Intelligent Design

The Boy Who Cried “Solipsism:” The MRT Delusion Objection Is Unfounded

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(No insult or mocking intended by use of the word “boy.” Those that have been redacted in other threads are given a second chance to participate here. Off-topic comments will probably be redacted. Let’s keep it civil.)

The two biggest objections to Mental Reality Theory is are: (1) it is essentially solipsist, and (2) it has no means of determining between “reality” and “delusion.” I’m going to address those items in this thread.

Any hypothesis that an external physical world exists must include aspects of mental reality theory or else it fails. The ERT proponent must insist there are at least three distinct categories of mental experience that are entirely real: (1) that which is correlated to the external world; (2) self-evidently true abstract universals, like logic and math; and (3) free will consciousness. A fourth category of experience is considered to be “of reality,” and that is memory about the “external world”.

All of these mental experiential categories have their distinct characteristics that are separate from each other, and must be accepted as “real” in order in any coherent ERT theory. In fact, these categories are absolutely essential to coherent ERT theories because no ERT theory can even begin without consciously or subconsciously asserting or relying on them.

So, it is no stretch to say that any coherent ERT theory must actually begin with some MRT aspects as assumed fundamentals or it cannot even get off the ground. Because of this, any coherent worldview theory requires the potential for solipsism, because it will always be the case that a person is the only mind in existence experiencing a grand delusion.

In any coherent existential theory, the only bulwark against solipsism is faith; that that other actual individuals with free will and their own mental experience exist. All any theory has to do to avoid this is to simply provide a reasonable model that allows for the existence of other conscious, free will people, and faith that this is so does the rest of the work.

MRT provides for this. Other individuals are defined as representing different base informational structures that define and generate different experiential perspectives. Individual perspectives of consciousness as it observes different information patterns could be said to be the core definition of what it means to be an individual in any coherent existential theory. Indeed, it’s not a stretch to say that the individual perspective changes as it observes new (or different) information.

Thus, the objection of solipsism is shown to be not an entailment under MRT. It is certainly available, but it is available under any coherent theory of existence.

The way ERT advocates deal with the problem of delusion is by asserting there is an objective world outside of mind that gives us an external, consistent reference point across individual perspectives. This would represent the subset of all mental experiences that are the same in all (or at least almost all, and at least highly “the same”) individual experiences.

At the end of the day, these are all still internal (mental) experiences that are shared by all (mostly) individuals, but how does MRT, where no “external” world exists, account for these shared inner experiences?

If we see individuals as informational structures consciousness is observing, this shared experience represents a subset of information that multiple people are simultaneously accessing. That common subset can be thought of as an experiential filter, or an algorithm (or set of algorithms) that expresses much of our identity information as a common environment.

This common environment can be jointly investigated, measured, and researched by those who share it. MRT would predict that what is ultimately found is would be common algorithms or mathematical equations processing individual identity information into shared, measurable experience, collapsing potential shared experience according to a probabilistic curve.

Under MRT, the ERT “objective world” would be referred to as that part of mental information that is being processed into shared experience in every individual perspective utilizing that “objective world” algorithmic system.

What we commonly call a “delusion” would be individual (or small group) deviations from “universal” shared experiences. That doesn’t make that experience “not real;” it just makes it not part of the “universal” shared experience. It’s a different category of mental experience.

MRT thus separates “objective world” experiences from “delusion” the same way, in principle, as ERT: recognizing the distinction between universally shared experiences and experiences that are not universally shared but, to the individual, seem to have much the same characteristics – physicality, “realness,” sensory acuity, etc.

TL;DR version: solipsism is not an entailment of MRT, and it is resisted in exactly the same way it is in any coherent theory: faith. Under MRT, what we call delusion is as distinguishable from what we call objective reality as it is in ERT. These objections to MRT are unfounded and based on uninformed assumptions about MRT from the ERT perspective.

24 Replies to “The Boy Who Cried “Solipsism:” The MRT Delusion Objection Is Unfounded

  1. 1
    Sandy says:

    I’ve read your mental theory and I don’t see a difference with external world theory.
    They are identical from a personal perspective because what you call mental theory is what happens inside of a mind. All experiences,thoughts and perceptions happen inside not outside our mind so is irrelevant that sun exist outside or not because we work only with our perception of sun , not with whatever we call sun .

