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    Thread: is there a 50/50 chance that this is an illusion or not real?

    1. #1
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      is there a 50/50 chance that this is an illusion or not real?

      im talking about the skeptics philosophy that this life or reality is not real, and this is an illusion. that this is something else, like a virtual reality, a dream, the brain in the vat or something else.
      the brain in the vat is the idea is that you could just be a brain in a vat that is recieving sensory information from a surer computor or something and so your reality is not real.
      there is equal (no) evidence either way, and i was thinking when there is two options and no or equal evidence or reasons to believe either way then it is a 50/50 chance?

    2. #2
      Xei
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      No, quite obviously that's not how probabilistic inference works. Imagine your are blindfolded, and have to throw a dart at a bullseye ten feet away. There are only two things that could happen: either you hit the bullseye, or you don't. There's no evidence either way. But does that make it a 50/50 chance? Of course not.

      The question of the probability that the world is a virtual reality or not (the word 'real' is ambiguous and misleading) is a meaningless one. You can only assign a probability when you have some initial information. The information is limited, but at least you have some. For instance, the bullseye may be 1% of the total size of the area that you may hit, so the probability of your hitting it would be 1%. But by definition, there is no observation you could make of reality which would have any bearing upon whether or not it is a virtual reality. So you can't meaningfully assign the proposition any probability.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      No, quite obviously that's not how probabilistic inference works. Imagine your are blindfolded, and have to throw a dart at a bullseye ten feet away. There are only two things that could happen: either you hit the bullseye, or you don't. There's no evidence either way. But does that make it a 50/50 chance? Of course not.

      The question of the probability that the world is a virtual reality or not (the word 'real' is ambiguous and misleading) is a meaningless one. You can only assign a probability when you have some initial information. The information is limited, but at least you have some. For instance, the bullseye may be 1% of the total size of the area that you may hit, so the probability of your hitting it would be 1%. But by definition, there is no observation you could make of reality which would have any bearing upon whether or not it is a virtual reality. So you can't meaningfully assign the proposition any probability.
      Beautiful.

      Our reality could be anything we choose it to be. Claiming your awake state as your reality is just as viable as claiming your dream state as your reality. If it's that simple to claim a reality, imagine how simple it could be that we are all the creation of our own realities? This is a very provoking question, with limitless answers, so I will tell you, the answer is yours to choose.

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      "reality" is a pretty stupid word.
      mcwillis and dutchraptor like this.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      No, quite obviously that's not how probabilistic inference works. Imagine your are blindfolded, and have to throw a dart at a bullseye ten feet away. There are only two things that could happen: either you hit the bullseye, or you don't. There's no evidence either way. But does that make it a 50/50 chance? Of course not.
      but you are using the knowledge that the bullseye is smaller. if you did not know this there is equal chance for either.

      think of it this way, if you are blindfolded and there is a ball infront of you, and you know it is either red or black. what is the chance it is going to be black? it is 50/50.

      with the information we have it is equal chance that reality is what we think it is as it might be something else.
      thats based on the current available information just like all chance is.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Ollie View Post
      Beautiful.

      Our reality could be anything we choose it to be. Claiming your awake state as your reality is just as viable as claiming your dream state as your reality. If it's that simple to claim a reality, imagine how simple it could be that we are all the creation of our own realities? This is a very provoking question, with limitless answers, so I will tell you, the answer is yours to choose.
      by reality i mean the currently accepted idea of what this all is.

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      just thought of a better way to explain what i mean.
      if there was a running race between 2 people. but thats all you know, you dont know anything about them, each persons chance of winning is 50%. that may change when you find out one iss in a wheel chair and the other is an olympic runner but for now its 50%

    8. #8
      Xei
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      No. If you try to assign probabilities to things you have no information about at all, you get inconsistent nonsense.

      For instance: there is a box with a mystery object inside.

      It may be an apple (and nothing else). It may not be. By your reasoning, we must assign a 50% probability to each of these possibilities, because we have absolutely zero information about what the criteria for choosing the object were.

      It may also be a pear (and nothing else). And of course, it may not be. By the same reasoning, there is a 50% probability for each possibility.

      In other words, there is a 50% probability that it's just an apple, and there's a 50% probability that it's just a pear. So there's a 50% + 50% = 100% probability that there's either just an apple, or just a pear in the box. Thus there is a 0% probability that there is anything else.

