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Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 15th, 2020, 9:25 pm
by davidm
Incidentally, interesting post by Sabine Hossenfelder from 2016: Free will is dead, let’s bury it. Toward the end, she touches on Bell’s Theorem and superdetermism. I see superdeterminism as a rebuttal of the strong free will theorem.

Elsewhere, she has argued for the block universe idea, that the past and future exist along with the present, and claims that this alone rules out free will, because if the future is as fixed as the past, then one cannot change the future anymore than one can change the past. Here I think she errs, because I believe that changing the future, or the past or present, for that matter, is not a prerequisite for free will. But that’s a different discussion.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 16th, 2020, 3:40 am
by Biosapien
Hi everyone,

I have read some of the previous discussion but I couldn't relate any of those replies to the tittle of the posted thread. My perspective about "Though/Matter/Energy is all three has emanated from single entity which doesn't has origin or end. Thoughts are illusion or effect of energy towards matter.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 16th, 2020, 5:46 am
by charon
Biosapien » March 16th, 2020, 8:40 am wrote:Hi everyone,

I have read some of the previous discussion but I couldn't relate any of those replies to the tittle of the posted thread. My perspective about "Though/Matter/Energy is all three has emanated from single entity which doesn't has origin or end. Thoughts are illusion or effect of energy towards matter.


Maybe, but thoughts aren't illusion, they're an actual process taking place in the brain. But they can create illusion, like the man who thinks he's Napoleon.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 16th, 2020, 2:37 pm
by hyksos
lateralsuz » March 15th, 2020, 6:28 am wrote:Hi Hyksos

I'm sorry that you still don't see me as a friend. There is also no epiphany in my thinking.

All I have tried to do is put your argument within the underlying philosophical framework.
There is no point in denying that maths is essentially Determinist, and therefore that most of science is conducted initially with a Determinist philosophy.

The question is, what is the underlying nature of the QM results, which seem to break Determinist principles?
Is there a hidden cause or not?

I am drawn to the suggestion that because the loophole-free tests of Bell's Theorem still break Determinist principles, then we should consider that true spontaneity and randomness do exist.

It is a possibility, but we cannot claim that all scientists believe this. It is not proven - because of the other logical philosophical possibilities. However, we can say that non-determinist views now have stronger evidence to support their ideas.

Your ''Crude logic'' is wrong here. The universe is far too weird for you to figure it out on a forum like this. Quantum mechanics is maddening. There is no simple way to describe it using the monkey ideas that our brains carry around.


The whole point about the philosophical arguments is that they do seem to have narrowed the options to a small number of simple possibilities. If we accept the basic principles underpinning that logic, then we might be able to pursue better options than just flogging one 'dead horse' - which the evidence already contradicts.

Why go for 'many worlds' when a simple concept of another type of stuff underpinning existence would suffice in a much simpler way?

Well, *I* don't go for Many-Worlds. I was just making sure to mention it to give the widest coverage to this topic as possible.

On the other hand, if you are asking why the advocates of MWI go for it, that was already answered. MWI retains traditional Laplacian determinism. Some people (cough) feel like that determinism is so important, that they are willing agree to there being copies of themselves in parallel realities. If this rabbithole interests you, here is a whole thread on it viewtopic.php?f=2&t=34414

When davidm earlier claimed that "Quantum mechanics is deterministic", that claim was true, I will admit. However, it is only true of the mathematical formalism of QM in textbooks. Since no one on this forum is talking about conjugate vectors in a Hilbert space, I will deem davidm's observation irrelevant to this discussion ((while still true in the narrow confines of a textbook chapter)).

davidm » March 10th, 2020, 7:18 pm wrote:As to QM itself, its supposed indeterminism, anti-realism, and non-locality (Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance,” which he derided) are derivations of Copenhagen, or Copenhagen-style, interpretations, or meta-theories, of QM.

Yes. Rubber stamp of approval.

QM is fully deterministic, with no spooky action at a distance, and no anti-realism, under both Everett’s relative-state formulation (Many Worlds) and under superdeterminism, favored by Sabine

Correct. But by "QM" there you mean the mathematical formalism. What is baldly observed is wave function collapse, and randomness in vacuum fluctuations and nuclear decay events. It is in those things we all part ways.

I know that davidm, bangstrom, and charon are all biting at the bit to debate interpretations of QM. And everyone is barking up their personal trees ("We don't need interpretations at all." et cetera.).


