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    Thread: Would the universe exist without observers?

    1. #1
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      Would the universe exist without observers?

      Would the vastness of space be a reality, without someone or something to observe it? Would there be a point to the existence of said universe, without observers? If so, then aren't we the creators of our own universe?

      Just like when we aren't dreaming, there is no one to sense the surrounding. No one can see, feel, hear, smell or listen to the dream we make up. Does it still exist then? I don't think so. I think the same can be said for our universe.
      Last edited by Athylus; 01-03-2016 at 07:34 PM.
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      Hmm, didn't see this thread when it first popped up. Considering it's still this month and there were no replies but the discussion can get some pretty interesting ones from past debates over this that I've seen, I'll go ahead and say what I think.

      Do I believe the universe would exist without observers to observe it: yes. Do I think its existence would matter if there were no observers? No. The only way something can matter or have meaning is by an observer assigning meaning to whatever it is that they are observing. Considering the fairly reliable evidence we have come up with that confirms that the universe existed before there were observers there to make it exist, I find it hard to believe so many people think that it wouldn't. I can see why they might think that before giving the idea the appropriate amount of thought before coming to their conclusion, but given enough pondering it's a bit surprising so many would think that it wouldn't (I wouldn't even know so many people did if not for seeing past debates on it).

      Usual proponents like to use seemingly logical theories that are actually illogical most of the time. One such theory is that because we are not able to observe the universe objectively (or in other words we have only a subjective and limited experience and perspective at our disposal), it is impossible to know anything, let alone know that the universe would be there if we or another observer weren't. While the statement is true enough, let's think about this. You can say that you never existed the moment before you last woke up. The only thing telling you that you did is your collective (and might I add faulty) memory. You remember you were there yesterday, so you believe you were. But if you continue iterating the logic, you can't say you existed in the past or that you will exist in the future. All you know is what is you are experiencing presently, and you only appear to know that (funnily enough given the laws of physics and the observed property of the brain to wait until it can build a complete picture of reality based on all sensory input, you can't even say you exist in the present because you don't know if you do or not yet--what appears to be present has already passed). Again, also true. You could even point out that all "knowledge" is actually a group of assumptions that are just turtles all the way down (if you aren't familiar with the expression, Turtles all the way down on Wikipedia). You will never reach a point where you arrive at a solid fact, the further you investigate "known" facts. This is also a true statement. But, why would you apply this logic to this situation, when you don't anywhere else? Why do you still go to work everyday? Why do we care about anything or do anything at all? How is our assumptive knowledge possibly capable of providing us with the technology we have developed? Why can we test things and they can be predictably turn out "true" or "false" given all the right information and prior knowledge needed to make an educated guess about the outcome of an event? If none of this is more than assumption, if we can never truly know something, why do we not use this logic for practical purposes in our daily lives?

      The reason being is that it is far more useful to assume the opposite, because after making a few small and necessary assumptions that allow us to bridge the gap and provide the proper suspension of disbelief, we can actually be proven time and time again, as many times as our bodies are able to do it, that the assumption that we take part in a shared and objective universe which existed before we did and will still exist for some time after we are gone is the smarter choice of the two. It is practical, it is testable, it is at least able to be observed, demonstrated, and reproduced again given the same controlled conditions.

      Another thing proponents of the universe wouldn't exist without observers theory posit is that with our current understanding of quantum mechanics, or at least given the wave-particle duality, that the universe exists in a sort of superstate before condensing into a fixed position at any given planck time that has been observed by an observer. I feel like a lot of quantum mechanics is really watered down if you are a dedicated hobbyist to researching information about it on the internet or simply take a few college classes that include it for brief to moderately brief intervals. It leaves a lot of room for the error in understanding what is actually being stated, simply because the obscurity the watered down language used to explain the findings possesses. Not to mention that if it were even stated as accurately as possible, it doesn't mean someone is going to interpret it right. And, on top of all that, we still don't know enough about the things we had simply taken for granted in the past or even right now because the ideas and theories concerning everything implicated in the topic that worked in pretty much all cases until we came to a greater understanding of what it is we were dealing with and new findings suggest that we need to make serious revisions to what we believe about those ideas. A good example: gravity. Good example from the past: Newtonian Physics vs Einstein's theories of relativity (which obviously need expanding upon given there is a need for quantum mechanics as a field of study whatsoever).

