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XenoFish

Do Chairs Exist?

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quiXilver

Hmm... Do thoughts exist?

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Mr Walker
On 9/18/2021 at 2:03 AM, bison said:

Well . . . Dr. Niels Bohr, physicist, and the founder of the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics said this:

'Everything we call real is made of things that can not be regarded as real'. 

The quantum 'particles' out of which our supposed physical reality is constructed are fleeting, and indeterminate in their basic  properties such as position and movement. If anything else in our experience behaved so, we would rightly dismiss it as phantasmal and at odds with what we are pleased to regard as our material reality. 

If they  aren't real then they don't exist.

If they do exist, then the y are real.

Things which do not  exist can't interact with us. 

Things which do, can, and we can shape and manipulate them 

"Fleeting and indeterminate" they may be, but  the y still exist,  and thus are real.

  We will get the hang of measuring them, understanding their properties and nature, and utilising them. 

Probably sooner, rather than later. 

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Mr Walker
6 hours ago, quiXilver said:

Hmm... Do thoughts exist?

Yep. They can be observed, measured, recorded, and transmitted. ( both visual and verbal thoughts)

Basically, they are patterns of neural energy. 

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bison
11 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

If they  aren't real then they don't exist.

If they do exist, then the y are real.

Things which do not  exist can't interact with us. 

Things which do, can, and we can shape and manipulate them 

"Fleeting and indeterminate" they may be, but  the y still exist,  and thus are real.

  We will get the hang of measuring them, understanding their properties and nature, and utilising them. 

Probably sooner, rather than later. 

Dr. Niels Bohr also noted that there is no quantum world, only quantum phenomena. Quantum particles exist only in a state of probability, unless we observe them. A thing that is merely a possibility is not real on its own account, and neither, it appears, is anything made up of them, at least in the sense that materialists mean.

The so-called measurement problem in quantum physics is not a lack of sufficiently good or clever techniques  for making the measurements. It is part of the very nature of quantum particles themselves.

It was not for nothing that Dr. Bohr  said that if one was not shocked by the implications of quantum physics, one had not really understood it.

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Guyver
On 9/15/2021 at 2:42 AM, XenoFish said:

Not really an argument thing. Saw it, found it interesting, decided to share. That's all.

Now that I have watched some of the video, I see why you like it.  Nice find.  Plenty of conversation to be had along these lines of thought.

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Liquid Gardens
23 hours ago, bison said:

Quantum particles exist only in a state of probability, unless we observe them. A thing that is merely a possibility is not real on its own account, and neither, it appears, is anything made up of them, at least in the sense that materialists mean.

You may be correct, but I thought it wasn't that quantum particles exist only if we observe them, it is that its attributes are in state of probability.  Blowing the heavy dust of an already scant memory, I thought it was that Heisenberg showed/argued that you can either know the position of an electron or it's speed with good accuracy, not both.  Existing in a state of probability can still be interpreted as 'existing', which is all that is needed to make real materialist chairs out of them I'd think.

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XenoFish
16 hours ago, Guyver said:

Now that I have watched some of the video, I see why you like it.  Nice find.  Plenty of conversation to be had along these lines of thought.

I honestly should've just kept it to myself. 

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bison
3 hours ago, Liquid Gardens said:

You may be correct, but I thought it wasn't that quantum particles exist only if we observe them, it is that its attributes are in state of probability.  Blowing the heavy dust of an already scant memory, I thought it was that Heisenberg showed/argued that you can either know the position of an electron or it's speed with good accuracy, not both.  Existing in a state of probability can still be interpreted as 'existing', which is all that is needed to make real materialist chairs out of them I'd think.

Let's imagine a graph. The position of a quantum 'particle' is plotted on the vertical and its momentum on the horizontal axis.

Now, we can determine the particle's position along the up-down axis, but it could be said to be anywhere left or right  of that axis, within certain limits. Conversely, we can determine the particle's momentum along the horizontal axis, but it can be anywhere in the  up-down plane. And momentum determines where the particle was a given amount of time ago, and where it will be at some specific point in the future. 

So, we can determine where the particle is right now, but not where it was a second ago, nor where it will be a second hence. OR, we can know how fast it's proceeding, but not where it is now, with any confidence.

As long as the particle exists in no particular place, unless observed OR, instead, is only moving within a range of of different speeds, unless observed, the particle must lack at lest one attribute of a physical object. And if it is so lacking, it does not appear to be a physical object in any objective sense.    

Edited by bison
improved exposition.