But before you get too afar adrift, we must first realize the whole point of this thread. laterlsuz began this thread by claiming that there could be a single world made of mechanical substances colliding with each other, all set in motion at the beginning... what is known as the Laplacian universe of Newton and the 17th/18th century physicists. She later claimed that Nima-Arkani Hamed espoused this in a video. She then doubled-down and said all of mathematics entails a mechanical clockwork universe. She tripled down and claimed scientists are regularly observing phenomena that defy explanation.

The single giant mechanical deterministic universe -- The Big Newtonian Clock World -- that beast is gone. Forever gone. It is never coming back, and it's not coming back with Sabine Hossenfelder's superdeterminism, and it's not coming back with David Deutsch's Many Worlds , nor with John Cramer's Transacational interp. All of those things, as deterministic as their equations are, are not describing anything remotely analogous to a clockwork universe of Isaac Newton and Pierre-Simon Laplace.

The universe we inhabit is not classical. The universe gets along fine without us. Our problems are entirely between our own ears. The origin of all of our problems here stem from attempts to twist, cajole, retrofit and reconfigure the universe so that it abides by classical notions.

Indeed, in this very thread, someone again attempted to invoke "crude logic" in an attempt to twist and retrofit the universe back to a machine.

Unfortunately, the invocation of "crude logic" was already attempted by three people whose names begin with E, P, and R.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPR_paradox

I guess where I'm going with all this, this path, this whole line-of-thinking has already been walked.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 16th, 2020, 5:38 pm
by davidm
Well, to be clear, I did not claim that quantum mechanics IS deterministic — only that IF Many worlds or Superdeterminism is the correct interpretation of QM, THEN quantum mechanics is deterministic. We don’t know that, and may never know. Ptolemy’s and Copernicus’s differing interpretations of planetary orbits were also empirically equivalent, until Galileo showed they were not. Whether someone comes along to empirically differentiate among the competing interpretations of QM, no one has any way of knowing. So far there is no empirical way to distinguish among them.

What I stated is that the Schrödinger equation is deterministic. This is correct. But as you note, this is the mathematical formalism. This goes to the heart of Tegmark’s question: Is “reality” — whatever that is — described by the frog view or the bird view?

As to determinism itself, I am not a fan of the idea that it precludes free will per se, only that it tends to undermine so-called libertarian or contra-causal free will. Compatibilism or neo-Humean compatibilism remain live options in a deterministic universe.

In any case, I remain alert to how QM has anything to do with setting up a distinction between “thought” and “matter and energy,” the stated subject of this thread. So far, I have seen nothing to support this claim that there is any such distinction.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 16th, 2020, 11:51 pm
by Biosapien
Hi everyone,

Regarding the Thoughts vs Matter/Energy I would like to share my perceptive. A long ago I posted a thread in relation to Matter with out energy or energy without matter. To my understanding the common character between all three is they don't have origin or end. If we place the topic of the thread in following order I think that itself sounds self explanatory i.e., Energy----->Thoughts------>Matter. The invisible energy is needed to visualize visible matter through an event of illusionary thought process. As a biologist I am aware of the so called thought processing is use to happen in our brain. For a better immune response Memory cell stores information about the foreign agent or an antigen. My point is thought or thought processing occur in both complex organ to single cell. My concern is more about where,how and in what form these information has been stored in our cell ?

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 18th, 2020, 11:04 am
by lateralsuz
Hi charon


No, I really don't do theory. Theory and fact are two entirely different things. It's not a theory we're posting here. It's not a theory the sun is in the sky or that we're in space.


I apologise if you are truly able to never speculate about causes, or what might happen. But if you were ever to do so, you would be applying theory based on a philosophy. Theories based in traditional maths are inevitably based on a Determinist philosophy (ie. single start point - single inevitable outcome), which is why science has been so successful in persuading people that its theories are correct - due to its power of prediction.

So when QM produces multiple outcomes from the same precise start point, I wanted to see whether people felt that there was an underlying determinist cause or not - because there is a distinction between our ability to predict something (with our inherent lack of a complete picture) and the underlying reality.

If there is no cause for something, then are we saying that there are situations where things can happen without a cause? It seems to be the only other possibility.

Yet if we accept the possibility of events/outcomes with no cause, then it opens-up a whole set of new factors we have to live our lives by.