      So, even if we assume that the wave-particle duality of light seriously suggests that the universe exists in a sort of superstate before collapsing upon observation, how do me know this isn't simply a limitation of human perception manifesting itself in the form of this apparent duality? There simply isn't as much information as is needed to make that sort of determination. As such, the scientific community are not in agreement about the universe existing as a superstate and then collapsing upon observation. It's led to ideas like the universe being able to observe itself (which is obviously fairly silly despite the fact that we don't know if this is the case). We can reproduce the results of the observation of an interference pattern arising from a double-split experiment where light apparently behaves as a wave until we interact with it by observing it and it appears as a particle instead. We don't have terribly much to go on based in this result, and despite being able to reproduce it, the reproduction thereof only confirms the observation. It does not explain it at all. So, there is no way we can say reliably that the universe doesn't exist until observed based off this simple observation. There simply is too much data that we lack to say with any reasonable certainty. Now, it might seem like I have contradicted myself here because a lack of information meaning we can't say one way or another whether something is reliably true, right? Well, yeah, you would be right if there weren't enough evidence just living your daily life that the universe is there and can consistently be interacted with over time. Don't get me wrong, I'm not claiming that it is the absolute truth that the universe exists without us observing it (lack enough information), but it is at least reasonable to assume that it does based on something more than an a few ideas you come up with but have extreme difficulty testing in anyway based off of what we observe.

      Common sense can often be stupid-assumption-based-on-a-lack-of-thinking sense, but common sense given the right information is a useful tool. There is more evidence that suggests the universe exists without observers to observe it than there is that it doesn't. I'm completely open to the possibility that that is indeed not the case, and the idea is wrong. However, conclusions not coinciding with what is suggested by the current evidence we have are often pretty silly (although in some cases they may be right), and a common sense approach to the situation seems the best way to handle things. Evidence points to this --> it's probably this.
      Last edited by snoop; 01-30-2016 at 03:25 PM.
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    3. #3
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      ^^ That's all very excellent stuff, Snoop, but, perhaps oddly, what it does for me is illustrate the real problem behind this question:

      Why do we assume that something must be real to us in order to be real at all?

      I have always felt that the arrogance of humans (and probably lots of other sentient beings in the universe with time on their hands to wax intellectual) is profoundly on display when we say things like the universe will not exist if we are not there to observe it. The universe exists all by itself, without our help and observation, and somehow did so for many billions of years before we ever existed to observe its presence, just as it will still be there long after we're gone.

      I blame folks like Einstein and Heisenberg, plus quantum mechanics in general for all this seemingly collective solipsistic nonsense (if that's even possible). Well, I don't blame them; I guess I blame the tradition of misinterpretation of quantum mechanics, and our (also human) need to find all the cool stuff we can about a theory few people even understand and apply those bits to our waking-life existence; i.e, that the observation of an electron will change its state does not equal that the observation of, say, a mountain will change its state.


      Also

      Quote Originally Posted by Athylus View Post
      Just like when we aren't dreaming, there is no one to sense the surrounding. No one can see, feel, hear, smell or listen to the dream we make up. Does it still exist then? I don't think so. I think the same can be said for our universe.
      The problem here is that your dream never existed, even while you were dreaming it. Not in any physical sense, anyway (and no, I'm not counting synaptic energy between brain cells, because I don't think that is what you were talking about). Aside from your memory of it, your dream really is gone when you wake up, because it was never "there" in the first place. The universe, however, was there before, during, and after your observation of it... whether you like it or not.
      Last edited by Sageous; 01-30-2016 at 08:19 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Athylus View Post
      Just like when we aren't dreaming, there is no one to sense the surrounding. No one can see, feel, hear, smell or listen to the dream we make up. Does it still exist then? I don't think so. I think the same can be said for our universe.
      The problem here is that your dream never existed, even while you were dreaming it. Not in any physical sense, anyway (and no, I'm not counting synaptic energy between brain cells, because I don't think that is what you were talking about). Aside from your memory of it, your dream really is gone when you wake up, because it was never "there" in the first place. The universe, however, was there before, during, and after your observation of it... whether you like it or not.
      I agree about the dream never having existed. At least, in the way Athylus describes it. However, I am actually going to go ahead and explain why this notion is incorrect in the first place.

      What are we going to agree upon a dream actually "is" in this argument (beyond the experience itself I mean)? Is the dream real? Does it exist? It does, it can be measured. Even with the limited information and tools we have at the moment, we can wake people up when we see a pattern in brain activity that happens most often when people claim having just dremt before being woken up. It is something that we can say for certain exists because the brain functions in certain but specific ways while dreaming. A dream is really nothing more than a faulty sensory perception resulting from an altered state of consciousness in which certain parts of the brain stop communicating with each other and other communicate with each other more. What the dream appears to be to the observer may not in fact be an accurate or complete perception of reality. And that is the key to understanding why the universe exists, has existed, and will exist even without observers to observe it existing. Someone else may see your dream completely differently, and I mean nothing like you do at all. You are immersed in a rich and detailed fantasy where the laws that govern things change all the time. An outside observer sees electrical activity in a certain area of the brain. The dream still in fact exists, but it is observed completely differently by a different observer that is able to "see" or "recognize" what your dream was. Your observations are not even accurate or whole (ever, and never will be), let alone do they possess the ability to allow the universe to exist.