      This is manifestly nonsense and demonstrates why assigning probabilities to situations with no parameters whatsoever is a meaningless absurdity which contradicts the concept of probability.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      No. If you try to assign probabilities to things you have no information about at all, you get inconsistent nonsense.

      For instance: there is a box with a mystery object inside.

      It may be an apple (and nothing else). It may not be. By your reasoning, we must assign a 50% probability to each of these possibilities, because we have absolutely zero information about what the criteria for choosing the object were.

      It may also be a pear (and nothing else). And of course, it may not be. By the same reasoning, there is a 50% probability for each possibility.

      In other words, there is a 50% probability that it's just an apple, and there's a 50% probability that it's just a pear. So there's a 50% + 50% = 100% probability that there's either just an apple, or just a pear in the box. Thus there is a 0% probability that there is anything else.

      This is manifestly nonsense and demonstrates why assigning probabilities to situations with no parameters whatsoever is a meaningless absurdity which contradicts the concept of probability.
      what if you had a box with a number that is between 1 and 10. what is the probability it will be 1?

    10. #10
      Xei
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      Again it depends on how the numbers are chosen. As it stands the question is not well-posed.

      Here's a question for you: the universe is either a simulation by a machine, or it is not. So what are the probabilities either way? Also, the universe is either a dream, or it is not. So what are the probabilities either way? And finally, the universe may be a machine simulation or a dream, or it is not. What are the probabilities either way?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      No. If you try to assign probabilities to things you have no information about at all, you get inconsistent nonsense.
      It's so refreshing coming across people who actually do understand the most basic concepts of probability. Especially after discussing the Monty Hall problem with others who still think it's 50-50 even when the probabilities have been clearly laid out for them.

      Or how about "the universe either contains a god or it does not"?

      Why do people fail so badly at this?!
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      So the chances of winning the lottery are 50-50? There is only two choices, either you win or you lose. According to your logic, since you don't know the odds you have a 50% chance of winning. No, of course not! That is just silly.

      Your odds are based on the the amount of tickets there are, not how many tickets you are aware of. Your knowledge doesn't effect the real probability, only what you think the probability is. If you have no idea at all, then yea you are just making a random guess.

      Using the runner example. You have a 50% chance of guessing the winner, because there is only two. That part is true. However the chances of each person winning isn't going to be 50-50, and are probably going to greatly favor one over the other.
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    13. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      No. If you try to assign probabilities to things you have no information about at all, you get inconsistent nonsense.

      For instance: there is a box with a mystery object inside.

      It may be an apple (and nothing else). It may not be. By your reasoning, we must assign a 50% probability to each of these possibilities, because we have absolutely zero information about what the criteria for choosing the object were.

      It may also be a pear (and nothing else). And of course, it may not be. By the same reasoning, there is a 50% probability for each possibility.

      In other words, there is a 50% probability that it's just an apple, and there's a 50% probability that it's just a pear. So there's a 50% + 50% = 100% probability that there's either just an apple, or just a pear in the box. Thus there is a 0% probability that there is anything else.

      This is manifestly nonsense and demonstrates why assigning probabilities to situations with no parameters whatsoever is a meaningless absurdity which contradicts the concept of probability.
      Well In this case there are only two choices, because he is asking is it an illusion/not real or is, where as there are not many answers to the question, it is just a yes or no.


      " I couldn't stand her at first, But then I loved her so bad It Hurt "

    14. #14
      Xei
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      Every question I posed was a 'yes or no' question. How about you try to answer the questions I gave above? Then you will find why assigning a 50/50 chance, or indeed any chance, is impossible.

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      If we DO live in a Matrix-like illusion and are brains in vats or something like that, then it's impossible to trust our very perceptions, so there would be no way to ascertain the nature of that reality.

      So in a way, statistically, I suppose there are countless billions of possible 'realities' compared to the one reality that we percieve. However, using the only tools available to us - our human perceptions - only the one reality has any evidence to support it and demonstrates a remarkable consistency.

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      Dreaming Shaman ZeraCook's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      Every question I posed was a 'yes or no' question. How about you try to answer the questions I gave above? Then you will find why assigning a 50/50 chance, or indeed any chance, is impossible.
      K since every question you posted was a yes or no question ill answer them as so..... in order to make it easy....

      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      Again it depends on how the numbers are chosen. As it stands the question is not well-posed.

