Based on physics, what insights do you make about reality?

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SomeRandomGuy
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17 Sep 2017, 4:45 am

I'm actually going to take a momentary step back try to inject something that I just posted somewhere else:

Quote:
I'll throw this out there as it hit me, I'm not sure whether on dumb luck or whatever else, but I think it could be a useful way of honing in on the consciousness problem:

consciousness (here defined) - a set of probability fields, each with its own contingent requirements, whose value alignments overlap to achieve outcomes deemed optimal by the parent set.


systemic consciousness - a self-aware system's sum total collection of means necessary for its own survival

consciousness as a unit in the universe - a single probability field.


It would probably take a fair amount of further inspection to see if that lines up appropriately with the current state of of the art in neurology but I think, at least when considering consciousness reflecting back on itself, this might be about as good a description as any and it seems to tie together goal-orientation (suffering vs. reward) with systemic balance.


I made a subtle tweak to my definition of consciousness from my other post 'whose value alignments overlap to achieve outcomes deemed optimal by the overlapping set in common'.

I think I may have put that matter to rest now at least for my own satisfaction although binding between sets gets interesting. Not sure how well all of it translates but I think in principle it's correct.


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Michael829
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17 Sep 2017, 11:14 am

I'd like to add a few clarifications:

Though i'm sure about the inevitability of the metaphysics that I propose, and call "Skepticism", I don' mean to sound completely certain about reincarnation.

After all, it is unverifiable and unfalsifiable, and, when referring to its theoretical support, I usually say that reincarnation is consistent with or implied by Skepicism", and emphasize that I can't prove that there's reincarnation.

That said, something must happen at the end of a life, even if it's just "uneventfully going to sleep". I've told why the "uneventfully going to sleep" assumption doesn't sound more likely than the other possibilities, especially in view of the metaphysics that I propose (which has much in common with that of India's millennia-old Vedanta)....making the life-outcomes described in India for thousands of years more likely.

I'd like to comment on a few of mikeman's "anti-" arguments, in which he mis-applies some principles of science:

When the difference between explanations for the way things are, such as metaphysicses, is unverifiable and unfalsifiable, and has no observable differences, then the difference can rightly be said to be meaningless.
But reincarnation isn't an explanation or a metaphysics. It's a suggested possible outcome, and so the objection doesn't apply. In spite of the undecidability between the proposals, their implications aren't really identical.

Obviously, when any choice between two claims is unverifiable and unfalsifiable, and if neither claim has any support of any kind, then of course nothing can be said. But, though unverifiable and unfalsifiable, reincarnation has metaphysical support. ...if not proven, at least supported or suggested.

Anyway, no-one here has said that reincarnation is absolutely ruled out, or is certain. So it's a meaningless and unnecessary argument.

I claim that the possibility of reincarnation is supported by being implied by or consistent with Skepticism. It comes down to a question of which metaphysics you want to argue for, if you want to argue for one.

...and whether it's defensible.

Michael829


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Michael829
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17 Sep 2017, 1:31 pm

mikeman7918 wrote:
I used size 150 if I recall. I believe it is based on percentages of normal size, so 100 is normal and the maximum size is 300.


The above boxquote is just to identify this post as a reply to mikeman.

Computer-Simulated Universe, reply to Mikeman’s Post:
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First, as I often do, I’d like to make a few comments before starting the inline reply:
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Though I don’t believe that it would be possible for a computer-simulation to create a universe, because you can’t create what’s already there, I like it that people are open to the computer-simulated universe theory.
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I like that because it means that those people aren’t Materialists. I like it because the computer-simulated universe theory is about halfway to my own metaphysics. If you accept the possibility of a computer-simulated universe, then you’re close to accepting my metaphysics, which just take things a step farther.
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Suppose that you believe that our universe might be a computer-simulation. …a computer program running in a computer (in some other universe).
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Well, note the words, “…a computer program…”
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…as distinct from “…a computer”.
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A computer program is a computer program, without the help of a computer.
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So, if our universe is a computer program, does its existence really depend on transistor switching operations in a computer? Is it the electrical current running through the computer’s circuits what makes our universe? Or is it the program itself? What possible difference could electric current in a circuit have, for the existence of a universe?
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It’s the program, not the transistor-switching. The transistors could be demonstrating, displaying, the program to the programmers, but the transistors don’t make the program.
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That’s why physicist Frank Tippler once wrote that our universe is program that doesn’t need a computer.
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(Unfortunately, later Tippler was advocating the position that our universe is a simulation being run on a computer, and even spoke of the desirability of eventually converting this universe’s matter into one big computer that would simulate a continuation of the lives of everyone who has ever lived (presumably including the people who were destroyed when they and their planet were converted into computer-building material) ).
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Anyway, if you accept that our universe might be a running computer program, then it’s a small distance to consider that it’s the computer program itself, not the fact that some computer is physically running the program.
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And a hypothetical if-then possibility-story, a world of “if “, is like a computer-program. …really just another way of saying the same thing.
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Hence, if you feel that there might be something to the computer-simulated universe theory, then you’d also consider that there might be something to Skepticism, which is really saying the same thing—minus the need for the computer-hardware physically running the program.
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Now, for my inline reply:
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Mikeman:
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You said:
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{You said}
Here's the thing though, that simulated version of our universe would include simulated versions of you and I having this exact conversation. You would be just as insistent that the world you are standing on would be unaffected by the programmer's actions yet that version of you actually would be killed if the programmer decided to blow up the Earth.
{unquote}
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Suppose that a computer-programmer in some universe has decided to program a simulation of a universe, and his simulation just happens to match our own possibility-world universe:
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Two possibilities:
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1. This possibility-world universe of ours isn’t, by its physical laws, isn’t going to self-destruct on September 18th, 2017:
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In that case, when your programmer either changes or contravene’s his simulated universe’s physical laws, to cause his simulated universe to self-destruct n September 18th, 2017.
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All that means is that he’s no longer simulating our universe possibility-world. Our universe is quite unaffected by his change.
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2. This possibility-world universe of ours is, by its physical laws, is going to self-destruct on September 18, 2017:
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In that case, when your programmer needn’t make any change in his simulation of our universe, to make that happen. It’s just the way he initially wrote his simulation that just happens to match our universe. And, when our own universe self-destructs, it was going to anyway, quite without the help of your programmer and his simulation.
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In either case, our universe is quite unaffected by your programmer, and his playing with his computer-simulation.
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{You said}
If we assume that there is only one real version of this universe and one simulated version of this universe then there is a 50% chance that we are the simulated version and not the real version.
{unquote}
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If they’re identical, then of course we’re “in” both.
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…but if your programmer has contravened or changed his simulation’s physical laws, then his old one, and his new one, can’t be simulations of the same possibility-world, because that would be a self-inconsistent “possibility-world”, which would really be an “impossibility-world”. … because, being self-inconsistent, it isn’t a possibility-world. He can do whatever he wants with his “simulation”, but when he contravenes or changes its physical laws, he’s no longer simulating the same possibility-world.
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Who knows—Maybe our universe was already going to self-destruct on September 18th, 2017, and maybe when he changes his simulation’s physical laws to make it self-destruct on that day, he has just happened to begin simulating our universe. But, as I said before, since or universe was already going to self-destruct on Sepetember 18, 2017, your programmer hasn’t affected us.
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But a universe whose physical laws are contravened or externally changed isn’t a possibility-world. Our possibility world couldn’t be his simulation both before and after he changes or contravenes its physical laws, because our universe is a possibility-world, not an impossibility-world.
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I didn’t intend my term-paper Xeroxing and plagiarism as a close analogy.

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{I’d said}

But, all of these versions of Eliminative Ontic Structuralism propose the same possibility-world.
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I don’t agree with Tippler’s belief in computer simulations creating universes.
{unquote}

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{You replied}

I have heard this concept referred to as the "ultimate multiverse" model
{unquote}
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It can be called by any name you like. Tegmark’s version is called the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis (MUH). My proposal differs because its told from the individual-experience point of view (which I consider more valid) instead of the system-wide point of view.
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…and because I call it an inevitability rather than a hypothesis.
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{You said}
, my problem is not that you take it seriously but that you believe it to be correct without observable evidence.
{unquote}
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I answered that in my metaphysics reply to your post. So this takes us to the completion of my inline reply to your comments about the computer-simulated universe theory.
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I won’t quibble about the definition of Materialism. You’re free to look it up if you want to (or not).
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If you aren’t really a Materialist, as ordinarily metaphysically defined, then my comments about Materialism aren’t really addressed to you. That’s fine.
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Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t really advocate Materialism, but leans toward it.
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But, from much of what you say, you aren’t even that much of a Materialist. Rather, you’re just someone who just likes science and isn’t interested in philosophy.
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There’s nothing wrong with that! As you probably already know, this forum website’s Topical Discussion region includes a forum that includes Science in its topics. I recommend that forum to you.
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Have fun there!
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Michael829


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SomeRandomGuy
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17 Sep 2017, 4:45 pm

Shifting my criticisms earlier to something more profitable:

Instead of categorizing universal motion in terms of 'if-then', I might play with categorizing the universe into varying sized droplets of 'I can ____'. There's an if-then math that's clearly going on when comparing all of the various 'I can' models but the if-then is probably related to reconciling those models based on accrued historical data.

Someone somewhere else rightly pointed out that consciousness, as we experience it, can't happen without memory, sensory recognition, and at least two 'things' in relationship to one another. Theoretically an 'I can ___' by itself would would still exist but it would be interacting with nothing, which would cause it to cease operation as an 'I can' and become an 'I am' statement - simply because there's nothing to lever. It's theoretical because such experiences in the universe, without memory and without sensing apparatus, don't make it to our own memory records. Sometimes we might have analogous feelings of 'I am' when we're in situations of absolute futility and where all we can do is just exist through said circumstances, in that sense our engagement is subordinated to the larger environment. That's about our only touchstone to point in the direction of that sort of state.

What's important to me though is understanding living and dynamic systems as systems - with awareness - that work to keep a resting equilibrium, and that desire to keep said equilibrium is their guidepost to survival. It also stands to reason, much more so, that we shouldn't be surprised when we see in fossil records that a type of animal or type of human showed up in several unconnected places, or that several inventors came up with the idea at the same time. If an idea is important enough that idea will be expedited up the hierarchy of cognition and redistributed outward to insure that said innovation stays around. Pretty much anything you can provide that's useful to greasing the wheels of the universe will find a way of surviving, being rediscovered if previously snuffed out, and also - if revolutionary enough - stands the chance of being distributed back out across the broader population and causing 'eureka' moments for other people chewing on the same problems.


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mikeman7918
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17 Sep 2017, 8:44 pm

@Michael829

There is way too much stuff for me to respond to everything individually so I will just do what you have been doing and respond to things in categories.

First of all, [quote size=150] doesn't work because size is supposed to be a separate tag, so it would have to be [*quote][*size=150] (but without asterisks) and then of course then need to be ended with their own [*/size] and [*/quote] tags.


-Reincarnation-

I guess we are in agreement that it's impossible to know. I still can't make any sense of your explanation of why it's suggested because that thought experiment provides no measurable way to discern between that person entering another life or "possibility story" and them just ceasing to experience anything. In fact if the personality, memories, and even genetics are all erased then there is no objective way to say that they even are the same person after reincarnation assuming that model of it is correct.


-Materialism-

Most of what you have said about what materialists are is a strawman. I agree that by your definition I am not a materialist and materialists are idiots but I don't know anyone who actually fits into that definition of "materialist" even though I know a lot of people (including me) who call themselves materialists.

I will agree with the definition of "materialist" being "One who believed that matter and energy is all that exists" as long as I can be a bit more specific of that "belief" and "exist" mean in this context.

Just because I don't believe in X doesn't mean that I believe in the exact opposite of X. For example, I don't believe in a God but I will freely admit that I am open to the idea of one existing as long as it can be experimentally demonstrated. Religious people who have a problem with the existence of atheists often make the strawman that atheists make the claim that for sure no God exists and debunks that because quite frankly that isn't a hard position to debunk. You are doing the same thing, taking "I do not believe that anything besides matter and energy exists" to mean "I am 100% sure that matter and energy are the only things in all of reality observable and otherwise". So my definition of "belief" is most "being 100% sure of X" but "considering X to be most likely".

Also, I will be defining "real" as "observable" because as an empiricist you will never catch me calling something "real" that isn't observably verified. I consider matter and energy to be real because I can observe them, and even if reality were a simulation I would still consider matter and energy real because I can still observe them. This also means that something may make up reality but it will still not be considered real until evidence of it is observed because unless that happens it can never be any more then blind speculation.

So when I say that I believe that matter and energy are all that exist I am not saying that I am 100% sure that matter and energy make up the entirety of reality, I am saying that I consider it most likely that matter and energy are all that exists because they are observable and nothing beyond matter and energy has ever been observed, so assuming that matter and energy are all that exists makes the simplest model.


-if-then-

When I say "If X then Y" then what I'm really saying is "In a hypothetical world where you can be 100% sure about X you can also be 100% sure about Y". As great as it would be for math to reveal objective truth it is really just based on observation.

Math is built on axioms which were chosen because they seem to be true when we observe the world through our senses, and then from there we can determine that given those axioms a bunch of predictions can be made like 2+2 being equal to 4. Lo and behold, these predictions hold up when tested and have proven to be useful. In essence we have come up with a hypothetical world and as far as we can tell it matches up with the real world pretty well, but we are far from being 100% certain that math and logic exist objectively beyond our own minds.

I can be 100% sure that in a world where we can be 100% sure that all sheep are white and that Dolly is a sheep then Dolly is white for the same reason why I am 100% sure that there is a conspiracy in the solar alliance in my science fiction universe; I made both of those scenarios up. In the real world we can never know anything with such certainty for example in the real world there are black sheep and there is a non-zero chance that I am mistaken about Dolly being a sheep.

My point is, you can't be as sure as you seem to be about reality being entirely based on logic. For all I know you may be right but without a way to test it it's just blind speculation. There are theoretically infinite ways of explaining why physics are the way they are so your particular brand of metaphysics is infinitely unlikely to be the right one.


-Empiricism-

Yes, not contradicting reality is a good start but that's not really impressive when you have a model that is logically impossible to contradict. As I've heard it put, it's not even wrong. It's just like the Christian proposition that God did everything, literally anything that happens can be explained by "I guess God decided to make that happen", and that hypothesis has just as much merit as yours because it explains everything and is impossible to contradict. It's not hard to make a model that does this and there are theoretically infinite such models that are all equal in their explanatory power. What's hard is making a prediction that can be falsified, that way it can be tested and it's actually possible to gain a degree of certainty that it's correct.

My claim is that metaphysics is pseudoscience and has as much merit as the thousands of different religions in the world. Without observable evidence it is for all intents and purposes not real. You seem to be so sure about your particular brand of it even though being that sure about a part of reality outside your own mind can only be a result of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Oh, and contrary to your claim according to the Dunning-Kruger effect I actually do know what I'm talking about because I have said and keep saying that I am not 100% sure about anything, not even that non-strawman version of materialism which is not to be mistaken for your strawman materialism which I disagree with.


