be an accurate representation of the external world.”
    Dr. Dennis Bonnette.
    https://strangenotions.com/naturalisms-epistemological-nightmare/

    Logic is a very demanding mistress, that you shouldn’t try to overcome, or she’ll
    bite you in the rear end. What were you saying about “objectivity”, Chuckdarwin? 🙂

  28. 28
    Truthfreedom says:

    Addendum: an “epistemological nightmare” is something bad. Very, very bad. 🙂

    Materialism’s Epistemological Blunder

  29. 29
    Viola Lee says:

    Just FYI to William: The remark by me that you quoted at 26 was in response to Kairosocus at 21. Earlier I made it clear, I think, that I understand that at the quantum level there is no such thing as “solid matter”, or matter in the classical pre-QM sense.

  30. 30
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @20,

    You raise some very good questions! Let me give you a couple of examples and let you decide for yourself:

    First watch . . .
    Matt O’Dowd, PhD – PBS
    Does Consciousness Influence Quantum Mechanics? (17 min))
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CT7SiRiqK-Q

    Notice his confident, even condescending dismissal of various interpretations, rejecting some out-of-hand due to their implications and rejecting others with strawman objections. Sorry, but I find his explanations to be annoying scientific browbeating.

    Next, watch . . .
    Sabine Hossenfelder, PhD
    The Problem with Quantum Measurement (7 minutes)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be3HlA_9968

    Notice the absence of condescension and her insightful, honest, and clear descriptions. It almost seems that O’Dowd and Hossenfelder are talking about two different subjects! While I’m not convinced of some of her conclusions, I respect her experimentalist perspective and clear identification of speculation.

    If you enjoyed those or would like to compare their different explanations for the Big Bang theory, you might consider watching these two videos:

    Matt O’Dowd, PhD – PBS
    Did Time Start at the Big Bang?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8gV05nS7mc

    Sabine Hossenfelder, PhD
    How did the universe begin?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHhUCav_Jrk

    Since you prefer reading to acquire information, here are a few of the books in my library on the subject you might want to consider:

    Lee Smolin – Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution
    Lee Smolin – Time Reborn
    Sabine Hossenfelder – Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray
    Leonard Susskind – The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking
    Brian Greene – The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality
    Carlo Rovelli – Reality is Not What It Seems

    I particularly enjoyed Lee Smolin’s humble and honest approach. I did notice that he’s a little tricky about getting rid of pesky assumptions right at the beginning.

    Hope this is helpful,

    -Q

  31. 31
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks, Q. I like the way you contrast Dowd and Hossenfelder. I may watch those. I am interested in different QM interpretations, so I might have the same feelings about Dowd that you do.

    Also, I read the Rovelli book about a year ago: in fact it was a post here a month or so ago about Rovelli, natural numbers, and “is math invented or discovered” that first got me to this site. Thanks for the resources.

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    TF, any conclusion that we are locked in the bubble of our consciousness is self-referentially incoherent. The Kantians’ ugly gulch is problematic. In effect to infer that one cannot know external reality is to imply a knowledge claim about such, its un-knowability. The claim is self-refuting. A sounder start point is Josiah Royce’s Error exists, undeniably true and so objective, bridging the inner and outer worlds in a very humbling way. We would be better advised to accept the self-evident and linked start points such as principle of identity them proceed provisionally but confidently, especially on what is reliable. KF

    PS: I suggest that the quantum world allows reinterpretation of matter and particularly states, bridging micro and macro worlds. What that solid wall means is a molecular-fields-quantum phenomenon. What energy is emerges as a key abstract currency of interaction governed by statistically supported thermodynamics, free energy playing a particularly useful role. Time emerges in a temporal-causal succession. And more, especially quantum weirdness.

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, the PS above may help. We have gone through paradigm shifts and permanently have new understandings of matter, states, interactions etc. KF

  34. 34
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, I am aware that we have gone through paradigm shifts and have new understandings of matter and it’s interactions. I’ve mentioned above the general understanding that the old paradigm of solid matter being foundational is outdated.

  35. 35
    Belfast says:

    VL
    At least by the middle of last century the idea of little-hard-bits materialism was dead and buried, so I cannot understand your repetitions on this issue here. What do you believe materialism now means, what do you think is its general understanding?

  36. 36

    KF saId:

    TF, any conclusion that we are locked in the bubble of our consciousness is self-referentially incoherent.

    That’s not a conclusion, that’s a self-evidently true statement about the nature of individual existence. – unless you’ve somehow managed to leave your consciousness behind while you took a walk around the block?

    The Kantians’ ugly gulch is problematic. In effect to infer that one cannot know external reality is to imply a knowledge claim about such, its un-knowability.

    That’s because the knowledge claim is not about any supposed external world; it’s a knowledge claim about the nature of our own subjective experience and the implications of what it means for all experience to occur in mind.

