Intelligent Design

The Immense Negative Impact of External Physical World Theory

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[ETA: The OMG TOO LONG I don’t know if I wanna read all that teaser: I have said before it’s impossible to deny the value of the external physical world theory. In one sense it’s true – we have made a lot of scientific progress under that model. However, in comparison to what MRT could have provided and prevented, the overall effect has been disastrous, not just for science, but for the human condition as well.]

External physical world theory is the theory that an objective, physical world exists external of mind that causes a set of subjective personal experiences, thus explaining the difference between experiences we have in common with other people, and experiences that others don’t appear to have access to

For example, difference between the table we experience as we sit together for dinner, and the individual thoughts we have while we eat.

The core of this theory is, or rather was, the existence of matter with innate characteristics which trigger physical states in our bodies to change, which is then translated somehow into mental experience that correlated to a large degree with the same process and experience going on in other people.

This theory is a model used to explain the characteristics of a certain category of mental experience. The success of the theory depends on defining the difference between which experiences are caused by the external physical world, and which are not, as those which are transpersonal – either universally or nearly so, then defining that which does not meet that standard as “not part of the external physical world.”

So, the standard of which mental experiences are considered to be caused by the external physical world is set by deliberately choosing a certain set of mental experiences, with this specific quality, and categorizing them under the “external physical world” label.

This categorization process doesn’t make any experience under that label any less of a mental experience; it merely labels those mental experiences as having an external physical cause. If an experience has all of the same qualities as any other experience in that category (acuity, physicalness, duration, continuity, etc.) except that it is not experienced by other people, or even if it is only experienced by a small group of people, it doesn’t make it into that category and is placed in other categories, such as a delusion or a spiritual experience – or we assume someone is mistaken or lying.

The theory thus defends itself by dismissing all experiences not shared almost universally as “not caused by the external physical world” – or, at least, as some faulty processing of that incoming information, or dishonesty.

The fact that “an external, physical world” is a model meant to describe aspects of mental experience was either never realized, or people lost sight of it long ago. In any event, the model was mistaken for the thing. We either didn’t realize or forgot that what we were necessarily observing, investigating, researching and conducting experiments on the whole time were mental experiential phenomena, not an actual “external, physical world.”

We have a habit of reifying models and concepts to the point of mistaking models for the things themselves.

Take “gravity” for example. Gravity is a model of the behavioral patterns of experiential phenomena, but we mistake it for the thing causing the behavior. We say, “gravity causes X,” but gravity does not and can not cause anything. Gravity is a pattern of behaviors; it is not what is causing the behaviors. The same is true of all things we call “energy,” “forces” and “physical laws.” These are all models and measurements of the behavior of experiential phenomena. Period. Full stop.

“Matter” is also a theoretical concept. We have examined experiential phenomena high and low and have found no “matter” underneath the experience of physicality. There is no matter there. There is no “energy.” There are only patterns in our experiences that we measure, model, and find mathematical equations that describe these patterns.

In quantum physics research, we have found that the essential aspect of our existence is information. Not matter. Not even energy (which is just a reified model anyway). Quantum waves of probability are not waves of “energy” or “matter,” it is algorithmically extending information. There is no ‘matter” or “energy” upon which that information is written or that it is riding outwards on in a wave.

So, what are we actually describing with the scientific process and models, measurements and mathematical equations? What are we investigating the behavior of?

Obviously, we are investigating the behavior of a certain category of mental experiences that meet the essential criteria of being shared with the largest number of people around us. That is literally all we can possibly be investigating, even if we have mistaken an ERT model for the thing. We can’t gather evidence from any external, physical world; we can only gather the evidence entirely housed in our mental experiences.

So, we have mistaken models of the behavior of sets of mental experiences for models of an actual external world because we forgot or didn’t realize “external physical world” was just a label for that set of mental experiences. We convinced ourselves that we were actually investigating a world external of mind when that is literally impossible even in principle.

So, “external physical world,” “matter,” and “energy” are reified models of the behavior of mental experiences.

What does it mean when we say something “exists?” Does the statement, “something exists outside of mind” make any sense? Essentially, we are saying that something we have absolutely no possible access to exists. The models exist – in mind. Imagining such a thing exists – in mind.

Does such an assertion, and belief in it, have any value?

Some might argue that the premise has value in that it led to scientific discoveries and progress. Does that argument have any merit? I suggest the opposite; that this mistaken premise, based on the reification of a model and losing sight of what the model necessarily, actually refers to, can only hinder scientific discovery and progress. And, I argue, it causes much more harm than that.

Whatever model we are operating under, we are still scientifically investigating the same thing: mental experiences. Regardless of what you call what you are doing, you’re still researching, measuring, and modeling mental experiences, or a specific category of mental experiences.

Only, under external, physical world theory, your scientific research is conceptually restricted to only that mental phenomena which meets a very strict criteria, and it can only go so far as the conceptual limits of that theory allow. It interprets the evidence according to that theory and resists evidence that indicates the theory is fundamentally incomplete, or inaccurate.

Perhaps worse, “external physical reality theory” allows for the descent into materialism, which is a scientific, philosophical, moral, ethical, and political disaster.

So, ERT (external physical reality theory) does not provide any positive value or unique pathway to scientific progress because MRT necessarily offers everything ERT offered simply under a different label (category of shared mental experiences), plus access to all other mental phenomena for scientific research and it is not restricted to the highly limited ERT model.

MRT could not have led to materialism. It offers far more potential. It would not have resisted the results of quantum physics research. We would not have mistakenly reified behavioral models. We would have premised from the start that consciousness is an essential aspect of all experiential phenomena. Information would have been at the heart of our research from or near the beginning.

