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Consciousness and reality: is there a limit to what science can solve ?


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Its a question that needs a time factor included.

If there is a limited time, not infinite, then I cannot see how everything that might be know will be known.

A reasons for a lack of knowledge could also be it is beyond human comprehension as well as conventional science.

But humans seem to have a natural understanding of the universe that allows a direction of investigation to be taken that leads to answers. 

Which is perplexing in itself.

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1 hour ago, UM-Bot said:

Some of the most fundamental questions of existence and consciousness may be beyond the scope of conventional science.

https://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/news/375339/consciousness-and-reality-is-there-a-limit-to-what-science-can-solve

While we can mimic consciousness using computer programming, its not the same as consciousness, and we don`t even understand what it is.

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"Scientistic" is a useful manufactured word, and well explains the issue: materialism pretending to be scientism.

Our scientific endeavors are obviously very worthwhile and allow us to control nature to a certain extent.  Scientism isn't exactly, however, the search for truth, or truths.  Much of what underlies the typical atheistic contempt for the spiritual or metaphysical is a profound (yet understandable) insecurity: if we can't predict it, we can't control it, and we're thus in danger.

"Show me the evidence!" demands the guy who, if shown such demanded evidence, will sht his pants.

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30 minutes ago, Cho Jinn said:

Much of what underlies the typical atheistic contempt for the spiritual or metaphysical is a profound (yet understandable) insecurity: if we can't predict it, we can't control it, and we're thus in danger.

Don't know many atheists, do you?  You can of course turn this insecurity 'hypothesis' of yours around on theists:  if we can't predict it, we can't control it, thus we're in danger, but I don't have to worry about that, cuz God.

My experience with the vastly overused word 'scientism' is that the people who usually use that word as an accusation are the same people who ironically want to avoid going into the science at all costs.

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1 hour ago, Liquid Gardens said:

Don't know many atheists, do you?  You can of course turn this insecurity 'hypothesis' of yours around on theists:  if we can't predict it, we can't control it, thus we're in danger, but I don't have to worry about that, cuz God.

My experience with the vastly overused word 'scientism' is that the people who usually use that word as an accusation are the same people who ironically want to avoid going into the science at all costs.

 

Meanwhile, (and I am just speaking for myself) the contempt I have for all things Spiritual and Metaphysical comes from a profound dislike for liars and hypocrisy.  This stems not from fear or insecurity, but from a profound appreciation and reverence for the truth.  Furthermore, the contempt is not directed toward the faithful believers.  The contempt I have is for the promoters of such who stand to make a great deal of money off of the backs of the 'believers'.

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1 hour ago, Liquid Gardens said:

You can of course turn this insecurity 'hypothesis' of yours around on theists:  if we can't predict it, we can't control it, thus we're in danger, but I don't have to worry about that, cuz God.

I wouldn't take it too personally; perhaps you are one of those "I understand the limits of my knowledge" atheists.  For believers, the god-fearing churchgoer stereotype is much stronger than the, say, snake handler stereotype.

 

46 minutes ago, joc said:

The contempt I have is for the promoters of such who stand to make a great deal of money off of the backs of the 'believers'.

That is well deserved, surely.  Not to the exclusion of (arguably much, much more successful) secular charlatans, of course.

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The danger here is not valuing the scientific method. 
Even the proper study of metaphysics requires adherence to the method. Testing theories. Documenting evidence and creating processes that can be recreated for others to test and expand on. This is all valid work, even if you can’t predict outcomes. Document that outcome and the process that was followed. 
if there is no order to the study, what use is it other than to say ‘huh, that’s weird’

 

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4 hours ago, Cho Jinn said:

"Scientistic" is a useful manufactured word, and well explains the issue: materialism pretending to be scientism.

Our scientific endeavors are obviously very worthwhile and allow us to control nature to a certain extent.  Scientism isn't exactly, however, the search for truth, or truths.  Much of what underlies the typical atheistic contempt for the spiritual or metaphysical is a profound (yet understandable) insecurity: if we can't predict it, we can't control it, and we're thus in danger.

"Show me the evidence!" demands the guy who, if shown such demanded evidence, will sht his pants.