As others have pointed out, this is also the difference between inevitability and Free Will - ie. it sets the scene for our interpretation of ourselves as pure machines or something that can make a difference, one way or another.

Will your thoughts change the inevitable chemical path that our environment would otherwise follow in an inevitable way because they are a separate but equally inevitable mechanism, (even if they are not predictable), or because are we true agents of change?

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 18th, 2020, 11:16 am
by lateralsuz
Hi Charon

Maybe, but thoughts aren't illusion, they're an actual process taking place in the brain. But they can create illusion, like the man who thinks he's Napoleon.


So you do apply theory, because you assume that the physical brain is real and not an illusion in itself.
(I say this because there are other philosophies which suggest that everything is an illusion in which anything might happen... (I'm just making the point about your choice of philosophy/interpretation)).


Yes - I believe that our thoughts are based on our physical brains, at least in part, but the question is whether the process you refer to, extends to just causal factors making them inevitable), or whether they have an element which is non-causal, and therefore able to make fundamental change.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 18th, 2020, 11:49 am
by lateralsuz
Hi hyksos, davidm, theVat

I posted this thread to test opinion, and hopefully learn from it.
Yes I have a partially formed personal view, which is based on some perceptions that I feel are as solid as you can get, (like the maths point), but isn't that the case for everyone?
A key factor for me, is to test the ideas and get clarity on people's feelings about certain perceptions - especially whether there are causes for everything, or whether there are some things without any cause at all (whether known or unknown), and you seem reluctant to be specific about that.

But by "QM" there you mean the mathematical formalism. What is baldly observed is wave function collapse, and randomness in vacuum fluctuations and nuclear decay events. It is in those things we all part ways.


Would wave collapses, vacuum fluctuations, nuclear decay and everything else, have a cause or not (even if we have yet to identify it/them)?

If there is a hidden cause, does it relate to unusual properties of matter/energy, or could it be that there is another type of stuff that is seemingly generating the unpredictable effects? The Dualist perception.

If you see the presence of true randomness or spontaneity (without cause) anywhere, how would you consider that the effects are prevented from creating chaos throughout existence?


She tripled down and claimed scientists are regularly observing phenomena that defy explanation.


That wasn't tripling-down but an attempt to show the counter-view.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 18th, 2020, 3:28 pm
by charon
lateralsuz » March 18th, 2020, 4:16 pm wrote:
So you do apply theory, because you assume that the physical brain is real.


I also assume I'm posting on the SPCF forum and I live on planet Earth... what a silly I am!

You must have better things to do, suz.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 19th, 2020, 7:17 am
by lateralsuz
charon

I also assume I'm posting on the SPCF forum and I live on planet Earth... what a silly I am!


Yes of course you are doing those things, but the point I was making is that other philosophies say that the mind is not just made up of physical material, and is therefore not bound by the limits/constraints of physical matter and its seemingly strict causality/inevitability.

What is the evidence for this? The evidence of the capabilities of our thoughts:- which do seem to genuinely start new things, and which make things 'not-inevitable'. We choose to build new things and we do create music which would never occur otherwise. In the world of biology we also experience feelings and emotions which have aspects that do not seem to have a physical explanation.

You seem to be making the philosophical choice that physical matter and causality are everything - the application of a chosen philosophy out of many others. I try to keep an open mind when the evidence does seem to point to non-inevitability both in our thoughts, and in the results from QM beyond the incomplete and 'probabilistic' mathematics, as hyksos pointed out.

My question to you stands -
when you are faced with these real effects/results do you attribute them to a hidden cause, or something without a cause?

Also if there is another possibility beyond these two, I'd really like to know what it is.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 19th, 2020, 8:46 am
by charon
Suz -

There's nothing new under the sun. The idea that consciousness isn't bound by the body, that there's something 'other' apart from what we know... all this is very old.

The point is, I think, that everybody has their belief or opinion about it. Some say yes, others say no, and so it goes on, as it has done for a very long time.

I could tell you what I think and somebody else might immediately contradict it. So I don't think there's much point to it; one has to settle these things for oneself. Don't ask me how, I don't know.

Most people who seem realistic, and make claims that they know, put it down to sudden happenings, strange experiences, moments of enlightenment, and so on, none of which can be conjured up by oneself; they just happen.

So where are we after that? You tell me!

