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Switch to Forum Live View Materialism vs Idealism
3 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2011 - 12:28PM #41
JimRigas
Posts: 2,950

Jul 10, 2011 -- 3:35AM, Blü wrote:


Jim


If you believe in an objective materialistic universe, then the real substance of this  universe is independent of the tools we use to examine it.


That indeed is how I picture it.  But we're still working it out.


Science reaches its conclusions from the consistency of the examples with the hypothesis - which is to say, inductively.  Thus one counterexample can require anything from a little trimming to a totally new hypothesis.  This is an unavoidable aspect of inductive procedures.


So we used to know that fire was due to the presence of phlogiston, that light waves moved in the lumeniferous aether, that the earth's crust was a uniform solid &c, and now we know better, and tomorrow we hope to know better again.  Truth in physics means the best opinion for the time being. Unlike best opinions in many other fields, the opinions of science are testable / falsifiable, so progress is possible.





I don't disagree with your logic.  What I disagree with, however, is your refusal to accept that there are probably many things in the universe of which we are currently ignorant.  If you were to acknowledge this statement, the conclusion would be that we cannot arbitrarily disallow the possible existence of some factor/property/characteristic which we have not discovered yet, on the basis that it is currently unknown.

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2011 - 9:27PM #42
Blü
Posts: 24,670

Jim


I disagree with [...]  your refusal to accept that there are probably many things in the  universe of which we are currently ignorant.


Of that I have no doubt.  Whatever dark matter and dark energy turn out to be, the hunt they've provoked will demonstrate your point admirably.


The question here is of categories.  No examinable evidence suggests that supernatural beings have objective existence at all, and on all our present knowledge the only thing they can otherwise be is imaginary. I acknowledge that it's possible we may look at tomorrow's news and see  some discovery suggesting a third way of existing in addition to  these.  But I'd be very very surprised.


Hypotheses examined in modern physics include the extra dimensions of M-theory and the multiple universes of quantum theory.  But if gods existed in either of those, they'd still be within physics, within nature ie they wouldn't be supernatural, just superscientists.

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2011 - 9:51PM #43
Vistronic
Posts: 1,830

Jul 10, 2011 -- 9:27PM, Blü wrote:


Jim


I disagree with [...]  your refusal to accept that there are probably many things in the  universe of which we are currently ignorant.


Of that I have no doubt.  Whatever dark matter and dark energy turn out to be, the hunt they've provoked will demonstrate your point admirably.


The question here is of categories.  No examinable evidence suggests that supernatural beings have objective existence at all, and on all our present knowledge the only thing they can otherwise be is imaginary. I acknowledge that it's possible we may look at tomorrow's news and see  some discovery suggesting a third way of existing in addition to  these.  But I'd be very very surprised.


Hypotheses examined in modern physics include the extra dimensions of M-theory and the multiple universes of quantum theory.  But if gods existed in either of those, they'd still be within physics, within nature ie they wouldn't be supernatural, just superscientists.





So Blu you believe science has something to say about the divine? When you say no evidence you mean science evidence right?


So why is it on Origins of Life I am always being told that science can have nothing to say about Gods, if it has nothing at all to say, how can you say it has something to say, such as this


"No examinable evidence suggests that supernatural beings have objective  existence at all, and on all our present knowledge the only thing they  can otherwise be is imaginary."


???

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2011 - 10:31PM #44
JimRigas
Posts: 2,950

Jul 10, 2011 -- 9:27PM, Blü wrote:


 


Hypotheses examined in modern physics include the extra dimensions of M-theory and the multiple universes of quantum theory.  But if gods existed in either of those, they'd still be within physics, within nature ie they wouldn't be supernatural, just superscientists.




Assuming the universe is real and it is all there is, I agree with you.  If there are gods, then they are  part of the universe, nature if you wish, and they definitely operate within its laws.  Of course we may not have discovered all its laws but that does not change the concept. 