The contempt is not based in profound insecurity, but curiosity. Or more precisely, the absence of curiosity from believers willing to accept an answer that has no rigour. 

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2 minutes ago, Slugnutty said:

The danger here is not valuing the scientific method. 
Even the proper study of metaphysics requires adherence to the method. Testing theories. Documenting evidence and creating processes that can be recreated for others to test and expand on. This is all valid work, even if you can’t predict outcomes. Document that outcome and the process that was followed. 
if there is no order to the study, what use is it other than to say ‘huh, that’s weird’

 

There are examples that suggest the scientific method has been put on the back burner, using belief in concept to continue a theory while awaiting a scientific explanation. 

The problem is what happens if that explanation fails to materialise.

Maybe it is the example of theology that is spreading and encouraging something less rigorous in traditional science. 

Something then only needs to be popular, not testable or accurate. 

Which is where believers of the spiritual or metaphysical world have been for the last 2000 yrs or more.

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very nice article. 🏆

from it:

Quote

Philosophers too can appeal to theoretical virtues in justifying their favoured position. For example, considerations of simplicity seems to count against the dualist theory of consciousness, which is less simple than its rivals in so far as it posits two kinds of fundamental stuff - physical stuff and consciousness - whereas physicalism and panpsychism are equally simple in positing just one kind of fundamental stuff (either physical stuff or consciousness).

Consciousness. Most people think it is 'higher up on the leading-to-intelligence scale' than awareness. I doubt that. Awareness is really just interpretation of the sensory input. But consciousness is to me what leads up to awareness. A much more simplistic ability to even have sensory input so to speak.

Consciousness = Life

I believe. The step before I need to know or feel, when I have the ability to react. I don't need to be aware, speaking from the view of a cell, what triggers my reaction, the fact that I can react, act, interact and be 'alive' makes me part of the 'system of consciousness'.

Awareness the 'thing that perceives' and intelligence 'the thing that can make abstract conclusions' are then what develops out of the nervous system 'consciousness built' and the increased amount of 'learned information' my brain provides.

 

my2cent

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On 3/20/2024 at 4:29 AM, Cho Jinn said:

"Scientistic" is a useful manufactured word, and well explains the issue: materialism pretending to be scientism.

Our scientific endeavors are obviously very worthwhile and allow us to control nature to a certain extent.  Scientism isn't exactly, however, the search for truth, or truths.  Much of what underlies the typical atheistic contempt for the spiritual or metaphysical is a profound (yet understandable) insecurity: if we can't predict it, we can't control it, and we're thus in danger.

"Show me the evidence!" demands the guy who, if shown such demanded evidence, will sht his pants.

You sound like Will or read. 

You might finally make some friends here :)

 

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1 hour ago, psyche101 said:

You sound like Will or read. 

You might finally make some friends here :)

 

Some are here to actually have an opinion not suck up to gain browny points d---s---p :tu:

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I'm thinking there is no limit to what science can solve. But we think of science as mechanistic explanations for reality. There is no reason why there cannot be a school of science that takes Consciousness as being fundamental (instead of matter/energy being fundamental) and provide a true understanding of reality.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, openozy said:

Some are here to actually have an opinion not suck up to gain browny points d---s---p :tu:

You haven’t met either one of them then. They do nothing but preach, condescend, and antagonize to the point of insulting and trolling. Not here to have conversations or merely offer opinions. And always from positions of extreme ignorance.

Not two people whose hill you want to die on.

Edited by Antigonos
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5 minutes ago, papageorge1 said:

There is no reason why there cannot be a school of science that takes Consciousness as being fundamental

You mean no reason except there is no good evidence for such a thing?  Matter and energy have the benefit of being able to be objectively defined and measured, consciousness not so much.

But hey, fine, let's go with it: 'consciousness is fundamental'.  Name and define your first scientific experiment you'd like undertaken based on this fact.

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7 minutes ago, Liquid Gardens said:

You mean no reason except there is no good evidence for such a thing?  Matter and energy have the benefit of being able to be objectively defined and measured, consciousness not so much.