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 19th, 2020, 4:09 pm
by charon
You seem to be making the philosophical choice that physical matter and causality are everything - the application of a chosen philosophy out of many others. I try to keep an open mind when the evidence does seem to point to non-inevitability both in our thoughts, and in the results from QM beyond the incomplete and 'probabilistic' mathematics, as hyksos pointed out.

My question to you stands -
when you are faced with these real effects/results do you attribute them to a hidden cause, or something without a cause?

Also if there is another possibility beyond these two, I'd really like to know what it is.


All right, I'll answer it.

First, I don't make 'philosophical choices'. A thing is either so or not so. We've been through this, perhaps you missed it.

Nor am I saying that physical matter and causality are everything. There is certainly a process of cause/effect in the universe but it's not everything. There's also the unknown. Love, beauty, real goodness, none of these things are a simple matter of cause/effect. Just think!

So there are causeless things in life. Not everything is caused. Cause implies a beginning and therefore an ending. Since you like science, there's a perfect example right there - energy can't be created or destroyed. So no beginning and no end.

But are you also asking whether there's anything else apart from all this? There may well be, but it's not something one can understand. The mind can never grasp what is not of itself. It can invent anything it likes, but that's not it. It has to make itself known, we can't go after it.

So far better to apply ourselves to our own confusion and misery, that's far more important. Without dealing with that first, what's the point of discussing something which may be unfathomable?

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 19th, 2020, 5:58 pm
by TheVat
lateralsuz » March 19th, 2020, 4:17 am wrote:
What is the evidence for this? The evidence of the capabilities of our thoughts:- which do seem to genuinely start new things, and which make things 'not-inevitable'. We choose to build new things and we do create music which would never occur otherwise. In the world of biology we also experience feelings and emotions which have aspects that do not seem to have a physical explanation.


If some aspect of the activities of our brain is currently not fully explained, why would that lead you to say it is nonphysical or presume that some physical account could not be developed at some point? This sounds like a Cartesian version of "God of the gaps. " It presumes dualism, a discredited metaphysics for which there is no evidence. I sometimes get the feeling that you haven't asked the hard question: how could a nonphysical force or substance interact with physical ones? If you've looked at the last 350 years of science and philosophy, you may have noticed that that which interacts with physical matter is by definition...physical. Few now believe that, say, ghosts can turn doorknobs.

Also, why is novelty (as in the product of our brains processes) necessarily evidence of something dualistic? There are many crystals that constantly produce new and novel configurations, but we don't presume that some nonphysical creative guidance is involved.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 19th, 2020, 7:59 pm
by charon
I forgot to answer that bit about thoughts.

Probably most thoughts are formulated somewhere in the subconscious before they pop up. That's simple, a random lottery machine can do that, but what intrigues me is how they actually manage to make sense some of the time.

- if they do, that is, since the world, as know, is mad.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 19th, 2020, 11:56 pm
by Biosapien
charon » March 16th, 2020, 4:16 pm wrote:[quote="[url=http://www.sciencechatforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=349953#p349953]

Maybe, but thoughts aren't illusion, they're an actual process taking place in the brain. But they can create illusion, like the man who thinks he's Napoleon.


Its a well know fact that for all kind of reaction there should be some outcome (may be constructive or destructive). Since you said "thoughts are actual process taking place in brain" could you explain this process for an any particular contradictory situations. Thank you for your comments.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 20th, 2020, 12:53 am
by Biosapien
I would like to end my conversation with the following conclusion. According the book of metaphysic which I read it says "if someone really want's to understand the truth about life and creation then they should first discover about themselves without using or depending on there five sense because these five senses are limited to think about only physical entity. "WHO AM I - am I this body(matter & mortal)/Soul(energy & immortal). The so called thoughts exist in complex human brain to simple viral DNA/RNA. Without thought processing how HIV tends to become multi-drug resistant, what makes the DNA to undergo proofreading process before cell division and how thoughts or thinking process operate under such micro-level and WHY?

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 20th, 2020, 11:55 am
by charon
Biosapien -

Its a well know fact that for all kind of reaction there should be some outcome (may be constructive or destructive).


Absolutely, nothing stops dead.

Since you said "thoughts are actual process taking place in brain" could you explain this process for an any particular contradictory situations. Thank you for your comments.


Why shouldn't thought be contradictory? Is there any such as clear thought? Be careful here!