We can see now that scientific theory, research and progress has been hampered up to this point by a fundamental misunderstanding of what it is we are necessarily investigating. This misunderstanding is due to the models of mental experience being reified as things existing independent of mental experience. This misunderstanding has led to the dismissal and suppression of research into other mental experiences, such as remote viewing, psi, telekinesis, telepathy, astral projection, the afterlife, NDEs, etc.

Such a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of what it is we are investigating can only have a deleterious effect on scientific research and progress.

Because it frames our sense of “reality” in terms of a physical world and minimizes or even dismisses our essential internal, mental nature with the imprimatur of “scientific fact,” it can only cause harm to the human condition.

External physical world theory can only be said to have been a total disaster by sending science totally off-track from the beginning, delaying the recognition of fundamental aspects of reality for hundreds of years until it exhausted all “physical reality” possibilities. It is even now attempting to cling to some version of “external reality” even after being forced to abandon the “physical” aspect of the theory, even while the evidence mounts that what we are actually experiencing is completely produced by the conscious observer’s attention on what can only be described as information.

But, even worse, ERT is responsible for an enormous amount of human suffering. KF argues that materialism led to philosophies that caused the death of hundreds of millions and incalculable human suffering; historically speaking, he’s right about that. But materialism didn’t pop into existence out of thin air. External physical world theory birthed materialism. Materialism would not have existed without it.

TL;DR: misapprehending the nature of what we are actually scientifically investigating – mental experience – and transferring the imprimatur of “objective reality” on a hypothetical physical world independent of mind can only have had a deleterious effect on scientific investigation and the human condition. Additionally, it not only opened the door for materialism and all of the disastrous consequences that perspective has wrought on humanity, external physical world theory directly birthed materialism. No such philosophy could have come from MRT.

42 Replies to “The Immense Negative Impact of External Physical World Theory

  1. 1
    JohnB says:

    If MRT is true then you can’t perceive death as something bad so why do you blame ERT for millions of deaths of naturalism?

  2. 2

    JohnB: You’re absolutely correct that under MRT, death is not a bad thing at all. However, I’m not making the case against ERT to people that believe in MRT. Death is widely considered a bad thing to those who believe in ERT. Also, you could say I’m “blaming” ERT for those deaths; you could also say I’m just properly assigning responsibility for those deaths and that suffering.

    If ERT believers think death and suffering are bad things (and they apparently do because the assign those deaths and that suffering to materialism in a negative way,) then there is no escaping the cause of materialism – ERT.

  3. 3
    JohnB says:

    I’m just properly assigning responsibility for those deaths and that suffering.

    Yes but you know it’s a lie to assign responsibility for something you believe is not bad at all…If death in your model MRT is nothing bad and your model is true , then death is nothing bad in all other false models even all models say otherwise.

  4. 4

    Recognizing proper attribution of responsibility for something, whether anyone considers that thing good or bad, is not a lie. Recognizing that proponents of ERT would consider that thing wrong, and using their own perspective in an argument against their perspective, is perfectly rational, moral and ethical. In fact, it is the proper and best way to argue against a perspective – FROM that perspective.

  5. 5
    JohnB says:

    ..is perfectly rational, moral and ethical…

    Well…you mean morality is identical in ERT and MRT, and plays the same role,even though the systems are different ? You use ERT morality, your system doesn’t have its own moral laws? Maybe in MRT to kill is not immoral because death is not something bad like in ERT.

  6. 6

    JohnB,
    I notice you haven’t attempted to address the actual points made in the OP. Please do so or move on.

  7. 7
    mike1962 says:

    Okay, moved from other thread:

    WJM:
    3. Is the model useful in terms of predicting future experiences?
    4. Does the model provide a framework for expanding testable applications in developing future experiences?
    All I’m outlining here is what I believe to be a better model on all four counts.

    How does your model improve upon #3 and #4 in any pragmatic way.
    What predictions does your model make that the “standard” “commonly-held physical reality model” does not?

  8. 8
    EDTA says:

    WJM,

    Also brought forth from the other thread:

    1. If MRT is correct, then why are the majority of its occupants (algorithms/data) misled by MRT’s very nature (i.e., by the sorts of experiences it proffers)? Why would a framework/worldview offer up perceptions that so readily mislead?

    2. Does #1 affect the probability that MRT is correct? (Does it at least lower it?)

    3. In what other areas of philosophical inquiry has MRT misled the majority of its occupants?

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM:

    [OP:] The core of this theory is, or rather was, the existence of matter with innate characteristics which trigger physical states in our bodies to change, which is then translated somehow into mental experience that correlated to a large degree with the same process and experience going on in other people.

    That may describe materialism to some extent but it does not address the concept that we are both soul and body, fused as a common whole. On this, I have repeatedly pointed to the Smith, cybernetic loop with a two-tier controller model. This is a suitable context for onward discussion, including the further suggestion of quantum interface with influence.

    KF

    PS: I see image links died [doubtless, WP changes over seven years], I will try to fix.

  10. 10

    KF,

    Care to comment on the fact that external physical world theory, and giving it the imprimatur of “objective reality,” directly led to the birth of materialism and what materialism is responsible for in this world?

  11. 11

    Mike1962 @8:
    Answered in the OP

    Mike1962@9:

    1. If MRT is correct, then why are the majority of its occupants (algorithms/data) misled by MRT’s very nature (i.e., by the sorts of experiences it proffers)? Why would a framework/worldview offer up perceptions that so readily mislead?

    Not sure what you mean here by “mislead.” Experiences match information being accessed by the observer. What information is being accessed is a free will choice. People are free to experience whatever they want by what information they choose to put their attention on, if that’s what you mean. Comparatively, there are far more experiences available that don’t include a mental reality perspective than do.