However, suppose our universe is only a part of a greater thing.  As Richard Morris ("The Universe, the Eleventh Dimension and Everything, p.75)"  wrote: "A common joke among physicists is that the universe is the result of a failed experiment by a graduate student in a superior civilization in another universe."  But suppose it was a successful experiment.  Then there would be gods, supernatural ones, who would not be subject to our natural laws in our universe, and who could interfere any time they wished, assumiing they did not mind muddying up the water.  I don't know of any way to prove or disprove such a possibility.

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2011 - 10:58PM #45
Blü
Posts: 24,670

Jim


I don't know of any way to prove or disprove such a possibility.


Nor do I.  It's in the same basket as other self-aware simulations - cripes, what if we only exist as the failed experiment of a being who only exists in a computer simulation that only exists in someone's dream?


I think it's one of those problems that can safely be ignored until we have some good reason to think such things might be the case.

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2011 - 11:07PM #46
Blü
Posts: 24,670

Vis


So Blu you believe science has something to say about the divine? When you say no evidence you mean science evidence right?


I think some of its observations bear on the existence of the common notion of the divine, yes.


 


So  why is it on Origins of Life I am always being told that science can  have nothing to say about Gods


Perhaps you might consider the views that were put there, and the one I put here.


 


"No examinable  evidence suggests that supernatural beings have objective  existence at  all, and on all our present knowledge the only thing they can otherwise  be is imaginary."


My own view is that both those propositions are true.


In this context it also concerns me that there's no definition of 'supernatural being' useful both to theology and to reasoned enquiry.

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 11, 2011 - 8:38AM #47
TransJ
Posts: 732

Lets summarize:





Science:


TransJ: Idealism sees it as starting as an instinctive belief in the intelligibility of reality which moves us to inquiry.


 Blu: So a human in his subjective internal realm looks out, sees the objective external realm, and says, With sensory data and reason I'll see how much of this I can figure out.  I agree with that.


Next we sense a need for coherent systematic thought


We've evolved to be capable of coherent systematic thought and after much trial and error many of us conclude it's the best way to proceed with such a project.


followed by an  interest in phenomena for their own sake.


It's called curiosity; thanks to evolution each of us has it.


Ending in detailed and precise observations and experiments.


Okay, we agree science is a neutral method of observations and experiments.


Then the assertion that materialism is the idea that reality is coextensive with the realm of the physical sciences or the assertion that Idealism is the idea that reality is coextensive with the realm of the physical sciences. Are both invalid because they violate the neutrality of the scientific method.


Universe and its parts:


I don't think your left shoe exhibits the same phenomena as Alpha Centauri, so they should be distinguishable in principle.  But neither your left shoe nor Alpha Centauri is the universe.  The universe has parts.


The whole of reality is the sum of its parts and the relationships and interactions of those parts.


Yes, the universe has parts and Yes, no part in and of itself can be the sum of the universe. The universe is more than the sum of its parts. Just like thought is more than the sum of brain parts and life is more than the sum of body parts.  The whole is the source of the parts and the whole is more than any of its parts or the sum of the parts.


Materialism:


Democritean theory: An atom (particle) is a bit of extension (being) in the void (non-being).


When I say 'material' I mean 'having objective existence'...


As I told you, my concept of materialism is that the only entities and processes that exist in the universe are those recognized...


As for your sentence above, I don't know what 'extension' means -  dimensionality?  If so, I certainly don't think that...


I can only assume, by your rejection of extension and the primary position that you give to objective existence. That you are talking about the entities and processes of empty space. Yes, I would agree that empty space can exist objectively but I disagree with it being empty. 


 

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 11, 2011 - 12:00PM #48
Blü
Posts: 24,670

(Oops - my second double post in a few days.  Is it them or me? - on second thoughts, don't answer that.)

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 11, 2011 - 12:00PM #49
Blü
Posts: 24,670

TransJ

We don't seem to be moving forward.

