ydoaPs

How do you know?

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How do you know it's not all just a dream? I'm going to guess that this is going to have a similar answer to the 'brain in the vat' hypothesis.

 

Any takers?

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Why would one need to know whether or not it's all a dream? Senses are stimulated by information, which appear to adhere to patterns, and interaction can result in manipulation of these patterns in semi-predictable ways. There also appears to be a degree of persistence in the state of the things that we manipulate, which becomes a factor in the patterns.

 

From there we can go to the trouble of dividing and naming the elements that seem to stimulate or senses, create classifications, generate rules and models to represent them all... at which point we can then worry about whether or not all our classifications are "real" (are our extrapolations accurate) - but by that point we are so deep in models in our head there really is no chance that they are.

 

The real question then really is whether we are interacting with an external environment that supplies the sensory stimuli, or a simulated one via a dream or "brain in vat" scenario.

 

 

Personally I like to think we are interacting with external stimuli, since it implies other consciousnesses experience the world in a similar way and that my interactions are genuinely bidirectional. All in all though, it doesn't seem like the sort of conundrum that can be solved by focusing on it, so I'm happy enough to ignore the potential problem and live based on the assumption of my preferred preference.

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"How do you know it's not all just a dream?"

I don't.

If (somehow) I knew it were, would I act differently?

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"How do you know it's not all just a dream?"

I don't.

If (somehow) I knew it were, would I act differently?

 

If I knew it was a dream, I would try to find out how to take control of the dream. Other than that, I don't really see the difference.

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It seems that lucid dreaming is only a dream in this dream.

When lucid dreaming, you know that you're dreaming.

 

In an experience machine you'd have no idea.

 

Nick Bostrom is a proponent of the simulation argument and thinks that there is evidence our universe is a simulation.

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When lucid dreaming, you know that you're dreaming.

 

Nick Bostrom is a proponent of the simulation argument and thinks that there is evidence our universe is a simulation.

 

Interesting point. I have felt, for some years now, that I (we) are in a simulated environment. I have no scientific evidence for feeling this way, but I have a gut feeling/emotion/instinct that we are in an astonishing simulation. As for sensory experience, if someone or something could create for you the impressions of each sense, then you would never know whether you are in a dream, or not.

 

For example, to clear up the explanation a little, if I could create for a correlate of every atom you feel when you are sitting on a chair, then you would be convinced that an actual chair is underneath you.

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Humans have been coming up with explanations for reality for thousands of years. But all these explanations were subject to change. At each step, what was assumed to be reality, was imaginary, using the 20/20 hindsight of history.

 

I assume much of what we know today, is not the final reality, or else science would retire. We keep going because there are questions and conceptual inconsistencies. What we know today may also be imaginary, however, we feel better if we imagine this is reality.

 

Tomorrow, when new idea change the old reality, we will be gone and the 20/20 hindsight of history will say, "what were they thinking". Then they will imagine they are the final reality, with the same conviction, shown all through history.

 

This special effect has an explanation. Sensory data enters the brain. That is real. Humans then interpret and explain how this relates. The first aspect is a reflection of animal reality, while the second has a more human overlay. To the untrained mind, they are conscious of the input, which is real. But may be unaware how tradition conditions imagination. Once the die is cast, it all seems real due to the input overlay. The next generation is less attached to these traditions, and will seek problems/solutions. They too set up their own traditions.

 

If we look at the formation of the universe, fifty years ago we had big bang theory and the biblical creationism. That was enough for many decades. But now we have many more universe realities. Reality entering the eyes has not changed, but we have added more secondaries.

 

These additional secondaries make use of science and math. This should make it real. However, how can we have so many realities, some mutually exclusive, based on math and science, for the same universe? This should demonstrates that even science can play the secondary games.

 

This special effect is due to math art. Like the artist painting an abstraction, good quality math artists are able to paint abstractions of reality with equations. Being a tight close clique, these works of art can remain viable for extended periods of time. Science then added probability and chaos, which is a addendum to the secondary mind games, to make even the special effects of Picasso look real on occasion.

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How do you know it's not all just a dream? I'm going to guess that this is going to have a similar answer to the 'brain in the vat' hypothesis.

 

Any takers?

