Extreme Scepticism

Discussion in 'General Forteana' started by Gorilla66, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. Coal

    Coal Sure, we're all wrong. Makes complete sense.

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    Nullius in verba
     
  2. Gorilla66

    Gorilla66 Phantom

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    Thanks, Enola. You've obviously studied philosophy more than me, I just know not to laugh at the word epistemology! Your point about reality being social and linguistic is well-taken and reassuring: it implies that there are people out there!
     
  3. Gorilla66

    Gorilla66 Phantom

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    All very true, consciousness is a tricky concept. I suppose we all have to believe in something, and best of all is Homer Simpson's belief system: 'I believe I'll have another beer.'
     
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  4. Gorilla66

    Gorilla66 Phantom

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    Er...nothing in words? Or maybe nothing except words?
     
  5. Coal

    Coal Sure, we're all wrong. Makes complete sense.

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    It's the motto of the Royal Society. It basically implies; "That's what you say, let's see some evidence".

    ('Take no-one's word' or '(accept) nothing in words')

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullius_in_verba
     
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  6. Gorilla66

    Gorilla66 Phantom

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    Wise words indeed, except if taken to extremes then no-one would believe anything anyone said!
     
  7. Coal

    Coal Sure, we're all wrong. Makes complete sense.

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    It depends. The implication is 'cite your source'.

    Some knowledge can be assumed between parties, so for example two electronic engineers might assume each knows Ohm's law, Maxwell's equations and understand what SNR means, without recourse to quoting research papers.

    If someone buttonholes you with claims of the existence of any phenomenon, then scepticism, correctly, is saying "That sounds interesting, what evidence can you provide?" which is an utterly reasonable stance.

    The alternative is to believe claims made on nothing more than the word of the claimant. That's fine between two friends. It's not the basis for any rigorous examination of any phenomenon.

    It doesn't denote a lack of openness, rather, not being so open-minded your brain falls out (i.e. credulity).
     
  8. Gorilla66

    Gorilla66 Phantom

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    Indeed, they are wise words. I may have them carved into my tombstone!
     
  9. Gorilla66

    Gorilla66 Phantom

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    And lo, the dead thread was restored to life...at least for a moment. Just thought I'd put up a few interesting quotes from better thinkers than myself.

    “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” – Max Planck, theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner, theoretical physicist and mathematician. He received a share of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963

    “A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a “mental” construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” – R.C. Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University , “The Mental Universe” ; Nature 436:29,2005)
     
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  10. Xanatic*

    Xanatic* Justified and Ancient

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  11. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

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    Presumably in mid-flight....en route to here
     
  12. baleeber

    baleeber gullible skeptic

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    Good question. I've been asking myself these questions for years.

    There are 2 brief points I've considered.

    1. To exist in a dream is still to exist. I still experience. I still respond. I am still aware. It doesn't matter, ultimately, whether what we experience is "real" or a "dream". It only matters that we "experience".

    2. If you and I were playing chess, and I suddenly decided to break the rules: move a pawn five spaces, make the queen move like a knight, or steal back fallen pieces and put them back on the board ... one of three things would happen. Either (a) you'd stop playing the game and go play with someone who plays by the rules. (b) you'd pretend you didn't see it, and continue playing by the rules, no matter how I break the rules, all while ignoring my lunacy. (c) you'd follow my lead and start breaking the rules too, in which case we wouldn't be playing chess anymore.

    Same with "reality". If I were to go against every "instinct" and overcome all inhibitions to the contrary in order to "break" the rules of "reality", one of three things would happen:

    (a) I'd be removed from the game.
    (b) Maybe everybody else would ignore it, maybe even be INCAPABLE of seeing it.
    (c) I would enter a new reality in which such things are possible.

    However, isn't it not unlike hacking a video game with cheats, save editors, trainers, etc.? Think of all the avid gamers who know these things exist, know how to get them, know how to use them, and perhaps even have some experience of them, who REFUSE to use them because they feel it cheapens the experience of the game? That it's not playing the game the way it was meant to be played.

    Perhaps we could break the rules. Perhaps we're just very inhibited.
     
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  13. Coal

    Coal Sure, we're all wrong. Makes complete sense.

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    (d) You wouldn't be playing chess.
     
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  14. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    Excellent! :clap: :thrash:

    This is in line with the sort of ontic shift to which I alluded in post #19.


    Actually, you would ... You'd be playing fairy chess (seriously - that's what it's called ...).* This scenario is metaphorically what's possible in each moment of interaction with others - i.e., at each step of every interaction within which you're negotiating consensual 'reality' in the social constructionist sense. If the other(s) were to engage in your option (c) above, you'd be mutually and reciprocally mutating the consensual reality (at least in that moment, and for so long as all involved keep the juggling act going).