      If you were the only being in the universe, your reality would be all you know, but it still wouldn't exclude the possibility that there is an objective reality beyond you that is there whether what "you" are there are not to observe it. What is it that you are anyway? You are made of what the universe is made of. If you really wanted to, entertaining the notion that the universe observes itself actually holds true in the case of any observer that observes that it is capable of observing. It's not that the universe wouldn't exist without you, but that you would not exist without the universe. How can something self-contained and that arises from and is a part of a system and seemingly possesses the ability to observe or experience itself and everything else be what determines if what makes it up in the first place is there at all? How could you exist without the universe? How could observers observe if the universe was not there before them in order to do strange and fantastic things like allow you to observe in the first place?
      Last edited by snoop; 01-31-2016 at 02:28 AM.

    5. #5
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      I'm pretty sure everything still would exists, if there is no observer. You as a human perciever percieve your model of the world. Healthy persons observe the world simillary. You cannot know how world looks like without your body percieving, you don't know how your dog percieve the world. But if you stop exist for 5 minutes and then appeared as a healthy human, there would still be the same world only 5 minutes older. I'm pretty sure about this, I though about this a lot and every other explanation is insane.
      Last edited by Nfri; 03-21-2016 at 12:19 AM.
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      And about dreaming, you still percieve stuff, but the difference is that you don't percieve it from the external world but you percieve things that are happening in your brain intenally. I'm finally starting to grasp what LaBerge was talking about all the time.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Nfri View Post
      And about dreaming, you still percieve stuff, but the difference is that you don't percieve it from the external world but you percieve things that are happening in your brain intenally. I'm finally starting to grasp what LaBerge was talking about all the time.
      You should read up on what dissociative drugs do, and about altered states that you can reach from isolation tanks, and the ganzfeld experiment stuff. It'll allow you some greater insight on the subject. What you said about perceiving a model of reality is correct. The process the brain/mind has for constructing reality is always taking place, but in certain states, memory, cognition, attention, and awareness are affected to such an extent that you don't remember it happening or are unaware that it is. This is why you wind up having dreams when you sleep, and why drugs can cause hallucinations. There are sensory binding circuits, and all this other kinda stuff, but I'm getting pretty off topic. If you want me to link you some information about it, or discuss it more in-depth, PM me or something.

      As far as this topic goes, I stand pretty firmly with what I've already said. We can't exist without the universe, we arose within the system, so the system itself cannot depend on our existence in order to exist itself. Our own existence depends on its existence. We are just a fragment of the whole. It defies all logical reasoning to come to the opposite conclusion, at least in my opinion.

      Here's an example. Imagine we're all part of a vast ocean of water. Well, to put it correctly, we are all icebergs floating in the ocean. We are made of the very water of the ocean we reside in. If we melt away, does the ocean go away? Even if the icebergs in this example are aware (or believe they are, anyway), and the ocean can only have meaning and be known by the icebergs or something having properties similar to the icebergs (in terms of observing the ocean and everything that comes from it), that says nothing about the ocean's existence, other than the fact that it has to be observed... in order to be observed. Lol.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Athylus View Post
      Just like when we aren't dreaming, there is no one to sense the surrounding. No one can see, feel, hear, smell or listen to the dream we make up. Does it still exist then? I don't think so. I think the same can be said for our universe.
      Why? A dream is a product of the electrical impulses and chemical reactions in your brain. When those stop creating a dream, it ceases to exist. Dreams are... how to put it... pure sense. You aren't actually observing or touching or smelling anything, unless you happen to sense something in the waking world (e.g. your alarm clock). There is little to no input from your environment. Your brain is making up all those sights, sounds, etc.

      As far as we know, the Universe simply is on its own. It is all that is. To say an observer is necessary is completely baseless.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Athylus View Post
      Would the vastness of space be a reality, without someone or something to observe it? Would there be a point to the existence of said universe, without observers? If so, then aren't we the creators of our own universe?

      Just like when we aren't dreaming, there is no one to sense the surrounding. No one can see, feel, hear, smell or listen to the dream we make up. Does it still exist then? I don't think so. I think the same can be said for our universe.

      I would say yes and no. It all depends on from what viewpoint one takes. But the obvious viewpoint that everybody have is their own. So that is a good start to begin with since we cant say for sure what is beyond that. But from a personal view point, all we percieve does exist in some form or another. And what we dont percieve in the moment, does not exist as long as it is not percieved by the observer. That does indeed make us the creator of our own universe yes.

      Dreams are always personal even though shared dreaming would or is possible. So we dream in our sleep, and we dream when we are "awake". For who might that exist or not? For the dreamer of course. But I think an even more important question to that is, does it matter? And if it do or it dont, then why?
      You are not your thoughts...

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      Hmmm, I think several different issues are mixed up here, so in order to clear this up (at least as I see it) let me just remind you that there is a difference between the reality as you see it and the actual reality. The reality as we see it is based solely on our own senses and brain. Our brain processes all external input (like sight, hearing, chemical input like smell and taste, etc) to create an interpretation of reality. This is the only reality we are capable of sensing / seeing, so yeah - this reality only exists because we exist. However, if you're referring to the actual reality - yes, it existed long before us and will keep existing long after...