But hey, fine, let's go with it: 'consciousness is fundamental'.  Name and define your first scientific experiment you'd like undertaken based on this fact.

It would maybe be described as a scientific school of thought under the assumption that consciousness is fundamental.  Perhaps for empirical science I would say it could be solved if the matter/energy being primary assumption is correct. Getting more abstract I just saw a thread on another forum saying nobody has proven matter exists.

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On 3/19/2024 at 11:19 PM, Slugnutty said:

The danger here is not valuing the scientific method. 
Even the proper study of metaphysics requires adherence to the method. Testing theories. Documenting evidence and creating processes that can be recreated for others to test and expand on. This is all valid work, even if you can’t predict outcomes. Document that outcome and the process that was followed. 
if there is no order to the study, what use is it other than to say ‘huh, that’s weird’

Lets go all genius IQ level and assess if a machine can attain sentience.

Lets start by asking ourselves how do we know if something is actually real? Lets pick the planet Earth as an example. Is it real? While I`m sure 99% of people would say yes, the correct answer is actually no. The Earth is an idea not a real object. Its an idea about what an unknown amount of real things arranged in a particular way are. In essence, its an emergent phenomenon which possess no inherent truth of its own. If atoms are real objects (and that`s a big if), then its the atoms that are real and make the planet up.

Machine intelligence is not actually real, it too is an emergent phenomenon possessing no inherent truth of its own. We know that as we assembled them out of transistor gates. So to the question of whether a machine can ever attain human like sentience. All we have to do to throw it out is to show our minds contain an inherent truth, something an emergent phenomenon cannot possess. At this point in history I don`t think anyone has figured out how to do that.

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1 hour ago, papageorge1 said:

It would maybe be described as a scientific school of thought under the assumption that consciousness is fundamental.  Perhaps for empirical science I would say it could be solved if the matter/energy being primary assumption is correct. Getting more abstract I just saw a thread on another forum saying nobody has proven matter exists.

A 'school of thought' can be anything but a 'school of science' which you originally referrred to means something different to me.  I guess you could have a 'school of science' that fairies are actually pushing matter around in ways totally consistent with what we know as the law of gravity too, but I would call either that or your proposition 'scientific'.

Why hasn't matter been proven to exist, because what we experience may be an illusion or because what we think of as matter is actually something different?

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4 minutes ago, Duke Wellington said:

Is it real? While I`m sure 99% of people would say yes, the correct answer is actually no. The Earth is an idea not a real object. Its an idea about what an unknown amount of real things arranged in a particular way are. In essence, its an emergent phenomenon which possess no inherent truth of its own. If atoms are real objects (and that`s a big if), then its the atoms that are real and make the planet up.

This just seems to be needless semantic reductionism, 'the earth' isn't an 'idea', it's a label.  If atoms are real then the things made of atoms can have their own separate label, like earth.  I also don't know how one determines the earth is not real but atoms are, since the earth provides our primary evidence for the existence of atoms.  This seems a weird way and inconsistent way to analyze this; if earth isn't real but atoms are because the earth is just made up atoms, then atoms are not real because atoms are just made up of subatomic particles, and so on.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Liquid Gardens said:

This just seems to be needless semantic reductionism, 'the earth' isn't an 'idea', it's a label.  If atoms are real then the things made of atoms can have their own separate label, like earth.  I also don't know how one determines the earth is not real but atoms are, since the earth provides our primary evidence for the existence of atoms.  This seems a weird way and inconsistent way to analyze this; if earth isn't real but atoms are because the earth is just made up atoms, then atoms are not real because atoms are just made up of subatomic particles, and so on.

The Earth is an emergent phenomenon, its characteristics and qualities are too. The point I was making is that if something is real it must contain inherent truths rather than emergent ones. Otherwise its just an idea us humans have come up with.

Yes, atoms are emergent from sub-atomic particles and we don`t know if it ends there. But all we need to do is to identify one inherent truth with mind and there we have it, we have evidence that its real rather than an emergent phenomenon. As machine intelligence is emergent it would mean they could never become that of a sentient human. 

Lets tidy up my terminology:

Primary Truth: Inherent truths which are always true under all possible circumstances.