      Here's a question for you: the universe is either a simulation by a machine, or it is not. So what are the probabilities either way? Also, the universe is either a dream, or it is not. So what are the probabilities either way? And finally, the universe may be a machine simulation or a dream, or it is not. What are the probabilities either way?
      No....Yes....No.....
      Wait..... OMG these aren't yes or no questions!


      " I couldn't stand her at first, But then I loved her so bad It Hurt "

    17. #17
      Xei
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      Are you seriously that immature, or do you think that's actually a cogent, honest thing to say..? The original poster's question was, 'is the universe an illusion or not'. It is a yes or no question, as you said. The questions I was talking about, such as 'is the universe simulated by a machine or not', are of exactly the same type, a yes or no question. The discussion about these yes or no questions does not take the form of a yes or no question; obviously I never claimed they do, and to pretend otherwise would be a childish conflation.
      Last edited by Xei; 06-19-2012 at 02:56 AM.
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    18. #18
      Dreaming Shaman ZeraCook's Avatar
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      I wasn't being immature I was being a smartass, which I admit isn't much better. if they were yes or no questions then it should have made since, but I was making a point that they are not yes or no questions they are asking for Probability. Not a yes or no answer, so what I was doing was pointing out, in a smartassed way, that they are asking for a specific thing, where as the OP was asking if its a 50/50 chance and why. which is a yes or no question, with an explanation. You were stating that it is or not and asking what the probability was.

      Oh and also the reason I did that was because you pushed one of my buttons when saying "How About" which is seems smart ass to me, so I responded in a smart ass fashion.


      " I couldn't stand her at first, But then I loved her so bad It Hurt "

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      As it's been explained, probability does not come into play when dealing with uncertainty in the real world. Just because you cannot be certain of something doesn't mean its probability is equal to its improbability. In fact when you really study Complexity, most probabilities become hard to ascertain. For instance when rolling a dice we don't know how the imperfections on the table will effect the outcome. But just because we don't know every detail of influence doesn't suddenly turn the probably to a 50% chance that it will land on 6 and a 50% chance it will not.

      As far as reality goes, it makes no difference whether or not our brains are in a vat when trying to ascertain whether or not we live in "reality" right now. Technically the world already is a hologram because a very small selection of particles arranged in different ways make up an incredible amount of variation. Reality is not much different from a computer screen where red, green and blue make up every color and image we see.

      So again I digress the word reality is stupid, or atleast combining its connotation. Describing this sober state of mind as real implies every other state of mind is fake. Its not fake, it's just more temporary. If everything temporary were fake reality would be just as fake.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    20. #20
      Xei
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      Quote Originally Posted by ZeraCook View Post
      I wasn't being immature I was being a smartass, which I admit isn't much better. if they were yes or no questions then it should have made since, but I was making a point that they are not yes or no questions they are asking for Probability.
      No, they're 'yes or no questions', in the sense that they can only be one way or another, and then a judgement is made about the probability. This is exactly the same as what is done in the OP.

      I don't really want to get into pointless arguments of semantics; do you understand the point I was actually making, i.e. that assigning a probability of 50/50 to a question on the sole basis that there are two options and no other information is incoherent?

    21. #21
      Dreaming Shaman ZeraCook's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      I don't really want to get into pointless arguments of semantics; do you understand the point I was actually making, i.e. that assigning a probability of 50/50 to a question on the sole basis that there are two options and no other information is incoherent?
      Yes Semantics is difficult just because definition can be based on experience, for example, we all use love but some of us have more or a lack of it in life. its all perception really. But yes I do see your point, about basically needing more information, because as Omnis as shown even if we were somehow being controlled by a machine like in Matrix then it could still be fought that it is all real, such was the case of the guy in the first movie who betrayed them.


      " I couldn't stand her at first, But then I loved her so bad It Hurt "

    22. #22
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      Quote Originally Posted by Omnis Dei View Post
      Describing this sober state of mind as real implies every other state of mind is fake.
      Well not really. Reality INCLUDES states like dream, drunkenness, hypnosis, psychosis, and all the other altered states we know of.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Well not really. Reality INCLUDES states like dream, drunkenness, hypnosis, psychosis, and all the other altered states we know of.
      But its connotation is contrast dreams, among other things such as abstraction and imagination.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    24. #24
      I am become fish pear Abra's Avatar
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      That this thread is 22 posts it a testament to the fermentation of Dreamviews.
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      Abraxas

      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

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      Maybe the problem lies to the fact that we are unable to see things as they are.

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