Consciousness is fundamental to reality
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14-06-2015, 11:39 AM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
(14-06-2015 11:21 AM)mmhm1234 Wrote:  Based on this view it is easy for me to see that the universe is a construct of consciousness,

I think this is false, but if we add a few important words I think we can make a true claim...."Based on this view it is easy for me to see that my experience of the universe is a construct of consciousness," This I can buy.

(14-06-2015 11:21 AM)mmhm1234 Wrote:  all the 'stuff' in it is a construct of consciousness.

I would argue that the "stuff" is not a construct of consciousness, only my interpretation (or mental model) of "stuff".


(14-06-2015 11:21 AM)mmhm1234 Wrote:  All the confusion as to how it could be a construct of consciousness, and how consciousness creates this universe is merely a limit of our own COGNITIVE understanding.

Again, I would argue that consciousness doesn't create the universe, but only our experience of the universe.
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14-06-2015, 11:44 AM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
Zora- very enlightening. I for one, appreciate your knowledge in this field.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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14-06-2015, 11:50 AM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
(14-06-2015 11:24 AM)mmhm1234 Wrote:  
(14-06-2015 11:09 AM)DLJ Wrote:  All my grandparents died before I was 10.

They are no longer conscious.

Therefore my world ceased to exist over 40 years ago.

QED.

Smartass

That is incoherent. There was consciousness before you arrived in this universe. And there will be when you die.

... And before consciousness evolved there was stuff. Stuff that existed.

Before VMware there needs to be hardware.

Next?

Girl_nails

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14-06-2015, 12:03 PM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
(14-06-2015 11:50 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(14-06-2015 11:24 AM)mmhm1234 Wrote:  That is incoherent. There was consciousness before you arrived in this universe. And there will be when you die.

... And before consciousness evolved there was stuff. Stuff that existed.

Before VMware there needs to be hardware.

Next?

Girl_nails

But you can't prove consciousness has not existed since the beginning of the universe.
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14-06-2015, 12:24 PM (This post was last modified: 15-06-2015 09:13 AM by ZoraPrime.)
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
(14-06-2015 11:21 AM)mmhm1234 Wrote:  
(14-06-2015 10:20 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I think it would be better to say that the only thing we can be 100% certain about is the existence of our own consciousness. That's true.....even if the matrix (film) scenario is true, and we are nothing more than brains in vats, and all sensory input is an illusion, there is still the old "I think therefore I am" exercise that proves our own existence. Other things could still truly exist, even if we are unaware of them. It's a fallacy to claim that consciousness is the only thing that truly exists.


I somewhat agree, but I would go further and say that without consciousness, there is no "we".

You're taking the "brain in a vat" exercise too far. Just because everything could be an illusion, doesn't mean that everything is an illusion. You keep making this leap.

I don't think 'illusion' is the correct term do describe the reality we find ourselves in. Einstein said reality is an illusion, albeit a persistent one.

The interpretation that consciousness causes wave function collapse might be considered a fringe theory now, but the founders fathers of QM original interpretation of the data was that this is the case. The 'wave function' collapses from a state of potentially infinite possibilities to one real 'solid' thing. I don't see why this view is so ridiculous. It makes perfect sense to me and resolves a lot of paradoxes. The other theories in QM are that somehow all the other outcomes occur in infinite unobservable universes spraying off into infinity, and this is somehow more believable than saying consciousness (I thing we will probably never find, because the only thing doing the finding is consciousness) causes wave function collapse?

Based on this view it is easy for me to see that the universe is a construct of consciousness, all the 'stuff' in it is a construct of consciousness. To say otherwise is not in line with your own experience of this universe, because your own experience of this universe is inextricably linked with consciousness.

All the confusion as to how it could be a construct of consciousness, and how consciousness creates this universe is merely a limit of our own COGNITIVE understanding.

'Conscisousness causes collapse' was never considered a scientific theory. The nature of the wavefunction collapse is one that has no scientific consensus, because lacking any experimental evidence as to which interpretation is "correct" means that the question is meaningless.

The claim consciousness causes collapse creates many problems. Why do see gamma radiation from stars billions of light years away that would necessitate that some consciousness existed many years ago to collapse that system? Why is it that my geiger counter can register decays from a radioactive substance even though no one is in the room? Both of these are a result of a a wavefunction collapse (namely, nuclear states going from an excited state to a ground state). These are questions that need answers.

Secondly, the wavefunction wasn't introduced unitl 1926, nearly two decades after Planck established quantum physics. Max Born gave the probablistic interpretation a few days later, and it wasn't until von Neumann six years later that the interpretation received a mathematical form (yes, I realize von Neumann is the same person who argues 'consciousness causes collapse,' that doesn't mean his mathematical formalism is any more or less valid). A mechanism of wavefunction collapse wasn't even established until the 1970s, that being quantum decoherence, which to my knowledge, lacks experimental evidence as of right now (I'm not too confident in this claim; as I said, I haven't look at quantum decoherence carefully). I'm bringing up these dates to make a point: there aren't really any 'founding fathers' of quantum mechanics--this is a scientific theory that has developed over a long time when many different people.