-Simulated universe-

Disagreement about semantics and what is technically "creation" aside, any simulated universe just like ours would have it's own sentient beings which think they are real and for all we know we could be in such a simulation. Not to mention I am still unsure about how you can be so sure that every possible universe exists. It's not like you have any more experience with other universes then I do, we are both very stuck in this one.


-Conclusion-

The biggest problem I have with your argument is how sure you are about something that is completely untestable. My claim is that there is no way you can know what you claim to know. Metaphysics is untestable and by extension unknowable, this is because the moment it becomes testable then it becomes regular physics and without that experimental evidence it is on equal grounds with religion.


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Michael829
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18 Sep 2017, 12:47 pm

{I’d said}
Of course our knowledge and memory of our life and its details fades out as we shut down. How could it not?
{unquote{
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{You replied}
Easy enough - it simply wouldn't, and we'd have to figure out why.
{unquote}
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Well maybe figure out why before you hypothesize it without any evidence.
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Anyway, when this life is thoroughly over, to the point of the body being shut down, why would you need to remember its details?
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{I’d said}
So I don’t disagree.
{unquote}
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{You replied:}
Except that you've been making a case all this time that when atoms lose their order for conducting a dynamic system, in our case neurons, it all dissolves.
{unquote}
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Yes, the body shuts down eventually. No one denies that. You don’t deny that.
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But I’ve never said that that’s the end for us. But of course that’s the end of this life. You don’t deny that either.
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You’re making a disagreement where there isn’t one.
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{You said}
there are tools that you could use if you really wanted to put your own ideas to the test.
{unquote}
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I don’t agree that the matter is testable or determinable. Not during this life, and not later. And when you’re in a next life, you won’t have any knowledge or memory of a previous one, and so reincarnation won’t be verifiable even then.
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{You said}
I think the equivalence principle you're mentioning, which the technical term for in most people's parlance is panpsychism
{unquote}
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No, what I said certainly isn’t Panpsychism. You’re reading between the lines again.

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{I’d said}
No. NDEs happen at the beginning of the death process, long before the stage (I call it “stage 1”) when reincarnation would take place; and long before the later no-identity stage (I call it “stage 2”) when Timelessness is reached. (Incidentally, if there’s reincarnation, very few people reach stage 2.)
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The NDEs could be the beginning of the temporary Heavens and Hells referred to by Hinduism and Buddhism.
{unquote}
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{You replied:}
Are you sourcing this from Hinduism and Buddhism or other places as well?
{unquote}
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Hinduism, Buddhism, and reports of NDEs.
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{I’d said}
But, inevitably, just before complete shutdown, after which the person is quite dead, there must be as stage at which the person is still conscious, but without awareness of his/her previous life, or even that there ever were such things life, a body, identity, time, or events.
{unquote
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{You replied}
I highlighted the 'must'. I see a lot of that in your writings but not a lot in the way of explanation as to why aside from that they must fit your models.
{unquote}
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So you you’re saying that a person remembers the details of their life, right up to the time when their body is entirely shut down.
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That seems dubious.
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Even in sleep, we don’t remember the details of our lives. For example, even in dreams, we don’t remember the details of our lives (maybe a few details, once in a while), and we usually fully believe the reality of the dream. In dreams, we don’t know that there’s a life different from the one in the dream.
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So what makes you think that we’d remember the details of our life, when we’re so far into the shutdown that we’re barely before the time of complete shutdown and being quite dead?
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Also it isn’t clear why you’d need to always remember the details of a life that has ended.
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{You said}
Your conflation of the dictionary meaning of Skepticism and your private definition of Skepticism…
{unquote}
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I don’t know what you’re talking about, and neither do you.
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First, Skepticism isn’t in the dictionary, and doesn’t have a dictionary definition. Capitalized, Skepticism is the name that I’ve given to my metaphysics, and is not a word in the dictionary. When, in that instance, you said Skepticism, you meant skepticism, a common noun in the dictionary.
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Until you can make that distinction, it might be better for you to not try to discuss the matter.
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The metaphysics that I call Skepticism is skeptical. Complete rejection and avoidance of assumptions and assumed unsupported brute-facts is skeptical.
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Therefore, Skepticism is a good name for my skeptical metaphysics.
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I’ve explained that for you several times. This will have to do. I won’t keep repeating that explanation for you.
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{You said}
I think antirealism might fit what you're saying better…
{unquote}
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My metaphysics, Skepticism, is an Anti-Realism. I use the term “Non-Realism”.
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Eliminative Ontic Structural Non-Realism.
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…as opposed to MUH which has been called Elminative Ontic Structural Realism.
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{You said}
My fundamental disagreement with that right now is that I don't see where granular if-then interactions (which has nothing to do with 'Skepticism - it's something I'm sure but clearly something else)
{unquote}
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It has something to do with Skepticism, because Skepticism is my name for it. :)
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…for the metaphysics based on fundamental abstract logical if-thens
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It also has something to do with skepticism, because it’s a skeptical metaphysical basis that doesn’t make or need any assumptions.
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As I said, complete rejection and avoidance of assumptions is skeptical.
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{You said}
If you can't give really practical examples of what seeing the world as a stack of if-then reactions means the idea's in serious trouble as far as it's utility.
{unquote}
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What was it that you were wanting to use it for? :D
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You want to use it to engineer the building of a bridge? :D
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An advantage of Skepticism is that it’s inevitable, because it’s based on inevitable abstract if-then facts.
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Another advantage that it’s completely parsimonious and (yes) skeptical, not using or needing any assumptions or brute-facts.
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If that isn’t enough, then what can I say? :D
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{You said}
That's why I'm asking you - really for the best examples of why the cosmology you're describing is the best case.
{unquote}
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See above.
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{You said}
This is a massive red-herring, partly that I'm still trying to deal with Skepticism and then Michael829 'Skepticism'.
{unquote}
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What is this Skepticism that you’re referring to, that’s different from my Skepticism? If you’re referring to skepticism, a common noun in the dictionary, then why do you insist on capitalizing it? My Skepticism is distinguished from the dictionary’s skepticism by the capitalization of my Skepticism.
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Above in this reply, I explained how Skepticism is skeptical, and embodies skepticism. …justifying its name, Skepticism.
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If you still don’t understand that, then I can’t help you, and I won’t explain it to you again.
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{You said}
They seem to be getting used interchangeably.
{unquote}
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No, I distinguish my Skepticism by capitalizing it.
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My Skepticism is a metaphysics. Uncapitalized dictionary skepticism is a common noun.
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Are we done with that issue yet?
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You criticized Skepticism by some standard. I asked you what metaphysics does better by that standard.
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From what you said in reply, evidently you can’t name one.
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And, by the way, as I said, my question wasn’t a completely general one. You criticized Skepticism by one particular standard, and my question was in regards to that one particular standard.
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{You said}
Mental illness is conscious suffering and it's suffering directly related to certain ways that consciousness is placed in duress by genetic patterns. Looking at the first definition googles for 'philosophy of mind':
Quote:
Philosophy of Mind is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the mind (mental events, mental functions, mental properties and consciousness) and its relationship to the physical body.
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I fail to see why or how the aims of psychiatry and the study of neurological diseases doesn't at least take a significant role in that definition.
{unquote}
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In philosophy, the philosophy of mind is a general philosophy. It isn’t a study of specifics, like the problems that medicine or psychiatry studies.
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But that’s a matter of definitions, and it’s pointless to quibble about which definition we prefer for a word.
:
{You said}
a purely logic-based system won't surprise you or throw you any curveballs the way a scientific experiment, or an occult magical experiment for that matter, could.
[b[{unquote}[/b]

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{I replied}
So?
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Anyway, maybe that isn’t so. For example, the logic-based metaphysics that I’ve proposed is difficult for some people here to accept.
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The suggestion to give up the notion of objective existence and reality is very difficult for many people.

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That could be called a “curveball” that you reject.
{unquote}
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{You replied}

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Except that there's nothing curveball about it - it's a hypothetical universe built on an assumption.
{unquote}
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…and what assumption would that be? :D
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{You said}
“[It’s too] oversimplistic to be true.”
[b[{unquote}[/b]
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So you want to complicate things, by adding unsupported assumptions and brute-facts.
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To each their own.
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I don’t know or care what you mean by “a curveball”.
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Skepticism is difficult for you because your early education, your habit, culture, language, make you intutitively-wedded to the belief in an objectively existent universe that’s globally (in all contexts) real, whatever that would mean.
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… and in the objectively-existent “Stuff ” of Materialism.
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And no, Skepticism isn’t a speculation.
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{I’d said}
I agree that we’re primary, but I suggest that that “principle-of-equivalence” that I described obtains too.
{unquote}
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{You said{
If we're really agreeing on almost everything but hung up on semantics I think we need to clarify what it is you're saying about tethering.
{unquote}
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No, “tethering” was your word.
.
I mentioned a principle-of-equivalence that says that nothing about us, when viewed from a clinical 3rd-person point-of-view, contradicts the notion of a physical body. Maybe that’s the same as philosophy-of-mind Physicalism.
.
{You said}
At first you're saying that we're tethered to our subatomic particles
{unquote}
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No, that was your wording. Your re-wording of that principle-of-equivalence.
.
{You said}
, and then you're saying there's more but not giving any clear rules as to what that means.
{unquote}
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Of course there’s more than the clinical point-of-view. The individual hirself (himself/herself) and hir experience is primary.
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That’s why I agreed that Skepticism is an “Anti-Realism”, told from the individual-experience point of view.
.
{You said}
…or that we'd diffuse into a sort of vague I AM-ness with no memory, basking in eternity, until we re-embody.
[b[{unquote}[/b]
.
{I replied}
That’s sounds a lot like what I said. …except that, when we reach Timelessness, we don’t re-embody.
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Reincarnation would be from an earlier stage of shutdown, in which we still have identity, and our subconscious life-inclinations and future-orientation.
{unquote}
.
{You replied}
As far as I've read of Buddhist philosophy nirvana and paranirvana aren't dissolution or selflessness. They are, however, places so alien in their function that all language used to try describing them breaks down.
{unquote}
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Nirvana (in Buddhism) or Moksha (in Hinduism) sometimes refer to something achieved during a lifetime, also referred to Enlightenment. I don’t know what Enlightenment is. Buddhism, and genuine traditional Hinduism/Vedanta agree that very, very few people will achieve it in this lifetime. So, at this point, or probably at any time in this lifetime, it would be pointless to discuss it. Don’t worry about it. I don’t.
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But I’m not aware of Buddhism or Hinduism saying that we retain our identity as the person that we now are, or any invidual identity at all at the end of lives--or that we’ll, then, remember details of this or any life, or that, at the end of lives there will still be time and events for us.
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But, as I said, according to traditional Hinduism and Buddhism (and I suggest that they’re right), the end of lives is very, very far off, many lifetimes away, for nearly all of us, so it isn’t something that we need to be concerned about in this lifetime.
.
(Yes, I’ve said that I can’t prove that there’s reincarnation, but you don’t believe that we ever cease our identification as an embodied being in a life, so, in the context of this conversation, we can dispense with the notion that everything ends at the end of this life.)
.
{I’d said}
But I could ask you: Why would you want to remember all the life-details, at the end of lives? Aren’t the life-details, such things as the fact that there was a life, identity, time, events, etc. irrelevant at the end of lives?
{unquote}
.
{You replied}
Really my interest in those questions goes like this:

.
1) If I hear someone speaking with certainty on what happens when we die (or at least certainty for if consciousness continues).
{unquote}
.
Well, you can stop right there, because I don’t claim to know with certainty what it’s like to die. If I have died before, I don’t remember that I did--and that’s to be expected in any case.
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I’ve been repeating that, in regards to what it’s like to die, I’m not speaking with certainty.
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The end-of-a-life experiences that I’ve been speaking of are things that are consistent with my metaphysics, or implied by it.
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But I make no claim to be speaking with certainty about what it will be like for someone to die, or what comes next. …because, if that has ever happened to me, I don’t remember it (but I wouldn’t expect to).
.
{You said}
2) If I had some databank of every life I ever lived? That would probably suck
{unquote}
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You don’t and won’t. You know that you don’t remember any previous lives.
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{You said}
, it might inform my subconscious impulses to some degree, and yes - I am glad that I don't remember all my (hypothetical) past lives because I'm sure most of them were miserable. I'd also hate to see all of my future lives and I think most people, if they knew they had truly grueling trials ahead, would want to know - above all else - how they could give themselves a true atheist's funeral, whether by nuke or something else, which would run the chance of scrambling their substrate so intensely that they would be - as Dawkins or Dennett would suggest - gone for good at death.
{unquote}
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I wouldn’t recommend trying that. Likely, it can’t work, but most likely the effort would really mess things up for you.
.
If reincarnation is true, and I feel that it probably is true, then you might as well accept that you’re in life because you aren’t done with life. If you come back, it’s because you want or need to.
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{You said}
Otherwise there could also be a point where a person has hit such a degree of resignation to the universe that such vistas do open up and such people are ready to see it without looking for means to self-terminate.
[/b]{unquote}[/b]
.
Desiring a premature end to lives would be pointless and unproductive. As for not having that desire, I don’t think it’s about resignation. It seems to me that it’s more about recognizing that (as I said) you’re in a life because you want or need to. …because you aren’t done with life.
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I don’t know if anyone can have a vista about future lives. Probably not. Certainly not from where we are. And almost certainly not, ever, in any detail.
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{You said}
I doubt that I'd be spending most of my conscious time after death tethered to my rotting body or my ashes.
{unquote}
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Of course not. No one believes that.
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{You said}
…there'd probably be certain things I'd do differently - mostly for the sake of minimizing suffering at a different date.
{unquote}
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Of course.
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As I was saying, memories of details don’t remain, but deep or subconscious impressions, inclinations, inborn and habitual, are retained.
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{You asked}
.
Do you have any examples of philosophic topics that would be permanently closed to scientific inquiry and refutation?
{unquote}
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Science is about the workings of the physical universe, and the relation and interactions among its contents. Period.
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It doesn’t apply to metaphysics, the kind of philosophy we’ve been talking about.
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{I’d said}
Well, giving up the notion of the universe’s objective existence and reality is very counter-intuitive, so much so that you don’t accept it.
{unquote}
.
{You said}
I don't know who this 'you' is that you're referring to on that
[b[{unquote}[/b]
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The “you” that I was referring to was Techstepgener8tion.
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{You said}
Even the Seth of Jane Roberts, after talking about all kinds of crazy parallel universes, alternate universes of different structure, etc. insists that if you break the physical laws here, or anywhere else, the reprisal is immediate and summary regardless of what you believe.
[b[{unquote}[/b]
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You can’t “break the physical laws”. The physical consequences of physical mistakes, like falling off a building obtain no matter what metaphysics you subscribe to.
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{You said}
That's where saying there's no objective universe seems meaningless…
[b[{unquote}[/b]
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This universe is real and existent in its own context. That context is the context or your life.
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I don’t claim that this universe is real or existent in any other context—some maybe-presumed larger context. Some absolute context.
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I’ve been speaking of this universe being a hypothetical possibility-world, a system of inter-referring if-thens, real and existent only in its own local inter-referring context.
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When someone objects “What makes you think that’s real?”, I answer that I make no claim that it’s objectively real. …by which I mean I make no claim that it’s real or existent other than in its own inter-referring context.
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Yes, the adjective “objective” has various meanings, and so it isn’t sufficient by itself.
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{You said}
I don't trust any theory advancing toward a TOE because they're almost always drastic overreaches.]
[b[{unquote}[/b]
.
{I replied}
I doubt that physicists will ever find the elusive theory of everything (physical) (TOE).
[b[{unquote}[/b]
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{You said}
I meant that about philosophy but sure - both.
[b[{unquote}[/b]
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I don’t claim a philosophical “theory of everything”. My metaphysics is only a metaphysics. I don’t claim that verbally-expressible metaphysics is everything.
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{You said}
It's not that I have anything strictly against wall-texts, it's just that over time I've come to learn that I actually learn more from being here, from other people, etc. when I interact with the larger environment and that usually happens in smaller snippets. When we speak in wall texts we get to live in our heads, almost entirely, and we don't get to see how we're interfacing with the practical - other than perhaps when such a post gets completely ignored or 'tl:dr'd unanimously.
[b[{unquote}[/b]
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Then why do you post such long wall-texts?
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My replies to you are long because they’re replies to long posts.
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I try to make my replies briefer by deleting much of your wall-text, and only replying to some of it.
.
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{I’d said}
If you prefer soundbites, then maybe you’d be happier with tv news.
[b[{unquote}[/b]
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{You replied}
Except that most of what we've been talking about here really has been filler and largely meaningless.
[b[{unquote}[/b]
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Yes, that’s why I delete most of what you post, and only reply to some of it.