There is a mind which is clear but is it thought, the actual process, which is clear? Thought is only a reaction to a stimulus. That's all, it's like pushing a button, it's a mechanical response of memory.

Clarity is not the clarity of thought. Thought, because it's based on memory, is limited by that memory. There's no complete memory, it's always partial, so when thought responds to something that response is always partial and incomplete. Therefore it's bound to create contradictions.

I used to know someone who said taking a drink helped them think clearly. I said yes, but your clarity of thinking is still partial, it's not the complete picture. You only get the complete picture when thought is quiet because then you can see clearly, which is different.

We can think over a problem ad infinitum, go right to the end of it, and still not find an answer. Then, when one's exhausted all the possibilities, suddenly there's an understanding. That insight gives the solution, not the endless thinking.

So thought by its nature must be contradictory. Choice, having to decide between two or more things, is a battle, isn't it? There's frustration, wondering if we're doing the right thing, all that. But a clear mind doesn't have to decide, it's clear and in that clarity perceives what the reality is.

So clarity is quite dangerous, it may put you at odds with those who are caught between decisions, like the politicians. Their decisions are rarely born of clarity so they generally produce more mischief than they resolve.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 20th, 2020, 11:59 am
by hyksos
davidm » March 17th, 2020, 1:38 am wrote:Whether someone comes along to empirically differentiate among the competing interpretations of QM, no one has any way of knowing. So far there is no empirical way to distinguish among them.

You are about 5 years too late with this observation. Given, this would have been true in 2014.


https://www.tudelft.nl/en/2015/tu-delft/loophole-free-bell-test-tu-delft-crowns-80-years-old-debate-on-nature-of-reality-einsteins-spooky-action-is-real/

https://www.nature.com/articles/nature15759


https://qutech.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Loophole-free-Bell-inequality-violation-using-electron-spins-separated-by-1.3-kilometres.pdf

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 20th, 2020, 2:06 pm
by davidm
What I’m trying to say, though, is that loophole-free tests of the violations of Bell’s inequalities still allow one to pick and choose among various interpretations of QM, including Many Worlds, where the effects of spooky action at a distance manifest themselves without any actual spooky action at a distance.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 20th, 2020, 9:01 pm
by Dave_C
If some aspect of the activities of our brain is currently not fully explained, why would that lead you to say it is nonphysical or presume that some physical account could not be developed at some point? This sounds like a Cartesian version of "God of the gaps. " It presumes dualism, a discredited metaphysics for which there is no evidence.

Hi Vat,
I think this is the sticking point everyone gets hung up on. It seems so obvious, so perfectly correct that most can’t get past the idea that there’s anything wrong with pure physicalism. The second issue we often get hung up on is any hint of dualism, we instantly think of religion.

Shouldn’t all physical phenomena be objectively observable? An experiment done by Dr. Smith should provide reliable outcomes such that Mr. Jones can duplicate it. We should be able to verify and measure things. All the forces of nature are clearly observable and we can know how things work from those forces of nature, or so we’re to believe.*

Couple problems with this. First, phenomenal consciousness is not observable. We can’t measure and verify. That’s created all sorts of crazy discussions such like the knowledge argument, whether we all have the same qualia, and why we should have any experience at all (zombies). Shouldn’t Smith and Jones be able to agree on everything?

It’s not just that some aspect of the activities of our brain are not currently fully explained, the problem seems to be that we’ve identified a phenomenon that is not objectively measurable. Science is fundamentally incapable of addressing phenomena that are not objectively observable and that issue has been identified as a roadblock that we need a completely different kind of philosophy for, a conception of nature that steps away from the existing conception of physicalism as being purely objective.

I sometimes get the feeling that you haven't asked the hard question: how could a nonphysical force or substance interact with physical ones? If you've looked at the last 350 years of science and philosophy, you may have noticed that that which interacts with physical matter is by definition...physical. Few now believe that, say, ghosts can turn doorknobs.


Not physical – natural. Chalmers is a dualist who would also agree with what I’ve posted above. But he is quick to point out he’s a naturalist. We don’t have to believe in gods, ghosts or souls to be dualists, nor do we need to believe anything spat out by religion. That’s a misconception about dualism.