      Thing is, like Sageous said, the dream reality can't be compared to the actual reality. Not only that it was never real in the first place, it's not even based on real-time input (like the reality as you see it), but instead based on our memories, emotions, and expectations. Now, yes, dream reality can get pretty complex and convincingly "real", but this is only compared to the reality as you see it. Since both of these are generated by our brain (based on real-time or recorded data), it's not that surprising that both can have a similar level of realism. After all, certain drugs or medical condition that cause hallucinations can incorporate ideas we normally associate with dreams (e.g. unicorns) into "reality as you see it".

      However, the actual reality is far more complex and beyond our sensory comprehension. As such it can't be, by definition, compared with reality as you see it or dream reality because it is not based on our own human senses. Furthermore, no matter how complex of a system of sensors we are going to build, we will never be able to fully comprehend the actual reality. This can be proven! First of all, based on the uncertainty principle (which has been proven) there is a limit to the precision at which we can observe or measure things. Furthermore, to comprehend a system fully you'll have to use sensors that are bigger than it or run thru the system for longer than it exists (if the sensor is too small to scan all at once) - but obviously we can't build a sensor that is bigger than the universe or one that will run for longer... Finally, it's mathematically proven that a finite set of axioms can't yield a model that is both complete and consistent (aka Godel's incompleteness). All three arguments essentially say the same thing, albeit from three different perspectives (physics, engineering or math), that you can't fully comprehend a system that you're a part of.

      So essentially what I'm trying to say is that it's important to distinguish between our individual version of reality (or the collective version of it as a species - which is fairly consistent because we all have fairly similar senses and brains), and the actual one true reality. Now I don't care how big is that one true reality, if the multiverse exists it's still all located in that one reality. This one reality does in fact exist, so our presence as observers plays no role on its shape / existence. However, realities that are created by our brains or by a set of computer sensors are realities whose existence is relative and dependent upon the existence of the observer / measurement apparatus that conjured them.

      I'll steal Sageous' punchline - tl;dr:
      1. Actual reality - exists and is not dependent on observers to exist.
      2. The world as each of us sees it / the world as the collective human race sees it - all of these worlds are a creation of one or more brain + sensors and are thus relative and their existence is dependent on the observer. However, they are as close to realism as we can get, as they are based on real-time input (unless certain drugs or medical conditions are involved).
      3. A dream - like (2), it's relative and observer dependent, but instead of being based on real-time input it is based on our brain's creativity and past experiences, which makes it far less "real" than (2).

      My two cents...

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      Objective reality exists independent of human (or other) observers. It just doesn't exist the way our limited senses tell us that it does - NOT EVEN CLOSE. So objective reality and subjective reality are very, very, VERY different. Here's one ridiculously tiny example out of a zillion possible examples.

      Rap your knuckles on a wood table (go ahead, I'll wait). Feels solid, right? Well...it isn't. 99.99999997% of that table is nothing but empty space. Same thing w/r/t your knuckles. The solidity is merely the subjective appearance to your mind. Presumably you believe in atoms, and know that the table is made up of them. Well, the indisputable objective reality is that if the nucleus of an atom was 1 foot, the nearest electron would be over TEN MILES away and the next atomic nucleus would be held at more than TWICE that distance. Everything else (omitting quantum foam from the discussion ATM) would be empty space. The greater mind f*ck is that we ourselves are comprised of an equally great portion of "nothingingness."

      We only believe in the delusion we commonly refer to as "reality" because we have a lifetime of the "appearance to mind" of a subjective reality which bears absolutely no resemblance to the ACTUAL objective reality and are unequipped from a sensory standpoint of ever perceiving the true objective way things exist.

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      DoubleHelix, that's a good example!

      Just a tiny correction (I know that you meant just that, but since it's a philosophical discussion too, I think it's permitted to be a snob) - the table IS solid, and solidity is NOT subjective. Rather, our senses are so limited that on our size level solidity is defined in a different way than what it actually is. The true definition of solidity would be a structural rigidity and resistance to changes of shape or volume caused by electromagnetic bonds (weak or strong). Neither our sense of touch nor our intuition about what "solidity" means have place in such definition... In fact the force we feel when pushing on a solid is a form of warped electromagnetic force - the same force that runs our home appliances...