{You said}
You could boil the conversation down to the explanations and examples, as I suggested further up, as to why seeing the universe the way you're recommending that we see it is the best, most logical, or most pragmatic way to see it.
[b[{unquote}[/b]
.
Alright, are you ready for it?:
My metaphyisics doesn’t make or need any assumptions, or post any brute-facts.
…is the parsimonious metaphysics.
…is inevitable, because it consists of a system of inter-referring inevitable logical if-then facts.
…........and because, among the infinity of such complex systems, there’s inevitably one that matches our ..........universe.
.
Oh wait…I’d already said that :D
Michael829


_________________
Michael829


Michael829
Toucan
Toucan

Joined: 29 Aug 2017
Gender: Male
Posts: 256
Location: United States

18 Sep 2017, 6:42 pm

This is a reply to mikeman:
.
{You said}
First of all, [quote size=150] doesn't work because size is supposed to be a separate tag, so it would have to be [*quote][*size=150] (but without asterisks) and then of course then need to be ended with their own [*/size] and [*/quote] tags.
{unquote}
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That doesn’t seem any more convenient than my { } format.
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The { } format has the advantage of, in every quote, telling who is being quoted.
.
{You said}
-Reincarnation-

.
I guess we are in agreement that it's impossible to know. I still can't make any sense of your explanation of why it's suggested because that thought experiment provides no measurable way to discern between that person entering another life or "possibility story" and them just ceasing to experience anything.
{unquote}
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Yes, it wouldn’t be measureable to an observer with all sorts of measuring-instruments and a clipboard.
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So of course you can’t make sense of it :D
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In fact, any 1st-person experience of that person would be undectectable by that observer’s instruments.
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So of course you likewise can’t make sense of a suggestion that you have 1st-person experience. :D
.
{You said}
In fact if the personality, memories, and even genetics are all erased then there is no objective way to say that they even are the same person after reincarnation assuming that model of it is correct.
{unquote}
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I told you that you shouldn’t reply to what you haven’t read, but evidently you didn’t get the message.
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I said that, if there’s reincarnation, it would happen at a time when subconscious feelings, inclinations, and various acquired and hereditary subconscious attributes remain. …and when there doesn’t remain a knowledge that the person had been in a life.
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That’s plausible, because, for example, in dreams, obviously feelings and inclinations remain, without knowledge of your waking life.
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It shouldn’t be necessary for me to keep repeating things for you, and I won’t continue doing so.
.
{You said}
-Materialism-

Most of what you have said about what materialists are is a strawman.
{unquote}
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…in addition to being the accepted philosophical definition of Materialism :D
.
But I’m not interested in a quibble about definitions.
.
{You said}
I agree that by your definition I am not a materialist and materialists are idiots but I don't know anyone who actually fits into that definition of "materialist" even though I know a lot of people (including me) who call themselves materialists.
{unquote}
.
A Materialist is someone who subscribes to the metaphysical position of Materialism. Maybe you mean that you only tentatively subscribe to it, and that’s fine. If you’re saying that you don’t know, that’s fine.
.
But below in your post, you say that you consider metaphysics to be on par with religion. You subscribe (at least tentatively) to a metaphysics. So you’re saying that you subscribe to something that you consider to be like a religion.
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{You said}
I will agree with the definition of "materialist" being "One who believed that matter and energy is all that exists" as long as I can be a bit more specific of that "belief" and "exist" mean in this context.
[…]
{unquote}
.
Fine. You’re only tentatively a Materialist.

.
{You said}
Also, I will be defining "real" as "observable" because as an empiricist you will never catch me calling something "real" that isn't observably verified. I consider matter and energy to be real because I can observe them, and even if reality were a simulation I would still consider matter and energy real because I can still observe them. This also means that something may make up reality but it will still not be considered real until evidence of it is observed because unless that happens it can never be any more then blind speculation.

So when I say that I believe that matter and energy are all that exist I am not saying that I am 100% sure that matter and energy make up the entirety of reality, I am saying that I consider it most likely that matter and energy are all that exists because they are observable and nothing beyond matter and energy has ever been observed, so assuming that matter and energy are all that exists makes the simplest model.
{unquote}
.
We and our measuring instruments are physical. Only physical things can be measured. You can define “real” to mean “measureable” and therefore physical, if you want to. I’m not interested a quibble about definitions.
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I’ll remind you that I’ve repeatedly emphasized that our physical universe, as a hypothetical possiblity-world, and like the infinitely-many such hypothetical worlds, isn’t and needn’t be objectively real, existent or factual (by which I mean real, existent or factual other than in its own local inter-referring context).
.
But, along with some others, I define, as a metaphysical term, “actual for us” as “part of our physical world”.
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{You said}

-if-then-

When I say "If X then Y" then what I'm really saying is "In a hypothetical world where you can be 100% sure about X you can also be 100% sure about Y".
{unquote}
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Word it how you want. The meaning of “if……then….” is self-evident.
.
{You said}
Math is built on axioms which were chosen because they seem to be true when we observe the world through our senses, and then from there we can determine that given those axioms a bunch of predictions can be made like 2+2 being equal to 4. Lo and behold, these predictions hold up when tested and have proven to be useful. In essence we have come up with a hypothetical world and as far as we can tell it matches up with the real world pretty well, but we are far from being 100% certain that math and logic exist objectively beyond our own minds.
{unquote}
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It isn’t clear what you’re trying to say when you say that maybe logic and math don’t exist other than in the mind.
.
I’ve been saying all along that the individual and hir (his/her) experience is primary. Everything exists in our experience. Your life-experience possibility story can only be a life-experience possibility-story because it has a protagonist. So the protagonist, who experiences the life-experience possibility-story, is primary to that story, and is its central and essential component.
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So, what you said in the above-quoted passage doesn’t contradict what I’ve been saying.
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The basic requirement for a possibility-story is that it be self-consistent. …and of course that it have a protagonist.
.
{You said}

My point is, you can't be as sure as you seem to be about reality being entirely based on logic.
{unquote}
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For one thing, I don’t claim that metaphysics is all of Reality.
.
My metaphysics describes this physical universe as a complex system of inter-referring inevitable logical facts.
.
Among the infinitely-many such systems, there must be one that exactly duplicates the events and relations in our physical world. There’s no reason to believe that our physical world is other than that hypothetical system.
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If you believe that it probably is more than that, than you believe in an assumption with no empirical support.
.
As I said, you aren’t a very good empiricist.
.
But we’ve already been over this. You’re repeating exactly the same dogma that you said before, and which I’ve already answered. I’m not going to keep answering it every time you repeat it. I refer you to my reply before this one.
.
{You said}
For all I know you may be right but without a way to test it it's just blind speculation.
{unquote}
.
No. The inter-referring system of logical if-thens, about hypotheticals, isn’t speculative. It’s valid and it’s so, in its own local inter-referring context. …which is also the context or our lives.
.
What would need testing (but is un-testable) would be your (tentative but favored) belief that this physical universe is (in some vaguely-implied way) more than what I said in the above paragraph.
.
{You said}
There are theoretically infinite ways of explaining why physics are [he means “is”] the way they are [it is] so your particular brand of metaphysics is infinitely unlikely to be the right one.
{unquote}
.
And nearly all of those infinitely-many explanations, including the Materialism that you tentatively prefer, assume and posit a brute-fact. …an assumption with no empirical support (or any other kind of support).
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My metaphysics differs from than by not making or needing any assumptions or brute-facts.
/
…and by being inevitable, for the reasons that I’ve already stated.
.
Empiricism disfavors Materialism, but not Skepticism.
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As I said before, your “empiricism” is a sloppy and crude mis-application of science’s (perfectly valid) empiricism.
.
{You said}
-Empiricism-

Yes, not contradicting reality is a good start but that's not really impressive when you have a model that is logically impossible to contradict.
{unquote}
.
Yes, the belief in Materialism’s objectively-existent “Stuff”, and whatever way that you think this physical universe exists (other than as the hypothetical system that I’ve described) is a “model” that is impossible to contradict. …an unfalsifiable proposition. …unverifiable too, of course.
.
But you believe in it anyway.
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(…even though you’re unable to be clear about the way in which you believe this physical universe exists, other than as the hypothetical system that I’ve described.)
.
{You said}
What's hard is making a prediction that can be falsified, that way it can be tested and it's actually possible to gain a degree of certainty that it's correct.
{unquote}
.
Materialism is an unfalsifiable , untestable, and unverifiable proposition, with no empirical (or other) support.
.
Likewise for your belief that this physical universe exists in some way other than as the hypothetical system that I’ve described (except that you aren’t able to say what in what other way you think it exists).
.
{You said}
My claim is that metaphysics is pseudoscience…
{unquote}
.
Pseudoscience is something presented as, pretended to be, science, when it isn’t really science.
.
Metaphysics isn’t presented as science.
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Metaphysics and science are entirely different subjects. Neither competes with or impersonates the other.
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…while your pseudoscience does impersonate science.
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You’re thoroughly confused about the difference between metaphysics and physics. You’ve demonstrated that confusion again and again.
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You persistent mis-application of science’s empiricism is pseudoscience.
.
You obviously like science, but you need to study it with more humility and conscientiousness. …instead of making it up as you go along.
.
{You said}
and has as much merit as the thousands of different religions in the world.
{unquote}
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I can’t speak to your personal impression or valuation of “merit”. But metaphysics isn’t a faith-based subject—at least not until we get to Materialism :D
.
The relation between metaphysics and religion?
.
Every religion has a metaphysics.
.
The metaphysics of the Science-Worship religion is Materialism.
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A Science-Worshipper is someone who insists on mis-applying science (or mis-applying its principles or methods) outside of the appropriate range of applicability.
.
{You said}
Without observable evidence it is for all intents and purposes not real.
{unquote}
.
…by your funny personal definition of real.
.
In any case (and it shouldn’t be necessary to keep repeating this for you), I’ve been emphasizing that I make no claim that the hypothetical system that is our physical universe is real or existent, other than in its own local inter-referring context.
.
Maybe you think it is (or probably is) real and existent in some other way, but you haven’t been able to specify what way that would be.
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As for observable evidence, Skepticism has support, where Materialism has none. My metaphysics is supported by the inevitability of the system of inter-referring logical facts about hypotheticals, of which it consists.
.
Materialism has no such support, and is unverifiable, as well as unfalsifiable and un-testable. That’s a problem for a metaphysics like Materialism, that has no other support.
.
For someone who doesn’t like metaphysics, you certainly have a lot to say about it, butting into a metaphysical discussion. I didn’t ask for your opinion on what I was saying.
.
This forum is for discussion of philosophy, and that includes metaphysics, a long-recognized branch of philosophy. So, if you don’t like it, then it would be better if you butted back out, and did your posting to the forum that includes “Science” in its topics-list.
.
You evidently like science. That’s good.
.
However, I don’t want to sound mean, but you need to study science before you start explaining it to us at these forums.
.
{You said}
You seem to be so sure about your particular brand of it even though being that sure about a part of reality outside your own mind…
{unquote}
.
I’ve already explained that there are logical certainties.
.
But I don’t know what you mean by your above-quoted line, and neither do you.
.
I’ve also repeatedly (in answer to the same repeated comments from you) clarified that I make no claim that the hypothetical system that I describe is real or existent other than in its own local inter-referring context.
.
{You said}
Oh, and contrary to your claim according to the Dunning-Kruger effect I actually do know what I'm talking about…
{unquote}
.
No, you don’t.
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Yes, you think you know what you’re talking about, but that’s the Dunning-Kruger effect.
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Maybe you should read its definition again.
.
{You said}
…because I have said and keep saying that I am not 100% sure about anything…
{unquote}
.
But regrettably you’re sure enough to butt in and spout off at great length, on a topic (metaphysics) that you say you don’t like, and which you seem to be confusing with physics.
.
You aren’t 100% sure about anything? Well, you’re 100% sure that your position on, and beliefs about, metaphysics are better. And you’re 100% sure that you know what you’re talking about…the Dunning-Kruger effect in action.
.
{You said}
-Simulated universe-

Disagreement about semantics and what is technically "creation" aside, any simulated universe just like ours would have it's own sentient beings which think they are real and for all we know we could be in such a simulation.
{unquote}
.
You need to assert less, and listen more. And, as I said, you need to not reply to what you haven’t read.
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Whatever self-consistent possibility-world is being simulated, that possibility world was already there, as a possibility-world, without the help of the simulation.
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The simulation can’t affect it. If your programmer changes the physical laws or configuration of his simulated universe, then he’s merely no longer simulating the universe that he was previously simulating.
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If his change destroys the simulated universe, that has no effect on the universe that he’s no longer simulating.
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If the new universe that he’s changed his simulated universe to self-destructs as a result, well maybe that new universe simulates some possibility-world too. But that possibility-world universe was going to self-destruct anyway.
.
As for his computer-simulation itself, when he changes or contravenes its physical laws, then speaking of it, before and after the simulation, as one “world”, that “world” isn’t a possibility-world, because it isn’t consistent with itself.
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Due to its inconsistency, it lacks validity and factualness, even in its own context.
.
Aside from that, do you really believe that some transistor-switching makes, or is, a universe?
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That’s a small step from believing that a sorcerer chanting an incantation can work magic.
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Weren’t you the scientific one? :D
.
Possibility-worlds are already there.
.
{You said}
Not to mention I am still unsure about how you can be so sure that every possible universe exists.
{unquote}
.
Another example of replying to what you haven’t read.
.
I said that each of the infinitely many hypothetical systems of inter-referring logical facts about hypotheticals doesn’t and needn’t have any existence, reality or factualness other than in its own local inter-referring context.
.
{You said}
-Conclusion-

The biggest problem I have with your argument is how sure you are about something that is completely untestable.
{unquote}
.
I’ve answered that many times. The Materialism that you consider more likely to be valid is just as un-testable, unfalsifiable, and unverifiable. The difference is that Materialism doesn’t have the logical support that Skepticism has.
You might want to ask yourself in what way you think that this physical universe is (might be? Probably is?) existent other than as the hypothetical system by which I describe it.
.
{You said}
My claim is that there is no way you can know what you claim to know.
{unquote}
.
…and of course you know that :D
…or you know (courtesy of Dunning-Kruger) that you know better.
.
In any case, we’ve been over that matter many times now, and I’m not going to answer it again.
.
{You said}
Metaphysics is untestable and by extension unknowable
{unquote}
.
Physical tests are for physics. You’re all confused, conflating physics with metaphysics.
.
Your Materialism (that you aren’t 100% sure of) is every bit as un-testable, unfalsifiable and experimentally unverifiable as is Skepticism.
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The difference is that Skepticism has logical support, and Materialism has no support of any kind.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Look, I don’t have time for this.
.
I’m sorry, but there’s no nicer way to say it.
.
I don’t have time to reply to any more of your messages.
***********************************************************
Notice
I won’t be replying to mikeman anymore. When I don’t reply to what he says, that doesn’t mean that he’s said something irrefutable. It just means that I don’t have time to continue replying to him.
**********************************************************
Michael829
.