    2. Does #1 affect the probability that MRT is correct? (Does it at least lower it?)

    It’s not a really a question of being “correct.” It’s a question of explanatory usefulness. Only the individual can make that decision. Once a person understands the concepts, MRT is, in principle, self-evidently true. That means there is no chance it is “incorrect” in principle or in terms of potential maximum explanatory usefulness.

    3. In what other areas of philosophical inquiry has MRT misled the majority of its occupants?

    The existential state of existing entirely as mind doesn’t mislead anyone. It offers you infinite capacity to “mislead” yourself, if by that you mean experience things that require the individual to “not see” their situation in terms of MRT.

  12. 12

    KF:
    Let me simplify part of that cybernetic loop model for you:

    [X(hypothetical state of external physical world) + Y (lots of very complex physical interactions and processes) + Z (insert physical to non-physical translation miracle here)] = mental experiences that accurately correspond to X.

    You and I both know you cant bridge the gap at Z.

  13. 13

    KF, Mike1962 et al:
    1. All experiences occur in mind (including measurements and investigations of experiences).
    2. All thought about experiences occur in mind.
    3. All facts and evidence, and theories, and beliefs about facts and evidence that lead to concepts about “reality,” occur in mind.
    4. There is no access to anything “outside” of mind, even if it were to exist
    5. To express any rational claim that something exists, there must be some way to determine that it exists.
    6. There is no way to determine that anything exists outside of mind.
    7. “There is something outside of mind” is therefore an irrational claim.
    8. Therefore, “Reality = Mind” is the only rational expression of what “reality” is.
    9. Understanding this, MRT is, in principle, both self-evidently and necessarily true.

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    Thanks for onward thoughts and apologies for inadvertently triggering those having a problem with import of transfinite ellipses in defining natural, integer and real numbers as sets.

    I note that the overwhelming majority of people across time and today who accept that experiences of the external world are veridical also accept that they are self-moved, significantly free agents acting in that world. Materialism is by no means a necessary or even likely inference on our experience. Indeed, it is manifestly self-refuting by import of reducing self-moved mind (an aspect of soul) to computational substrate as dynamic-stochastic system. The institutional power move of imposing so called methodological naturalism is inadvertently telling.

    J B S Haldane, a co-founder of the Neo-Darwinian synthesis is a classic case in point:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. (NB: DI Fellow, Nancy Pearcey brings this right up to date (HT: ENV) in a current book, Finding Truth.)]

    Similarly, Wallace, co founder of Evolution as a theory, was anything but a materialist, demonstrably so from c 1870. His The World of Life should be required reading.

    Accepting the reality of an external world did not give rise to the dominance of evolutionary materialistic scientism. What did it is a combination of exaggerated Newtonian, clockwork cosmos thinking, misunderstanding of the problem of evil and its import, rise of a vision of material progress and sci-tech triumph coupled to institutional domination by people who failed to understand the self-referential incoherence of materialistic reductionism about mind. These seem, at any rate to be dominant factors. Ideology in the end is about power, [too often, manipulated] perception and propagandistically Let me exploitable gaps in knowledge rather than actual soundness.

    As for the cybernetic loop model, the feedback and interaction loops are pivotal, e.g. giving rise to reflexive action and the inner reflective, self-aware and imaginative life of mindedness. Interface, sensors, actuators and effectors, memory and storage, lags etc all play their part too.

    Let me comment on your points:

    >>1. All experiences occur in mind (including measurements and investigations of experiences).>>

    – experience is subjective, the inner life of the self being involved; however that does not exclude the interface and interaction with an outer world that transcends the individual’s perception.

    >>2. All thought about experiences occur in mind.>>

    — mind’s function is to think, thought can engage external reality

    >>3. All facts and evidence, and theories, and beliefs about facts and evidence that lead to concepts about “reality,” occur in mind.>>

    — Insofar as we hold facts as accurate summaries, the fact is mental; however this does not lock out that a fact may have correct external reference.

    — there is no good reason to doubt that our experience of the in common world is on the whole real.

    >>4. There is no access to anything “outside” of mind, even if it were to exist>>

    — question-begging assertion in denial of the import of much of our experience, see the Smith Model.

    >>5. To express any rational claim that something exists, there must be some way to determine that it exists.>>

    — Actually, this suggests the error of infinite regress of demonstration and/or question begging by selective hyperskeptical dismissal of the testimony of experience about the objective external world

    — Instead, examine worldview alternatives on comparative difficulties and you will see that this also leads to the grand delusion problem, also undermining confidence in rationality.

    — I clip from the other thread:

    . . . through the window of consciousness we experience a palpably independent world manifestly different from dream-worlds, day by day. We have good reason to accept it went on before we were born or even before there were any humans, and when we go to a funeral we accept that it goes on after we die. Not to mention, many of us acknowledge the distinction between our inner selves and our outer bodies that is severed at death, leading to the disintegration of the latter. It seems to me there is very good reason to see both minds and bodies, in a world that our bodies are definitely part of. Using distinct identity, required characteristics of mind are distinct from brains as computational substrates but the two interact; we are back at the Smith, two-tier controller cybernetic model, with perhaps a quantum influence interface. I think we come close to grand delusion if we try to deny one or the other; that which makes grand delusion probable so undermines credibility of reasoning that it becomes self-referentially absurd. The balanced middle way is to accept both, while using comparative difficulties to understand that in every view there will be difficulties.