  37. 37
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, nope, the issue is objective reference. The claim, knowledge is locked in on this side of the ugly gulch has external reference and undermines itself. One’s consciousness can include valid reference to an external shared world allowing inter alia conversation. And, we must be responsibly, rationally free if we are to have a serious discussion or freedom to be logical and warranted in claiming to know. KF

    PS: F H Bradley, Appearance and Reality:

    We may agree, perhaps, to understand by metaphysics an attempt to know reality as against mere appearance, or the study of first principles or ultimate truths, or again the effort to comprehend the universe, not simply piecemeal or by fragments, but somehow as a whole [–> i.e. the focus of Metaphysics is critical studies of worldviews] . . . .

    The man who is ready to prove that metaphysical knowledge is wholly impossible . . . himself has, perhaps unknowingly, entered the arena . . . To say the reality is such that our knowledge cannot reach it, is a claim to know reality ; to urge that our knowledge is of a kind which must fail to transcend appearance, itself implies that transcendence. [–> this is the “ugly gulch” of the Kantians] For, if we had no idea of a beyond, we should assuredly not know how to talk about failure or success. And the test, by which we distinguish them, must obviously be some acquaintance with the nature of the goal. Nay, the would-be sceptic, who presses on us the contradictions of our thoughts, himself asserts dogmatically. For these contradictions might be ultimate and absolute truth, if the nature of the reality were not known to be otherwise . . . [such] objections . . . are themselves, however unwillingly, metaphysical views, and . . . a little acquaintance with the subject commonly serves to dispel [them]. [Appearance and Reality, 2nd Edn, 1897 (1916 printing), pp. 1 – 2; INTRODUCTION. At Web Archive.]

  38. 38
    Truthfreedom says:

    32 Kairosfocus

    TF, any conclusion that we are locked in the bubble of our consciousness is self-referentially incoherent.

    Absolutely. The problem here is for the “materialist” (the res extensa lovers).
    They proclaim their beloved “materialist science” (cough cough, Seversky) maps “external reality”. But in the end, analyzing the optics and physiology of vision, coupled with their “materialism”, it all leads to subjective/ epistemological idealism.

    Naturalism’s Epistemological Nightmare

    “Empirical verification presupposes epistemological realism—meaning that through sensation we know directly the exterior physical world around us. Natural science proclaims that it discovers the nature of the real physical cosmos, external to our brains or subjective selves. Yet, when we trace the optics and physiology of the sense of sight, we find ourselves entrapped in epistemological idealism — meaning that we do not know external reality, but rather merely some change within our brains that we hope to be an accurate representation of the external world.”
    Dr. Dennis Bonnette.
    https://strangenotions.com/naturalisms-epistemological-nightmare/

    Notice how none of the usual suspects here at UD (Seversky, Chuckdarwin, MatSpirit, Bob O’H, Pater Kimbridge, JVL…) can defend their materialist superstition. They simply pretend not to notice the challenge and act as if their worldview is not unavoidably damaged.
    Which is very telling. 🙂
    We can defend our worldview. They don’t.
    Why is that?

  39. 39

    The philosophical arguments against mental reality are not valid because they are arguments that premise the existence of, and define reality as, an objective external world. IOW, they all assume “reality” is defined by the existence of an objective world which carves the world into the “objective” and the “subjective.” The arguments then are about the failings of subjectivity from that perspective.

    Until one can make an argument against mental reality theory from that perspective, you might as well be complaining that basketball isn’t a coherent game because it doesn’t follow the same rules as basketball.

  40. 40
    Truthfreedom says:

    Oh. Not to mention that their ridiculous “naturalism/ materialism/ atheism” is (per Plantinga) a global skepticism trap.
    What’s their defense? To insult and deride Plantinga, but arguments?
    They have Z.E.R.O.

    “Evolutionary materialism is an incoherent view.”
    Plantinga’s EAAN.

  41. 41
    Viola Lee says:

    To Belfast at 35: my comments about out-dated ideas about the nature of matter have been in response to comments by others, such as Querius at 4 and Kairosfocus at 21.

    The point I’m interested in making is that one has to take the modern quantum understanding of the material world into account, not some out-dated view. There are large mysteries about what in fact the quantum world really is, and how it behaves on its own, so to speak, as opposed to when it is manifesting as the world we experience. Therefore there is lots we don’t know, and perhaps can’t know, about how such things as causality, mind and consciousness, cosmology, etc. are related to the underlying quantum world that is beyond our experience. I think people of all metaphysical positions need to take this uncertainty about the ultimate nature of quantum events into account.

  42. 42
    Viola Lee says:

    Belfast asked why my interest in the distinction between the outdated classical “solid matter” view and the modern (at least 100 years old) quantum view. Here’s another thought on that.

