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nameta9

Is science arbitrary ?

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Yes a reality seems to exist independent of observers. At least our mind percieves this.
Your resonse is ambiguous. Reality seems to exist independently, or so we perceive. Remove the observer completely from consideration for a moment. There is no observer. In such a situation is there an objective reality? Yes or No?

If you refer back to my first post you will see I excluded, for the purposes of this discussion, the possible role of the observer in creating reality. All of my subsequent arguments have been based upon that condition.

If there is an objective reality, then the only differences between alien sciences will be how effectively and how exactly each science sets about investigating that reality. Eventually, both sciences will arrive at the same conclusions, because both are describing the same reality. And it doesn't matter how different their limited perceptions and emotions are, because science can be made independent of these by expanding our perceptions (e.g. x-rays) and ignoring the emotions.

 

Edit: and re-Sayonara's first point in post #25, this is nicely illsutrated by JOHARI windows. I haven't googled it, but I'm sure it will be there.

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In your opinion is there a reality that exists independent of observers? Your earlier posts imply that you think not, but I may be misinterpreting what you have said.

 

I think it is irrelevant whether or not there is a "reality independant of observers". Given we are observers, there is no way to know. The only reality that is important for us is the reality that depends upon our observations and the details of our minds.

 

 

Reality for us, based upon our minds, is the only reality we can ever know.

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There is no observer. In such a situation is there an objective reality? Yes or No?

 

This requires an observer to imagine the situation. You cannot imagine a reality independant of observers, you must at least assume a God's eye perspective which you then take to claim that a reality exists.

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Even with a fixed objective reality, our decoding of that reality is arbitrary in that it is described in a language, mathematical and not, is described in terms of time, we use our memory in a certain way etc.

 

Does the alien mind has the concept of "conclusions"? If not then what ? Do they organize their thoughts in a sort of linear time as us ? Do they break up the pieces of perception like we do ? Do they consider sound and sight separate or are they mixed ? There are so many possibilities ...

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then you might as well compare mice to humans or bats to humans, because they all exhibit some kind of inteligence, this has been demonstrated in mouse (mice) mazes, give the mouse two paths one, one where it gets zapped (by electricity), one where it does not the mouse will go down the path where it doesn't get shocked.

 

wait though that requires a conclusion to be made (if I go down that path then I get shocked, better to go the other way). so that means that even a simple creature that doesn't ponder the universe is not valid for your idea.

 

if a creature can't make conclusions it can't evaluate its surroundings, and thus it can't have a science.

 

 

now, lets put objective reality to rest in this thread.

 

"There is no observer. In such a situation is there an objective reality? Yes or No?"-ophiliolite (ps. luke is fine)

 

"interact with reality"-nameta 9

 

you state interact with reality. thus there is an objective reality, (you can't interact with something that doesn't exist) (or in anouther way, the reality exists then you interact with it).

 

otherwise you might as well say that your the only person in the universe and everyone else is a figment of your imagination.

 

 

 

also,

 

"They would use this mathematics without ever noticing it, hence they may not even know they had this ability" nameta9

 

Humans do this to, when you count you are adding two or more, things together. but then some mathmatician thousands of years ago, thought that it would be a good idea to quantify this with symbols and logic. so instead of counting we could do 1+1=2 then this allowed for much easier (sp) numbering of crops. instead of having to count every piece of fruit, I could just count off how many to put into one barrel, then have 10 people put that many pieces of fruit into 10 barrels then I can just add up all of the barrels that i have. wait, I can just say n pieces of fruit x 10 barrels =10n (multiplication, woot)

 

 

so in other words any creature no matter how their wired (no matter, how many mathmatical functions they have programmed into their mind) will eventually just start writing or quantifying their knowledge, in some way. this is the reason why you show your work on math tests.

 

 

 

the main problem with your argument is that you assume science is knowledge, when it is really about asking questions. This is why you spend the early part of your science education learning how to ask yourself that question (scientific method). It is the reason why mathmaticians show their work / why you do proofs of math concepts. It is why you could be a prodigy and learn all of human knowledge, and not become a great scientist.

 

it took thousands of years for humans to realise this. it would be logical that eventually anouther creature would start asking questions about its knowledge (assuming its really intelligent and not just a mouse).

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This requires an observer to imagine the situation. You cannot[/i'] imagine a reality independant of observers, you must at least assume a God's eye perspective which you then take to claim that a reality exists.
Bugger! All those philosophers wasting there time for so many centuries. Sorry, BrainMan if you are excluding this from the discussion then for me there is no discussion. Thanks.

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Even numbed by watching election results through the night (and its 4:51 am here) I still have pretty good reflexes!icon7.gif

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so in other words any creature no matter how their wired (no matter' date=' how many mathmatical functions they have programmed into their mind) will eventually just start writing or quantifying their knowledge, in some way. this is the reason why you show your work on math tests.