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Liquid Gardens
17 minutes ago, bison said:

And if it is so lacking, it does not appear to be a physical object in any objective sense. 

Well in an objective sense the only things I'm aware of that exist in particular places are physical objects, regardless of their possible range of speeds.  I guess we could debate whether light or other EM waves are 'physical objects', I thought ultimately everything was just energy anyway. 

I'm not sure on this either but regardless of whether they are observed or not, don't some particles always have an electrical charge?

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bison

Quantum particles are considered to have momentum. That we can't specify this AND their location, at the same time, is known as the 'measurement problem'. It would be as if a planet were orbiting the Sun, and we could only observe its position OR track it in orbit, but  not both at the same time. The observation of its position would blur out its orbit, and observation of its orbit would obscure its location. The material reality of such a planet would be severely doubted, I think.

Such a state of affairs is expected in quantum physics, but its implications seem to have been neglected, in most cases. Quantum particles appear more like ideas, and rather strange ones at that, rather than material objects. 

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Guyver
7 hours ago, XenoFish said:

I honestly should've just kept it to myself. 

No should not have,  You sound just like my bass player who is actually a great bass player, but he’s always putting himself down as if he’s not good.  Yet he rarely makes mistakes.  What you have posted is more than an entry level presentation in modern philosophy that is actually quite educational for a person who wants to begin that practice and place thoughts in classifiable categories.  I actually appreciate it myself as I have not applied myself in this area as much as I would like.  So, you may not want to discuss it, but I do as time permits.

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Mr Walker
On 9/20/2021 at 5:10 AM, bison said:

Dr. Niels Bohr also noted that there is no quantum world, only quantum phenomena. Quantum particles exist only in a state of probability, unless we observe them. A thing that is merely a possibility is not real on its own account, and neither, it appears, is anything made up of them, at least in the sense that materialists mean.

The so-called measurement problem in quantum physics is not a lack of sufficiently good or clever techniques  for making the measurements. It is part of the very nature of quantum particles themselves.

It was not for nothing that Dr. Bohr  said that if one was not shocked by the implications of quantum physics, one had not really understood it.

It does not have to be US that observes them. No  one knows for sure what determines the nature of quantum phenomena

Give us another century and we will not only know the theory, but be using it in practice.  Possibly FTL travel or matter transmission, but certainly in computing and data transfer .

I think some people either overreach or misunderstand the argument here ie things exist even when/where  humans do not

They exist even when we are NOT observing them.

It is possible that the quantum nature of things changes during observation, but it seems to make no difference to the macro world we live in.

  That may be because most people cant physically observe the quantum world, and thus can't affect it.   Most people cant split the atom, either  :)  

Wave /particle? is irrelevant, as both are "real" 

It is possible that they exist in one state, and change to another when affected by something like observation,  but it is neither that simple, nor that complex 

It is just not yet understood.  It is a bit like how we first considered atoms when we discovered their existence.   

Plus, of course, the y are "like" atoms, only smalle.r  ie when you sit on a chair it holds your weight and hopefully is comfortable.

  You  don't slip between the atoms, and you don't feel the quantum changes occurring ( Antman  regardless)   

Something non real/non physical couldn't do that. (support your weight) 

People were once shocked by the existence of atoms, and of  human cells,  but not any longer  

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Mr Walker
12 hours ago, Liquid Gardens said:

You may be correct, but I thought it wasn't that quantum particles exist only if we observe them, it is that its attributes are in state of probability.  Blowing the heavy dust of an already scant memory, I thought it was that Heisenberg showed/argued that you can either know the position of an electron or it's speed with good accuracy, not both.  Existing in a state of probability can still be interpreted as 'existing', which is all that is needed to make real materialist chairs out of them I'd think.

Indeed.

Eventually we will have chairs and other furniture which is only a projection of energy ie a force field  You will turn them on when needed, and turn them off when no longer required   Eventually, buildings, and many forms of transport, including space ships,  may be "built" this way. 

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XenoFish
7 hours ago, Guyver said:

No should not have,  You sound just like my bass player who is actually a great bass player, but he’s always putting himself down as if he’s not good.  Yet he rarely makes mistakes.  What you have posted is more than an entry level presentation in modern philosophy that is actually quite educational for a person who wants to begin that practice and place thoughts in classifiable categories.  I actually appreciate it myself as I have not applied myself in this area as much as I would like.  So, you may not want to discuss it, but I do as time permits.

There have been quite a few things I've desired to post on the forum. But it appears that it really isn't worth it. So I see no desire to add anything around here. 