 

I suggest you read Kitty Ferguson's Fire in the Equations. Technically, we don't. Existence could be The Matrix. Or it could be a computer program like the Sherlock Holmes hologram program was placed within in Star Trek the Next Generation. Or it could all take place in the imagination of another being.

 

ydoaPs, in any search for truth we must accept some statements to be true even tho we may never be able to prove they are true. The seminal statements seem to be:

1. I exist.

2. I am sane.

 

You need the first for objective existence (it's not a dream) and you need the second so that you can trust your sense impressions. All evidence is what we sense (personal experience): what we see, hear, touch, taste, smell, or feel emotionally.


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If we look at the formation of the universe, fifty years ago we had big bang theory and the biblical creationism. That was enough for many decades. But now we have many more universe realities.

 

I must have missed the data for these "many more universes". Can you please post references to data showing these "many more universes" exist?

 

I think you need to make a distinction between hypotheses/theories and reality. Yes, we have many hypotheses concerning the existence of multiple universes, but none of them has any supporting data. Without that, you can't say they are "realities".

 

BTW, 50 years ago we did not have biblical creationism. The corpse was only exhumed in 1962 with The Genesis Flood by Whitcomb and Morris.

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ydoaPs, in any search for truth we must accept some statements to be true even tho we may never be able to prove they are true. The seminal statements seem to be:

1. I exist.

2. I am sane.

 

Can we go with "I am sane enough, sort of" for the second one? ;)

In all seriousness, I find the "I am sane" test to be truly impossible, we just have to account for varying levels of insanity and cope with rigorous internal diagnostic checks. My own perceptions regularly fail to correlate, and always relate to models that I have to acknowledge may break at any time.

 

To clarify - I know we can never prove we are sane, but I think it's easy to prove that we aren't. I just sort of just accept that I have to work with imperfect perceptions, models, and mental capabilities and hope I am sane enough to get away with it. :D

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The concept of existence has been addressed by Descartes in his famous statement: 'cogito ergo sum' - 'I think, therefore I am'.

Famously, Descartes holds that the occurrence of thought guarantees the existence of a thinker. As illustrated early in the second Meditation, the purported insight has it that though the existence of my body is subject to doubt, the existence of me -- qua thinker -- looks to withstand even the most hyperbolic of doubts. The very attempt to doubt one's own existence is an occurrence of thought; in turn, the occurrence of thought requires a thinker. Descartes regards the cogito as the "first and most certain of all to occur to anyone who philosophizes in an orderly way" (Principles, 1.7).

 

Link to Review

 

In short, there is a thinker - a mind - a filter, a machine capable of incorporation and reconfiguring sensory information but the existence of a body is inferred and not proved. (Please correct me if I am wrong in making this assertion).

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The concept of existence has been addressed by Descartes in his famous statement: 'cogito ergo sum' - 'I think, therefore I am'.

 

 

Link to Review

 

In short, there is a thinker - a mind - a filter, a machine capable of incorporation and reconfiguring sensory information but the existence of a body is inferred and not proved. (Please correct me if I am wrong in making this assertion).

 

That is what Descartes says, yes. Though really, "I exist" is a stronger statement than "a mind exists," which is a stronger statement than "thought exists." The concept of the mind as a single, irreducible being is a supposition, and not a trivial one, either. In fact, I don't even believe it's correct. (Yes, I know I use the word "I.")

 

Incidentally, Descartes does also go on to argue for the reality of the perceived world, though I only vaguely remember how that argument goes. I think it rested on a theological-like argument against a "deceiver god."

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"How do you know it's not all just a dream?"

I don't.

If (somehow) I knew it were, would I act differently?

 

That's pretty much it.

 

However, knowing "the truth" about existence might mean I have some knowledge of metaphysics, which I might try to exploit if it were possible to do so. Oh, and I'd be much more inclined to believe in God and an afterlife.

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There is also the possibility that existence is both real and imaginary, depending on the POV at the time.

 

Assuming the existence of an "eternal" part to our being leads to an unusual situation.

 

What happens during "life" is real and can effect the body, mind and spirit. (Mostly body though) Life is therefore "real" from the POV of the body. However the effect is not neccessarily the same for the spirit. A simple example is that if I died by being cut in half in a freak sawmill accident there is no reason to assume that my spirit was also cut in half.