    * See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy_chess
     
  15. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    Option (a), IMHO, is more appropriately phrased as: "I'd side-slip onto a totally different game board" (in the best case). In the worst case, you'd go so far as to violate one or more unavoidably fundamental requirements for being in the game in the first place (like someone on LSD jumping off a building under the delusion his new exultant state somehow includes the ability to fly) and it would be 'lights out'.

    Option (b) isn't a separate option in terms of your locus of experience - it's a description of how everyone else would or could respond. Given the ontic shift, there's no alternative way things could turn out, because the other(s) cannot follow you there as a result of your shift per se. So long as, and to the extent that, your shift still plays out within the consensual 'reality' (e.g., as in the fairy chess scenario, where players are still anchored or grounded to a familiar context), the other(s) can potentially follow along. If your shift is radical enough to bail you out of the 'reality' underlying the consensual version negotiated and maintained collectively, others have no means for ascertaining where you've gone or what game you're now playing (figuratively speaking).

    Option (c) is overstated or off the mark, insofar as you've phrased it as if it's a different place that necessarily has new and unlimited possibilities. This is to continue framing things in the conventional / old way.

    Given the requisite ontic shift, you're still at the same referential 'ground zero'.

    It's not simply like a dream (or, for that matter, a full immersion VR game). A dream is like a stage production in which you're still acting as yourself and as you would, but in a possibly quite surreal version of the everyday context. Strip away whatever surreal 'costuming' / 're-skinning' / superpowers / etc. the dream's stagecraft has afforded you, and it's still 'you'.

    Neither is it the same as the sort of reported OBE / NDE experience where (e.g.) you're separately hovering at the surgery room's ceiling watching the doctors trying to revive you. You don't leave 'you'.

    It's not a different place at all. It's still 'here and now', but engaged from an angle orthogonal to any you've experienced before.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017 at 9:41 PM
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  16. Gorilla66

    Gorilla66 Phantom

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    Hi Baleeber! Of course, if there's any truth to any fortean phenomena then the rules are breakable!
     
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  17. Gorilla66

    Gorilla66 Phantom

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    Wow, excellent stuff Enola, I think I have a better idea what you were driving at earlier!
     
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  18. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    First - Thanks! :bdown:

    I was hoping my reply to baleeber would also serve as an illustrative follow-up to my earlier response to you. Baleeber gave me more specific 'hooks' to play upon. I'm glad it had the hoped-for secondary effect ... :hoff:
     
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  19. baleeber

    baleeber gullible skeptic

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    There IS another possibility I've considered: I might be reset to before I broke the rules, i.e. I had to take the move back.

    I've sometimes wondered if there are "save points" in my life, like a video game, where if I screw up too badly, I can just say "Hey! Can do that one again?" and reset.

    Now, some people might wonder why anything bad ever happens ... I mean, if we can just reset, why not reset every bad thing that ever happened? UNLESS, adversity is part of how the game is played.

    Imagine playing a role-playing game like Dungeons and Dragons, only without the dungeons or dragons. It would be called something like "Pubs and Beer", which, now that I think of it, I'd totally play.
     
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  20. Shadowsot

    Shadowsot Yeti

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    I'd make a issue over conciousness is required for quantum physics. I'm not a physicist, nor do I play one on tv.
    I don't even have a labcoat! :D

    But I've spoken to a few and listened to them when they write or talk about it.
    The appearance of observation having an effect is due to us having to interact in the quantum world in order to observe it.
    Not in the sense used in anthropology or zoology, but in terms of having to force the particles observed into one state or another to get a reading from it.
    The observer effect is a product of what would normally be done by natural forces acting on the quantum particles. It's teasing out those forces that has been a problem. It'd be some relationship between normal physics and quantum, and we haven't figured it out yet.

    The issue with stuff like the simulation hypothesis is that it's pretty much unfalsifiable. You can set up rules for it, but by the nature of it you can explain any contradictions away as simply not understanding the nature of the simulation.
    Meanwhile anything that might support it can be brought it.
    An example that comes to mind is that recently-ish there was a story about how physics in high tier video games was similar to recent observations of physics in the real world.
    The problem to my mind is it can also be explained that while modeling the real world in a fictional environment they developed the same rules for their universe by accident.
    This happens in other fields. Attempts to develop a new material or function after much work and development, it's found that something similar already exists in nature.
    It's an unfalsifiable position.
    And so for me, it's not worth really considering.


    *should also be noted I am only not a complete idiot because I am missing a piece or two, so grains of salt abound.
     
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