Scientific method is designed to be an impartial method of enquiry into reality.  If by 'neutral' you mean impartial then no problem.

The idea that only those entities and processes exist that are recognized by physics / are within the realm of the physical sciences has no conflict with scientific method - on the contrary it says scientific method is the ONLY reliable way to go that we presently know.

I don't know what consequences that has for your idealism because (as ( said) I still don't understand what you mean by idealism.


The universe is more than the sum of its parts.


But it's not more than the sum of its parts and their relationship to and interaction with each other.


I can only assume, by your rejection of extension and the primary position that you give to objective existence. That you are talking about the entities and processes of empty space.


Ya blindsided me there, pardner - I have no idea how you got to that thought.

We agreed, did we not, that by 'extension' you meant 'dimensionality'?  And I explained at some length what I meant by 'subjective' and 'objective', did I not?  And I don't remember mentioning empty space but if I did you might kindly refresh my memory.

But if we suddenly want to talk about empty space, it doesn't seem to be empty - our maths imply that it has the 'energy of the vacuum' and the Casimir effect seems to give substantial backing to that idea, I just don't see its relevance.


 


It had seemed to me to this point that objectivity / subjectivity were the central things we were discussing.  Since that doesn't seem to be the case, I'm not sure what we're talking about.

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 12, 2011 - 10:08AM #50
TransJ
Posts: 732

Scientific method is designed to be an impartial method of inquiry into reality.  If by 'neutral' you mean impartial then no problem.


Excellent! thats good for me, no more of that materialism is the idea that reality is coextensive with the realm of the physical sciences stuff.

The idea that only those entities and processes exist that are recognized by physics / are within the realm of the physical sciences has no conflict with scientific method - on the contrary it says scientific method is the ONLY reliable way to go that we presently know.


LMAO, and I suppose you have scientific evidence that conclusively proves beyond all doubt that the scientific method is absolutely the ONLY reliable method we need now or in the future. Tell me Blu is it necessary for you to use the scientific method to do everything in your life? Do not get me wrong I love the scientific method but its not the only method.



I don't know what consequences that has for your idealism because (as ( said) I still don't understand what you mean by idealism.


Idealism: The doctrine of reality that there is only one primary property of reality which is activity and one interrelated prior object. I take this position from my studies of Plato, Aristotle, C. S. Peirce, C.E. Hartshorne and others.  The cosmos (universe only for the time being) is one activity (being/mind)  prior to its interrelated part. The primary object of reality is one interrelated object (object monism) and it has one primary property (property monism).  The object and its property have activity (change) as the nature of reality and persistence is the effect of past states. The cosmos is “sentient” (non-human), as a whole the parts are interrelated activities. So this form of Idealism is an object priority monism with property monism and the whole is prior to its parts.


 


The universe is more than the sum of its parts.


But it's not more than the sum of its parts and their relationship to and interaction with each other.


But yes it is, unless you believe in absolute determinism  for all of reality.


We agreed, did we not, that by 'extension' you meant 'dimensionality'?  And I explained at some length what I meant by 'subjective' and 'objective', did I not?  And I don't remember mentioning empty space but if I did you might kindly refresh my memory.


I mentioned the empty space because that is how I understand your meaning of by 'material' I mean 'having objective existence' Its just a locality outside the brain nothing more. Your definition does not say that there is any thing there, its just a locality.


It had seemed to me to this point that objectivity / subjectivity were the central things we were discussing.  Since that doesn't seem to be the case, I'm not sure what we're talking about.


Okay, we can focus on the subjectivity / objectivity.


if something has subjective existence, it exist in and as the universe exists.



Such a universe could only be the subjective universe of an individual brain, unique from all the other universes of all other individual brains.  It would follow that until there were sentient animals, no universe existed; and that every time a sentient animal dies, a universe ends.  Outside of poetry I don't hold with that.


I'm not sure what you mean here. Do you mean that materialist subjectivity cause solipsism in individual brains? 


 

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