Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 19, 2013 - 12:44pm PT
The red pill metaphor of the Matrix merely shows Neo moving from one turtle up / down to another turtle. The matrix basically presents a simulation of the same world, although in another state of condition. It's essentially the same worldview with the same beliefs in cause-and-effect, physical laws of reality, people with identities, objects and things, etc. Ditto for The Truman Show. Simulations invariably expose the same worlds, just with a few things moved around. It's very difficult to find science fictions with paradigmatically different realities. Why? Probably because we cannot seem to suspend our most fundamental beliefs.

Jan may be pointing to paradigmatically different realities. The Matrix doesn't.
MH2

climber
Jun 19, 2013 - 02:04pm PT
It's very difficult to find science fictions with paradigmatically different realities.


Roadside Picnic by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky inserts a quite different reality into a conventional one. It is the basis for the Russian movie Stalker. It isn't too hard to imagine radically different realities but unless they have something recognizable to humans they are too boring for most of the audience.

edit:

I should add that I consider Stalker to be a great movie but there are long intervals where nothing seems to be happening, or where what does happen makes no sense. The book is excellent but with more human-human action.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jun 19, 2013 - 02:14pm PT
I said above somewhere that the most important thing that I learned on this thread, was the strength or power of beliefs. In the face of almost irrefutable evidence or reasoning, folks appear to serve their beliefs more than anything--irrespective of political or spiritual denomination.


So you guys are winning. Over on the Climate Change thread we came to the same conclusion ages ago, which is why we are only at 10000 posts. Mike, stating things like that can have a real damper on the discussion. Watch out.

MH2

climber
Jun 19, 2013 - 06:24pm PT
Might as well give some other credits, here.


He's as blind as he can be,
Just sees what he wants to see,
Nowhere Man can you see me at all?


John Lennon 1965





All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest


Paul Simon 1968





As for MikeL, he may have a different notion of belief than the usual. He has said that all we have are beliefs and that all beliefs are false. I am not sure if he holds open a place for facts. Facts can be ignored, but it takes an unusual vantage to see facts as beliefs. I admit that on the issue of climate change, many people seem able to do that.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 19, 2013 - 06:25pm PT
paradigmatically different realities.

Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light is right up there in terms of overlapping multiple worldviews. Essentially a Nietzschean will-to-power plotline, but played out by space colonists who adopt Vedic avatars. Very easy to lose track of what's going on and why. Also the faux screenplay used in the Tehran escape adventure portrayed in Argo. Works on lots of levels simultaneously.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 19, 2013 - 07:19pm PT
Thanks, Bruce. I don't mean to be a damper. That's quite a thread (Climate Change) you all have going on over there. (We're rather calm over here by comparison.)


All facts are theory-laden, MH2. One can't have facts without a theory for what counts as a fact. Every research study's methodology section stipulates what will be seen as a fact (and hence what won't). But what counts as a fact is itself defined by a theory. If you understand this, then you can begin to see how research studies are circular: to prove (actually, put to a test of falsification) a theory, a researcher uses measurements (whose existential references and essences are equally problematical) that are defined by other theories to verify and validate a theoretical argument under contention in a study.

No where does consciousness meet directly with an object.

Magicians do the same thing; it's sleight of hand. Keep your eyes on the magician's hands, not the object [here, the research objective] he or she is pointing at.

Look at your own hands. Move them around. Can you feel your hands? You can't. Your brain is locked-up in a dark compartment, responding to electrical signals, that are responding to sensory biological processes. You *think* you're feeling your hands. That too is a construction.

All that I am aware of is my consciousness. (I don't know what you are aware of or even if you really exist.)

Anyone serious about investigation and truth should hold high standards of skepticism dearly.

Facts are constructions. Facts are objectivized sensations / perceptions. They're reifications.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 19, 2013 - 07:26pm PT
The power of beliefs a la MikeL: Charlie bit me... and it hurts... Isn't it real?

If it occurs in his mind, then it's real. If not, then it's not real.

Where is hurt? Can you grasp it? Can you find it right now? When you think you have hurt, can you say what it is?