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Michael829


techstepgenr8tion
SomeRandomGuy
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User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
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18 Sep 2017, 8:32 pm

Michael829 wrote:
Alright, are you ready for it?:
My metaphyisics doesn’t make or need any assumptions, or post any brute-facts.
…is the parsimonious metaphysics.
…is inevitable, because it consists of a system of inter-referring inevitable logical if-then facts.
…........and because, among the infinity of such complex systems, there’s inevitably one that matches our ..........universe.
.
Oh wait…I’d already said that :D
Michael829

I think this is probably a good note to end the conversation on then.

From what I've read above you're doubling down, point per point, and perfectly comfortable with either the objections raised or their perceived lack of validity. With that being the case I have no illusions that the conversation, if continued, would turn back uphill.


_________________
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling


mikeman7918
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18 Sep 2017, 11:19 pm

Michael829 wrote:
Yes, it wouldn’t be measureable to an observer with all sorts of measuring-instruments and a clipboard.
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So of course you can’t make sense of it :D
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In fact, any 1st-person experience of that person would be undectectable by that observer’s instruments.
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So of course you likewise can’t make sense of a suggestion that you have 1st-person experience. :D

Which is why I don't believe that consciousness is anything more then the result of electrical and chemical interactions between and within neurons. Maybe I'm a philosophical zombie with no internal experiences but who still acts like everyone else and insists that I'm conscious, who knows. I certainly can't because I happen to know that self awareness is associated with part of the brain and in the case of things like dreams and can be turned off.

Michael829 wrote:
I told you that you shouldn’t reply to what you haven’t read, but evidently you didn’t get the message.

What, and let you have the last word here? Feel free to not reply (which it looks like you won't) but that way I would let your responses to me go unchallenged. I would really rather not do that especially when I have counter arguments ready.

Michael829 wrote:
I said that, if there’s reincarnation, it would happen at a time when subconscious feelings, inclinations, and various acquired and hereditary subconscious attributes remain. …and when there doesn’t remain a knowledge that the person had been in a life.
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That’s plausible, because, for example, in dreams, obviously feelings and inclinations remain, without knowledge of your waking life.
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It shouldn’t be necessary for me to keep repeating things for you, and I won’t continue doing so.

Why would it have to be during that time? Let's say that we suddenly switch bodies with each other but at the same time also switch memories and personalities. We would not even know because for all you know you would have always been me, you would believe what I believe and care about the people I care about. In fact by all empirical standards you would be me.

Experiments show that memories and personalities are part of the brain and physical events like being hit on the head really hard can mess with them. My brother once had a concussion that made him forget the last 2 days of his life and there are many instances of brain trauma causing a personality change.

Michael829 wrote:
…in addition to being the accepted philosophical definition of Materialism :D
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But I’m not interested in a quibble about definitions.

For all intents and purposes I don't care what the accepted definition of materialism is because your definition is not the definition I used when deciding if I could be considered a materialist. If you want a different term for it that's fine, I'll just call it empirical materialism. My tentative belief is that matter and energy are the only things that can be measured, a position that can be falsified by measuring anything that is not matter or energy. One alternative position is Christianity for example that makes many claims of allegedly measurable things beyond matter and energy

Also, the reason I brought up definitions is to communicate things more clearly. We have spent a lot of time arguing about what materialism is and what it means for something to be real, this ensures that you can't continue this argument from semantics thing you keep pulling. You have asked many times even in this post what it means for matter to be real and I have told you by clarifying the definition of "real" in this context. I really don't know what other type of response you could be expecting.

Michael829 wrote:
A Materialist is someone who subscribes to the metaphysical position of Materialism. Maybe you mean that you only tentatively subscribe to it, and that’s fine. If you’re saying that you don’t know, that’s fine.
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But below in your post, you say that you consider metaphysics to be on par with religion. You subscribe (at least tentatively) to a metaphysics. So you’re saying that you subscribe to something that you consider to be like a religion.

Maybe your definition of "materialist" is a metaphysical position but under that definition I am not a materialist. My position on metaphysics is that metaphysics is BS.

Michael829 wrote:
We and our measuring instruments are physical. Only physical things can be measured. You can define “real” to mean “measureable” and therefore physical, if you want to. I’m not interested a quibble about definitions.
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I’ll remind you that I’ve repeatedly emphasized that our physical universe, as a hypothetical possiblity-world, and like the infinitely-many such hypothetical worlds, isn’t and needn’t be objectively real, existent or factual (by which I mean real, existent or factual other than in its own local inter-referring context).
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But, along with some others, I define, as a metaphysical term, “actual for us” as “part of our physical world”.

So we agree that my definition of "real" is the same as your definition as "part of our physical world" which means that I am perfectly justified in calling the physical world "real". Yeah, I know this doesn't prove anything but it's a great way of describing why I consider the physical world "real". I have decided to use empiricism as a basis for believing things and that requires evidence before things can be called real, so for all intents and purposes I consider "real" and "observable" to be synonymous.

Michael829 wrote:
It isn’t clear what you’re trying to say when you say that maybe logic and math don’t exist other than in the mind.

I'm saying that math was invented, not discovered. Maybe reality exists only in our minds, maybe it does and maybe it doesn't but either way math is something humans invented and it's only accepted as much as it is because it appears to be very consistent with what we observe. We are far from being able to say for certain that the universe is in any way run by math.

Michael829 wrote:
For one thing, I don’t claim that metaphysics is all of Reality.
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My metaphysics describes this physical universe as a complex system of inter-referring inevitable logical facts.
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Among the infinitely-many such systems, there must be one that exactly duplicates the events and relations in our physical world. There’s no reason to believe that our physical world is other than that hypothetical system.
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If you believe that it probably is more than that, than you believe in an assumption with no empirical support.
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As I said, you aren’t a very good empiricist.
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But we’ve already been over this. You’re repeating exactly the same dogma that you said before, and which I’ve already answered. I’m not going to keep answering it every time you repeat it. I refer you to my reply before this one.

This argument really is going in circles a lot... Look who's accusing me of not reading things when I keep claiming that I do not subscribe in the slightest to empiricism as you have been defining it and you keep ignoring it and continuing to beat that strawman.

Michael829 wrote:
No. The inter-referring system of logical if-thens, about hypotheticals, isn’t speculative. It’s valid and it’s so, in its own local inter-referring context. …which is also the context or our lives.
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What would need testing (but is un-testable) would be your (tentative but favored) belief that this physical universe is (in some vaguely-implied way) more than what I said in the above paragraph.

I would totally consider providing evidence that matter and energy are real in any ways besides being observable if I actually believed that, but again I am not one of those strawman empiricists that you keep attacking.

Michael829 wrote:
And nearly all of those infinitely-many explanations, including the Materialism that you tentatively prefer, assume and posit a brute-fact. …an assumption with no empirical support (or any other kind of support).
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My metaphysics differs from than by not making or needing any assumptions or brute-facts.
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…and by being inevitable, for the reasons that I’ve already stated.
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Empiricism disfavors Materialism, but not Skepticism.
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As I said before, your “empiricism” is a sloppy and crude mis-application of science’s (perfectly valid) empiricism.

No, your strawman empiricism is a sloppy and crude mis-application of science's empiricism that neither of us are using. "My" empiricism is no different from scientific empiricism. What I am saying is that I don't believe in things like your particular brand of metaphysics because I can't observe it but I do believe in matter and energy because I can observe it. What's so anti-science about that exactly?

Michael829 wrote:
Yes, the belief in Materialism’s objectively-existent “Stuff”, and whatever way that you think this physical universe exists (other than as the hypothetical system that I’ve described) is a “model” that is impossible to contradict. …an unfalsifiable proposition. …unverifiable too, of course.
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But you believe in it anyway.
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(…even though you’re unable to be clear about the way in which you believe this physical universe exists, other than as the hypothetical system that I’ve described.)

First of all when I was clear about what I meant by matter and energy being "real" you just dismissed it as definition BS. I already said that my criteria for considering something "real" is for it to be observable, since matter is observable I consider it real.

Michael829 wrote:
Materialism is an unfalsifiable , untestable, and unverifiable proposition, with no empirical (or other) support.
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Likewise for your belief that this physical universe exists in some way other than as the hypothetical system that I’ve described (except that you aren’t able to say what in what other way you think it exists).

There is the strawman again. I'm going to name him Jim.

I believe that the physical universe exists in the sense that I can observe it, that's it. I'm a materialist in the sense that I do not actively believe in anything beyond matter and energy which isn't the same as claiming that there is for sure nothing beyond matter and energy.

Michael829 wrote:
Pseudoscience is something presented as, pretended to be, science, when it isn’t really science.
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Metaphysics isn’t presented as science.
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Metaphysics and science are entirely different subjects. Neither competes with or impersonates the other.
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…while your pseudoscience does impersonate science.
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You’re thoroughly confused about the difference between metaphysics and physics. You’ve demonstrated that confusion again and again.
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You persistent mis-application of science’s empiricism is pseudoscience.
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You obviously like science, but you need to study it with more humility and conscientiousness. …instead of making it up as you go along.

Man, Jim the strawman is getting wrecked today.

Michael829 wrote:
I can’t speak to your personal impression or valuation of “merit”. But metaphysics isn’t a faith-based subject—at least not until we get to Materialism :D
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The relation between metaphysics and religion?
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Every religion has a metaphysics.
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The metaphysics of the Science-Worship religion is Materialism.
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A Science-Worshipper is someone who insists on mis-applying science (or mis-applying its principles or methods) outside of the appropriate range of applicability.

I am going to call a special pleading fallacy here. You remind me of my mom when she told me that it's a fallacy to apply science to religion where it doesn't belong. As far as I'm concerned I don't ever have any excuse in believing in something that cannot be measured, I don't see the fallacy in that.

Michael829 wrote:
…by your funny personal definition of real.

You mean the one that answered your question that you kept asking about what I think it means for matter and energy to be "real"? So I guess you did read that.

Michael829 wrote:
In any case (and it shouldn’t be necessary to keep repeating this for you), I’ve been emphasizing that I make no claim that the hypothetical system that is our physical universe is real or existent, other than in its own local inter-referring context.
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Maybe you think it is (or probably is) real and existent in some other way, but you haven’t been able to specify what way that would be.

Or maybe you didn't read it. I'm confused. I already answered that question by giving my definition of "real" in that context and 2 sentences after acknowledging that you proceed to deny that I said it.

Michael829 wrote:
As for observable evidence, Skepticism has support, where Materialism has none. My metaphysics is supported by the inevitability of the system of inter-referring logical facts about hypotheticals, of which it consists.
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Materialism has no such support, and is unverifiable, as well as unfalsifiable and un-testable. That’s a problem for a metaphysics like Materialism, that has no other support.

Wow, at this rate Jim will be reduced to a pile of straw soon.

The materialism I propose is that matter and energy are measurable and nothing else is measurable therefore there is no reason to assume that anything beyond matter and energy exists.

Michael829 wrote:
For someone who doesn’t like metaphysics, you certainly have a lot to say about it, butting into a metaphysical discussion. I didn’t ask for your opinion on what I was saying.
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This forum is for discussion of philosophy, and that includes metaphysics, a long-recognized branch of philosophy. So, if you don’t like it, then it would be better if you butted back out, and did your posting to the forum that includes “Science” in its topics-list.
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You evidently like science. That’s good.
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However, I don’t want to sound mean, but you need to study science before you start explaining it to us at these forums.

Speculate all you want, my problem is when you say that you are 100% sure about your version of metaphysics. Philosophy is great as long as you don't start arbitrarily deciding that some speculative part of it is real without any evidence at all.

Michael829 wrote:
I’ve already explained that there are logical certainties.
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But I don’t know what you mean by your above-quoted line, and neither do you.
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I’ve also repeatedly (in answer to the same repeated comments from you) clarified that I make no claim that the hypothetical system that I describe is real or existent other than in its own local inter-referring context.

Then what's all this talk of it being inevitable? Are you taking all that back now?

Michael829 wrote:
No, you don’t.
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Yes, you think you know what you’re talking about, but that’s the Dunning-Kruger effect.
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Maybe you should read its definition again.

Actually I am not claiming to be any kind of expert. I am open to changing my mind at any time in this discussion if sufficient evidence is present and I don't claim to be 100% certain about anything unlike you. I don't debate because I think I know everything, I debate because it's a great way of becoming more right.

Michael829 wrote:
But regrettably you’re sure enough to butt in and spout off at great length, on a topic (metaphysics) that you say you don’t like, and which you seem to be confusing with physics.
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You aren’t 100% sure about anything? Well, you’re 100% sure that your position on, and beliefs about, metaphysics are better. And you’re 100% sure that you know what you’re talking about…the Dunning-Kruger effect in action.

As I mentioned I am not debating because I am 100% sure about being right as you claim, I am debating as a way of pitting ideas against each other giving me the opportunity to change my beliefs when presented with superior options. I debate with the knowledge that I may walk away with a different opinion, it's a fight between ideas and not people. I never at any point said that I am 100% sure of what I'm talking about.

Michael829 wrote:
You need to assert less, and listen more. And, as I said, you need to not reply to what you haven’t read.
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Whatever self-consistent possibility-world is being simulated, that possibility world was already there, as a possibility-world, without the help of the simulation.
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The simulation can’t affect it. If your programmer changes the physical laws or configuration of his simulated universe, then he’s merely no longer simulating the universe that he was previously simulating.
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If his change destroys the simulated universe, that has no effect on the universe that he’s no longer simulating.
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If the new universe that he’s changed his simulated universe to self-destructs as a result, well maybe that new universe simulates some possibility-world too. But that possibility-world universe was going to self-destruct anyway.
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As for his computer-simulation itself, when he changes or contravenes its physical laws, then speaking of it, before and after the simulation, as one “world”, that “world” isn’t a possibility-world, because it isn’t consistent with itself.
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Due to its inconsistency, it lacks validity and factualness, even in its own context.