    >>6. There is no way to determine that anything exists outside of mind.>>

    — same, again

    >>7. “There is something outside of mind” is therefore an irrational claim.>>

    — error carried forward. Instead, we are forced to finitely remote first plausibles as part of the framing of rationality. A familiar case in point is from Epictetus:

    DISCOURSES
    CHAPTER XXV

    How is logic necessary?

    When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much as know whether it is necessary or not? [Notice, inescapable, thus self evidently true and antecedent to the inferential reasoning that provides deductive proofs and frameworks, including axiomatic systems and propositional calculus etc. Cf J. C. Wright]

    — likewise, observe Locke on inevitability of faith-points and futility of skeptical pretensions:

    [Essay on Human Understanding, Intro, Sec 5:] Men have reason to be well satisfied with what God hath thought fit for them, since he hath given them (as St. Peter says [NB: i.e. 2 Pet 1:2 – 4]) pana pros zoen kaieusebeian, whatsoever is necessary for the conveniences of life and information of virtue; and has put within the reach of their discovery, the comfortable provision for this life, and the way that leads to a better. How short soever their knowledge may come of an universal or perfect comprehension of whatsoever is, it yet secures their great concernments [Prov 1: 1 – 7], that they have light enough to lead them to the knowledge of their Maker, and the sight of their own duties [cf Rom 1 – 2, Ac 17, etc, etc]. Men may find matter sufficient to busy their heads, and employ their hands with variety, delight, and satisfaction, if they will not boldly quarrel with their own constitution, and throw away the blessings their hands are filled with, because they are not big enough to grasp everything . . . It will be no excuse to an idle and untoward servant [Matt 24:42 – 51], who would not attend his business by candle light, to plead that he had not broad sunshine. The Candle that is set up in us [Prov 20:27] shines bright enough for all our purposes . . . If we will disbelieve everything, because we cannot certainly know all things, we shall do muchwhat as wisely as he who would not use his legs, but sit still and perish, because he had no wings to fly

    >>8. Therefore, “Reality = Mind” is the only rational expression of what “reality” is.>>

    — no, for reasons already outlined.

    — ironically, there is good reason to see that our world comes from designing mind and is sustained by said mind.

    >>9. Understanding this, MRT is, in principle, both self-evidently and necessarily true.>>

    — ditto

    KF

  15. 15

    KF said, in another thread:

    through the window of consciousness we experience a palpably independent world manifestly different from dream-worlds, day by day.

    We experience “dream worlds” as “palpably independent” while we are in them. I have stated that dream-world experiences have different characteristics from what we usually refer to as “external world” experiences, but they also differ significantly from other experiential categories, such as delusions, hallucinations, memories, imagination, logic & mathematics, and free will. The experiential differences between those different categories of mental experience are very significant, but the inescapable fact is: they are all necessarily mental experiences.

    We have good reason to accept it went on before we were born or even before there were any humans, and when we go to a funeral we accept that it goes on after we die.

    IF by this you mean that people were having this experience before we were born and will continue to have the experience after we die, even though we may be experiencing something else, MRT doesn’t disagree with that.

    Not to mention, many of us acknowledge the distinction between our inner selves and our outer bodies that is severed at death, leading to the disintegration of the latter.

    MRT doesn’t doesn’t disagree with that, it just characterizes it differently.

    It seems to me there is very good reason to see both minds and bodies, in a world that our bodies are definitely part of.

    I didn’t say there isn’t a “good reason” for that perspective. There was also a “good reason,” based on perspective, to think the universe revolved around the Earth and that actual “matter” existed. So what?

    Using distinct identity, required characteristics of mind are distinct from brains as computational substrates but the two interact; we are back at the Smith, two-tier controller cybernetic model, with perhaps a quantum influence interface.

    That doesn’t solve the intractable problem of domain translation from physical state to mental experience.

    I think we come close to grand delusion if we try to deny one or the other; that which makes grand delusion probable so undermines credibility of reasoning that it becomes self-referentially absurd.

    That’s an appeal to consequences. It would be valid if you were appealing to a necessary aspect of MRT that would make “grand delusion” the necessary outcome. You are not. It is neither a necessary aspect of MRT nor a necessary implication. Your warning of a potential outcome bears no weight against the actual, brutal and science-stifling consequences of materialism which was birthed by external physical world theory. IOW, your theoretical structure actually generated a very destructive “delusion.” MRT hasn’t birthed anything close to that, and certainly could not have generated materialism.

    The balanced middle way is to accept both, while using comparative difficulties to understand that in every view there will be difficulties.

    If by “balanced” you mean “equal parts rational assessment of our existential state and irrational speculation” (comment #13 above,) okay.

  16. 16

    KF said:

    mind’s function is to think, thought can engage external reality

    No, it can’t. Thoughts can only engage mental experiences and speculate those experiences correlate to a world external of mind.

    Insofar as we hold facts as accurate summaries, the fact is mental; however this does not lock out that a fact may have correct external reference.

    The problem is that there is no way to ascertain if it does or it does not, unless one uses circular reasoning.

    question-begging assertion in denial of the import of much of our experience, see the Smith Model.

    Nope. Statement of a self-evident existential truth which can only be denied by pure speculation and reifying a hypothesis about experience as the actual thing we are experiencing.

    Actually, this suggests the error of infinite regress of demonstration and/or question begging by selective hyperskeptical dismissal of the testimony of experience about the objective external world

    I’ll fix the latter part of that for you: “… testimony of [mental] experience about [what is speculated to be an] objective external world.

    There is no such thing as “infinite regress” in MRT. No one is dismissing the reported experiences any more than someone proposing the perspective that the universe doesn’t revolve around the Earth is dismissing that interpretation of what it is their experiences mean.