 

So while the accident and death was "real" from the POV of the body, it is "imaginary" or "a dream" from the POV of the spirit. The logic can follow through to every moment of a life. All times are "real" for the body and "dreaming" for the spirit.

 

An interesting question is: If we are spirits sharing the same dream, what happens when one of us learns to lucid dream and can then control (at least in part) the dream? Is this a cause of mass psychoses?

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On 27/06/2010 at 5:38 AM, ydoaPs said:

How do you know it's not all just a dream? I'm going to guess that this is going to have a similar answer to the 'brain in the vat' hypothesis.

 

Any takers?

If you aren't sleeping

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1 hour ago, universaltheory said:

If you aren't sleeping

Why do you care?

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On 04/07/2010 at 7:19 PM, pioneer said:

Humans have been coming up with explanations for reality for thousands of years. But all these explanations were subject to change. At each step, what was assumed to be reality, was imaginary, using the 20/20 hindsight of history.

 

I assume much of what we know today, is not the final reality, or else science would retire. We keep going because there are questions and conceptual inconsistencies. What we know today may also be imaginary, however, we feel better if we imagine this is reality.

 

Tomorrow, when new idea change the old reality, we will be gone and the 20/20 hindsight of history will say, "what were they thinking". Then they will imagine they are the final reality, with the same conviction, shown all through history.

 

This special effect has an explanation. Sensory data enters the brain. That is real. Humans then interpret and explain how this relates. The first aspect is a reflection of animal reality, while the second has a more human overlay. To the untrained mind, they are conscious of the input, which is real. But may be unaware how tradition conditions imagination. Once the die is cast, it all seems real due to the input overlay. The next generation is less attached to these traditions, and will seek problems/solutions. They too set up their own traditions.

 

If we look at the formation of the universe, fifty years ago we had big bang theory and the biblical creationism. That was enough for many decades. But now we have many more universe realities. Reality entering the eyes has not changed, but we have added more secondaries.

 

These additional secondaries make use of science and math. This should make it real. However, how can we have so many realities, some mutually exclusive, based on math and science, for the same universe? This should demonstrates that even science can play the secondary games.

 

This special effect is due to math art. Like the artist painting an abstraction, good quality math artists are able to paint abstractions of reality with equations. Being a tight close clique, these works of art can remain viable for extended periods of time. Science then added probability and chaos, which is a addendum to the secondary mind games, to make even the special effects of Picasso look real on occasion.

Reality is reality; but our understanding of it has been changing and it will continue in that trend-may be!

Yesterday it was

1-static(running organically in an anthropic mind or processed mechanically as a computer program)

Today

2- it is dynamical through relativity or complexity or proportionality or utility

Tomorrow

3- it is ubiquitous(static and dynamic) cybernetically and recognised through communication and control- communication is dynamical ( see different perceptions) and control is static ( see laws that govern the dynamical patterns of physical organisation)

After tomorrow;

4-It can be some different understanding of reality but the reality remains the same

33 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Why do you care?

Inquisitive and curiosities-see skepticism

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3 minutes ago, universaltheory said:

Reality is reality; but our understanding of it has been changing and it will continue in that trend-may be!

Yesterday it was

1-static(running organically in an anthropic mind or processed mechanically as a computer program)

Today

2- it is dynamical through relativity or complexity or proportionality or utility

Tomorrow

3- it is ubiquitous(static and dynamic) cybernetically and recognised through communication and control- communication is dynamical ( see different perceptions) and control is static ( see laws that govern the dynamical patterns of physical organisation)

After tomorrow;

4-It can be some different understanding of reality but the reality remains the same

4

Why do you care, so much?

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How far does skepticism go? Let's assume you're twelve and you live another hundred years, is that enough doubt to care about a billion years of history?

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I know I'm not dreaming because my conscious mind constantly gains more knowledge.

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5 minutes ago, Itoero said:

I know I'm not dreaming because my conscious mind constantly gains more knowledge.

So does mine but sometimes I'm stoned...

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8 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

So does mine but sometimes I'm stoned...

That's why you live in Stonehouse.

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Just now, Itoero said:

That's why you live in Stonehouse.

Or do I?

Full disclosure, I'm currently stoned and live in a house that, ironically, is made of stone.

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