Sure, the simulated universe would have no effect on it's real counterpart but the simulated universe would have sentient beings who are just as self aware and confident that they are not in a simulation as their real counterparts. They would claim that it's impossible for our programmer to destroy their planet right before he actually does it, and for all you know you and I could be the simulated versions and not the real ones.

Michael829 wrote:
Aside from that, do you really believe that some transistor-switching makes, or is, a universe?
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That’s a small step from believing that a sorcerer chanting an incantation can work magic.
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Weren’t you the scientific one? :D
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Possibility-worlds are already there.

I am open to the universe being a simulation in the same sense that I am open to there being a God, it's called being open minded. What would be unscientific is claiming something without evidence. Yes, if the universe were proven to be a simulation then it would make me rethink my while point of view on religion. I'm not dogmatically fixed to a single point of view because that would be stupid.

And yes, I do believe that transistors can simulate a universe. You are the one who claims that the universe is based on if-then statements (at least to an extent) and computers do nothing but apply if-then statements to data.

Michael829 wrote:
Another example of replying to what you haven’t read.
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I said that each of the infinitely many hypothetical systems of inter-referring logical facts about hypotheticals doesn’t and needn’t have any existence, reality or factualness other than in its own local inter-referring context.

You seriously need to define some terms here because I am still trying to figure out what you are even talking about.

Michael829 wrote:
I’ve answered that many times. The Materialism that you consider more likely to be valid is just as un-testable, unfalsifiable, and unverifiable. The difference is that Materialism doesn’t have the logical support that Skepticism has.
You might want to ask yourself in what way you think that this physical universe is (might be? Probably is?) existent other than as the hypothetical system by which I describe it.

Indeed, Jim the strawman's version of materialism is quite unverifiable. My version of materialism on the other hand is indeed verifiable as my only claim is that matter and energy are observable.

Michael829 wrote:
…and of course you know that :D
…or you know (courtesy of Dunning-Kruger) that you know better.
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In any case, we’ve been over that matter many times now, and I’m not going to answer it again.

No, I don't claim to know that I know better. I have even said many times that you could be right for all I know, and yet here you are claiming that I am the one not reading my opponent's posts. All I'm claiming is that I disagree with you and by debating with you I am pitting our views against each other until one emerges superior.

Michael829 wrote:
Physical tests are for physics. You’re all confused, conflating physics with metaphysics.
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Your Materialism (that you aren’t 100% sure of) is every bit as un-testable, unfalsifiable and experimentally unverifiable as is Skepticism.
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The difference is that Skepticism has logical support, and Materialism has no support of any kind.

And with that final blow Jim the strawman has been defeated. Meanwhile the version of materialism I am advocating remains untouched. A version of materialism that unlike strawman materialism is empirically verifiable because it only claims that matter, energy and spacetime are measurable while nothing else is.

Michael829 wrote:
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Look, I don’t have time for this.
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I’m sorry, but there’s no nicer way to say it.
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I don’t have time to reply to any more of your messages.
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Notice
I won’t be replying to mikeman anymore. When I don’t reply to what he says, that doesn’t mean that he’s said something irrefutable. It just means that I don’t have time to continue replying to him.
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Michael829
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Noted.


_________________
Also known as MarsMatter.

Diagnosed with Asperger's, ADD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder in 2004.
In denial that it was a problem until early 2016.

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Michael829
Toucan
Toucan

Joined: 29 Aug 2017
Gender: Male
Posts: 256
Location: United States

23 Sep 2017, 8:11 pm

I lied.
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Mikeman’s most recent post better clarifies what he means, and what he’s confused about, and so I’m replying to it.
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Thank you, mikeman, for better clarifying what you meant.
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I’m replying to it for the benefit of anyone visiting this thread, in order to clarify for them the misunderstandings that mikeman has been posting.
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So I’m posting this reply, though it’s distasteful to talk to someone who has proved unable to abide by this forum’s guidelines for conduct.
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In my inline reply, I reply to most of the things that mikeman said, and so my inline reply is quite long (The inline reply brings the length to 22 pages, with 12-point type).
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And so, for more brevity and conciseness, before the inline reply, I’m including relatively concise answers, collected together, to some of mikeman’s charges.
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Those answers follow directly below:
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Now mikeman has clarified what he means when he says that he’s a Materialist and an Empiricist. He’s given his own re-definitions of Materialism and Empiricism. It’s the same definition for both terms. Here it is:
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Materialism is the belief that only what’s observable is observable.
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Empiricism is the belief that only what’s observable is observable.
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Yes, mikeman says, in his definitions of “Empiricism” and “Materialism”, that only what’s observable is real.
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…but he defines “real” as “observable”. Hence my wording of his definitions.
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I want to assure mikeman that, by his re-definitions, everyone is a Materialist and an Empiricist. :D
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Of course mikeman’s personal re-definitions of Materialism and Empiricism aren’t saying anything.
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But, to be fair, mikeman does say something with some substantive meaning: He says that he isn’t interested in metaphysics.
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That’s perfectly alright. Lots of people aren’t interested in metaphysics.
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…but most of them don’t post to a discussion-thread about metaphysics, at a forum dedicated to politics, philosophy and religion. :D
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Given that mikeman is now saying that all he really means is that he isn’t interested in metaphysics, then he surely wouldn’t mind if we disregard what he’s said about it. But I’ll still comment, directly below, on some of his charges (…before I get to the inline reply).
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…because my answers can be said more compactly in these preliminary comments, and in approximate order of relevance.
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So let’s look at some of mikeman’s criticisms and charges:
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Topic 1:
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I asked mikeman in what way he thinks this physical universe is more than the hypothetical logical system that I described.
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His answer was that he’d already explained that only what’s observable is observable, and that’s all he’s interested in. Abstract logical facts about hypotheticals aren’t “observable”, and so mikeman says that they aren’t real (observable). And that’s his answer to my question.
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No, that doesn’t answer my question.
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We all agree that this universe and its things are observable. Its observability to its inhabitants says nothing about whether or not it’s more than the hypothetical logical system that I described. So, is it more than that? If so, when in what way? …and how do you know that, Mr. Empiricist?
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Topic 2:
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It’s about unfalsifiability.
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I’ll discuss this in three aspects:
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1. Support:
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I’d said that, as for “predictive power”, Skepticism and MUH predict this physical universe from fundamental principles.
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You answered that it’s unfalsifiable.
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Metaphysicses aren’t empirically, experimentally verifiable or falsifiable, or distinguishable from eachother. You mustn’t confuse metaphysics with physics.
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So yes, Skepticism and MUH are experimentally unverifiable and unfalsifiable. When someone arbitrarily makes up a theory or proposition that is unverifiable and unfalsifiable, and doesn’t have other support, then we dismiss it.
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But here’s the thing: That doesn’t apply to something that has other support—in this instance, support independent of physical measurement and experiment. My metaphysics is supported as follows:
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The logical facts about hypotheticals, on which it based are inevitable and certain. (…but without any reality, existence, factualness or meaning outside of their own inter-referring context).
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There are complex inter-referring systems of such inter-referring logical if-thens, about hypotheticals. …infinitely many of them. …each of them having no reality, existence, meaning or factualness outside its own inter-referring context.
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I’ve already discussed how physical laws, and physical quantity-values among which they state relations, are parts of the “if “ premises of various if-then statements.
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Therefore, inevitably, among those infinitely-many logical systems relating hypotheticals, there is one whose events and relations match those of our physical universe. That’s all I’m saying. It’s a modest and uncontroversial statement.
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So that’s why I say that you’re sloppily and crudely mis-applying physics’s “unverifiable and unfalsifiable” criticism. It doesn’t apply to something that has independent support. …as a consequence of inevitable logical facts.
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2. Not a Theory:
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The “unfalsifiability” criticism is for theories.
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Skepticism isn’t a theory. It’s an inevitability, a logical certainty.
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(Remember that Septicism doesn’t claim that Materialism’s “Stuff” doesn’t objectively exist—only that, if it did objectively exist, it would be superfluous and meaningless. …and an in-principle unfalsifiable proposition.)
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3. Falsifiable in Principle:
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The “unfalsifiability” criticism of a claim means that that claim is in principle unfalsifiable, because it doesn’t have support. (Support could, in principle, be falsified.)
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There are theories that are, in principle, unfalsifiable. …such as elaborately-contrived flat-earth and hollow-earth theories that come up with an added explanation for each contradiction by experimental evidence.
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…or Mateialism, the objective existence of whose “Stuff “, in principle, can’t be disproved. …or a claim that this physical universe objectively exists in some context larger than itself.
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Skepticism is falsifiable in principle. …You falsify Skepticism if you falsify its logical argument that supports it.
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The “unfalsifiability” criticism of a claim doesn’t just mean that you’re unable to falsify it. :D
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Now, feel free to falsify the logical support that I’ve stated for Skepticism.
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(…and remember that it would be silly to say that logic isn’t valid or reliable, when I remind you that logic is used to interpret and relate the experimental evidence that you tout so much.)
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Topic 3:
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Mikeman says that I’m wrong, because I’m sure of something that a reasonable person wouldn’t be sure of.
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And what would that be?;
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Logical facts about hypotheticals? Maybe mikeman believes that logic isn’t valid, but few would agree with him. See above.
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The “reality” of the logical system that I describe? I’ve repeatedly answered that I don’t claim that any of it has objective existence, reality, meaning or factualness…by which I mean existence, reality, meaning or factualness other than within its own local inter-referring context.
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So I’m only speaking of abstract logical facts, whose validity isn’t in doubt. And I’m not claiming that any of it is real outside of its own hypothetical inter-referring context.
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So then, what, in particular, is it that I’m “sure of “ that one can’t validly be sure of?
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Alright, now let’s look, inline, at some of the things that mikeman said in his most recent post. This is the long part. In these inline replies, I’ll sometimes refer to answers in the three topics discussed above:
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You said:
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Quote:


Michael829 said:
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Quote:

In fact, any 1st-person experience of that person would be undectectable by that observer’s instruments.
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So of course you likewise can’t make sense of a suggestion that you have 1st-person experience.

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Which is why I don't believe that consciousness is anything more than the result of electrical and chemical interactions between and within neurons.
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[/size=125]

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“Consciousness” is an unfortunate word, when used in that way. It implies a “thing”, a metaphysical “substance”, or entity, separate from the body.
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I don’t believe in that “Consciousness”.
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Philosophy of mind seems to want to artificially separate the animal (including the human animal) into separate and different body and “Mind” or “Consciousness”.
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I consider that to be Spiritualist over-complication.
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There’s just the animal.
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I’ve called my philosophy-of-mind position “Animalness”, but it’s probably the same as what’s officially called philosophy-of-mind Physicalism (POMP).
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(…not to be confused with metaphysical Physicalism, which is just Materialism, with explicit emphasis that nonmaterial things like fields are included. That’s why I avoid the word “Physicalism”, because of its two different meanings.)
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I prefer to use “consciousness” only with its usual everyday practical meaning: The state of being awake, instead of asleep, comatose or dead. In fact, better to just use the adjective.
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Your statement quoted above could just be an expression of philosophy-of-mind Physicalism, or it could express the more extreme Eliminative Physicalism, which denies that there’s such a thing as 1st-person experience.
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I suggest that that latter position takes philosophy-of-mind Physicalism to a ridiculous and meaningless excess.
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I suggest that the individual and hir (his/her) experience is primary, fundamental. That could be called a sort of empiricism. …arguably the extreme, full and genuine empiricism. (…but needn’t be taken to the extreme of trying to somehow rule out logical facts, and the discussion of metaphysical explanation—which of course has nothing to do with measuring instruments).
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That’s where I differ from others who subscribe to POMP. (In fact maybe, my position doesn’t even come under the definition of POMP. I’d have to look it up to find out.)
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A metaphysics with that emphasis or basis is called an Anti-Realism. I prefer to call it Non-Realism.
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You said:

Quote:
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Maybe I'm a philosophical zombie with no internal experiences but who still acts like everyone else and insists that I'm conscious.
[/size=125]

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There isn’t, and can’t be, such a thing as a philosophical zombie.
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Natural selection has designed purposefully-responsive devices called animals.
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In terms of the designed-in purposes of that animal, that purposefully-responsive device: Its 1st-person experience, the surroundings and events in terms of those purposes, is what would be expected.
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A purposefully responsive device that’s designed to achieve the purposes and goals of an animal can’t also be designed to not have 1st-person experience, because 1st person experience is, for the animal, its surroundings and events with respect to those purposes.
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The notion of the philosophical zombie dramatizes and exposes the ridiculous Spiritualism of the usual philosophers-of-mind.
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You said:
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Michael829 wrote:
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I said that, if there’s reincarnation, it would happen at a time when subconscious feelings, inclinations, and various acquired and hereditary subconscious attributes remain. …and when there doesn’t remain a knowledge that the person had been in a life.
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That’s plausible, because, for example, in dreams, obviously feelings and inclinations remain, without knowledge of your waking life.