Every conception of how p-consciousness arises in the brain has logical issues with it that have been pointed out by a host of academics. I suppose people would look at philosophers as being people who count angels on pinheads, but then I would argue that those people haven’t tried to grasp what is being argued. There are also legions of physicists, neuroscientists, and academics of all sorts who have stuck their $.02 in. But for every theory and argument about how consciousness can arise in a brain, someone has found legitimate fault with it. Every single theory! I’d challenge anyone to find a theory that hasn’t already been targeted for destruction by someone else or at the very least, has not addressed the primary issues raised by others. We don’t see this kind of melee in any of the other sciences because they address objectively observable phenomena.

Best,
Dave.

* PS: This belies the issue we often gloss over which regards the differences between levels of nature, classical versus quantum mechanical.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 20th, 2020, 10:03 pm
by TheVat
Dave, I was just trying to spark some doubt about metaphysical dualism. AFAICT the panpsychism of Tononi et al is not really dualism, but a sort of holism that appears to present a duality of aspect, sort of like that famous drawing that either looks like a young woman or an old woman but isn't objectively either. Panpsychism strikes me as something about an inherent property of informational matter, call it "phi" as the IIT crew do, not really dualism. You are certainly right about there being someone always eager to poke holes in the latest theories (I hear Scott Aronson is happy to perform this service for Mr Tononi).

You know this stuff better than I do. At this point, I just have a feeling that we do need some deeper and more holistic theory of information and how it structures into what it is to be a mind.

I'll get back here when I have more time on the weekend, and try to assemble more sources.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 21st, 2020, 6:08 am
by charon
It's funny how these same subjects keep coming round and round, isn't it?

This mind-body thing... how are you going to answer it? Say you know nothing at all, what will you do?

The trouble is people who do know things. Knowledge is a dangerous thing! Some will say they have no idea, others will say they definitely know and start pontificating and brow-beating others because they know all the answers. But when you ask them to prove or demonstrate it they can't. And they don't see what's wrong with that.

All we know, about which there's no dispute, is that the body exists, right? Obviously - we've all got one. We also know beyond dispute that we think. Obviously - you're reading this in English, etc etc. and we're communicating. If it wasn't for thought we couldn't do it apart from hand signals or something else. But even that is thinking.

So what's the problem? The problem is those people who claim that thinking can exist beyond the body, that it's not bound by the brain.

And we don't know that, do we? Even if we think we do, can we prove it or demonstrate it? Apparently not. Not to order, anyway. So we've got to get all dark and mysterious and esoteric and start saying things others will laugh at.

Not worth it.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 21st, 2020, 9:48 am
by TheVat
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cr ... ciousness/

A blog entry in which John Horgan looks at panpsychism, IIT, and how Scott Aronson, John Searle, et al have poked holes in the theory. Covers the basic problems pretty well. The lineage of panpsychism seems to go back to John Wheeler and "it from bit. " For this thread, I'd almost call this a must-read.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 21st, 2020, 3:59 pm
by charon
You're not going to like this...

It says at the top: 'Can Integrated Information Theory Explain Consciousness?'

The answer's no, without even reading it. Really :-)

Do you want me to say why? Because the roots of consciousness lie in something beyond consciousness. Consciousness didn't make itself.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 23rd, 2020, 4:00 am
by charon
I've read it. 'Phi' did it. Okay :-)

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 27th, 2020, 9:07 pm
by lateralsuz
Hi Charon

So there are causeless things in life. Not everything is caused. Cause implies a beginning and therefore an ending. Since you like science, there's a perfect example right there - energy can't be created or destroyed. So no beginning and no end.

But are you also asking whether there's anything else apart from all this? There may well be, but it's not something one can understand.



I believe that this is they key point. If physical matter/energy is deterministic (per the maths) then things which are not caused break the model - and the implication is that it must either have a hidden cause based in something else (non-religious dualism); or the old beliefs about Free Will and truly new beginnings are correct.

People who believe that they see evidence of true spontaneity or randomness, whether in the origin of existence or in the way we think, cannot find an answer in determinism or the physics associated with it.
So they look for something else.

I find it intriguing that you believe there is evidence of things with no cause, yet you do not seem to recognise the philosophical choices you are making in your arguments.

Oh.... and a beginning does not have to imply an end.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 27th, 2020, 9:31 pm
by lateralsuz
Hi TheVat

If some aspect of the activities of our brain is currently not fully explained, why would that lead you to say it is nonphysical or presume that some physical account could not be developed at some point? ...... It presumes dualism, a discredited metaphysics for which there is no evidence.