  2. 2

    Sandy,
    The difference would lie mainly in the potential theoretical use both by the individual and by science. MRT, for example, fully embraces what we call “psi”or “supernatural” phenomena, the afterlife or other experiential domains, and offers a more empowering tool for free will guidance of our experience (with more personal responsibility) than the external-world framework.

  3. 3
    Sandy says:

    We analyze history of humanity and we see that “supernatural” phenomena are present everywhere in human life. The problem is not external reality but the authoritative and dogmatic way in which official science is done by apriori rejection of any “supernatural ” phenomena. This is an arbitrary and political decision because a scientist is “educated” […]to think that whatever experiment is doing the assumption and the conclusion MUST allow only natural causes.

  4. 4

    It depends on how you define “the problem” concerning external reality theory. The primary problem is that there is no way to gather evidence from it or directly observe it, rendering it entirely superfluous. Another issue is domain transference. Yet another is the problem of reified models and how that impacts potential extrapolations of experiential facts into theories and research. The habit of thinking that one is examining an actual external world subtly influences everything. The only thing an external reality theory can do is have a negative impact on research, modeling, theory and – as you admit – education.

    IOW, there’s no useful purpose to propose that an actual world exists external of mind, and many problems that it not only could have, but has had and which are currently a problem. For example, supernatural and psi phenomena are still largely resisted and dismissed by mainstream western science because of it’s particular ERT formulation (materialism or semi-materialism.) Those that research it are usually derided or ignored.

    The problem has been external reality theory. Those problems might not be necessary entailments of those theories, but that doesn’t make them any less problems caused by the nature of the theory.

  5. 5
    doubter says:

    [Redacted – Off Topic]

  6. 6
    AaronS1978 says:

    [Redacted – Off Topic]

  7. 7
    doubter says:

    [Redacted – Off Topic]

  8. 8
    Sandy says:

    William J Murray
    From the beginning of humankind experiencing and believing in “supernatural” was a normal thing , was default state of human mind. This external world model was leaning 99% to supernatural.
    Only in the last 150 years naturalist darwinist “science” has been trying to manufacture a fake reality but people are unchanged believing in supernatural(!!) . In consequence not external model is wrong but the conception of people who believe in naturalist philosophy(=a twisted type of religion ) trying to impose it to others by force (Stalin, Mao,Hitler) or by deceit (evolution “science”).

  9. 9

    Sandy,
    I agree. This is part of the problem; that under many ERTs spiritual/supernatural experiences are often considered delusional, even “mass hallucinations” when more than one person is involved. MRT gives supernatural/spiritual experience the same reality value as what we call “the natural world.” IOW, what we call “the natural world” and the “supernatural” are generated the same way, by the same general process.

    Those who have these kind of experiences can only be accessing information that doesn’t fit into the the “universal common experience” category. It doesn’t mean others cannot access the same information or that it cannot lead to scientific investigation.

  10. 10
    EDTA says:

    >What we commonly call a “delusion” would be individual (or small group) deviations from “universal” shared experiences.

    Since our access to meta-information about the MRT environment seems limited, is it even possible for us to assess whether a particular shared experience is in the majority, or in the minority? That would seem to prevent us from reliably distinguishing between delusion and shared experience. We can’t be sure that if we poll other people, that we are getting reliable answers from them, as the information might be filtered by some other entity/structure that we are not aware of.

    In fact, is it even possible in principle to know if/whether the information we are reading/perceiving is unfiltered, or being passed through some filter that tints it with a common shared experience (say of ERT even)?

  11. 11
    Sandy says:

    William J Murray

    under many ERTs spiritual/supernatural experiences are often considered delusional

    I think I start to understand what you want to say, under mental reality no experience will be considered delusional and could be billions of personal realities,every man with his reality (or a “shared” reality with others)and all will be considered true in the same time even, if there will be contradictory realities.
    Do you see the problems ?

  12. 12

    Sandy,
    Please explain the problems, I’m eager to read them. Keep in mind that regardless of how you define it, everyone experiences their personal reality regardless of any existential theory. The question about group realities (what we call the external physical world) is how much of our experiential reality is shared with others around us and to what extent those experiences are shared.

  13. 13

    EDTA asks:

    Since our access to meta-information about the MRT environment seems limited, is it even possible for us to assess whether a particular shared experience is in the majority, or in the minority?