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bison
5 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

It does not have to be US that observes them. No  one knows for sure what determines the nature of quantum phenomena

Give us another century and we will not only know the theory, but be using it in practice.  Possibly FTL travel or matter transmission, but certainly in computing and data transfer .

I think some people either overreach or misunderstand the argument here ie things exist even when/where  humans do not

They exist even when we are NOT observing them.

It is possible that the quantum nature of things changes during observation, but it seems to make no difference to the macro world we live in.

  That may be because most people cant physically observe the quantum world, and thus can't affect it.   Most people cant split the atom, either  :)  

Wave /particle? is irrelevant, as both are "real" 

It is possible that they exist in one state, and change to another when affected by something like observation,  but it is neither that simple, nor that complex 

It is just not yet understood.  It is a bit like how we first considered atoms when we discovered their existence.   

Plus, of course, the y are "like" atoms, only smalle.r  ie when you sit on a chair it holds your weight and hopefully is comfortable.

  You  don't slip between the atoms, and you don't feel the quantum changes occurring ( Antman  regardless)   

Something non real/non physical couldn't do that. (support your weight) 

People were once shocked by the existence of atoms, and of  human cells,  but not any longer  

If one assumes from the outset that a universe of solid matter exists, then it follows that it exists, and existed, independent of our observation. I make no such assumption. A universe of  potentiality and thought, like that suggested by the measurement problem in quantum mechanics, would require a thinker; an observer, but that needn't be a human thinker.  

Quantum particles, it appears, don't  change from one state to another, when we observe them. They emerge from a vague condition of  multiple, mere possibilities, into a particular apparent state. 

If we, ourselves are, in reality, insubstantial, then insubstantial chairs are sufficient to hold us up!

Edited by bison
improved punctuation.
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lightly

ok, it seems to have turned out that the nature of physical reality is not what we assumed or expected ?  How ever,  it's obviously substantial enough to exist. ?

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jmccr8
26 minutes ago, lightly said:

ok, it seems to have turned out that the nature of physical reality is not what we assumed or expected ?  How ever,  it's obviously substantial enough to exist. ?

Hi Lightly

We can break everything down to unseen particles even our bodies but that is an abstraction of what the significance of the whole is. I exist and so does the chair I sit on or the food I eat.

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lightly
13 minutes ago, jmccr8 said:

Hi Lightly

We can break everything down to unseen particles even our bodies but that is an abstraction of what the significance of the whole is. I exist and so does the chair I sit on or the food I eat.

Hi j,  yup.  It's beyond amazing! 

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bison
16 minutes ago, jmccr8 said:

Hi Lightly

We can break everything down to unseen particles even our bodies but that is an abstraction of what the significance of the whole is. I exist and so does the chair I sit on or the food I eat.

 I wonder, though:  If insubstantial particles constitute what everyday objects are made of, how can chairs, and food, and persons actually be any more substantial than their tiniest parts? Perhaps they merely give the appearance of being substantial. 

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XenoFish
42 minutes ago, bison said:

 I wonder, though:  If insubstantial particles constitute what everyday objects are made of, how can chairs, and food, and persons actually be any more substantial than their tiniest parts? Perhaps they merely give the appearance of being substantial. 

Does it really matter? 

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bison

Yes, XenoFish, it really does matter. And thanks for asking!

Edited by bison
added emphasis

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XenoFish
10 minutes ago, bison said:

Yes, XenoFish, it really does matter. And thanks for asking!

Why does it matter? 

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bison

It could be as simple as the satisfaction of the nearly universal trait of human curiosity. Once you start to pull on the odd loose thread, there's no telling where it could lead. Curiosity has served us well, on  a number of occasions. It may do so again, at any time. 

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XenoFish
6 minutes ago, bison said:

It could be as simple as the satisfaction of the nearly universal trait of human curiosity. Once you start to pull on the odd loose thread, there's no telling where it could lead. Curiosity has served us well, on  a number of occasions. It may do so again, at any time. 

I guess it matters to you. Doesn't really matter to me. 

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jmccr8
2 hours ago, bison said:

 I wonder, though:  If insubstantial particles constitute what everyday objects are made of, how can chairs, and food, and persons actually be any more substantial than their tiniest parts? Perhaps they merely give the appearance of being substantial. 

Hi Bison

I smack my thumb with a hammer and it’s not the unseen particles that seem to get injured or feel pain. Whether I exist or not does not seem to matter in the perspective that I exist, bleed or feel pain so I consider myself real.

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