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Why would it have to be during that time?
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Because, time before that (as right now, for example) is part of this life. There’s a life-possibiity-story that matches your life now, and unsurprisingly it’s this life-experience possibility-story (not some other, next one).
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And, after the stage that I referred to in your quote of me above, the hereditary and acquired subconscious feelings, inclinations, and general-identity, including subconscious awareness of and feelings about life, time or events, are gone.
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Experiments show that memories and personalities are part of the brain and physical events like being hit on the head really hard can mess with them. My brother once had a concussion that made him forget the last 2 days of his life and there are many instances of brain trauma causing a personality change.
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Of course. I subscribe to philosophy-of-mind Physicalism. (or at least part of it). (…but not Eliminative Physicalism)
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My tentative belief is that matter and energy are the only things that can be measured
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No one denies that. If that’s Materialism, then we’re all Materialists.
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…and you’re right to say that your position isn’t a metaphysics. In fact, of course it doesn’t contradict any metaphysicses, including Skepticism.
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You have asked many times, even in this post, what it means for matter to be real and I have told you by clarifying the definition of "real" in this context. I really don't know what other type of response you could be expecting.
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Fine. Matter is observable. No argument with that.
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Of course that doesn’t in any way contradict or refute Skepticism or MUH. I was asking for a meaning that contradicts Skepticism. I don’t deny that only physical things are measureable. It’s a truism.
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What I’m asking is: If this physical world is more than the hypothetical logical system that I describe, then what else is it? If it has existence other than in its own context, then in what other context does it have existence,
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I addressed that matter in my comments before this inline reply.
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Your answer, of course, will be that Skepticism, and metaphysics in general, is meaningless (to you) because, unlike physics, metaphysics has nothing to do with instrumental measurement, and doesn’t predict the behavior of physical systems. No one would challenge or criticize your feeling that everything but physics is meaningless to you.
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As for your “unfalsifiability” criticism, see above in my preliminary comments.
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Your statement that only what’s observable is observable doesn’t answer my question above.
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But yes, now we do have an answer of sorts from you:
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You just aren’t interested in metaphysics. Well, that’s an improvement, because it’s a substantive answer, and a substantive undeniable fact.
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Suggestion: Study physics instead of posting to a discussion-thread about metaphysics, which you aren’t interested in and don’t consider a valid topic.
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So, can we say that now we’ve found an understanding and common ground, and that therefore this discussion is completed?
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Yes? I hope so.
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But if you were interested in metaphysics (but you aren’t), I’d emphasize again that Skepticism predicts this physical world from fundamental principles.
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And, you see, that undermines your criticism about Skepticism as unfalsifiable. Sketpicism isn’t just some theory that was contrived to be unfalsifiable. It’s a metaphysics that follows inevitably from fundamental principles. …and the argument supporting that is, in principle, falsifiable.
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But yes, most other metaphysicses, including Materialism (in its accepted definition, not your re-definition), are unfalsifiable, unverifiable, and unsupported.
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If someone says that Materialism is supported because observations indicate that we live in a physical world, I reply that every metaphysics, and every person, agrees with that. Metaphysical Materialism (by its accepted definition) says more than that, and what it says is unfalsifiable, unverifiable, and unsupported.
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I commend you for not being a Materialist.
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There’s nothing wrong with being undecided, uncommitted, not taking a position. No one will criticize you for that.
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…But you’re criticizable if you say you’re sure that all logical facts are questionable, or that I’ve claimed that the logical systems that I describe are real, meaningful, factual or existent other than in their own context.
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You’ve emphasized that you don’t subscribe to the metaphysics of Materialism (or any other metaphysics), and therefore that you have nothing to say in a discussion about the relative validity of various metaphysics. So what is there for you to talk about at this metaphysics topic-thread?
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Just wanted to get that clarified out in the open.
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You’re in the wrong topic-thread, in the wrong forum.
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Metaphysics isn’t physics, and isn’t offered as physics. Metaphysics has nothing to do with the prediction of the behavior of physical systems. As I’ve said, all or nearly all proposed metaphysicses are experimentally indistinguishable…Most of them wouldn’t be proposed if they contradicted physical experiments.
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Unlike physics, metaphysicses seek to explain why, and in what sense, there is this physical world, and, unlike physics, metaphysics doesn’t seek to determine this universe’s physical laws or predict details of its events or interactions among this physical universe’s parts.
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Now we get that you aren’t interested in metaphysics, and that’s fine.
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Physics doesn’t ask the following, but some people ask it:
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“Why is there something instead of nothing?”
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…a metaphysical question, not a physics question, discussed because some people are interested in what can be said about what there is, and why. You don’t have to be interested in that, or post to this metaphysics thread.
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Since you don’t like metaphysics, then just study physics, &/or engineering.
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But the time that you spend, here, criticizing what isn’t physics, because it isn’t physics, would be better spent actually studying physics. …and maybe engineering, if that’s your taste.
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And since science is what you’re interested, and have something to say about, then why aren’t you posting to the Science forum (directly above this Politics, Philosophy and Religon forum, in the forums list)?
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My position on metaphysics is that metaphysics is BS.
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So you’re posting to this philosophy & religion forum, to this metaphysics discussion-thread, to share with us that you aren’t interested in metaphysics. :D
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Michael829 wrote:
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I’ll remind you that I’ve repeatedly emphasized that our physical universe, as a hypothetical possiblity-world, and like the infinitely-many such hypothetical worlds, isn’t and needn’t be objectively real, existent or factual (by which I mean real, existent or factual other than in its own local inter-referring context).
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But, along with some others, I define, as a metaphysical term, “actual for us” as “part of our physical world”.

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So we agree that my definition of "real" is the same as your definition as "part of our physical world" which means that I am perfectly justified in calling the physical world "real".
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You can define “real” as you want to.
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I agree that only observable things are observable.
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So we don’t have any disagreement! Ok?
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Can you agree to not keep on looking for ways to disagree on a topic (metaphysics) that you aren’t even interested in?
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I don’t say that this physical universe isn’t real. I just don’t assert that it’s real in any context other than its own.
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(…but if you think it is, then be specific about how.)
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Yeah, I know this doesn't prove anything but it's a great way of describing why I consider the physical world "real". I have decided to use empiricism as a basis for believing things and that requires evidence before things can be called real, so for all intents and purposes I consider "real" and "observable" to be synonymous.
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So that means that you’re saying that only what’s measurable is measurable. You won’t get any argument about that.
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So logical facts aren’t real.
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Fine. I don’t argue with your personal definition of “real”, because your personal definitions are none of my business.
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Anyway, I’ve repeatedly said that I don’t claim that the complex system of inter-referring if-thens, about hypotheticsls, that matches the events and relations in this physical world is “real”, existent or factual in any context other than its own local inter-referring context
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You presented your feelings about that as (presumably) some kind of criticism of Skepticism. But I’m not finding, in what you’re saying, a basis for criticism. I’m not finding anything in it that everyone doesn’t agree on.
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Some of us are over-eager to want or need to criticize, complete with namecalling, before we consider whether we really have a criticism or know what we’re talking about.
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It’s a common trait among typical Internet-abusers.
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I must admit that it’s quite alien to me.

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I'm saying that math was invented, not discovered. Maybe reality exists only in our minds, maybe it does and maybe it doesn't but either way math is something humans invented and it's only accepted as much as it is because it appears to be very consistent with what we observe.
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Say it how you want. I didn’t say that the hypothetical system that I propose is real, meaningful or factual other than in its own context.
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And I said that I regard individual experience as primary and fundamental.
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Again, I don’t find the disagreement.
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We are far from being able to say for certain that the universe is in any way run by math.
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…except for empirical evidence? :D
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Mathematics evidently well describes the events in the physical world.
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Max Tegmark is a physicist, as were Michael Faraday and Frank Tippler.
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Would you be willing to admit to yourself that they might know more than you do about physics and mathematics?
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Maybe you should write to Max Tegmark, to explain to him the error of his ways. :D
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Michael829 wrote:
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No. The inter-referring system of logical if-thens, about hypotheticals, isn’t speculative. It’s valid and it’s so, in its own local inter-referring context. …which is also the context or our lives.
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What would need testing (but is un-testable) would be your (tentative but favored) belief that this physical universe is (in some vaguely-implied way) more than what I said in the above paragraph.

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I would totally consider providing evidence that matter and energy are real in any ways besides being observable if I actually believed that
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Yes, matter and energy aren’t observable in any way other than being observable. :D
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But that wasn’t my question. I asked:
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When I say that there’s nothing more to this physical universe other than a complex hypothetical system of inter-referring logical facts, then what is your empirical evidence that this universe is, in some way, more than that. …and in what way is it more than that?
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(…but, if you don’t make that claim, then disregard the question.)
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Because it’s observable?
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No, observability doesn’t contradict Skepticism or MUH.
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I answered about this in one of the three topics that I discussed before this inline reply. I refer you to that.
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You say that Skepticism is un-falisifiable? There’s no experiment that could prove it false? (…and prove that some other experimentally-unfalsifable metaphysics is true?) No, because its support is logical. But logical support is valid support. …and like all support, could, in principle, be falsified if it were false.
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So falsifyit.
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So the simpler explanation is more likely? You mean the one that doesn’t need or make any assumptions or posit any brute facts, and is based only on inevitable logical facts, and predicts this physical world from fundamental principles? :D
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What I am saying is that I don't believe in things like your particular brand of metaphysics because I can't observe it.
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Which metaphysics can you observe? :D
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So you don’t believe in any metaphysics, and you aren’t interested in metaphysics. That’s fine. And it would even be alright if you didn’t keep posting to this metaphysics discussion-thread.
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Right. No metaphysics is experimentally-observable. No one would deny that.
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Metaphysics is about explanations for the overall physical world that is observed. We get that you aren’t interested in that discussion—but seem to insist on discussing it :D
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…but I do believe in matter and energy because I can observe it. What's so anti-science about that exactly?
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Nothing. In fact, we all believe in matter and energy. …and we all agree that only what’s observed is observed.
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Of course that has nothing whatsoever to do with metaphysics, the discussion of explanation for this observable physical world. …an underlying reality. …an underlying what-is.
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First of all when I was clear about what I meant by matter and energy being "real" you just dismissed it as definition BS. I already said that my criteria [criterion] for considering something "real" is for it to be observable, since matter is observable I consider it real.
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Since matter is observable, you consider it observable. No disagreement there.
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I believe that the physical universe exists in the sense that I can observe it, that's it.
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We all believe that the physical universe exists in that sense.
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I'm a materialist in the sense that I do not actively believe in anything beyond matter and energy.
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No one will criticize you for your personal beliefs. …if you can limit your assertions to statement of your personal beliefs.
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I'm a materialist in the sense that I do not actively believe in anything beyond matter and energy.
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You don’t believe that anything is real (experimentally observable) other than matter and energy.
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We all agree that nothing is experimentally observable other than matter and energy. Then we’re all Materialists by your definition.
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I have no argument with your personal definition of reality and existence as experimental measurability. Your personal definitions are purely your business.
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As far as I'm concerned I don't ever have any excuse in believing in something that cannot be measured, I don't see the fallacy in that.

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Quite. You don’t believe that anything not observable and measurable is real (observable)
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You’re right: Nothing that isn’t observable and measurable is observable and measurable.
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There’s no fallacy in that.
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The materialism I propose is that matter and energy are measurable and nothing else is measurable therefore there is no reason to assume that anything beyond matter and energy exists.

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Of course…when you define “existence” as “measurability”.
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Nothing that isn’t measureable is measurable. No argument there.
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This physical universe, full of things that are measurable by its inhabitants, has its set of events and relations that are matched by, and indistinguishable from, one of the infinitely-many systems of inter-referring logical facts about hypotheticals.
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…and there’s no reason to believe that this physical universe is more than that.
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Speculate all you want.

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If you want to say that Skepticism is speculative, then you need to say specifically in what way, in which part, it’s speculative, and why you think so.
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, my problem is when you say that you are 100% sure about your version of metaphysics.
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I answered that in my comments before this inline reply.
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Philosophy is great as long as you don't start arbitrarily deciding that some speculative part of it is real without any evidence at all.
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As I said above, you’d need to share with us specifically in what way you think Skepticism is speculative, and in which part, and why you think so.
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I’ve repeatedly told you that I don’t claim that any of it is existent, real, meaningful, or factual in any context other than its own local inter-referring context.
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If you think that this physical universe is real, existent, meaningful or factual in some other context, then you should feel free to share with us what context that would be.
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Michael829 wrote:
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I’ve already explained that there are logical certainties.
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But I don’t know what you mean by your above-quoted line, and neither do you.
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I’ve also repeatedly (in answer to the same repeated comments from you) clarified that I make no claim that the hypothetical system that I describe is real or existent other than in its own local inter-referring context.


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Then what's all this talk of it being inevitable? Are you taking all that back now?
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The inevitability of a system of inter-referring logical if-then facts (in the sense that there inevitably are those facts), about hypotheticals doesn’t make it real, existent, meaningful or factual in any context other than its own local inter-referring context.
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No, you don’t.
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Yes, you think you know what you’re talking about, but that’s the Dunning-Kruger effect.
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Maybe you should read its definition again.

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…I don't claim to be 100% certain about anything unlike you.

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Oh really.
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On 9 September, 12:11 a.m. :
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the only way I know to get that sure about anything is the Dunning-Kruger effect,
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On 12 September, 12:34 a.m. :
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The only way to be 100% sure about anything about reality outside of our made up definitions and hypothetical worlds is the Dunning-Kruger effect.
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On 17 September, 8:44 p.m. :
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You seem to be so sure about your particular brand of it even though being that sure about a part of reality outside your own mind can only be a result of the Dunning-Kruger effect.
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Forgive me for saying so, but you seem to be very sure--arrogantly, namecallingly, sure—of something. :D
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Either you’re very sure that there are no logical facts that one can validly be sure about
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(…except for some of them :D )
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…or you’re very sure that I’ve been saying that I’m sure that the hypothetical logical system that I refer to is real outside of its own inter-referring context.
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(…though I haven’t made that claim.)
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But don’t feel bad. Your behavior is nothing other than that of the usual ordinary aggressively-arrogant Internet abuser.
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I recommend that you read these forums’ conduct-guidelines. .,.in particular, the part about posting about the topic, instead of posting about our personal evaluation of those with whom we disagree.
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Here’s a free tip:
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When you’re sure that you’re right (see above before you claim that you aren’t sure that you’re right), you’re cheating yourself out of the opportunity to find out.
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Michael829 wrote:
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As for his computer-simulation itself, when he changes or contravenes its physical laws, then speaking of it, before and after the simulation, as one and the same “world”, that “world” isn’t a possibility-world, because it isn’t consistent with itself.
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Due to its inconsistency, it lacks validity and factualness, even in its own context.


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Sure, the simulated universe would have no effect on its real counterpart but the simulated universe would have sentient beings who are just as self-aware and confident that they are not in a simulation as their real counterparts. They would claim that it's impossible for our programmer to destroy their planet right before he actually does it, and for all you know you and I could be the simulated versions and not the real ones.
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Yes, but as I just said above, his simulated universe, whose physical laws suddenly change or are contravened, is inconsistent, self-contradictory, and thereby an impossibility-world instead of a possibility-world. It’s a self-contradictory nonsense-world.
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It’s a world that’s about as valid as a statement like “This statement is a lie.”
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Unlike a possibility-world, it doesn’t have a valid logical basis of inter-referring mutually-consistent facts.
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Michael829 wrote:

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Aside from that, do you really believe that some transistor-switching makes, or is, a universe?
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That’s a small step from believing that a sorcerer chanting an incantation can work magic.
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Weren’t you the scientific one?
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Possibility-worlds are already there.