    Given the infinite potential and the assumption that all potential experiences occur, every particular set of shared experiences would be in the minority. The only aspects of shared experiences that would be universal would be principles that are necessarily true about the nature of shared experiences.

    That would seem to prevent us from reliably distinguishing between delusion and shared experience. We can’t be sure that if we poll other people, that we are getting reliable answers from them, as the information might be filtered by some other entity/structure that we are not aware of.

    In fact, is it even possible in principle to know if/whether the information we are reading/perceiving is unfiltered, or being passed through some filter that tints it with a common shared experience (say of ERT even)?

    To raise an objection to MRT, please keep in mind that objection is only significant if MRT represents an additional burden compared to ERT. I’m not claiming that MRT solves or provides for additional indemnity against experiential sorting mistakes (look guys! there’s a city on the horizon! only to find out it’s a mirage you’re all experiencing). That’s possible regardless of which way one conceptualizes their experience (MRT vs ERT.) IOW, we are still subject to personal perspective.

    You talk of a polling mechanism. What polls do you trust? Let’s characterize all informational media as a kind of poll. Do you trust them? Does everyone? Could they be mistaken? What about the people who educated you and told you about the world. Did they really think those things? Does everyone in the world think those things?

    WRT this line of objection, all MRT does is remove the unnecessary, unknowable and unsupportable assumption that an external, objective, physical world exists. It doesn’t add any extra burden. MRT recharacterizes the situation in a way that doesn’t dismiss as fundamentally “unreal” non-shared, or more locally shared, experiences. By not dismissing them as such, it changes the way we approach them and opens them up more to investigative scrutiny. It might also revolutionize the field of psychiatry and, IMO, might greatly reduce or eliminate a lot of conflict.

  14. 14
    Sandy says:

    What about the realities that harm lives of others ?
    Justice system, lawyers, judges,prisons,punishments for others realities will be eradicated because all people speaks their “truths”.
    False assumption that people don’t lie only tell their experiences.
    We’ll have to place on the same level for example christianity experience with some cannibals experience, or with Germany extermination camps. All involve the death of at least one person.
    There is no hierarchy of values. There is no moral law.Everything is subjective ,there is no unified objective purpose .

  15. 15

    What about the realities that harm lives of others ? Justice system, lawyers, judges,prisons,punishments for others realities will be eradicated because all people speaks their “truths”.

    To respond I need to know the context of your question. Are we assuming universal adoption of MRT and the implications for what we call a system of justice, or behavioral management, both from the perspective of behavioral enforcement and those who don’t want to behave that way?

    False assumption that people don’t lie only tell their experiences.

    I didn’t state or imply this.

    We’ll have to place on the same level for example christianity experience with some cannibals experience, or with Germany extermination camps. All involve the death of at least one person.
    There is no hierarchy of values. There is no moral law.Everything is subjective ,there is no unified objective purpose .

    As I said, unless you can point out where MRT adds an extra burden, it’s not a significant objection. The arguments for or against absolute moral structure, whether in ERT or MRT, are the same: either morality is a self-evident or necessary aspect of individual existence (like logic and math) or it is not. I’m not going to get into that discussion. The only thing to put here is that MRT doesn’t hold that everything is “subjective” to the individual; there are experiential absolutes.

    Individuals can, with words, deny those absolutes, but the cannot actually have experiences that contradict them. A person can say “an external objective world exists,” but they cannot ever experience it. It cannot be visually imagined. Like 4-sided triangles and 1+1=3. All individuals have direct internal access to these absolutes. Saying “I experience an external, objective, physical world” is a self-contradicting statement, like “4-sided triangle,” once we understand the proper context and meaning of the words we are using.

    Morality may or may not be one of them; I’m not going to allow discussion on that subject in this thread.

  16. 16
    EDTA says:

    WJM,

    Thank you for your reply above. I will study it some more when I am more awake. But the following questions woke me up at 4:00AM, so I have to post them.

    1. Why do memories (data) seem to fade over time. Under MRT, shouldn’t they remain fresh indefinitely? (Especially when I don’t want them to fade, and focus on them often and carefully.) Is this something ERT explains better than MRT?

    2. Why does my algorithm seem to be less able to process data reliably as it gets older. I never wanted this to be the case, and didn’t believe it when it first started happening. My algorithm should have remained sharp indefinitely. ERT better at explaining?