[/quote']

Maybe. Mine is not really an argument, it is a question. The question is "who knows if there are other possible minds and therefore universes as seen from these minds ". You say no "matter how they are wired". So you can imagine all the possible ways a mind can be "wired" ? Can you know ahead of time all the possible ways this modified mind can think ? You are assuming then that our mind is a kind of superset of all possible minds and can explain, decode and understand any other possible mind. I don't think we can assume this. I don't know what happens inside minds wired differently. I know for sure that the number of possible combinations of different minds is mind boggling and if each mind is completely different from ours and actually works in some way, then we actually know almost nothing of reality or the universe.

 

It may also be the case, as you seem to suggest that any possible modification to our neural circuits "degrades" the functioning of the mind and our mind is the ultimate and only possible mind the universe will ever achieve. Even this conclusion is quite strange and creates a host of other "evolutionary" problems such as implying that our species has achieved in one shot the maximum possible evolution conceivable...(or mind conceivable)

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Bugger! All those philosophers wasting there time for so many centuries.

 

I have no idea what you mean by that. What I have suggested is basically a brand of pragmatism, which has recieved a fair amount of play in the philosophical world in the past century. It is not the "end of philosophy", it is the beginning of a philosophy that takes our own epistemic position in the universe seriously instead of just pretending we have absolute knowledge from the start.

 

 

Sorry, BrainMan if you are excluding this from the discussion then for me there is no discussion. Thanks.

 

I'm sorry to hear that. It is a shame that you are proud of your dogmatism.

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So you can imagine all the possible ways a mind can be "wired" ? Can you know ahead of time all the possible ways this modified mind can think ? You are assuming then that our mind is a kind of superset of all possible minds and can explain, decode and understand any other possible mind. I don't think we can assume this. I don't know what happens inside minds wired differently. I know for sure that the number of possible combinations of different minds is mind boggling and if each mind is completely different from ours and actually works in some way, then we actually know almost nothing of reality or the universe.

 

Worse yet, we don't yet understand all that well how our own minds work- and the history of cognitive science shows that we are notoriously bad at imagining how our minds should work, as we have been wrong about it time and time again. What we are capable of knowing, and how we are capable of knowing, are unresolved scientific questions. To simply presume that we know these things is beyond irresponsible.

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Excuse me BrainMan, I overlooked your response.

This requires an observer to imagine the situation. You cannot[/i'] imagine a reality independant of observers, you must at least assume a God's eye perspective which you then take to claim that a reality exists..
Bugger! All those philosophers wasting their time for so many centuries. Sorry, BrainMan if you are excluding this from the discussion then for me there is no discussion. Thanks.
I have no idea what you mean by that.
You made the unequivocal statement that 'you cannot imagine a reality independant of observers'. It is the validity of this position that has been the subject of much debate by many philsophers over several centuries.

Based on the quality of your earlier arguments I presumed you would be aware of these and so reminded you of them with my trite remark. This seemed much efficient than laboriously listing a suite of philosophers and their works.

 

 

Later I explained that in my first post I had stipulated that for the purposes of this discussion I was taking the view that there was an underlying 'true' reality. I don't know if there is or isn't. The evidence is inadequate. If there is no 'true' reality' date=' then I would question whether your perceptions bear much relation at all to mine, Tom Cruise's to Tony Blair's, let alone humanity to aliens. In those circumstances, then, discussion of the different alien view point is moot. The discusion becomes closed by the constraints you have chosen to place on it. The discussion only had validity when we were assessing the ability of aliens and humans to perceive the same totality of the 'true' reality.

Sorry, BrainMan if you are excluding this from the discussion then for me there is no discussion. Thanks.

I'm sorry to hear that. It is a shame that you are proud of your dogmatism.
The curious case of the dogma barking in the night?

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Excuse me BrainMan, I overlooked your response.

This requires an observer to imagine the situation. You cannot[/i'] imagine a reality independant of observers, you must at least assume a God's eye perspective which you then take to claim that a reality exists..
Bugger! All those philosophers wasting their time for so many centuries. Sorry, BrainMan if you are excluding this from the discussion then for me there is no discussion. Thanks.
I have no idea what you mean by that.
You made the unequivocal statement that 'you cannot imagine a reality independant of observers'. It is the validity of this position that has been the subject of much debate by many philsophers over several centuries.

Based on the quality of your earlier arguments I presumed you would be aware of these and so reminded you of them with my trite remark. This seemed much efficient than laboriously listing a suite of philosophers and their works.

 

 

Later I explained that in my first post I had stipulated that for the purposes of this discussion I was taking the view that there was an underlying 'true' reality. I don't know if there is or isn't. The evidence is inadequate. If there is no 'true' reality' date=' then I would question whether your perceptions bear much relation at all to mine, Tom Cruise's to Tony Blair's, let alone humanity to aliens. In those circumstances, then, discussion of the different alien view point is moot. The discusion becomes closed by the constraints you have chosen to place on it. The discussion only had validity when we were assessing the ability of aliens and humans to perceive the same totality of the 'true' reality.

Sorry, BrainMan if you are excluding this from the discussion then for me there is no discussion. Thanks.

I'm sorry to hear that. It is a shame that you are proud of your dogmatism.
The curious case of the dogma barking in the night?

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