    The opening post mentions some key findings from QM, such as entanglement or the effects of delayed choice, and then says,

    When we have searched far, wide and deep and have not found any “matter,” we have comprehensive, conclusive evidence that we do not live in an objective, external, material world.

    But the facts of QM don’t mean we don’t live in a material world: they just mean that the material, physical world is radically different than we thought it was 100 years ago. I suppose one could say we shouldn’t call it a material world anymore because “matter” doesn’t exist, but I’m not sure what would be a better term as we are still talking about our understanding of the physical world.

    To be clear, I’m not saying that everything is a product of the physical world: that is, saying that we live in a material world, which is a statement about the physical world, is not the same as saying that everything is a product of the material world.

  43. 43
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @32 and Violet Lee @42,

    Very nicely stated. My view is that when the materialistic and deterministic foundations of physics have been experimentally falsified, the consequences to everything built on those foundations must be re-examined, not simply defended.

    My view is to embrace the experimental results (and mathematical probabilities) rather than to fight them. When our choices and observation can collapse wave functions and affect conjugate variables, it’s not logically debatable that information plays a major role in reality as eminent physicists have noted.

    It also opens up questions about what other information (or mind) is in play. For example, the loss of determinism by way of chaos theory (butterfly effect) also potentially affects time reversibility.

    And finally, I agree with Sabine Hossenfelder that mathematics has seductively mislead scientists with simplicity, beauty, and symmetry. For example, Kepler’s laws of planetary motion are simple, beautiful, symmetrical . . . and incorrect.

    -Q

  44. 44
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks, Q. I am also interested in chaos theory. Can you explain how chaos theory might potentially affect time reversibility. That is something I have never heard of.

    Also, very small point: my login pseudonym here is Viola Lee, not Violet. Possibly some reader might recognize the allusion.

  45. 45
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @44,

    Oops and no, I missed the allusion to the Grateful Dead.

    I assume you’re familiar with chaos theory, then. Imagine the chaotic perturbations that affect the outcome of some action. To exaggerate, imagine the butterfly in Brazil resulting in a tornado in Texas (I believe this is how it was originally expressed). Now, running the chain of events backwards in time, you’ll notice that it’s not symmetrical. The tornado in Texas might result in numerous additional perturbations, but the tornado won’t cause just a single butterfly in Brazil to flap its wings.

    There are some undoubtedly more informed perspectives on this subject, including this one from CERN: https://cds.cern.ch/record/429730

    Hope this helps,

    -Q

  46. 46
    Viola Lee says:

    I see: you’re saying that chaos theory would not be favorable to time reversal, not that it would.

    A number of years ago some of my students gave me Chaos and Fractals by Peitgen et al, I’ve read Chaos by Gleick, and I’ve taught a bit about iterative systems, notably the Mandelbrot set. And yes, chaos theory adds an element to the universe not being completely determined, along with quantum probability.

    And good job on the Grateful Dead reference. When I went looking for a pseudonym I just consulted the CD I was listening to, which turned out to be The Dead from July 2, 2003, which has a great version of Viola Lee Blues with Joan Osborne singing.

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, chaos injects a micro perturbation amplifier that brings unavoidable micro variability up to macro level. Accordingly, the sort of system and situation where time reversibility is useful is now extremely restrictive. Chaos, being far more prone to stick a foot in the door than we are likely to realise. The Laplacian project of reconstructing the past from the present a la Celestial Mechanics — the book presented to Napoleon (as in I have no need of THAT hypothesis) — is dead. KF

    PS: Walker and Davies:

    In physics, particularly in statistical mechanics, we base many of our calculations on the assumption of metric transitivity, which asserts that a system’s trajectory will eventually [–> given “enough time and search resources”] explore the entirety of its state space – thus everything that is phys-ically possible will eventually happen. It should then be trivially true that one could choose an arbitrary “final state” (e.g., a living organism) and “explain” it by evolving the system backwards in time choosing an appropriate state at some ’start’ time t_0 (fine-tuning the initial state). In the case of a chaotic system the initial state must be specified to arbitrarily high precision. But this account amounts to no more than saying that the world is as it is because it was as it was, and our current narrative therefore scarcely constitutes an explanation in the true scientific sense.

    We are left in a bit of a conundrum with respect to the problem of specifying the initial conditions necessary to explain our world. A key point is that if we require specialness in our initial state (such that we observe the current state of the world and not any other state) metric transitivity cannot hold true, as it blurs any dependency on initial conditions – that is, it makes little sense for us to single out any particular state as special by calling it the ’initial’ state. If we instead relax the assumption of metric transitivity (which seems more realistic for many real world physical systems – including life), then our phase space will consist of isolated pocket regions and it is not necessarily possible to get to any other physically possible state (see e.g. Fig. 1 for a cellular automata example).