    3. Is it possible for one algorithm (person) to permanently erase data from another person’s memory? Seems like a malicious person would enjoy doing this to another, and would even leave their calling card as proof of who did it. But this phenomenon is completely unknown.

    4. Are non-human animals also algorithms? Or are they just data in human algorithms? (I suppose we cannot be sure either way…?)

    5. I was going to ask whether the total amount of data in existence growing, or is it fixed at some capacity? But above you say that it contains all possible experiences. I think that still leaves the question of finite or infinite?

  17. 17
    Sandy says:

    William J Murray

    MRT recharacterizes the situation in a way that doesn’t dismiss as fundamentally “unreal” non-shared, or more locally shared, experiences. By not dismissing them as such, it changes the way we approach them and opens them up more to investigative scrutiny. It might also revolutionize the field of psychiatry and, IMO, might greatly reduce or eliminate a lot of conflict.

    Give us an example of a better way for investigative scrutiny in MRT.
    Is possible to exist a mental illness in MRT? I predict that if is possible to detect a single mental ilness in MRT your theory fail.

  18. 18

    EDTA @16,

    Great questions. I appreciate this approach.

    1. Many memories fade from our conscious attention because we don’t prioritize that information when as we direct our attention. It’s still perfectly “there.” No information ever ceases to exist, nor can it be corrupted. Generally, if the more we allocate attention time to that information, the better we are at remembering it. Hypnotists or other procedures can often help us fully recover faded memories in great detail, even things we didn’t really notice at the time. If ERT was true, memory loss would imply physical changes that cannot be overcome via hypnosis.

    2. The algorithm is always perfectly processing the underlying information according to the mathematics of the algorithm. “Forgetting things” or “making mistakes” is the result of the information being processed, and how it is being processed – the mathematics involved.

    In this shared experience, IMO the fundamental section of the shared algorithmic equation that turns identity information into experience is the entropic value. Some theorists think that entropy is essentially the root of this kind of experience, including the “physical laws” and our models of energy, as well as our experience of linear time. Because of the entropic segment of the algorithm that is generating our experience “here,” our experiences here generally follow a path of the processing of that highly organized information into it’s maximal representation (represented generally by aging into adulthood.) Entropy represents the mathematical diffusion of the organization of that information, taking it from a highly organized state at maximum representation towards a less organized state. Our bodies start malfunctioning, or minds become less sharp, etc.

    Again, this is a general principle; it is clearly not the same in every case because not every person begins with the same set of information nor has the exact same entire algorithm; the entropic value is a part of the entire algorithmic process.

    3. Answering this would require carefully establishing what a “person” and what “memory” represents under MRT, and understanding how individual perspectives change, and what is going on when two individuals interact. I might get into that at a later date.

    4. Farther off-topic than I care to get.

    5. I think there comes a point where, conceptually speaking, the number of combinations becomes so large the difference between that number and “infinite” is functionally irrelevant.

  19. 19

    Sandy said:

    Give us an example of a better way for investigative scrutiny in MRT.

    What I said is that it open them up more to investigative scrutiny. IOW, it would be easier to attract quality researchers to the field, get funding, and get published in mainstream science journals.

    Is possible to exist a mental illness in MRT? I predict that if is possible to detect a single mental illness in MRT your theory fail.

    If I understand your question correctly, you’re asking me what “mental illness” is in MRT. Generally speaking, pretty much what it is now: certain significant deviations from a cultural norm or standard that disrupt that person’s capacity to function in that society, or pose a threat or significant disruption to it.

  20. 20
    drc466 says:

    WJM,
    I think most of us here at UD certainly agree that, in a spectrum between full materialism at one end and full mental at the other, we tend to tilt the lever toward mind over matter.
    And I can certainly fully support the distinction you are making between shared experiences and individual experiences . My question for MRT is whether you see a place for consequences due to “non”-experiences – where our mental reality is impacted post facto by what those of us who hold to an external reality would see as an external, purely physical action?
    Science, for example, holds a place for indirect observation – we look for extra-solar system planets not by looking for the planet, but by looking for their impacts on the stars they orbit. Similarly, when we take a non-solipsist view of reality, and recognize the existence of other minds in a shared experience, how does MRT explain the loss/gain of minds, and even more so that loss/gain due to an effect that is not the result of either a shared or individual mental experience (e.g. a person dies in their sleep)? What cause do we appeal to for such an affect?