    KF, here’s the problem in this discussion: You don’t know enough about MRT to effectively argue against it. You are arguing against what you imagine MRT asserts & entails from an external, physical world perspective. The proper and sensible way forward would be for you to ask questions about the theory so that have some kind of knowledge base by which to form further questions and raise objections to it from the MRT perspective.

    For example, if you think there is a “grand delusion” issue, you might begin by asking, “What is “reality” under MRT, and how does it characterize what we call “delusions? Can delusions be avoided? What would be the process for determining the difference between a “delusion” and “not delusional?”

    Without that, you’re basically making uninformed assumptions about MRT and arguing from ignorance.

  17. 17

    Still waiting for a rebuttal about the damage external physical world theory has produced.

  18. 18
    drc466 says:

    WJM,
    I’ll let you have the last word after this, but here, in a nutshell, is why I believe that MRT is either a) logically incoherent and clearly incorrect, OR b) a semantic game that does not, indeed cannot clearly and definitively distinguish between a so-called “mental phenomenon” and a “physical object”.

    Scenario:
    1) Deaf man stands on tracks, facing away from train.
    2) Deaf man is alone, no other life form within hundreds of miles.
    3) Automated train comes flying along at 100mph and kills man instantaneously, i.e. before man is mentally aware of the presence of the train, or his mind can process the input of his senses.
    4) Man dies.

    Now, you can replace the causation of the man’s death with any number of things (heart attack, sniper, dying in sleep, etc.), but the commonality in the scenario is that none of the causes was apprehended by a human mind. Yet the man is still dead. Which “model” (ERT or MRT) better explains the scenario? Let’s examine the case for “external, physical world”:
    1) “External” – clearly, the cause was external. Self-evident.
    2) “Physical” – here’s where the MRT is either incoherent or a mere semantic game. If we define the train/bullet/heart as a physical object, the clarity and consistency of the model is complete. There is no need to figure out “gee, how did this mental experience transition this individual’s mind state from ‘living’ to ‘dead'”? However, if we assume that the “train” is NOT a physical object, but simply a “mental phenomenon”, we have to ask “well, who’s mental phenomenon”? How can it be the mental phenomenon of a victim who never experienced it mindfully?

    So, for MRT, you are left with defining an object that was not experienced by the affected mind nor caused by the affected mind. This gives you two choices:
    1) Infer the existence of some “greater” mind that generated and experienced the “train” for the mind that was affected (since you’ve ruled out God in a previous post, this would I assume be some vague, nebulous overmind, for which no evidence has ever lead to an independent conclusion). This is a religious belief, not a scientific one, and cannot be tested. File in same drawer as “multiple universes”.
    2) State that the “train” is “real” and “external to the mind impacted” without actually being “matter”. And this is where you have started playing a semantic game. “Physical” is, after all, our word for things that aren’t mental. If you want to call it a “mental phenomenon” that is independent of any human mind, fine, knock yourself out. The rest of us call those things “matter”. If you insist it is, somehow, dependent on a human mind, which human mind? Are people who die in their sleep suicides?

    As to your post, and the “damage external physical world theory has produced”: because, at the end of the day, MRT is not in any practical way different (as you have agreed, there is no experiment you can perform to identify a difference between MRT and external physical reality), “materialism” would still exist, it would just have a different semantic name. If MRT would still allow us to do science, and come up with things like the periodic table of the elements, and models of the atom, and experiments in crop hybridizations, etc., etc., then the same people who insist that “matter and energy are all there is” would simply be using different terms: “the mental phenomena that we define as being comprised of atoms and the mental phenomena that we define as following the Laws of Thermodynamics are all there is in our shared Mental Reality”. Personally, I’m a tad skeptical that without the concepts of external physical reality that modern science is possible, which means that starvation and disease would have killed FAR more people than atheism and materialism. So even by your measure, ERT > MRT.

  19. 19
    drc466 says:

    WRT the original point of the post, the moral implications and consequences of belief in external physical reality, and belief in MRT:
    1) While it is true that determinists are atheists, and determinism is based on a belief in an external physical reality, it is NOT true that all atheism, and thus all atheist evil (e.g. Stalin, Mao, etc.) is based on a belief in determinism. As a matter of fact, atheists are far more likely to believe in variations of non-Theistic spirituality that would align with MRT, than theists are. So ascribing all atheist evil to a belief in external physical reality is an overreach.
    2) The same belief in an external physical reality leads to a belief in positive moral good, so if you want to compare the relative moral implications of MRT to a belief in external physical reality, you have to take a comprehensive view of both good and evil results from the belief.

  20. 20
    mike1962 says:

    WJM @11

    I didn’t write @8 and @9. I wrote @7. I would still like a reply to my two questions @7.

  21. 21

    Mike1962 – comment numbers got resequenced due to removal of some posts, and I answered those questions in the OP.

  22. 22
    Viola Lee says:

    William, when you remove a post, you can snip out the comment and explain the removal, which then doesn’t resequence the comments.

  23. 23

    Drc466 said:

    So ascribing all atheist evil to a belief in external physical reality is an overreach.

    I didn’t say anything about determinism or atheism.

    The same belief in an external physical reality leads to a belief in positive moral good

    No it does not. External physical world theory only offers the capacity for moral good in proportion to how important a role mental reality plays in its various iterations. IOW, there can only be moral good as the result of having some aspect of MRT attached.

  24. 24

    Viola Lee @22: Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll start doing that.

  25. 25

    DRC466 said:

    As to your post, and the “damage external physical world theory has produced”: because, at the end of the day, MRT is not in any practical way different (as you have agreed, there is no experiment you can perform to identify a difference between MRT and external physical reality), “materialism” would still exist, it would just have a different semantic name.