      Another tiny correction - the space there isn't 99.99999997% empty - that would be only true if atoms were "rigid" and "indivisible" too. In fact, it is 100% empty if we look at small enough scales. No elementary particle has actual size that we know of / predict, and thus can't occupy any space at all. The only thing that "occupies" space is energy. Atoms have a "size" that is determined by how many layers of electrons are populated around the nucleus - so essentially the size of an atom is determined by the electroweak force. The size of a solid or liquid is determined by electromagnetic bonds - aka packs of energy on the electromagnetic field - thus it's determined by the electromagnetic force. The size of the nucleus is similarity determined by the strong force and how it arranges quarks around. On the opposite side of things the size of clusters of galaxies (as well as galaxies themselves, and solar systems within them) are determined by the gravitational force. What is left then of "actual matter"? Mass? No, mass is also just a form of packed up energy... To know how much energy just use the famous E=mc2 (for a body at rest). In fact another field is involved here - the Higgs field is what packs energy into the form of mass. So here you go - the space is 100% empty... Well, not really! It's full with energy, so of course if you ignore all the energy floating around it would be left empty, since the only thing in it (apart from a singularity or two) is energy in its many various forms.

      To sum up, I'm glad my senses are so simplistic. Imagine how confusing it would be to see the flaw of energy on force fields.
      Last edited by Spock; 05-15-2016 at 10:19 PM.
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      An "actual reality" is nothing more than an "reality" with an "actual" in front of it. But that doesn't make it less of an "actual reality" of course.

      this reality only exists because we exist. However, if you're referring to the actual reality - yes, it existed long before us and will keep existing long after...
      Yes.. we can assume that it is an actual reality that does exist. But with that way of assumption, there would also be logical to assume that the a dream you just woke up from, have always existed and will stil exist whether you are there to observe it or not. It may be, I dont know. There need to be an "I" in relation to "this" or a "that". Inorder to exist. So saying that there is an reality that exist when there is no "I", Is at best a theory of what "should be".

      Where you go, the reality go. But even talking about reality or what is real, can't be defined more than what we can agree upon. So there will always need to be a questioning about what is real or reality to expand the "reality" beyond what is already "known" about what is "real".

      the dream reality can't be compared to the actual reality.
      That is true. Since they are the same.
      You are not your thoughts...

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      DreamyBear, you've essentially ignored my whole argument...

      I repeat again: actual reality =/= what you see as reality

      What you're talking about is just reality from the perspective of your brain based on sensory input your senses collect as well as some biases and shortcuts your brain picked up during your life.
      This is not actual reality. This is your reality. Which is why it's subjective, relative, and is dependent on you.

      The actual reality is not that - it is the thing your reality is based on. I'll just repeat what Sageous already said:
      Why do we assume that something must be real to us in order to be real at all?
      Last edited by Spock; 05-15-2016 at 11:19 PM.
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      Sorry Spock, yeah I did kind of cherry pick in your argument and I know essentially what you mean with all that you said. So you did a good at trying to clearifying your reality, and our assumed shared reality. But thing is that when we try to talk about things that we simply cant percieve here/now. Then it is more of a dream than anything else. I cant for example say or do something to you and expect an certain outcome from you. And even if Im 100% sure about what you might say or do in "theory"=thought. That certainty will not be more real than a dream, even if the outcome matches the expected outcome.

      To sum it up some: thought=beliefe= Dream. So actual reality=dream.

      This does of course not mean that we can't handle the different state of dreams just because we live in them. Reality might feel dense, but that doesn't make it less of a dream.
      I repeat again: actual reality =/= what you see as reality
      Im almost with you on this. But since seeing does not always mean believing. I would say ("actual" reality = what you believe). So there cant be any other reality than the one you are in yourself.
      Why do we assume that something must be real to us in order to be real at all?
      We assume that because we make up our own reality. So if I say that the earth is flat. Then that doesn't mean that it is real unless you believe it to be.
      You are not your thoughts...

    16. #16
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      ^^ We don't make up our own reality, Dreamybear, we interpret and define our individual perceptions of reality, based on what is really, physically, there.

      Reality carries on with its existence, bearing no regard to how we perceive it. You can believe that the earth is flat with all your being, but you will still be wrong: your belief, no matter how sure, will have utterly no impact on the earth's actual roundness.

      In other words, we might -- and certainly do -- create our own perceptual version of reality, but that process has no physical effect on reailty itself... the universe will exist with or without us, and whether or not we are there to notice it.

      And, just to stay on topic, the "reality" that we create in our dreams is not the same as the reality we perceive in waking-life. Dreams only reflect reality, and that reflection does not continue after we wake. In dreams we are not creating physical worlds, only images of them.
      Last edited by Sageous; 05-16-2016 at 06:50 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by DreamyBear View Post
      Sorry Spock, yeah I did kind of cherry pick in your argument and I know essentially what you mean with all that you said. So you did a good at trying to clearifying your reality, and our assumed shared reality. But thing is that when we try to talk about things that we simply cant percieve here/now. Then it is more of a dream than anything else. I cant for example say or do something to you and expect an certain outcome from you. And even if Im 100% sure about what you might say or do in "theory"=thought. That certainty will not be more real than a dream, even if the outcome matches the expected outcome.