I agree with Dave_c that dualism doesn't imply religion, it simply says that there is another type of stuff than Matter/Energy, which underpins reality. It is an alternate way of providing cause, in the absence of a known cause within Matter/Energy.

The examples which drive this appear to break the principles afforded to Matter/Energy in terms of causality. It is also supported by accepted concepts such as Dark Energy, or more speculative ones such as parallel universes.

I sometimes get the feeling that you haven't asked the hard question: how could a nonphysical force or substance interact with physical ones?


We don't know, but if you consider that another stuff is at least a possibility, then the fact that we haven't yet detected it means that its interactions cannot be analysed, so it's not so surprising. Much would depend on the nature of the other stuff (if it exists). By way of example, if Dark Energy is a different form of energy to the Matter/Energy we know, then it becomes less challenging to think how it might react with our level of existence. Who knows, it might even form a different type of matter. However that is a level of speculation beyond this topic.

Science has a long history of looking for explanations where there is reasonable evidence that something breaks the mould. At the moment there are a number of such things which appear to break accepted principles across many aspects of research. Yet mainstream science still just promotes one belief - in the exclusivity of Matter/Energy, and its only reason for doing this seems to be that it hasn't yet identified this elusive other stuff.

Yet somehow Dark Energy is accepted as reasonable, while the broader concept of dualism is derided. Dual standards?

Also, why is novelty (as in the product of our brains processes) necessarily evidence of something dualistic? There are many crystals that constantly produce new and novel configurations, but we don't presume that some nonphysical creative guidance is involved.


It is not just novelty - it is the breaking of the principle of causality

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 28th, 2020, 2:44 am
by charon
lateralsuz -

What DO you do between posts? :-)

I find it intriguing that you believe there is evidence of things with no cause, yet you do not seem to recognise the philosophical choices you are making in your arguments.


I don't 'believe' there is evidence, there is! Not everything is caused, it's a fact. Because it's a fact no choice is involved.

Oh.... and a beginning does not have to imply an end.


Oh yes, anything which has a definite starting point is temporal. The only things that have no end have no beginning either. Could it be otherwise?

Look, always go for the greater picture. Life is the greater picture, not the lesser things it contains. Has life any beginning? Isn't it always new, fresh, spontaneous? And therefore remains essentially the unknown?

Can we ever say we know life? It's changing all the time, it's moving, in flux. Nothing stays the same. Things come and go: birth and death, creation and destruction, but it goes on.

Can life die? And, if it can't, then what is life? Isn't it an eternal movement?

I'm not just waxing lyrical for the sake of it, nor quoting Buddhism or some other thing, I really mean what I'm saying. Isn't this the nature of existence, of being? It's just there, it's something timeless.

I know scientists will talk about the Big Bang as though that were the start of everything. I'd dispute that. It may have been the start of cells and so on (maybe, I don't know) but can we say with certainly it was literally the start of everything?

It must have involved energy, right? Nothing happens without energy. And they say energy, as we said before, has no beginning and no end. No one as far as I know disputes that. So it didn't start with the Big Bang. Something must have been there first.

So what is life? Not animate things as opposed to inanimate things, but the whole phenomenon of existence. Where does it come from? Did it come from anywhere? Maybe!

See, this is the mystery. I don't want to get into it at the moment because this will be too long but all this involves time, right? We measure time relatively but actually what is time?

A thing starting implies time. Things have a life-span, an arc, of time. They say the Big Bang was the start of time. Time implies causation. So the Big Bang was caused, which is my point. But has life any causation?

So if there are things without time and without causation then we're looking at something quite different.

People who believe that they see evidence of true spontaneity or randomness


Again, you're back to beliefs. I wish we could get away from what people think, believe, conceptualise, and all that. We can think anything we like and it only leads to dispute, generally.

IS there spontaneity? Of course there is, you know there is. Probably nothing we think is spontaneous because all thought is based on memory, knowledge, so anything we can think about has already been known. But isn't love spontaneous? If love is premeditated is it love?

Sorry to introduce all this sort of thing into your science but it is relevant and does bear thinking about.

Re: Thought vs Matter/Energy

PostPosted: March 31st, 2020, 9:05 pm
by charon
...

Christ, it's a week between replies. Is it a joke? A wind-up? Or do we have to spend time in Deep Socratic Contemplation before we make our next timeless utterances?

It's boring the hell outa me, that's for sure!