    I never said this. I said, there’s no way to falsify MRT or prove ERT. Materialism cannot come from MRT. MRT is very different in many practical ways, as I have pointed out in various posts, including the OP and comments here and in other threads. It’s not a semantic difference; it’s a profound difference of the highest existential order.

  26. 26
    drc466 says:

    WJM,

    Okay, I know I said I’d let you have the last word, but you really need to stop calling me a liar if you want that.
    WJM, in response to my statement “as you have agreed, there is no experiment you can perform to identify a difference between MRT and external physical reality”:

    I never said this. I said, there’s no way to falsify MRT or prove ERT.

    Also WJM:

    There is no experiment that can be conducted (even in principle) to verify the existence of an external, physical world. There is no experiment that needs to be conducted to know that all experiences occur in mind.

    In which WJM runs back to the cozy blanket of “semantics”. Your response resolves down into:
    Q: What experiment can be performed to distinguish the two?
    A: None.
    If you now disagree, please state the nature of the experiment to perform to distinguish the two. I’m not interested in WHY there isn’t an experiment, just WHETHER: Yes, or No. Declaring one option (universally believed) to be outside the realm of possibility and the other (universally rejected) self-evident still means: no way for us to tell the difference, unless we accept your axioms and logic (which, clearly, we don’t).

    Also, regarding the claim that no experiment can be conducted to prove the existence of an external physical reality – why doesn’t my train kills human w/o mind involvement count? If all experiences are mental, how can someone die from something no one experienced mentally?

    Materialism cannot come from MRT.

    Why not? Even if atheist evolutionists accept that all experiences are “mental” and not “external physical reality”, why would they not still be able to state (as I said above) “the mental phenomena that we define as being comprised of atoms and the mental phenomena that we define as following the Laws of Thermodynamics are all there is in our shared Mental Reality”? Assuming your MRT is compatible with modern physics? After all, there are no-free-will determinists who believe in consciousness and mind. Maybe it wouldn’t be called “materialism”, maybe it would be called “scientific law-ism”, or “mental experience synchronicity”, or some other nonsensical term, but it still translates to “no outside influences allowed! no God!”. Which is the problem, not what you “call” it.

    MRT is very different in many practical ways, as I have pointed out in various posts, including the OP and comments here and in other threads. It’s not a semantic difference; it’s a profound difference of the highest existential order.

    No, you’ve repeatedly pointed out PHILOSOPHICAL differences, not PRACTICAL differences. Including this post’s argument regarding the negative impact of external reality theory. You have made claims about the consequences from humans having a PHILOSOPHICAL BELIEF about the nature of the universe, not a PRACTICAL difference in HOW THE UNIVERSE WORKS that is TESTABLE VIA THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD (sorry for shouting, but you don’t seem to be hearing me).

    But I’m sure you have a semantic argument about the meaning of “practical”. Sigh.

  27. 27

    DRC466 asks:

    Q: What experiment can be performed to distinguish the two [MRT vs ERT]?

    Many such experiments have already been done. Let’s remember I’m using “ERT” as shorthand for external physical world theory, as I have repeated stated. Perhaps you forgot that? Please note the title of this thread.

    They’ve already disproved ERT, as I’ve explained in a previous post some time ago, via quantum physics research and experiments (inasmuch as a theory can be “disproved,) and the evidence that disproves ERT supports MRT.

    Why not? Even if atheist evolutionists accept that all experiences are “mental” and not “external physical reality”, why would they not still be able to state (as I said above) “the mental phenomena that we define as being comprised of atoms and the mental phenomena that we define as following the Laws of Thermodynamics are all there is in our shared Mental Reality”?

    I’m going to leave this and your prior comment up to show cause for removing you from further discussion. You’re either trolling me or incapable of understanding the concepts being debated, plus you’re negatively characterizing me and making it personal (the liar comment).

    You’re not welcome in this thread any more and further comments from you will be edited out. Move along.

  28. 28
    JohnB says:

    [redacted]
    Please move along, JohnB. Further comments from you will be redacted – WJM

  29. 29
    EDTA says:

    WJM,

    >>1. If MRT is correct, then why are the majority of its occupants (algorithms/data) misled by MRT’s very nature (i.e., by the sorts of experiences it proffers)?
    >Not sure what you mean here by “mislead.” Experiences match information being accessed by the observer. What information is being accessed is a free will choice. People are free to experience whatever they want by what information they choose to put their attention on…

    I’m just noticing that most human beings (as far as I can tell) believe in ERT. They seem to have gotten there naturally, by existing and observing. They didn’t put any deep thought into getting anywhere (MRT or ERT), as far as I can tell. So even if we are free to believe what we want, and put our attention on the information we choose to, it remains that most people seem naturally led to ERT. That seems potentially significant.

    >>3. In what other areas of philosophical inquiry has MRT misled the majority of its occupants?
    >The existential state of existing entirely as mind doesn’t mislead anyone.

    Maybe “mislead” is the wrong term. Let me reword: In what other areas/ways are most human beings seemingly taking a less explanatorily-useful position?

  30. 30
    mike1962 says:

    WJM, having read the OP carefully, you seem to be saying that ERT entails “materialism.” But it doesn’t. Materialism, naturalism, etc., is a philosophy, rather like an interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. Materialism is not a necessary entailment of ERT. As DRC said, and I agree, ERT is simply a tag to describe the objects we experience in our reality and the models we use to make sense of them, regardless of what may be “hosting” those objects. You say it’s better to think the objects are hosted in “mind.” Maybe. Maybe not. But logically they could be hosted in a more parsimonious, mindless virtual reality process. Thus, MRT is superfluous.