      To sum it up some: thought=beliefe= Dream. So actual reality=dream.
      To say that a thought=belief=dream, is to say that an orange=apple=earth, because all of these share one common trait (being spherical)... Thought, belief, dream - all of these are subjective, you're right about that, but I hope it's clear that these are pretty different from one another otherwise...

      Anyway, that doesn't matter, because subjective things like thought, belief, dream can't tell you much about actual reality. Again - all of these only exist in your own reality, my world wouldn't have your thoughts, beliefs or dreams (although they're going to be similar, because all people are relatively similar).

      Plus, dream is not trying to perceive things that you can't sense / know - all you perceive in a dream are things that you already sensed or know, at least on the subconscious level. It's essentially a simulation of "your reality", but instead of using external stimuli, it's produced internally (which is why you can literally control what you sense if you are lucid enough == turned on enough of your sleeping brain).

      And to say that the "actual reality" can't be perceived or sensed isn't true either - since "our reality" is essentially all we can and ever sensed or perceived of the "actual reality". Our reality is based on the actual one, which is why we can talk about it to some degree and try to understand it. But the fact that it's proven that the explanation will never be full is here to show how big of a difference there is between our and the actual realities.

      Im almost with you on this. But since seeing does not always mean believing. I would say ("actual" reality = what you believe). So there cant be any other reality than the one you are in yourself.
      We assume that because we make up our own reality. So if I say that the earth is flat. Then that doesn't mean that it is real unless you believe it to be.
      I'm keeping these quotes separate to show you the internal contradiction in what you're saying... You've concluded that "there cant be any other reality than the one you are in yourself" (where "actual reality = what you believe"), then you brought up a great counterargument - the fact that a small percentage of people still believe that the earth is flat. Now, if some people believe in flat earth while others believe in round earth, how can your conclusion be that there is only one observer dependent reality? Especially so if you've concluded that belief is what creates the one actual reality?

      Now, about "seeing does not always mean believing" - yeah sure, but the brain is great at settling internal conflict or just ignoring the issue... It's not like an AI in old animated movie, that when you give it a paradox it will start glitching and die / explode. So some might change their belief system to account for what they saw, while others will keep believing and try to find arguments that contradict the visual evidence (e.g. like when you show a flat earther a photo from space, he'll argue that it's either fake, or that the shuttle's window curves the shape like a lens, or another ridiculous argument). Some might even live with two contradicting notions at the same time - after all noone said that "your reality" must be internally consistent.

      Plus, none of what you've said concerns actual reality, i.e. the reality that is not a product of observation. Every other reality is generated by someone or something - my reality, yours, the reality of a stray cat, the reality of a Samsung S7, whatever... All of these collect input from the same ("actual") reality to generate their image of the world. However, the original world doesn't require anyone or anything to generate it. It's just there whether or not someone is there to observe it.
      Last edited by Spock; 05-16-2016 at 08:11 AM.
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    18. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      ^^ We don't make up our own reality, Dreamybear, we interpret and define our individual perceptions of reality, based on what is really, physically, there.

      Reality carries on with its existence, bearing no regard to how we perceive it. You can believe that the earth is flat with all your being, but you will still be wrong: your belief, no matter how sure, will have utterly no impact on the earth's actual roundness.

      In other words, we might -- and certainly do -- create our own perceptual version of reality, but that process has no physical effect on reailty itself... the universe will exist with or without us, and whether or not we are there to notice it.

      And, just to stay on topic, the "reality" that we create in our dreams is not the same as the reality we perceive in waking-life. Dreams only reflect reality, and that reflection does not continue after we wake. In dreams we are not creating physical worlds, only images of them.
      I understand what you are trying to convey here Sageous, and I havn't read Spocks fully answear yet, but I can feel that you both are going in same direction on the matter of reality. So just to summarize your text a bit here to my understanding of it as a whole. It is quite in line with what most people would agree on when it comes to explaining reality. You say that reality is the physical that of course cant be ignored just by looking away from it. And I agree with that fact, that there is this dense and physical reality. I have never said that I didn't think that was a part of reality. But as far as explaining what reality is, I dont think that there is much value in explain it away with that there happen to be a physical form and that is reality no matter what you believe about it. Because even if the physical world have an huge impact on your form as a human in everything you do. There have to be an "I" responding to that physical realm. The reality exist in you and you exist in reality. There cant be any human who have experienced reality outside their own perception of the reality. So if reality is going to have any meaning to you at all, you need to understand what reality is to you, and not what you in theory can figure out what it probably are.

      I do believe that the world and universe will continue to exist to other people after I die, just as much as you believe it to be doing so. So I dont deny that part just because I see reality in a different light now. Reality in my opinion is not more of this than that. Or more real in this way than that way. To say somethin really acurate about reality is to not say anything at all. But since words is all we got for now, we can speculate with in the reality of words that is.