Secondary Truth: Emergent truths, which contain no inherent truth as they may be true today but false tomorrow, or false once the circumstances change. As the Earth never exist 10 billion years ago, and will cease to exist billions of years from now, its not a real object as its lacks permanence. Its an emergent phenomenon. 

Edited by Duke Wellington
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2 minutes ago, Duke Wellington said:

The Earth is an emergent phenomenon, its characteristics and qualities are too. The point I was making is that if something is real it must contain inherent truths rather than emergent ones. Otherwise its just an idea us humans have come up with.

I'm not sure on where 'inherent truths' is fitting in or how you are defining that.  Everything including atoms are an emergent phenomenon using this definition, so nothing is real?  Water is not the same as rock; if you want to call the qualities of water and rocks 'emergent phenomena' from the atoms they are made up of I'm not sure what that accomplishes, since those qualities are still true and real.

5 minutes ago, Duke Wellington said:

But all we need to do is to identify one inherent truth with mind and there we have it, we have evidence that its real rather than an emergent phenomenon. As machine intelligence is emergent it would mean they could never become that of a sentient human. Not unless we find out how to give them that too.

Again, emergent phenomena are still real.  We don't know if machine intelligence could never become that of a sentient human, since using your definitions human intelligence is also just an emergent phenomenon too.  Do you have a hypothetical example of an 'inherent truth' with 'mind' that could exist but wouldn't be emergent using your definitions?

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Just now, Liquid Gardens said:

I'm not sure on where 'inherent truths' is fitting in or how you are defining that.  Everything including atoms are an emergent phenomenon using this definition, so nothing is real?  Water is not the same as rock; if you want to call the qualities of water and rocks 'emergent phenomena' from the atoms they are made up of I'm not sure what that accomplishes, since those qualities are still true and real.

Again, emergent phenomena are still real.  We don't know if machine intelligence could never become that of a sentient human, since using your definitions human intelligence is also just an emergent phenomenon too.  Do you have a hypothetical example of an 'inherent truth' with 'mind' that could exist but wouldn't be emergent using your definitions?

We know a machine intelligence lacks permanence because if we unsolder one of the transistors in its circuit then it fails. There is absolutely not one single aspect of a machine intelligence which is a primary truth.

What I am saying is if we identify a primary truth with mind, that it shows it is fundamentally different to machine intelligence. That it shows that at least some aspect of mind is not emergent, that it possesses the property of permanence. I will have a think about that to see if I can identify any.

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9 minutes ago, Duke Wellington said:

We know a machine intelligence lacks permanence because if we unsolder one of the transistors in its circuit then it fails. There is absolutely not one single aspect of a machine intelligence which is a primary truth.

What I am saying is if we identify a primary truth with mind, that it shows it is fundamentally different to machine intelligence. That it shows that at least some aspect of mind is not emergent, that it possesses the property of permanence. I will have a think about that to see if I can identify any.

Thanks, I'm still having trouble understanding your terms so don't know what you're exactly saying, let me know if you can think of an example.  "Primary truth" to me is just as undefined as 'inherent truth', I'm assuming since you have to think about an example that most of the truths we know are not primary/inherent.  Our brains lack permanence also, deprive it of oxygen and it fails too, so not sure why permanence is being mentioned at all.

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20 minutes ago, Liquid Gardens said:

Thanks, I'm still having trouble understanding your terms so don't know what you're exactly saying, let me know if you can think of an example.  "Primary truth" to me is just as undefined as 'inherent truth', I'm assuming since you have to think about an example that most of the truths we know are not primary/inherent.  Our brains lack permanence also, deprive it of oxygen and it fails too, so not sure why permanence is being mentioned at all.

A primary truth is one which can never be wrong, and which is not derived from secondary truths but is instead the foundations for them. A secondary truth is one which lacks permanence, and is built upon primary truths.

As far as we know a sub-atomic particle is a primary truth and a machine intelligence is a secondary one. Morality, that depends if we accept there is a universal morality or not as to whether its primary or secondary. This will take some thinking to see if I can spot an aspect of mind which is a primary truth, unless we have any Buddhists willing to speed it along.

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