    “They’ve already disproved ERT, as I’ve explained in a previous post some time ago, via quantum physics research and experiments

    Hmm I would put it differently. What the experiments show is that the objects within our reality are not like Newtonian billiard balls, with essentially independent existence when they are not interacting with other objects. That model has been smashed long ago. But MRT is not necessary to explain what’s left. VRT is more parsimonious and explains the data without MRT.

  31. 31

    Maybe “mislead” is the wrong term. Let me reword: In what other areas/ways are most human beings seemingly taking a less explanatorily-useful position?

    I probably don’t understand the question. MRT revolutionizes every aspect of life, IMO, because it entirely changes your perspective about the nature of what you’re experiencing and why and how you are experiencing it. Perhaps you could pick a subject if you have something in mind? There doesn’t seem to be a lot of interest in defending the track record of ERT.

  32. 32

    Mike1962 said:

    WJM, having read the OP carefully, you seem to be saying that ERT entails “materialism.”

    I’m not.

    Say we assume we are living in a mental reality. People can put their attention on believing in an external physical reality (they can’t put their attention on an external reality, because (1) they can only observe mental experiences, and (2) there’s no way to even imagine it, because all they can observe even in imagination is mental experience.

    But, because our attention is on believing in it, the information-to-experience algorithm generates experiential conditions that correspond to, support and contextualize that belief. However, what the process cannot do is generate the ERT “matter.” Or ERT “energy.” It’s not magic; those things don’t exist that way. They only exist as information-based experiences. This means if you look deep enough, and think clearly enough, you won’t actually find matter or energy or anything ultimately external of mind – because there is only mind and mental experiences.

    Materialism is not a necessary entailment of ERT.

    I didn’t say it was.

    But logically they could be hosted in a more parsimonious, mindless virtual reality process.

    Adding a whole extra domain of existence (the “mindless virtual reality process”) along with mind is not “more parsimonious” than just one existential domain: mind.

  33. 33
    EDTA says:

    >>In what other areas/ways are most human beings seemingly taking a less explanatorily-useful position?
    >>I probably don’t understand the question.

    Assuming MRT is more correct than ERT, most people/algorithms today still favor ERT over any alternative. They seem to have been led to that belief innocently enough, i.e., by following evidence/observation/etc. So MRT has allowed most people/algorithms to adopt a belief that is incorrect (sub-optimal, etc.), rather than leading a majority to believe directly in MRT.

    If that can happen with MRT, my question is, in what other areas of inquiry has MRT led a majority of people/algorithms to an incorrect belief?

    Follow-on question: what does MRT have to say about evil?

  34. 34
    EDTA says:

    In fact, this analysis leads me to think that, under MRT, I cannot trust any of my observations or inferences. That is because, under MRT, my algorithm can always be working with information that relates to MRT itself (Godel anyone?), and yet which does not correspond to truth about MRT. But I have no way to meta-verify the truth of any meta-information about MRT, under MRT.

    It is thus analogous to the paradox about evolution: if we have evolved for fitness, not to know truth, then we cannot trust our inferences about evolution either.

  35. 35
    mike1962 says:

    WJM…

    Say we assume we are living in a mental reality.

    We all have minds, experiencing things. We don’t have to assume that. It simply is.

    People can put their attention on believing in an external physical reality

    It’s not about “belief” (unless perhaps you ask someone.) The default condition of humans is that there are objects and evemts that they perceive that have a source outside their own mind. They are not “doing it.” They are perceiving it.

    they can’t put their attention on an external reality, because (1) they can only observe mental experiences

    I don’t like the way you put that. We don’t “observe” mental experiences. We are mental experiences. But we also experience the fact that we do not generate most objects and events of our perception. Something else is triggering the perceptions.

    <(2) there’s no way to even imagine it, because all they can observe even in imagination is mental experience.

    But part of our mental experience is the fact that things are triggering our perceptions that we have no control over and do not generate.

    But, because our attention is on believing in it

    More people don’t even get that far. Belief? It’s just a condition of humans that things happen that they perceive but did not generate.

    the information-to-experience algorithm generates experiential conditions that correspond to, support and contextualize that belief.

    I (my consciousness) am not doing it. It is something I perceive, not something I do. I wouldn’t even know how to do it.

    However, what the process cannot do is generate the ERT “matter.”

    Whatever the external objects and events are, I am not doing them, and I am not generate them. I only have a conscious state as a result of the brain communicating information to my consciousness. Everything before that is out of my control (except for events that are under the control of my conscious will, but that’s not much.)

    Or ERT “energy.” It’s not magic; those things don’t exist that way.

    Well, we’re talking about Reality (whatever it is), there’s some “magic” (unexplained properties) to it, regardless of one’s view.

    They only exist as information-based experiences.

    I can agree there, by MRT is not required. VRT is sufficient, or maybe something else. The pragmatic Scientific Method writ large is unaffected by any of this.

    This means if you look deep enough, and think clearly enough, you won’t actually find matter or energy or anything ultimately external of mind – because there is only mind and mental experiences.

    Except that one of my mental experience is that a whole lotta shakin’ is going on that I have no mental control over- I’m not the origin of it; I’m not “doing” it.

    Me: But logically they could be hosted in a more parsimonious, mindless virtual reality process.

    Adding a whole extra domain of existence (the “mindless virtual reality process”) along with mind is not “more parsimonious” than just one existential domain: mind.

    No. There are obviously two domains: one of consciousness, and one of objects and events that consciousness (via brains) experience but know they are not the origin of. MRT doesn’t explain those two domains.