Hurt is a concept, an interpretation.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 19, 2013 - 07:33pm PT
Hmmmm. This is definitely the first time ever that I've been accused of having too material a paradigm on this thread!
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 19, 2013 - 07:42pm PT
I think this thread has been derailed

No facts????
there is more to this reality than what happens inside our mind,
and we all Know that there is a whole universe that exists outside our mind, that is a fact....period, fact...

all we have to do is acknowledge it, and have an agreement that it exists, then it can be confirmed as such
like this post, it exists, no one can deny that!

I'm sure some may disagree, but you can only argue from a philosophical stand point, there is no argument based in science
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 19, 2013 - 07:42pm PT
Facts are constructions. Facts are objectivized sensations / perceptions. They're reifications


This is so counter-intuitive that few will understand it experientially and those lacking the experiences will write it off as jive as it doesn't mesh with the illusion that objective "reality" remains selfsame, as evidenced by measurements. So-called "coarse" materialism seeks to eliminate consciousness from "external reality" so the stuff out there is stand alone. Most people would bet their lives on this belief being a simple fact becasue their discursive mind and sense organs say so.

JL
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jun 19, 2013 - 08:38pm PT
Finally, something of a commemoration ring for the true mechanist amongst us...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NI2N6fsPjjg

Ladies, lady climbers, trust me, this is what you want to get your mechanist husband for Christmas-Curante this year! :)
MH2

climber
Jun 19, 2013 - 08:53pm PT
No where does consciousness meet directly with an object.


What do you mean by "meet directly?" Can you give an example of two things that do meet directly? Yes, facts are used to build a larger picture. A brain begins to do this as soon as the first sensory receptors, neurons, and synapses start to operate in an embryo.


edit:

It does not need a formal theory or to be told what a fact is.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 19, 2013 - 09:54pm PT
Can you give an example of two things that do meet directly?


Sure. Everything that's in my mind right now. All occurring phenomena. Think of what goes on in a dream. Everything in the dream meets directly there in the dream.

Phenomena are no where, they don't have existence, and yet there they are together (as it were) in dreams and illusions. All phenomena are equal, manifest yet not existent--e.g, emotions, concepts, thoughts, perceptions, etc. You can't find, grasp, delineate them. Reach out and take hold of your subjectivity or experience or consciousness. Empirically, it doesn't seem to be there, does it? But it's not the sort of thing that can be doubted. If you perceive it, it's there.

Your idea that there are objects and that one has direct access to them so that they can be known as facts, using your paradigm, . . . mmmmmm, no, I don't think that will wash if I stay in your paradigm. Using your paradigm, you can't say that you can feel your hands. If you can't even say that you can feel your hands, then what can you say about any other object in your universe?

Your paradigm has too many unresolvabilities. My paradigm works much better. Much simpler. No loose ends. Nothing unexplained. No paradoxes. No conundrums. WYSIWYG.

(Of course, it's seems freaking nuts, but so what?)
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 19, 2013 - 10:12pm PT
It does not need a formal theory or to be told what a fact is.

Oh yes it does.

What does any word in your sentence mean? Get that, er, . . idea, . . .across to someone who has never acquired language. The fact that you can write a line means you're using concepts that others consensually agree to. What is a word but a concept? Any and every concept presents a model or a theory or a framework.

Look, I can see that you're bothered by the idea that all beliefs could be false, as opposed to others that would be true. Another word for belief is assumption, or even imagination.

What and where would you be if you gave up all assumptions, all imagination, all beliefs?

Imagine simply being ("being") in that space. It's a space without space. What manifests in that space is a display of the mind, just phenomena--empty phenomena. Just like watching a movie or a TV show; there, but not really existent.

WBraun

climber
Jun 19, 2013 - 10:27pm PT
What and where would you be if you gave up all assumptions, all imagination, all beliefs?


Dead stone .......
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jun 19, 2013 - 10:38pm PT
The outlooks and institutions of the hunter gatherers, pastoralists, horticulturalists, agriculturalists and industrialists are all quite different.