Thirdly, we shouldn't care what founding fathers thinks. If we based on interpretation of electrodynamics on what the founders thought, we'd still subscribe to a luminiferous aether. Science is discipline wherein we want to look at the modern formulation, not the historical one, in order to change the world. Very rarely do scientists ever rely on a once discarded historical observation for insight; when they do, it's using a discarded solution to an already solved problem to solve a completely new problem.

As I said before, arguing that quantum mechanics implies consciousness causes collapse is a dead end. We don't know enough about the wavefunction collapse as a whole to comment on its nature, let alone enough to argue that consciousness is necessary. But we still have reasons to suspect why consciousness is not requisite, whcih goes back to the questions I brought up in the first point regarding gamma radiation from far away and the fact a geiger counter can register hits with no human around.
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14-06-2015, 12:36 PM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
(14-06-2015 12:03 PM)mmhm1234 Wrote:  
(14-06-2015 11:50 AM)DLJ Wrote:  ... And before consciousness evolved there was stuff. Stuff that existed.

Before VMware there needs to be hardware.

Next?

Girl_nails

But you can't prove consciousness has not existed since the beginning of the universe.

You can't prove there isn't a 1957 Chevy orbiting Pluto.

Based on what we KNOW, (that the ONLY times we observe the emergence of consciousness ... it emerges from functioning brains) the issue of proving that didn't happen then is so remote, it's a waste of time. When and IF it's ever observed in any other context, THEN and only then is it worthwhile to go on your wild goose chase.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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14-06-2015, 12:43 PM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
(14-06-2015 12:36 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(14-06-2015 12:03 PM)mmhm1234 Wrote:  But you can't prove consciousness has not existed since the beginning of the universe.

You can't prove there isn't a 1957 Chevy orbiting Pluto.

Based on what we KNOW, (that the ONLY times we observe the emergence of consciousness ... it emerges from functioning brains) the issue of proving that didn't happen then is so remote, it's a waste of time. When and IF it's ever observed in any other context, THEN and only then is it worthwhile to go on your wild goose chase.

That's your best argument? The brain is obviously involved in conscious activity. But there is no evidence it creates consciousness! You don't get it do you?
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14-06-2015, 12:45 PM (This post was last modified: 14-06-2015 12:51 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
(14-06-2015 12:24 PM)ZoraPrime Wrote:  As I said before, arguing that quantum mechanics implies consciousness causes collapse is a dead end. We don't know enough about the wavefunction collapse as a whole to comment on its nature, let alone enough to argue that consciousness is necessary. But we still have reasons to suspect why consciousness is not requisite, whcih goes back to the questions I brought up in the first point regarding gamma radiation from far away and the fact a geiger counter can register hits with no human around.

I think that Wheeler himself proposed that a "participatory universe" does not necessarily entail consciousness. The Geiger counter is a perfectly fine participant or "observer".

Does this mean humans are necessary to the existence of the universe? While conscious observers certainly partake in the creation of the participatory universe envisioned by Wheeler, they are not the only, or even primary, way by which quantum potentials become real. Ordinary matter and radiation play the dominant roles. Wheeler likes to use the example of a high-energy particle released by a radioactive element like radium in Earth's crust. The particle, as with the photons in the two-slit experiment, exists in many possible states at once, traveling in every possible direction, not quite real and solid until it interacts with something, say a piece of mica in Earth's crust. When that happens, one of those many different probable outcomes becomes real. In this case the mica, not a conscious being, is the object that transforms what might happen into what does happen. The trail of disrupted atoms left in the mica by the high-energy particle becomes part of the real world.

Consciousness is sufficient to realize reality, but it is not necessary.

#sigh
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14-06-2015, 12:47 PM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
(14-06-2015 10:20 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  ... You keep making this leap ...

It's a necessary leap: the obvious subtext in this is that the essential consciousness is god's. Otherwise there's no point to the hypothesis. One might just as well hypothesize that every apple eaten increases the incidences of people putting on their left sock first worldwide - a non-sequitur supposition neither provable nor useful even if it was proven.
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14-06-2015, 01:00 PM
RE: Consciousness is fundamental to reality
*pokes thread with very long stick*

What is this shit? It has the intellectual content of "Mountains are purple therefore cowboys wear felt hats because science says bippity boppity boo" and when folks went wtf (understandably) it goes "you're all idiots because you don't agree with me!!!"

I don't know how to answer this since most of it is incoherent nonsense. Consciousness is independent of matter? No, it isn't. The universe is dependent on consciousness? No, it isn't. NDE's aren't related to brains? Yes, they are.

Perhaps he's using the word consciousness in a different way than most people though. As I understand it consciousness is the result of the interaction of memory, emotion, and sensory input. If he means something else then perhaps an explanation would be in order.
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