  36. 36

    EDTA @33:

    Assuming MRT is more correct than ERT, most people/algorithms today still favor ERT over any alternative. They seem to have been led to that belief innocently enough, i.e., by following evidence/observation/etc. So MRT has allowed most people/algorithms to adopt a belief that is incorrect (sub-optimal, etc.), rather than leading a majority to believe directly in MRT.

    As I said, MRT doesn’t lead anyone to believe anything. Beliefs are a matter of free will choice. Evidence flows from identity beliefs to the limits of what mind can provide in support of those beliefs. By “beliefs” I’m talking mostly about what we would call subconscious programming, not conscious beliefs.

    If that can happen with MRT, my question is, in what other areas of inquiry has MRT led a majority of people/algorithms to an incorrect belief?

    Zero. The nature of our existential reality is easily available and as obvious and irrefutable as “I exist” once one turns their attention on it in a clear way (meaning, without more powerful identity commitments that would prevent its apprehension). For example, in these threads everyone has agreed without quarrel that all experience occurs in mind. Once a person realizes that, the rest is a pretty straightforward and simple sequence of logic. Math and logic don’t change regardless of perspective. What people are doing is resisting the logic due to other a priori commitments – like, to the idea there is an external reality. That’s an extremely difficult identity commitment to overcome because it’s deeply baked in for most people.

    BTW, under mental reality theory, our very presence in this particular shared experiential state represents a significant identity investment in a particular version of ERT or we wouldn’t be “here.” This also explains why virtually everyone here has a deep commitment to ERT.

    One of the great things about MRT is that it is easy to experiment with. It doesn’t require any equipment or money, and a relatively insignificant investment of time.

    Follow-on question: what does MRT have to say about evil?

    I’d rather save the moral issue for another thread. That topic tends to derail threads quickly.

  37. 37

    EDTA @34 said:

    In fact, this analysis leads me to think that, under MRT, I cannot trust any of my observations or inferences.

    You can trust logic and math. These are absolute qualities of mind. What you have to be careful about are whether or not you are proceeding from a fundamentally true assertion about the nature of your existence because that is the core assumption that is usually hidden from view in our reasoning.

    That is because, under MRT, my algorithm can always be working with information that relates to MRT itself (Godel anyone?), and yet which does not correspond to truth about MRT. But I have no way to meta-verify the truth of any meta-information about MRT, under MRT.

    MRT is the only perspective that offers any hope of recognizing truths. ERT can only do so inasmuch as it attaches some aspect of MRT to it. A form of ERT, materialism, offers no hope of recognizing truth. MRT holds that we have access to, and the capacity of apprehending, self-evident and necessary truths, and that we have the free will capacity to focus our attention on these things. These are necessary and absolute features of mind. They are not arbitrary. The only thing the mental quality of reality can do is allow you to deny them and adopt a nonsensical perspective.

    But again, that’s the result of choosing to deny the essential truths of the existence of all sentient beings and/or refusing to follow the logic where it leads.

    It is thus analogous to the paradox about evolution: if we have evolved for fitness, not to know truth, then we cannot trust our inferences about evolution either.

    This is why any existential theory that does not include some measure of mental reality (ie, the “realness” value of self-evident truths, logic and math) are nonsensical and ultimately self-refuting. Without actual true, fundamental statements that can be apprehended as such, and without the free will capacity to correctly examine the implications thereof, no theory can survive.

    IOW, the only reason any theory can be rational and not self-refuting is if it states that some aspects of our inner (mental) experience have fundamental authority over everything else, including how we interpret any theory of external reality and any evidence we gather and what that evidence means.

    All I’m really doing here is pointing out the necessary implications of the self-evidently true nature of our existence.

  38. 38

    Mike1962 said:

    More people don’t even get that far. Belief? It’s just a condition of humans that things happen that they perceive but did not generate.

    There are conscious beliefs and there is what we can refer to as “subconscious programming.” Conscious beliefs are generated by subconscious programming or subconscious beliefs, which is the identity information the experience process is referring to.

    Whatever the external objects and events are, I am not doing them, and I am not generate them.

    Under MRT, this is fairly easy to test and experiment with. Literally millions of people around the world operate under what I would characterize as “ERT with extra MRT enhancements,” meaning MRT components beyond the essentials such as logic, math and free will. A few operate under full MRT.

    To the degree their perspective has incorporated MRT, they experience greater influence over what they experience as their physical world, with mind-boggling results. Now, no identity structure can ever reach the point where there is no differentiation between self and context; there always has to be some context of “not-self” for any sense of “self” to exist. However, people applying this perspective in practice begin to see that they do, in fact, have a far larger degree of creative and directorial influence over both their environmental context and their own thoughts and identity-structure than they thought was possible under more strict ERT perspectives.

  39. 39

    EDTA: I’ve thought some more on your question about evil, and I have to confess I dodged your question. I have no intention of starting a thread on that subject as it relates to MRT.

    I don’t know if you were here some years ago when I made arguments for “objective” or “absolute” morality. I did that for a reason. I’ve made the deliberate choice about what to put my attention on in terms of morality, and what to not put my attention on, because I already know I want to keep that perspective at least in the low-grade form I have now. That’s not saying it is or is not a universal mental principle; it’s saying that the alternative to it being a universal principle is not something I’m willing to put my attention on. I don’t want to risk the potential consequences to my self-identity.

  40. 40
    drc466 says:

    [redacted]

  41. 41
    mike1962 says:

    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.

  42. 42

    Mike 1962,

    I answered this in another thread. MRT draws a distinction between individual conscious states and mind. MRT doesn’t claim nothing exists “outside of” conscious perspective; as I’ve said elsewhere, the individual conscious mind is referring to a specific set of self-identity information. There is infinite other information available we can direct attention to for processing into experience.

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