      So to summarize my view of what reality is. I would say that reality is what you experience it to be. And that goes before the notion that reality might exist on it's own etc. Because we cant know what is "real" beyound our own peronal experience. So talking about a "reality" beyond our self is just our own view of reality, making up another world view of another "reality" within our own limited reality. I dont think that is wrong in itself, but I do know that it is limiting to the meaningfulness of the word reality.

      For most people, the word reality=The physical world/universe. And even though you include dreams/thoughts etc, in to that of course. You will always be limited with your own belief that what is real, have it's deepest answear in the physics of thing. Because that is the basic knowledge of reality if you put the physical as more real than anything else. To my understanding of the word reality=Is. So reality is "nothing and everything" if it is going to be a bit easier understod. And that might seem confusing and making no sense at first. but it makes more sense in the longrun, of getting to "know" what reality is all about.

      Spock I will answear you somewhat later, but feel free to question anything in this aswell if you feel like.
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    19. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by DreamyBear View Post
      Yes.. we can assume that it is an actual reality that does exist. But with that way of assumption, there would also be logical to assume that the a dream you just woke up from, have always existed and will stil exist whether you are there to observe it or not. It may be, I dont know. There need to be an "I" in relation to "this" or a "that". Inorder to exist. So saying that there is an reality that exist when there is no "I", Is at best a theory of what "should be".
      I will concede that what you say about our ideas on this merely being theories is true, but the fact that something is a "theory" does not determine its probability of being true in and of itself (just because something is a theory doesn't mean it's equally as likely or unlikely as another theory). I disagree with your idea about the dream. As a matter of fact, I don't see how the idea logically follows what we know about reality. Or rather, what I mean to say is that, while it could be true, what we know about reality doesn't immediately suggest that dreams are a form of reality that exists outside of our waking reality, and that they exist whether we are there or not. By what thought process does that idea actually stem from? Just from the fact that what we experience is subjective? It seems more like an idea that you would validate with confirmation bias, knowing that our individual realities are and can only be subjective. It doesn't naturally follow from the idea that there is an objective reality that we all inhabit. Honestly the only way I could see you coming to that conclusion, again, is for you to have had that idea already, and then validate it with confirmation bias.

      When you dream, you don't often dream of the exact same place over and over. When you wake up, you (as far as you can tell) always come back to the same place (or relatively the same, it only changes as much as what happens during the time that you slept). It's logical to assume that our subjective waking reality is shared with other people who all, like you, inhabit an "objective reality". It isn't logical to assume that your dreams are physical places that exist somewhere else, and that you somehow happen to be transported to when asleep. They are almost always completely different, and nobody other than you can confirm that where you were, and what happened there actually happened. So, how does it follow that because we live in a shared "objective" reality with others, that our dreams are also realities that exist on their own? I'm genuinely confused about it, I'm not trying to be an asshole or anything, please don't take it that way.


      As far as your other responses go, they all stem from the failure of language. Reality, in the terms we are discussing it as, has different meanings. Since we aren't quite agreeing on what those meanings are in all these different contexts, and the dictionary definitions don't do anything to clear this issue up, we all have different ideas about what it should mean, and at this point we're all arguing semantics. It's clear we are saying and agreeing on the same thing (or at least relatively the same thing, close enough that it's a non-issue). Now it's just everybody indirectly arguing about how we should use the words, lol.
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      Spock and Snoop, I dont dissagree with the way you are reason or argumenting against what I have stated above. But since I assume that you both have a strong feeling that what is real, and what is called reality, is this big universe out there independently on it's own. Whether you will be in it or not. Then that kind of reasoning wont do you any good if you try to apply it to what Im saying here. Your sense of knowing is getting more in the way of itself, as long as you argue against anything you dont yet are familiar with. So if you say that "your idea doesn't make any sense to me". How will you be so sure about what you argue agianst then?

      All this is just a short note that you might want to contemplate about if you actualy want to get any of that sense of what I talk about. But I will most likely come back for some further discussion depending on my mood and direction this might go in.
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      Quote Originally Posted by DreamyBear View Post
      Spock and Snoop, I dont dissagree with the way you are reason or argumenting against what I have stated above. But since I assume that you both have a strong feeling that what is real, and what is called reality, is this big universe out there independently on it's own. Whether you will be in it or not. Then that kind of reasoning wont do you any good if you try to apply it to what Im saying here. Your sense of knowing is getting more in the way of itself, as long as you argue against anything you dont yet are familiar with. So if you say that "your idea doesn't make any sense to me". How will you be so sure about what you argue agianst then?