    [–> or, there may not be “enough” time and/or resources for the relevant exploration, i.e. we see the 500 – 1,000 bit complexity threshold at work vs 10^57 – 10^80 atoms with fast rxn rates at about 10^-13 to 10^-15 s leading to inability to explore more than a vanishingly small fraction on the gamut of Sol system or observed cosmos . . . the only actually, credibly observed cosmos]

    Thus the initial state must be tuned to be in the region of phase space in which we find ourselves [–> notice, fine tuning], and there are regions of the configuration space our physical universe would be excluded from accessing, even if those states may be equally consistent and permissible under the microscopic laws of physics (starting from a different initial state). Thus according to the standard picture, we require special initial conditions to explain the complexity of the world, but also have a sense that we should not be on a particularly special trajectory to get here (or anywhere else) as it would be a sign of fine–tuning of the initial conditions. [ –> notice, the “loading”] Stated most simply, a potential problem with the way we currently formulate physics is that you can’t necessarily get everywhere from anywhere (see Walker [31] for discussion). [“The “Hard Problem” of Life,” June 23, 2016, a discussion by Sara Imari Walker and Paul C.W. Davies at Arxiv.]

  48. 48
    Viola Lee says:

    I agree and understand all that you wrote, KF, although I only skimmed the P.S.

  49. 49
    Seversky says:

    From the entry on Physicalism” in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

    Physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical, or as contemporary philosophers sometimes put it, that everything supervenes on the physical. The thesis is usually intended as a metaphysical thesis, parallel to the thesis attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Thales, that everything is water, or the idealism of the 18th Century philosopher Berkeley, that everything is mental. The general idea is that the nature of the actual world (i.e. the universe and everything in it) conforms to a certain condition, the condition of being physical. Of course, physicalists don’t deny that the world might contain many items that at first glance don’t seem physical — items of a biological, or psychological, or moral, or social nature. But they insist nevertheless that at the end of the day such items are either physical or supervene on the physical.

    […]

    1. Terminology

    Physicalism is sometimes known as ‘materialism’. Indeed, on one strand to contemporary usage, the terms ‘physicalism’ and ‘materialism’ are interchangeable. But the two terms have very different histories. The word ‘materialism’ is very old, but the word ‘physicalism’ was introduced into philosophy only in the 1930s by Otto Neurath (1931) and Rudolf Carnap (1959/1932), both of whom were key members of the Vienna Circle, a group of philosophers, scientists and mathematicians active in Vienna prior to World War II. It is not clear that Neurath and Carnap understood physicalism in the same way, but one thesis often attributed to them (e.g. in Hempel 1949) is the linguistic thesis that every statement is synonymous with (i.e. is equivalent in meaning with) some physical statement. But materialism as traditionally construed is not a linguistic thesis at all; rather it is a metaphysical thesis in the sense that it tells us about the nature of the world. At least for the positivists, therefore, there was a clear reason for distinguishing physicalism (a linguistic thesis) from materialism (a metaphysical thesis). Moreover, this reason was compounded by the fact that, according to official positivist doctrine, metaphysics is nonsense. Since the 1930s, however, the positivist philosophy that under-girded this distinction has for the most part been rejected—for example, physicalism is not a linguistic thesis for contemporary philosophers—and this is one reason why the words ‘materialism’ and ‘physicalism’ are now often interpreted as interchangeable.

    Some philosophers suggest that ‘physicalism’ is distinct from ‘materialism’ for a reason quite unrelated to the one emphasized by Neurath and Carnap. As the name suggests, materialists historically held that everything was matter — where matter was conceived as “an inert, senseless substance, in which extension, figure, and motion do actually subsist” (Berkeley, Principles of Human Knowledge, par. 9). But physics itself has shown that not everything is matter in this sense; for example, forces such as gravity are physical but it is not clear that they are material in the traditional sense (Lange 1865, Dijksterhuis 1961, Yolton 1983). So it is tempting to use ‘physicalism’ to distance oneself from what seems a historically important but no longer scientifically relevant thesis of materialism, and related to this, to emphasize a connection to physics and the physical sciences. However, while physicalism is certainly unusual among metaphysical doctrines in being associated with a commitment both to the sciences and to a particular branch of science, namely physics, it is not clear that this is a good reason for calling it ‘physicalism’ rather than ‘materialism.’ For one thing, many contemporary physicalists do in fact use the word ‘materialism’ to describe their doctrine (e.g. Smart 1963). Moreover, while ‘physicalism’ is no doubt related to ‘physics’ it is also related to ‘physical object’ and this in turn is very closely connected with ‘material object’, and via that, with ‘matter.’

    I agree that classical materialism is an outdated concept, where matter is conceived as being, in Bishop Berkeley’s words, “an inert, senseless substance, in which extension, figure, and motion do actually subsist”. Such a belief is unsustainable in light of what we have discovered thus far about the quantum nature of reality.