  21. 21

    DRC466 @20:

    MRT holds that we do not actually exist in a linear time framework, and that all possible experiences already exist as such. What an individual experiences is a sequence of experiential “locations” driven by attention on information processed by the algorithm (or set of algorithms.) This means that there is no such thing as “stuff happening before any conscious perspective observes it.” It’s not a possibility. The sequence that makes it appear that way can occur from a perspective (we discover new things,) but that’s just a particular perspective going through sequential conscious observations.

    As far as death is concerned, under MRT conception and death represent the entry and exit points of our perspective with regards to this particular framework of shared experience. An analogy would be a completely immersive VR “world” where you become a character in that world with no memory or broader understanding of the nature of your existence.

    This experiential program can largely be characterized as the “mortal life experience.” Conception represents the deliberate organization of the identity information that is to be referred to by the algorithm and “played out” – at least initially and in broad strokes – by the algorithm into an immersive “shared reality” sequence of experiences. Death represents the end of that identity’s expression in the shared experience and it is coordinated – like everything else one experiences as part of the shared “world” -with the other people. The body of the dead (as well as memory of that person) is carried forward in the shared experience of others because the expression of “you” in their shared experience goes forward in a manner that corresponds to the rules of the nature of the shared experience. This is why the body and all memories of the person who died doesn’t disappear upon a person’s exit. Information about that person still exists in the shared experience of others and is also held in the “database” of that ongoing shared experience to maintain the immersion quality and experiential integrity.

    From the dead person’s perspective, that particular “shared experience” perspective ends (in most cases), but he/she still has experiential continuity of self. This is, in general from reports, experienced in a couple of basic ways; a gradual shift in perspective, marked by being able to see and interact with the dead and starting to see, hear and otherwise experience a different “world” around you becoming clearer, or and abrupt transition, where the dead person finds themselves outside of their body looking at the scene from a different position/perspective and the people around that dead body not sensing you, or the experience of “waking up” and finding yourself in an environment that feels like “home”, surrounded by people you know.

    These experiences represent the different ways the “this world” algorithm comes to an end for the individual and the processing of self-identity continues via the rest of the algorithm (everything except the “this world” algorithmic module. The identity information structure of the individual in this “afterlife” framework has been affected (to varying degrees) by the “this world” experience they subjected themselves to.

  22. 22
    mike1962 says:

    From the other thread:

    mike1962
    October 27, 2020 at 1:15 am

    WJM @38,

    The “subconscious” is a modern term for what are brain actions that are outside the control of consciousess. (Hence the “sub”.) It’s just another external trigger to consciousness. Closer to the result? Sure. Because it’s in the brain (presumably.). Dreams are generated (allegedly) by subconscious brain processes. The thing is, the subconscious is an inference. It is not a property of consciousness itself, which is the primary fact of my experiential existence. So, point fail. MRT has no explanatory power beyond the obvious: 1) we are conscious and experience things, 2) things/triggers/whatever outside of consciousness control determine the state of consciousness, but it isn’t consciousness any more than a movie projector (and everything that led up to a projection) is the same as the screen on which the projector is projecting an image.

    WJM, this is the third time you’ve thread-jumped.

    You get tired of a thread, then ignore it. Not very cool.

  23. 23

    Mike1962,

    I think you’re conflating “mind” and “consciousness.” The subconscious and unconscious are not “outside” of mind. MRT doesn’t claim everything is under our conscious control, only that the path of our experiences can be greatly influenced by what we put our attention on and our skill at doing so.

  24. 24

    EDTA said in another thread:

    Ah yes, thank you for reminding me. There you say, “…solipsism is not an entailment of MRT, and it is resisted in exactly the same way it is in any coherent theory: faith.”

    While not an entailment, it does seem to place that one additional burden on the person searching for explanations: faith. So solipsism would be the simpler belief to hold to explain everything.

    The only bulwark against solipsism in any cosmological perspective is faith, even materialism. For materialists, it is infinitely more likely that we exist as a Boltzmann Brain imagining a material world than an actual physical world with billions of years of history that led to our existence. By “faith,” I mean any view that adopts the extra burden it requires, as you mentioned.

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