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I am open to the universe being a simulation in the same sense that I am open to there being a God, it's called being open minded. What would be unscientific is claiming something without evidence.
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What kind of measuring-instrument should be used to obtain empirical experimental evidence that your simulated universe whose physical laws are abruptly changed or contravened is self-contradictory, nonsensical Impossibility-world? :D
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Yes, if the universe were proven to be a simulation then it would make me rethink my while point of view on religion. I'm not dogmatically fixed to a single point of view because that would be stupid.
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Then don’t dogmatically miss the distinction between a consistent possibility-world, vs an inconsistent, self-contradictory impossibility-world. …a nonsense-world.
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…which is what a simulated world would be if its events included a change in, or contravention of, its physical laws.
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Yes, someone somewhere could conceivably simulate our possibility-world, for their own entertainment. The only effect would be that they could observe it. If the programmer changes or contravenes its physical laws, then, from that point, they’re simulating a different world, not ours.
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As for the presumed beings living in that programmer’s simulation, both before and after he changes or contravenes its laws, that simulated world whose physical laws are changed or contravened is an inconsistent, self-contradictory nonsensical impossibility-world.
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And yes, I do believe that transistors can simulate a universe.
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Of course they can. They can simulate an already-existing possibility-world.
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Or they can simulate a nonsensical self-contradictory impossibility-world.
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But what they can’t do is create a possibility-world that wasn’t already there.
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You are the one who claims that the universe is based on if-then statements (at least to an extent) and computers do nothing but apply if-then statements to data.
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Exactly. The computer does nothing. Now you’re getting it.
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As you said, the computer only displays to its audience the results of an if-then system that was already there.
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Do you really think the computer’s re-enactment, demonstration, of that possibility-world or possibility-story—making the possibility-story visible to an audience watching the simulation output-- makes something that wasn’t already there?
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And if the programmer erroneously or intentionally changes or contravenes the simulated universe’s physical laws, then that simulation is portraying an inconsistent, self-contradictory nonsensical impossibility-world.
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You’re attributing magical powers to those transistors if you believe that their switching somehow makes a world. They can describe, display and portray a world to a viewing audience.
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That’s all.
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I can write a novel that says, “It rained that Tuesday. It didn’t rain that Tuesday.”
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Someone, somewhere, with a supercomputer could write and run a simulation of a world in which it didn’t rain on a certain day, and in which, on the next day, everything was drenched and flooded by heavy rainfall on the previous day.
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Unlike the possibility-worlds that I discuss, that self-contradictory simulation wouldn’t have validity even in its own context.
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Your programmer would merely be portraying nonsense.
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Likewise if, in his simulation, a universe self-destructed in contravention of its physical laws, or if its physical laws were changed at some point so as to make it self-destruct.
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Consistency, freedom from self-contradiction, is an essential requirement for a possibility-world.
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You said:
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Michael829 wrote:
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I said that each of the infinitely many hypothetical systems of inter-referring logical facts about hypotheticals doesn’t and needn’t have any existence, reality or factualness other than in its own local inter-referring context.

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You seriously need to define some terms here because I am still trying to figure out what you are even talking about.
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Then, to that end, you seriously need to specify which word(s) you don’t know the meaning of.
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But I’ll define a few words for you, and give an example of what a phrase refers to:
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“Inter-referring” means referring to eachother.
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By “hypotheticals”, I mean hypothetical facts that are parts of the “if “ premise of an if-then fact.
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A hypothetical may or may not be true. An if-then fact’s “then” conclusion is true if the “if “ premise is true.
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But the truth of the if-then fact doesn’t depend on its “if “ premise being true.
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Here follows an example of “…needn’t have any existence, reality or factualness outside of its own local inter-referring context”: There are infinitely many possibility-worlds other than our own. Would you say that they’re real, existent or factual for us? Of course not.
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But the context of this possibility-world is the context of, the setting for, your life.
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You say this universe is real because you observe it. Real in its own context, the context for our lives, yes.
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Real in any other context or way?
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If “Yes”, then how or in what other context?
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No, I don't claim to know that I know better.
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See above.
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Michael829


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24 Sep 2017, 1:13 pm

Yes, instead of [*/size=125], I should have said [*/size]. (without the asterisk)

Wouldn't be feasible to go through that long post and change all the tags.

Test:

Quote:

This is a size-change test.


Michael829


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24 Sep 2017, 3:41 pm

You say that according to my definition everyone is a materialist but I disagree, maybe you are a materialist by my definition but the majority of the world's population believes in an omnipotent being in the sky beyond matter and energy who can interact with the world and preform (allegedly measurable) miracles. This is not even limited to theism, there are also new agers who believe in the supernatural without a deity. I consider you to be in the same category because you are making claims about stuff you could not possibly know.

I'll admit that I'm still trying to understand exactly what you are claiming but you do make a lot of unmeasurable claims like reality being centered around an individual's experience and reality being based on logic (if only within it's own context). When you say it makes predictions could you be more specific about what kind of predictions? Like, is it something measurable like the strength of a fundamental force or something overly general like reality existing? What experiments could I do to test your hypothesis?

I do not claim that it's not completely reasonable to assume math is valid, the probability of it being valid is somewhere in the ballpark of 99.99999999999999999999999999999% but there actually is a legitimate hypothesis in math that the way it has correlated with reality so closely has just been a coincidence because it's just a construct of our minds.. Sure, it's unlikely in my opinion but it can't be ruled out. It's called mathematical factionalism, how about you go tell all the mathematicians who take it seriously the error in their ways. When I say that I only believe what I observe that includes math which as I have already explained is based on observation and as such I tentatively believe it.

As for the simulated universe thing, we do not disagree that a computer simulation cannot make a universe come into existence outside the simulation but my claim is that the simulation it's self could be considered a universe in it's own right. The beings in the simulation could in theory be sentient and weather the simulation is of something that could exist in reality does not magically make any beings there not sentient. I don't get what's so hard to understand here.

Also, contrary to your assertion just because I kind metaphysics BS doesn't mean I find it boring and uninteresting, those things are not the same thing and in fact I would argue they are pretty darn near opposite. My belief is that we should not get ahead of our senses and believe what we can't observe, metaphysics is by your definition unobservable and the moment it becomes observable it becomes regular physics, and according to empiricism believing in anything that is unmeasurable is never justified (not even if you make a special pleading fallacy). Metaphysics is like a bunch of people looking at a locked box wondering what's inside it and proposing a bunch of speculative claims but with no way to know who (if anyone) is right. It's pointless and we can't know anyway. We all have our own criteria for considering something true, so what is yours? Is it something proven to work well like empiricism or something else like faith or intuition?


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Michael829
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25 Sep 2017, 4:40 pm

mikeman7918 wrote:
You say that according to my definition everyone is a materialist but I disagree


(The above box-quote is only for the purpose of identifying whom this is a reply to. My reply, with its quotes, begins directly below.)

You said:
.
Quote:

You say that according to my definition everyone is a materialist but I disagree, maybe you are a materialist by my definition but the majority of the world's population believes in an omnipotent being in the sky beyond matter and energy who can interact with the world and preform (allegedly measurable) miracles.

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No. You said that you’re a Materialist (by your definition) because you believe that only matter and energy can be measured.
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Sorry, but everyone believes that. Every Fundamentalist, of every Fundamentalist persuasion, believes that.
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Or do you have several mutually-contradictory definitions of Materialism?
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And guess what? You’re the kind of Materialist that you call a Strawman Materialist.
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You said that you consider “real” and “observable” to be synonymous. You said that something is real if and only if it is observable.
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You also said that only matter and energy are observable.
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That means that you’re saying that only matter and energy are real.
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And that means that you’re saying that matter and energy make up all of reality.
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That perfectly fits the “Strawman” definition of a Materialist. (…the accepted definition.)
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You’re a Strawman Materialist.
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If you’re that kind of Materialist (and you are, based on what you said), then I assure you that you definitely aren’t an Empiricist.
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…because there’s no empirical evidence for the objectively, fundamentally existent matter and energy that you believe all of reality consists of. Yes matter and energy are observable, and are all that’s observable, and no one denies that. No, that doesn’t mean that matter and energy, or this physical universe, are so fundamental that they can be called reality itself. That’s an unsupported metaphysical belief.
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You said that metaphysics is B.S., but you believe in a metaphysics, a metaphysics that has no empirical support, or any other kind of support.
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Another thing: You talk about religion all the time. Why are you always talking about religion? This is a metaphysics discussion-thread.
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You said:
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Quote:

…you are making claims about stuff you could not possibly know.

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I’ve already answered that charge.
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What exactly is it that you think that I’m sure of, that one can’t validly be sure of?
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Repeating from my most recent reply:
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Quote:

Either you’re very sure that there are no logical facts that one can validly be sure about
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(…except for some of them )
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…or you’re very sure that I’ve been saying that I’m sure that the hypothetical logical system that I refer to is real outside of its own inter-referring context.
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(…though I haven’t made that claim.)

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Which is it? What am I sure of that one can’t validly be sure of?
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Oops!! You forgot to say.
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So, you need to be specific if you want to say that I’m sure of something that one can’t validly be sure of.
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You said:
Quote:

I'll admit that I'm still trying to understand exactly what you are claiming but you do make a lot of unmeasurable claims like reality being centered around an individual's experience

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Our experience is what we actually directly observe, Mr. Empiricist.
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Anyway, Skepticism and MUH describe exactly the same possibility-world. The only difference is one of emphasis. Emphasis on the system-wide point-of-view (MUH), or on the individual experience point-of-view (Skepticism).
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This possibility-world could be described from either point-of-view.
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(Well, there’s also the difference that I call Skepticism an inevitability and a certainty, rather than a hypothesis.)
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In a previous post here, I posted a numbered list of reasons why the individual-experience point-of-view makes more senses to me.
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You continued:
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Quote:

…and reality being based on logic (if only within it's own context).

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Incorrect. I didn’t say that.
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I said that this physical universe is based on logic. …is a logical possibility-world, a complex logical system of inter-referring if-then facts about hypotheticals.
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That description is a metaphysics.
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But I never said that Reality is based on metaphysics or logic, or that metaphysics or logic describes all of reality.
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(…though your Materialist metaphysics claims to.)
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Metaphysics is a verbal-discussion topic, as is physics. (Of course physics is also of material practical use, when it advises engineering.)
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Metaphysics is the next verbal descriptive level above physics.
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I’ve never claimed that those topics describe all of Reality.
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You said:
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Quote:

When you say it makes predictions could you be more specific about what kind of predictions?

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I was quite specific.
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As I said, Skepticism predicts this physical universe from fundamental principles.
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You said:
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Quote:

Like, is it something measurable like the strength of a fundamental force or something overly general like reality existing? What experiments could I do to test your hypothesis?

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I specifically, clearly and unmistakably said that metaphysics doesn’t predict events within this physical world, or the relations among its parts.
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You’re still all confused about the difference between physics and metaphysics.
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And no, it isn’t about “Reality existing” either.
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It’s about what I said it’s about.
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You said:
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Quote:

I do not claim that it's not completely reasonable to assume math is valid, the probability of it being valid is somewhere in the ballpark of 99.99999999999999999999999999999% but there actually is a legitimate hypothesis in math that the way it has correlated with reality so closely has just been a coincidence because it's just a construct of our minds.. Sure, it's unlikely in my opinion but it can't be ruled out. It's called mathematical factionalism, how about you go tell all the mathematicians who take it seriously the error in their ways. When I say that I only believe what I observe that includes math which as I have already explained is based on observation and as such I tentatively believe it.

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This objection that mathematics might not describe physics is a pointless and substance-less quibble, for at least two reasons:
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1. Empirical evidence thoroughly shows mathematics describing physics. That relation is at least as well-supported by empirical evidence as is any physics theory or law.
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While we’re at it, maybe the theory of evolution is wrong too? :D
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2. Logical consistency is a requirement for a life-experience possibility-story. This logical system that is our physical universe takes a mathematical form, but most basically it is and must be logically consistent.
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Logical consistency among our personal experiential observations, and among the physical world’s logical system of “if-thens” is fundamental to a possibility-story.
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You said:
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Quote:

As for the simulated universe thing, we do not disagree that a computer simulation cannot make a universe come into existence outside the simulation but my claim is that the simulation it's self could be considered a universe in its own right.

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Undeniabley it encodecodes and describes a (maybe self-contradictory) universe, and displays it for its viewing-audience. But, as for those transistor-switchings [u]being[/i] a universe. …You’re missing the distinction between encoding, describing and displaying, vs being.
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This physical universe’s events and relations are indistinguishable from those of a complex logical possibility-story.
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But your transistor-switchings are as superfluous as Materialism’s objectively-existent “Stuff “. There’s no need or explanatory-value for them.
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(But, you could say that, in the infinity of possibility-worlds, there’s one in which someone with a super-computer is simulating a universe and a planet, and it just happens to be our universe and our planet. But so what?)
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You said:
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Quote:

The beings in the simulation could in theory be sentient and weather the simulation is of something that could exist in reality does not magically make any beings there not sentient. I don't get what's so hard to understand here.

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Yes, undeniable the simulation could include sentient beings, and could be self-contradictory and therefore non-valid. But, as for the transistor-switchings being a world (or our world in particular), see above.
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You said:
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Quote:

Also, contrary to your assertion just because I kind metaphysics BS…

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You find metaphysics to be BS, but you believe in a metaphysics. …the metaphysics that you call Straw-Man Materialism. An unfalsifiable, unverifiable and unsupported metaphysics.
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You said:
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Quote:

My belief is that we should not get ahead of our senses and believe what we can't observe, metaphysics is by your definition unobservable

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Yes, as I said, metaphysics is about explanations for our observable physical universe, and discussion of what is. And, believe it not, there are things that can validly be said about what is. …other than, and more general than, physics’ discussion of the workings of this physical world and the interaction of its parts.
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But you’re getting ahead of your senses, and believing what you can’t observe, when you say that only what’s measurable is real…meaning that matter and energy constitute all of Reality.
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Yes you’re a True-Believer Materialist. No, you aren’t an Empiricist.
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You said:
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Quote:

…according to empiricism, believing in anything that is unmeasurable is never justified.

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The Straw-Man Materialism that you so faithfully believe in, amounts to believing in something that is unmeasurable.
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Yes, this physical universe’s things are measurable. We all believe in that. But your Straw-Man Materialism that you believe in makes claims with no empirical support (or any other kind of support). See above. (…and I refer you to my previous post too.)
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You said:
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Quote:

(not even if you make a special pleading fallacy)

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Alright, you’ve been vaguely hinting about a “special pleading fallacy” for some time now. So, specifically what is my special pleading fallacy?
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You said:
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Quote:

Metaphysics is like a bunch of people looking at a locked box wondering what's inside it and proposing a bunch of speculative claims

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I asked you what, in particular, is speculative about Skepticism.
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Oops!! You forgot to say.
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You said:
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Quote:

…but with no way to know who (if anyone) is right.

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I’ve admitted that there’s no way to determine whether or not Materialism’s objectively-existent “Stuff “ superfluously exists. I admit that that “Stuff “ is an unfalsifiable proposition.
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But the logical facts that constitute a complex possibility-world aren’t in doubt. Abstract logical facts, together in an inter-referring system, are an inevitability, though I don’t claim that they have existence, reality, meaning or factual-ness outside their own inter-referring context.
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That last clause of that paragraph makes my statement a modest and uncontroversial one.
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You said:
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Quote:

It's pointless and we can't know anyway.

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See above.
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You said:
Quote:

We all have our own criteria for considering something true, so what is yours? Is it something proven to work well like empiricism…

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You aren’t an Empiricist. See above.
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And metaphysics isn’t about experimental measurements, but a metaphysics still needs some kind of support.
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You said:
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Quote:

…or something else like faith or intuition?