    However, I would argue that what has really changed is our concept of the nature of matter, not that “matter” as now understood is not still the foundation of objective reality. Regardless of how we describe matter if, like Dr Samuel Johnson, you kick a stone, while it may not refute Berkeleyan idealism, it still hurts.

    The problem with any subjective mental reality that it is unverifiable and, hence, scientifically sterile. If we want to try and understand aspects of objective reality we can compare those hypotheses or explanations of that reality with observations of it. With mental reality. there is no objective reality to explain. We can ask why kicking an imaginary stone with an imaginary foot would hurt in this imaginary world but, since the whole thing is a figment of imagination with no basis elsewhere, what would be the point?

  50. 50
    Viola Lee says:

    Seversky, this is a good line.

    However, I would argue that what has really changed is our concept of the nature of matter, not that “matter” as now understood is not still the foundation of objective reality.

    This is a point that I also was trying to make. However I’ll add that really the word “matter” is misleading, because QM events also contain what we identify as energy, forces and fields: all the things that create a dynamic rather than a static world. All those things are bundled into whatever the reality of QM events is, either as they present themselves to us, or as they perhaps are in ways forever hidden from us.

  51. 51
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @50,

    Yes, I agree that the term “matter” is misleading. The old-fashioned notion of matter was overturned by Einstein’s famous equation.

    Modern terms for the human scale of experience includes mass-energy, space-time, gravity, and information.

    For example, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle emerges in our common experience in music, where short duration, low-frequency notes have a less certain frequency than longer duration, higher-frequency notes.

    There have also been heroic but unsuccessful attempts at limiting the role of quantum effects to the atomic level. Apparently, there’s no dividing line. As I mentioned before, quantum superposition is believed to account for hydrogen fusion in the sun, which is certainly observable.

    -Q

  52. 52
    Querius says:

    As I mentioned before, quantum superposition is believed to account for hydrogen fusion in the sun, which is certainly observable.

    Correction: it’s quantum tunneling. The same effect also limits the miniaturization of microelectronics and the density of data on hard drives.

    -Q

  53. 53

    When anyone here can give me an example of something they experience outside of their mind, then you’ll have evidence phenomena external of mind exists. Absent that, the “external world” cannot ever be anything other than a hypothesis held by faith, regardless of if it is thought of as matter, energy, or informational probabilities.

  54. 54

    It’s not just the terms “matter” and “energy” that are misleading. The term “external” is entirely misleading. The term “objective” is entirely misleading. The terms “space” and “time” are misleading. Virtually every word we’ve used to reference our existential state and how experience occurs is entirely misleading because it’s all based on the assumption of an external, material world and the unsupported, unsupportable, logically baseless idea that we are experiencing something outside of mind.

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    a bit loaded, that. Experience is an aspect of personal, conscious life. The issue is whether our experience of an outer world independent of our particular personality is real. To that the obvious first test is, Josiah Royce’s error exists, multiplied by F H Bradley’s opening observation on appearance and reality. If error exists, then there is what to be in error about.

    Where also, experience is across time, so duration exists as a reality that escapes our subjectivity.

    The ugly gulch idea is connected, as if there is such a point of claimed knowledge, that we cannot access reality beyond appearance, then that is an access to an aspect of it, its alleged un-know-ability. But then, as that fails, it leaves on the table that, however we may err, however our senses filter, we can and do access warranted, credibly true belief about a world in common, an objective, mind-external world, relative to our status.

    At the next level, such a world would exist sustained by a Creator, God.

    The cubed mango I am eating . . . with a long-stemmed cocktail spoon originally bought to perhaps become a spoon bait . . . as I type this is experienced as delicious and refrigerated (having been plucked from the tree on testing to be ripe enough a day or so ago) but is credibly real with no good reason to imagine that it, its tree, the garden it comes in, the island I am here on, etc are part of some grand mental construct without independence of my mind. It isn’t independent of God’s mind, but that does not make it a simple figment, this is an actualised not merely a possible world.

    Where, if I am just a figment, my ability to reason is decisively undermined, bringing the very concept of a mind world into question.

    There is in short no good reason to reject the reality of the common world we experience, though of course solidity, we now know, is an effect of fields and wave functions with energy-time uncertainty etc at work.

    KF

  56. 56
    Viola Lee says:

    To William:

    I understand your point that the only thing we ever experience is our conscious experience, and our belief that we are experiencing something outside of ourself is just another experience, but not evidence that there is really something “out there””.

    This is an unfalsifiable belief. It is also useless. It is undoubtedly true that all human beings (except you) believe that there is an external world. I seriously doubt that you live your life any different than the rest of us, taking the externality of the world, including your own body, as a given. If you want to call that a matter of faith, fine. Last Thursdayism is also unprovable, but I take it as a matter of “faith” that in fact the past exists.

    So even though you have a philosophically unassailable position, it is of no consequence.

    That’s the way it looks to me.