      All this is just a short note that you might want to contemplate about if you actualy want to get any of that sense of what I talk about. But I will most likely come back for some further discussion depending on my mood and direction this might go in.
      Ah, good post, now I see where you are disagreeing. Alright, let's clear something up then. I don't mean to make it sound like I truly know, 100%, that what I am saying is the case. The same can be said of literally anything is the problem. You can never truly know something, but you can be sure enough of something with a small enough margin of error that, for purposes of conversation and practical applications, we go ahead and say we "know" what we're talking about. Pointing out what you have is important to remember, but it shouldn't dominate a talking point or somebody's argument. Once we all acknowledge that we can't truly know anything, there isn't much point talking about it more. I don't even truly know if today is the first day I've ever been alive or not. However, I can do tests under controlled conditions and get repeatable results, and after that the results ought to be predictable. This is how science and logical thinking works, and it's allowed us to progress greatly technologically. To point out that we can't know anything for sure as if to invalidate everything spits in the face of our own achievements.

      Honestly I don't think you are meaning to invalidate anything, but rather our willingness to call things "knowledge" is what bothers you. Just so you know, at least in my case (and I'm fairly certain in everyone else's), I am not meaning to say that I know something for sure. I'm just very, very certain of it given the data, and where all that evidence points. That's all we really can be, and that's enough for me. Discussing the certainty of knowledge beyond this point will only stifle the conversation though, I'm afraid. Now that we've got that cleared up, I don't think it needs more discussing. However, I'm known to be wrong sometimes, so maybe it should be. I just don't think it's pertinent to a meaningful discussion about this topic--honestly it's just a dead end. "We can't know anything." You really can't expound upon it more than the statement itself.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Athylus View Post
      Would the vastness of space be a reality, without someone or something to observe it? Would there be a point to the existence of said universe, without observers? If so, then aren't we the creators of our own universe?

      Just like when we aren't dreaming, there is no one to sense the surrounding. No one can see, feel, hear, smell or listen to the dream we make up. Does it still exist then? I don't think so. I think the same can be said for our universe.
      Yes, I believe it would. The existence of the universe is not contingent upon our existence, because it is an entity that is external to ourselves. Our dream environments are different because they are clearly products of our brains, rather than actual realms that are separate from our own existence, though they will be based on external experiences. The universe likely existed long before any sentient beings capable of observation inhabited it. Apologies if I am misunderstanding your argument.

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      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      Ah, good post, now I see where you are disagreeing. Alright, let's clear something up then. I don't mean to make it sound like I truly know, 100%, that what I am saying is the case. The same can be said of literally anything is the problem. You can never truly know something, but you can be sure enough of something with a small enough margin of error that, for purposes of conversation and practical applications, we go ahead and say we "know" what we're talking about. Pointing out what you have is important to remember, but it shouldn't dominate a talking point or somebody's argument. Once we all acknowledge that we can't truly know anything, there isn't much point talking about it more. I don't even truly know if today is the first day I've ever been alive or not. However, I can do tests under controlled conditions and get repeatable results, and after that the results ought to be predictable. This is how science and logical thinking works, and it's allowed us to progress greatly technologically. To point out that we can't know anything for sure as if to invalidate everything spits in the face of our own achievements.

      Honestly I don't think you are meaning to invalidate anything, but rather our willingness to call things "knowledge" is what bothers you. Just so you know, at least in my case (and I'm fairly certain in everyone else's), I am not meaning to say that I know something for sure. I'm just very, very certain of it given the data, and where all that evidence points. That's all we really can be, and that's enough for me. Discussing the certainty of knowledge beyond this point will only stifle the conversation though, I'm afraid. Now that we've got that cleared up, I don't think it needs more discussing. However, I'm known to be wrong sometimes, so maybe it should be. I just don't think it's pertinent to a meaningful discussion about this topic--honestly it's just a dead end. "We can't know anything." You really can't expound upon it more than the statement itself.
      I got to confess that I dont know if I want to get into that deeper meaning of things that I kind of rant about so often. I think my point made about the unkowing aspect of things, have reached it's limits as far as interest goes in this thread for now, and I feel that maybe it is good to end it there for me.

      Two forces are pulling me in their own directions when it comes to my interest of debating or not. So I might aswell try to tie my bag together now.

      My last take on whether we can conclude that something is real or not, is this. What we can know, is our sense of being. We can't deny the fact that we are. We all share this sense of "I". This is the closest we can come to what is truly real with words. "I am". Everything is within this "I". The "I am" is not really what is in reality, but the reality is rather in the "I am". Just like the sense of "I" are more in "your" body, than the body is in "you".

      You say: "I am in this body." Not "Body in this I am" that last statement does not make sense, because the deepest reality will always come as "I", even before the thought "I am". Since the thoughts arise within the observation of "I".

      Seek out what is real for your self, if you really care. That is my best advice.
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      John Wheeler, physicist: "Observers are necessary to bring the Universe into being".
      And I'm strongly agree with him. "To exist" means "to be perceived"... by me. Yes, I am solipsist.

      Almost everyone forget one main thing. There is only one observer - the one each of us calls "I". It is not any weirder than Big Bang or Multiverse or indeterminism. You just need to get used to it
      Last edited by Straight; 11-06-2016 at 04:51 AM.
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      Consciousness can not exist without consciousness

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