Jan, you might have misunderstood me. When I referred to this writing of yours, I was trying to point out that the structures of consciousness of different eras would likely present completely different world views than the mental-rational one that the vast majority of civilized societies use and assume today.

For example, primitives in clans probably saw Nature and self as largely undifferentiated--where things happened magically, where there was no sense of cause and effect but more of association among events, where accidents are meaningful, and emotional affinities are the defining characteristics among all things. In clan-based primitive societies, everything is related to everything. It's all Nature. Man merges with Nature, has nature, or lives in a trance with nature ("participation mystique"). Magical rituals manipulate objects in the world, and they are the ways Man approaches what is otherwise terrifying, powerful, and awesome.

Clan-based society (Magic Man) is but one possible era for significantly different structures of consciousness and different paradigmatic world views. That was what I thought you were referring to.

What I was saying about it, is that people of the current era (mental-rational) structure of consciousness cannot readily see through to that "state of being." One cannot explain another structure of consciousness readily to another because consciousness cannot be explained at all. Consciousness can only be lived.
WBraun

climber
Jun 19, 2013 - 10:43pm PT
consciousness cannot be explained at all.

Then why are you trying to explain it?

But you are wrong.

It can Be explained.

Not every word and sound vibration that exists is material .....
MH2

climber
Jun 19, 2013 - 11:21pm PT
MikeL,

You talk about my paradigm as if you know what it is. It isn't clear to me that you know what your own paradigm is. What is your paradigm? How do you know that things "meet directly" in your consciousness? Because it feels that way? Why could they not be meeting across synapses?

What we say here is only a rough guide to what we think and feel. When you speak of reality being analogous to a movie on a screen it reminds me of watching home movies on an old projector back in the 60s. One time, part of the scene was blue sky. The action up to there had been dull but suddenly a dot appeared in the sky. It grew quickly and erratically. My young mind first thought, "Flying saucer!!" Then the blue sky exploded to white and there was a bad smell. A frame of the movie had got stuck and the projection light had burned through the celluloid.

Reality doesn't show that kind of behavior. Reality is consistent. Physics exhibits invariant properties that, to date anyway, do not depend on which human observer is looking at them. Humans are not like that. Humans are idiosyncratic. Humans can show the kind of behavior the movie projector did. Humans are part of reality but I would not depend on any one individual's ability to subsume all of reality into any paradigm.

You go your way. I'll go mine. We probably agree that no harm is done by having different views.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 20, 2013 - 08:06am PT
Physics exhibits invariant properties that, to date anyway, do not depend on which human observer is looking at them.
---


For starters, what physical process can you ever point to that you have come to know other than by observing? It is most logical that "things" occur separte from the observer, but we have no proof of this because thre is no proving anythikgn without observation. What's more, yu have essentially described a classical take on physics, with it's tidy fixed laws, but "reality" for a reductionist/physicalist is a matter of fundamental properties and elements that "cause" the higher order functins and that means the quantum world. And down there, the observer is often given a fairly significant role. To wit:

The Copenhagen interpretation is one of the earliest and most commonly taught interpretations of quantum mechanics. It holds that quantum mechanics does not yield a description of an objective reality but deals only with probabilities of observing, or measuring, various aspects of energy quanta, entities that fit neither the classical idea of particles nor the classical idea of waves. According to the interpretation, the act of measurement causes the set of probabilities to immediately and randomly assume only one of the possible values. This feature of the mathematics is known as wavefunction collapse. The essential concepts of the interpretation were devised by Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg and others in the years 192427.

At some level, I am told, we are only dealing with energy, which we can know only by it's effects, not the "stuff itself."

Now you guys can weigh in about how wrong this all is . . .

JL
MH2

climber
Jun 20, 2013 - 08:11am PT
You're not wrong, JL. Energy is mysterious. You only observe its effects. We know a lot about it, though.



edit

If MikeL wants to know what a radically different paradigm looks like, he could make a study of quantum mechanics. If that is too worldly, math has structures which "tell stories" that refer to no physical objects we know of.
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