  57. 57

    Viola Lee:

    This is an unfalsifiable belief.

    All self-evidently true statements are unfalsifiable.

    It is also useless.

    Care to tell me why?

    It is undoubtedly true that all human beings (except you) believe that there is an external world.

    I didn’t realize you knew all human beings. Perhaps that’s true in your experience, but in mine there’s lots of people that believe we exist in some form of mental reality. Please see Bernardo Kastrup’s book, for example, “The Idea of the World.”

    I seriously doubt that you live your life any different than the rest of us, taking the externality of the world, including your own body, as a given.

    Or, you could ask me if I live my life differently, and if so, how. Just a suggestion.

    If you want to call that a matter of faith, fine. Last Thursdayism is also unprovable, but I take it as a matter of “faith” that in fact the past exists.

    (1) Could you explain “last thursdayism?” Is it self-evidently true, like the fact that all we ever experience is in our minds?

    (2) Where exactly does “last Thursday” exist?

    So even though you have a philosophically unassailable position, it is of no consequence.

    I guess that depends on what the theory predicts and what the implications are in terms of usefulness. One question along these lines might be, does mental reality theory provide the basis for any useful methodologies, predictions and practical applications that probably would not be available under external, material-world theory? Or, at least make it easier to develop alternative routes of progress?

    But, I guess you’ve already made a decision about that based on all your experience in investigating and experimenting with mental reality theory. Right?

  58. 58
    Viola Lee says:

    William, you write,

    One question along these lines might be, does mental reality theory provide the basis for any useful methodologies, predictions and practical applications that probably would not be available under external, material-world theory? Or, at least make it easier to develop alternative routes of progress?

    Does it? Can you describe some of these useful methodologies, etc. and alternate routes of progress? That would add a useful component to this discussion.

  59. 59

    Viola @58:
    Sure. The first thing would be to define what a useful methodology and capacity for progress would mean according to the theory – not according to external-reality theory. In addition, we might look to the past to see where mental reality theory would have predicted scientific evidence that external reality theory both did, and would in principle fail to predict and explain.

    External, physical reality theory failed to predict, and would in principle fail to predict, the consciousness-centric nature of what is revealed in quantum experimentation. It would (and did) fail to predict non-locality, the complete failure to establish what is called “local realism by physicists, the non-existence of matter, zero-point energy/information, “entanglement,” the propagation of “probablity waves.”etc. All of these are predictable results from the mental reality perspective. They were not only shocking to external-world theorist; they have done all they can to resist the implications for about 100 years now.

    A great avenue of progress would be into what we currently call “psi” research. Afterlife (continuation of consciousness after what we call “death,”) NDE, altered consciousness and OOBE research. Understanding how information is processed into experience. The view that the body is an experiential manifestation of identity might indicate a deeper mind/body process to health and well-being instead of, or in addition to, use of pharmaceuticals.

    A lot of these things are being scientifically researched now, only it’s largely ignored and even vilified by the “mainstream” scientific community.

    Mental reality theory provides an entirely self-empowering perspective in how one lives their life and can dramatically change how we see ourselves and our environment.

  60. 60
    Viola Lee says:

    Hmmm. That’s not very compelling to me. I think I’ll drop out of this discussion.

  61. 61
    Truthfreedom says:

    60 Viola Lee

    Hmmm. That’s not very compelling to me.

    With all due respect, William J Murray is offering an argument.
    You can’t simply attack it saying you don’t find it “compelling”.
    You need to offer a valid counter-argument.

  62. 62
    Viola Lee says:

    No I don’t. This really isn’t a topic I’m interested in, and I only have so much time in my life to play around on an internet forum. It was a mistake on my part to even respond to his comment at 53, so I apologize for getting involved.

  63. 63
    Truthfreedom says:

    62 Viola Lee
    Hmm. You remind me of another member here (JVL). 🙂
    Then we agree that William J Murray is defending his argument, and to poke holes in it, a counter-argument is needed?

  64. 64
    Viola Lee says:

    I retract and resign from poking holes in his argument. I made that clear in 62. I apologize for getting involved, and will be more careful in the future as to what I do and don’t comment on.

  65. 65
    Querius says:

    Goodbye, Viola Lee.

    But if you see this message, consider researching why many secular quantum physicists believe it’s likely that we’re living in a simulation.

    -Q

  66. 66
    Viola Lee says:

    I didn’t say I was leaving, Querius: just that I was withdrawing from discussing William’s ideas. I’ve enjoyed the discussions here about the quantum nature of the physical world.

  67. 67
    Querius says:

    Ok, so why do you think that many secular quantum physicists believe it’s likely that we’re living in a simulation?

    I don’t know whether you respect Neil Degrasse Tyson, but here’s a short 2-1/2 minute clip.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYAG9dAfy8U

    A conference with some of the world foremost physicists hosted by Tyson is where his mind was first blown by this concept when a physicist introduced it to Tyson. It was amazing to see his mind being blown live!