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No. It isn’t faith or intuition either.
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So, by what criteria do I claim that Skepticism is true?
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By the inevitability of the abstract logical facts on which its’s based.
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…and thereby the inevitability of a complex inter-referring system of such facts.
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…in fact, an infinity of such systems.
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…and thereby the inevitability that one of those infinitely-many complex logical systems has events and relations that match those of our physical universe.
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…making it experimentally indistinguishable from our universe.
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…and giving us no reason to believe that our physical universe is more than such a complex logical system.
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I admit that it’s difficult for people to regard our lives as hypothetical experience-stories set in a hypothetical logical possibility-world.
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But there’s no reason to believe otherwise. …or to believe the added unparsimonious, empirically-unsupported entities that such a belief would entail.
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Michael829


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Michael829


mikeman7918
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25 Sep 2017, 11:00 pm

Michael829 wrote:
No. You said that you’re a Materialist (by your definition) because you believe that only matter and energy can be measured.
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Sorry, but everyone believes that. Every Fundamentalist, of every Fundamentalist persuasion, believes that.
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Or do you have several mutually-contradictory definitions of Materialism?
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And guess what? You’re the kind of Materialist that you call a Strawman Materialist.
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You said that you consider “real” and “observable” to be synonymous. You said that something is real if and only if it is observable.
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You also said that only matter and energy are observable.
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That means that you’re saying that only matter and energy are real.
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And that means that you’re saying that matter and energy make up all of reality.
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That perfectly fits the “Strawman” definition of a Materialist. (…the accepted definition.)
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You’re a Strawman Materialist.
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If you’re that kind of Materialist (and you are, based on what you said), then I assure you that you definitely aren’t an Empiricist.
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…because there’s no empirical evidence for the objectively, fundamentally existent matter and energy that you believe all of reality consists of. Yes matter and energy are observable, and are all that’s observable, and no one denies that. No, that doesn’t mean that matter and energy, or this physical universe, are so fundamental that they can be called reality itself. That’s an unsupported metaphysical belief.
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You said that metaphysics is B.S., but you believe in a metaphysics, a metaphysics that has no empirical support, or any other kind of support.

You have just made an argument from semantics and you are trying to use it to tell me what I believe. By the definitions I defined for the context of my argument "real" means observable therefore meaning that "reality" refers to just observable reality, that should have been a very simple conclusion to come to and for someone who talks about logic so much you certainly could do a better job at using it. In this context I will refer to things that are not observable as being "beyond reality". I make absolutely no claims at all about what is beyond reality, I have no idea and neither does anyone else. The reason I didn't bother defining terms for describing what's beyond reality earlier is because as an empiricist I would have no use for such a term except for in saying that I make no claims about it. No, not even that it doesn't exist as you keep trying to tell me I believe.

I am going to ignore the parts of your reply that make claims about me believing strawman materialism. I'm pretty sure that I understand what I believe better then you do and when describing what I believe I can use whatever definitions I want to express it as long as I'm clear about what they are. I don't care what the consensus is because that would be an argument from popularity fallacy to use that to determine what I believe.

Michael829 wrote:
Another thing: You talk about religion all the time. Why are you always talking about religion? This is a metaphysics discussion-thread.

You are the one who said that every religion has it's own version of metaphysics. I brought it up because you made the claim that nobody believes in anything beyond matter and energy that are observable, so I responded by describing a set of belief systems that believe in things beyond matter and energy that are observable which the majority of humans subscribe to.

I used to be a Christian and back then I believed that many things existed beyond matter and energy like a God and spirits who could interact with the world and appear to people if they wanted to. I believed that anecdotal evidence was sufficient to conclude that this stuff was real. Me from just over a year ago would have disagreed with the statement "matter and energy are the only things that can be observed" which disproves your claim that nobody would disagree with that statement. I consider myself a materialist as opposed to a spiritualist.

Michael829 wrote:
I’ve already answered that charge.
.
What exactly is it that you think that I’m sure of, that one can’t validly be sure of?
.
Repeating from my most recent reply:
.
Quote:

Either you’re very sure that there are no logical facts that one can validly be sure about
.
(…except for some of them )
.
…or you’re very sure that I’ve been saying that I’m sure that the hypothetical logical system that I refer to is real outside of its own inter-referring context.
.
(…though I haven’t made that claim.)

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Which is it? What am I sure of that one can’t validly be sure of?
.
Oops!! You forgot to say.
.
So, you need to be specific if you want to say that I’m sure of something that one can’t validly be sure of.

You're right, I did forget to say. I will be more specific:

Of those two possibilities the one that most closely resembles my argument is that "you’re very sure that there are no logical facts that one can validly be sure about". We can never be 100% sure about anything we deduce logically without being 100% sure of the premise, and since we can never be 100% sure about anything we can never be completely certain about anything deduced with logic. I don't understand where you got the "except for some of them" from because we have no completely certain starting points for this type of thing. Sure, you can be certain that in a hypothetical world where X is true then Y is also true but you can only be certain that it's true within that hypothetical world and not in reality.

Michael829 wrote:
Our experience is what we actually directly observe, Mr. Empiricist.
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Anyway, Skepticism and MUH describe exactly the same possibility-world. The only difference is one of emphasis. Emphasis on the system-wide point-of-view (MUH), or on the individual experience point-of-view (Skepticism).
.
This possibility-world could be described from either point-of-view.
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(Well, there’s also the difference that I call Skepticism an inevitability and a certainty, rather than a hypothesis.)
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In a previous post here, I posted a numbered list of reasons why the individual-experience point-of-view makes more senses to me.

I believe that there is nothing fundamental about an individual's experience because I can observe countless other individuals existing within the same world who are all presumably experiencing things, to assume that my personal experiences are any more valid then anyone else's would be insane. That is why I have come to the (tentative, as always) conclusion that reality creates consciousness and not the other way around, because there seems to be a bunch of conscious beings in a single reality.

Michael829 wrote:
Incorrect. I didn’t say that.
.
I said that this physical universe is based on logic. …is a logical possibility-world, a complex logical system of inter-referring if-then facts about hypotheticals.
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That description is a metaphysics.
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But I never said that Reality is based on metaphysics or logic, or that metaphysics or logic describes all of reality.
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~~~
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Metaphysics is a verbal-discussion topic, as is physics. (Of course physics is also of material practical use, when it advises engineering.)
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Metaphysics is the next verbal descriptive level above physics.
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I’ve never claimed that those topics describe all of Reality.

So you are saying that metaphysics describes what's beyond reality but not that far beyond reality? My objections still stand, you can never know anything beyond reality weather it be a little bit or a lot.

Michael829 wrote:
I was quite specific.
.
As I said, Skepticism predicts this physical universe from fundamental principles.

What predictions does it make though? That is not very specific at all. Does it predict that the universe must be exactly like it is with it's exact force charges and particle types? From what I have gathered it predicts that everything should exist including our universe which means that absolutely nothing that could ever be observed could ever disprove it. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Michael829 wrote:
I specifically, clearly and unmistakably said that metaphysics doesn’t predict events within this physical world, or the relations among its parts.
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You’re still all confused about the difference between physics and metaphysics.
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And no, it isn’t about “Reality existing” either.
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It’s about what I said it’s about.

Then metaphysics is unscientific BS. Thanks for proving my point.

Michael829 wrote:
This objection that mathematics might not describe physics is a pointless and substance-less quibble, for at least two reasons:
.
1. Empirical evidence thoroughly shows mathematics describing physics. That relation is at least as well-supported by empirical evidence as is any physics theory or law.
.
While we’re at it, maybe the theory of evolution is wrong too? :D

Yeah, maybe the theory of evolution is wrong. What part of "nothing is 100% certain under empiricism" don't you understand? Granted, I don't consider math or evolution being wrong to be likely but we can never rule it out completely. Empirical evidence does indeed show that math can predict a lot about reality, but as you said it's as well supported as any physics theory which means that it's impossible to prove beyond all doubt.

Michael829 wrote:
2. Logical consistency is a requirement for a life-experience possibility-story. This logical system that is our physical universe takes a mathematical form, but most basically it is and must be logically consistent.
.
Logical consistency among our personal experiential observations, and among the physical world’s logical system of “if-thens” is fundamental to a possibility-story.

But how do you know? Have you seen every possibility world or are you just making this up? Who's to say you won't wake up tomorrow on Mars? How can you know for sure that nothing logically impossible has ever happened in all of space and time? Reality is under no obligation to make sense to us. This is exactly the kind of false confidence in things you cannot know that I am talking about, granted in this case they are reasonable assumptions but you have taken them to the extreme.

Michael829 wrote:
Undeniabley it encodecodes and describes a (maybe self-contradictory) universe, and displays it for its viewing-audience. But, as for those transistor-switchings [u]being[/i] a universe. …You’re missing the distinction between encoding, describing and displaying, vs being.
.
This physical universe’s events and relations are indistinguishable from those of a complex logical possibility-story.
.
But your transistor-switchings are as superfluous as Materialism’s objectively-existent “Stuff “. There’s no need or explanatory-value for them.
.
(But, you could say that, in the infinity of possibility-worlds, there’s one in which someone with a super-computer is simulating a universe and a planet, and it just happens to be our universe and our planet. But so what?)

It means that there are clones of you and I on a simulated planet at the mercy of a programmer who are having this exact conversation, and the version of you will be just as insistent that he's not in a simulation even though he is. How do you know you are not that version of you that would watch in horror as the programmer teleported Mars such that it crashed into Earth? Saying that it's impossible outside the simulation doesn't change that it just happened within the simulation and the simulated you is experiencing it.

Michael829 wrote:
Yes, undeniable the simulation could include sentient beings, and could be self-contradictory and therefore non-valid. But, as for the transistor-switchings being a world (or our world in particular), see above.

So what if the simulation is "not valid" by your arbitrary standards? Does that suddenly make the beings in the simulation not sentient?

Michael829 wrote:
Alright, you’ve been vaguely hinting about a “special pleading fallacy” for some time now. So, specifically what is my special pleading fallacy?

Your special pleading fallacy is your claim that science should not be applied to metaphysics, basically that you can determine things to be true without evidence when you say so. That is your special pleading fallacy.

Michael829 wrote:
I asked you what, in particular, is speculative about Skepticism.
.
Oops!! You forgot to say.

What isn't speculative about it? You assume that there are infinite universes without evidence, that's a pretty big assumption.

Michael829 wrote:
But the logical facts that constitute a complex possibility-world aren’t in doubt. Abstract logical facts, together in an inter-referring system, are an inevitability, though I don’t claim that they have existence, reality, meaning or factual-ness outside their own inter-referring context.
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That last clause of that paragraph makes my statement a modest and uncontroversial one.

So you have determined a way of saying that something is logically inevitable in the real world without relying in potentially wrong observations and axioms? Well then, you better write up your scientific paper ASAP and claim your Nobel prize because that is something mathematicians and scientists have tried to do since those fields have existed and have deemed that impossible.

Michael829 wrote:
And metaphysics isn’t about experimental measurements, but a metaphysics still needs some kind of support.

Well what other type of support could there possibly be besides observation? Even logic is limited by that.

Michael829 wrote:
No. It isn’t faith or intuition either.
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So, by what criteria do I claim that Skepticism is true?
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By the inevitability of the abstract logical facts on which its’s based.
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…and thereby the inevitability of a complex inter-referring system of such facts.
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…in fact, an infinity of such systems.
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…and thereby the inevitability that one of those infinitely-many complex logical systems has events and relations that match those of our physical universe.
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…making it experimentally indistinguishable from our universe.
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…and giving us no reason to believe that our physical universe is more than such a complex logical system.
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I admit that it’s difficult for people to regard our lives as hypothetical experience-stories set in a hypothetical logical possibility-world.
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But there’s no reason to believe otherwise. …or to believe the added unparsimonious, empirically-unsupported entities that such a belief would entail.
.
Michael829

...And those logical facts are based on axioms known only because they are observed in reality which makes your entire argument circular.

The observable universe is based on logic that is based on observable aspects of the universe.

A+ for effort though. I would suggest studying up on logical fallacies.


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Diagnosed with Asperger's, ADD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder in 2004.
In denial that it was a problem until early 2016.

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27 Sep 2017, 6:25 pm

To me at least, it's really not that complicated as far as "Based on Physics, What Insights Do you
Make About Reality?" Actions Speak Louder than Words and Words Lead to Actions
And the Universe is a Dance that Leads to a Song.
I could Leave it at that and call myself a Poet
and Create my own Reality and Name
it Heaven up on top of a Mountain;
but on the other Hand, I Will to come down with an iPhone 6s and some
Words of Poetry and Show you what Heaven looks like in realtime now and all the
Benefits therein. But it's true, more People are interested in talking about this in terms
of Science and Religion, overall, than Just Doing Heaven now and enjoying Bliss and Nirvana
and what makes life 'count' most; namely Love, the Actual Force and the Experience of that Pure Force Now.
In other words, if you don't Dance you Don't Live; Look at the Quadrillion or So Stars that light the Universe up.
Are they sitting Still and Singing a Song or are they moving and where do we come from for we are born now from
Crucible Fire of Star Death where Gaseous dust eventually resurrects and becomes Sentient us plus standing tall and Creating our Realities with words that only house the essence that is real in Moving, Connecting, And Creating with
Emotions Regulating and Senses Integrating in all the Quadrillion or so Connections in all the Cells and all the
Neuro-Chemicals and Neuro-Hormones that light up as metaphor as those connections in all our Cells
and in remembering how life feels now beyond all words that house the
Reality of whatever Dark Abyss through Shades of Grey though
Beyond Rainbow Colors of Emotions and Senses we experience now;
in other words, a Reality that Science currently has neither tool or method
to analyze completely now. Anyway, after this thing that some folks call "Autistic
Burn-out"; where fight and flight stress burns one out after 33 years or so of Working
with the challenge thereof; I decided to screw the Science and become the light of the bulb instead.
It Worked, as empirically measurable, I am twice as Strong at age 57 than I was at 28 in actual empirical
terms of Leg Pressing 1020 Pounds, 33 times now. I've written 5 Million Words of Poetry in 50 Months
in what I Informally Name as Six Bibles and Three New Testaments in what some folks in religion metaphor
as a "John 14:12" effort too. Here's the thing; if you discount Real Magic in Life; if you discount even the
Placebo Effect in creating your Reality now you will never see the kind of change that is possible with that.
And yes that's clearly a metaphor from Abrahamic Religions too. Things is; Actions do speak Louder than
words. I can prove those things as I Documented them all through the Last 50 Months too. And true too;
the Boy With Autism who most everyone Made Fun of who couldn't Speak until Four or Walk Straight in his
Local Metro Area has been named a legend by 'these same audience members', who video tape and
observe 8000 Miles of Public Dance in Four years as documented by Nike GPS Sports Watch Measure
too, along the way. But you see, it's what you value in life that counts;
I wanted to connect to people and now I have over one thousand
Smiling and Beautiful Young Women Faces in the act of Dance now
in Photo way. It's true; it's one thing to Sing the Song
but it's another thing to Dance Life and make it real.
But nah, If I couldn't prove what Happened every
Day of all of this you'd probably Scoff. Thing is,
i Do prove it too
in empirical
way that cannot be refuted.
Not many 'folks' like 'this' have
come down from 'this' Mountain; but
after going to a Real Hell on Earth and that's
another Story; this Place now is a Piece of Cake and all of life is Icing now.
People have said they've done 'it' before but no one has ever recorded it real time now.

Anyway; Prove
me wrong if you can;
other than that I Bring A 'real money' of Life.

Have a nice Day, my Older Monologue friends on the Wrong Planet;
Just Breezing through, Marking Milestones in Heaven not forgetting the Darker Places i've been.

It's what Folks who live on top of Mountains do; just for the Love of Life and all others now; no matter what;

'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' and all that Jazz come to fruition in reality now; at least for me it works and i prove it now.


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