    -Q

  68. 68

    Tyson just assumes you can get to the point where programming in a computer can have self-awareness and experiences. That is, even in principle, impossible. Anyone with self-awareness and experiences is necessarily an original user and not a simulation.

  69. 69
    Viola Lee says:

    I agree with William on this point.

  70. 70
    Querius says:

    Or, you can take the red pill.

    -Q

  71. 71
    Viola Lee says:

    Or maybe it’s just computers all the way down! 🙂

  72. 72
    Seversky says:

    A bit like the different levels of dreams in the movie Inception

  73. 73
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @71,

    So do you disagree with the rationale that Tyson is describing?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYAG9dAfy8U

    -Q

  74. 74
    Viola Lee says:

    I don’t disagree that it would be impossible to prove that we’re not part of a simulation. I disagree about it being worth taking seriously to any extent whatsoever.

  75. 75
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee,

    Tyson eloquently expressed the rationale for the Simulation Hypothesis. How did you come to your conclusion that Tyson’s rationale is not worth taking seriously?

    -Q

  76. 76
    Viola Lee says:

    Because it seems so utterly improbable, and certainly, by Occam’s Razor fails miserably. I have no idea why someone would take it seriously. Yes, our world could be the evening project of some 4-d hyper-space teenager, but the number of such hypotheses is huge. This is just sci-fi stuff. Not worth my time to think about.

  77. 77
    Viola Lee says:

    If true, one would just be a robot. There would be no free will. You,d have to give up your belief in God. (Except you might be programmed to think you had free will or that God existed.) in fact, you would be programmed to believe that you were programmed. Totally pointless to consider as a possibility, although maybe I just think that because I was programmed that way! 🙂

  78. 78
    kairosfocus says:

    I suggest that generally speaking, any hypothesis that implies actual or probable grand, across the board delusion or want of freedom required to credibly think, decide, reason and judge is self-defeating. Next, yes our consciousness is the carrier through which we access experience of ourselves and our common world, but in itself that does not undermine veridicality of key aspects of such. Yes, we may err, but even that implies knowledge of our common world and of ourselves in it. KF

  79. 79
    Viola Lee says:

    I agree with Kairosfocus on both points.

  80. 80

    KF said:

    I suggest that generally speaking, any hypothesis that implies actual or probable grand, across the board delusion or want of freedom required to credibly think, decide, reason and judge is self-defeating.

    I’m not sure what else, from the external world perspective, one could call complete faith in the existence of an entire domain of reality one cannot access even in principle, much less verify to be in accordance with their mental experiences.

    Next, yes our consciousness is the carrier through which we access experience of ourselves and our common world, but in itself that does not undermine veridicality of key aspects of such. Yes, we may err, but even that implies knowledge of our common world and of ourselves in it. KF

    One such avenue of verdical experience is logic. When logic dictates that there is zero possible support for a hypothesis, what would logic dictate one do?

  81. 81
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @76,

    Regarding probabilities, what do you think of this Scientific American article?
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-we-live-in-a-simulation-chances-are-about-50-50/

    -Q

  82. 82
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @77,

    You’ve probably heard of online computer games and perhaps even played them. Would you say that the conscious minds behind every on-screen character must also be robotic?

    Do you believe that a person’s consciousness derives from an arrangement organic molecules?

    -Q

  83. 83
    Viola Lee says:

    Q, what do you think of my comments at 77?

  84. 84
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @83,

    Yes, that’s why I posted my questions at 81 and 82. I think that will clarify your perspective in your posts.

    -Q

  85. 85
    Viola Lee says:

    I’m interested in your clarifying your perspective. Do you agree that if the world, including each of us, is a programmed simulation, that we are just robots, with no free will?

  86. 86
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @85,

    I’m just responding to your assertion:

    If true, one would just be a robot. There would be no free will. You,d have to give up your belief in God. (Except you might be programmed to think you had free will or that God existed.) in fact, you would be programmed to believe that you were programmed. Totally pointless to consider as a possibility, although maybe I just think that because I was programmed that way!

    What I’d like to learn is how you came to your above conclusions. I think it’s important for me to understand the foundations of your reasoning first. I’d be happy to share my views after I understand yours first.

    -Q

  87. 87
    Viola Lee says:

    It seems to me obvious. If I am a product of a simulation, then everything I feel, think, or do is a product of being programmed to be that way: I would have no actual free will to make choices or otherwise direct my own actions.

    That’s my reasoning.

  88. 88
    Viola Lee says:

    I hope Q comes back to respond to 87.

    However, I read the SciAm article he mentioned in 81, and I agree with the conclusion:

    Kipping, despite his own study, worries that further work on the simulation hypothesis is on thin ice. “It’s arguably not testable as to whether we live in a simulation or not,” he says. “If it’s not falsifiable, then how can you claim it’s really science?

    For him, there is a more obvious answer: Occam’s razor, which says that in the absence of other evidence, the simplest explanation is more likely to be correct. The simulation hypothesis is elaborate, presuming realities nested upon realities, as well as simulated entities that can never tell that they are inside a simulation. “Because it is such an overly complicated, elaborate model in the first place, by Occam’s razor, it really should be disfavored, compared to the simple natural explanation,” Kipping says.

    Maybe we are living in base reality after all—The Matrix, Musk and weird quantum physics notwithstanding.

  89. 89
    Viola Lee says:

    Who knows whether Q will be back, but I’m still here, so I’ll respond to his questions at 82.

    You’ve probably heard of online computer games and perhaps even played them. [Sure I have]. Would you say that the conscious minds behind every on-screen character must also be robotic?

    I don’t think a robot can have a conscious mind. So obviously my answer is “no”.

    Do you believe that a person’s consciousness derives from an arrangement [of] organic molecules?

    No.

    I don’t know where consciousness comes from. I just accept it as part of being a human being.

    But, as I said above, I don’t think robots will ever be conscious. People are conscious, with all that entails. That’s a main reason why I think the simulation hypothesis is not a realistic possibility.

  90. 90
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee,

    Even assuming a succession of computer simulations, a mind with free will must have programmed the first simulation. Massive online computer games actually do have both robotic (aka NPCs with AI) and intelligent agencies (players with free will) behind the action.

    Your conception of the simulation hypothesis isn’t correct as a result. Have you ever watched or heard of the movie, The Matrix? It’s more like that. Here’s an excellent and entertaining, 50-minute documentary on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG-E6WJNeEE

    -Q

  91. 91
    Viola Lee says:

    Sure, I’ve heard of the Matrix. It’s been referenced a number of times in this discussion.

    My main point is that I don’t think robots (i.e. programmed beings) can have consciousness or free will. Irrespective of whether a conscious being (such as Bornagain77 posits as God) can actually program a reality, if we are the beings in a programmed reality, we wouldn’t have free will. Do you agree with that?

    Up at 86 you said you’d explain some about your own position if I explained mine first. I’ve posted a number of times on the subject, including answering your questions. Could you now answer my question, at least about free will.

    Thanks

    (P.S. My remark about “computers all the way down” was a joke, based on the old “turtles all the way down” story. Of course we can’t have an infinite regress of programs writing more programs. Again, as several have pointed out, one conclusion would be that the ultimate programmer is a god of some sort. )

  92. 92
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee,

    To begin with, I think the documentary linked above provides a good introduction for any discussion on this subject.

    We do program alternate realities in computer games, of which some are very realistic (VR or virtual reality). We also program NPCs (Non-Player Characters) in games that have remarkable AI (artificial intelligence) built in. Practically speaking, I recently read about jet fighters controlled by AI defeating human combat pilots. There are also chatbots, some of which pass the Turing test. But no, none of these have consciousness or “free will” as far as I’m concerned.

    The matter of free will is being vigorously debated with B.F. Skinner being among the first to popularize the concept. I believe humans do have free will. Someone famous once said, “I have free will because I think I have free will.” This is similar to the assertion by René Descartes of Cogito, ergo sum–I think, therefore I am.

    Regarding the Simulation Hypothesis, Yes, I believe we exist as part of a simulation in an information substrate that links us to our primate bodies but does not include our consciousness or essential being in this reality. Thus, I believe our brains are more like cell phones communicating with our conscious spirit.

    I’m not basing this belief on ancestor simulations or computers all the way down (yes, I got the reference). I base this belief on several statements made in the Bible.

    Let me start with the mind-blowing introduction in the Gospel of John:

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. – John 1:1-3

    But what is meant by “the Word”? In the original Greek it’s logos, a term that can mean a word, a communication, logic, or a concept. in other words, information. So this passage in the Bible asserts that our universe is fundamentally information.

    Jesus once asked his disciples, if you can’t be trusted with the world’s money, who will trust you with true wealth?

    There are a number of other astonishing passages throughout the Bible that reinforce the concept that this world is a simulation and not the ultimate reality.

    So, as you can see, my belief is not based on a scientific conclusion, but on a profound and challenging ancient document that seems to line up with current scientific thinking.

    -Q

  93. 93
    Querius says:

    It’s also profoundly astonishing that our free-will choice of whether to observe something can result in the instantaneous appearance of an electron out of nothing physical.

    Our ability to collapse wave functions or to prevent radioactive fission from occurring (aka the quantum Zeno effect) is a God-like power. There’s also a quantum effect called a Von Neumann chain that’s a sort of domino effect involving a series of wave function collapses.

    Whether animals or just humans can initiate a wave function collapse is not known and might be determined with an experiment using “Schrödinger’s second cat.”

    -Q

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