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Against the Reductive Materialism Dogmatically Espoused by the Scientific Establishment

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posted on Aug, 6 2014 @ 09:19 PM
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originally posted by: ArtemisE

originally posted by: the2ofusr1
I think it has become a political tool .It probably always was to a certain degree but more so lately .We seem to have two ways of looking at things but the hard truth is somewhere in between Science and Religion . a reply to: stirling



Obama nor any politician controls the scientific community, that's just ridiculous. The fact is people ( like the OP) just don't like it when science discovers things contrary to there personal belief system. Weather esp or Jesus, people want so badly for there beliefs to be true they shoe horn what they wish were true into any unknown part of science they think makes sense to them....


There could be no conspiracy involving all or most of science. That would require buying off every MIT student every year..... Now science makes mistakes, but then they fix them.



LoL, the scientists believe that NOONE controls them, that nobody can control them or create the reality and the sandboxes in which they work.

Conclusion, Scientists are merely tools, everything they do and discover is very carefully scripted as to when they will discover it.....

The whole system pretends to be on the level, incorruptible, and they have been so cleverly indoctrinated there brilliant minds have no idea in the UNIVERSE why they do not really ask hard questions.

They leave that to the religious, or to nothing at all, because it is just NOT SCIENTIFIC LOL.




posted on Aug, 6 2014 @ 11:30 PM
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a reply to: EmperorFaustus

Thanks for the lengthy response. I will offer you the same respect.


That's not true. You admit yourself that the non-existence of mind as a fundamental property is counter-intuitive. If it's non-existance is counter-intuitive then its existence MUST be intuitive. Ergo, we do have proof -- empirical proof. Could we be wrong? Of course, as you know, new information can always emerge in the distant future that makes the men of today look silly. But, as it stands right now, we have the simplest proof available in philosophy: intuitive proof. Whenever something seems intuitively true, the onus MUST be to disprove it -- not the other way around. Further more, philosophy has a long history of regarding the existence of mind as self-evident. So self-evident in fact that it was simply taken for granted (more or less) until Descartes famously proclaimed "Cogito, Ergo, Sum" (I think, therefore I am). To Descartes, and to the overwhelming majority of trained philosophers, the existence of mind is a self-evident fact. I would be interested to see you quote some philosophers who regard mind as an illusion in order to examine their logic -- I have never heard of one (incidentally, I have a PhD in philosophy).


I admit there are very few philosophers who hold this view. I haven’t been able to find any myself. I will use my own arguments, hopefully backed by the science of embodied cognition.

It should be noted that Descartes also postulated we were controlled by an evil demon, and that the earth sat at rest within a vortex.

First, I am not an eliminative materialist. I think the concept of mind has a certain explanatory power, and I use it often to good effect. I am also not a reductive materialist, nor would I call myself an atheist.

I also cannot say a mind doesn’t exist—I do not believe we can talk about a nothing—and there is definitely a subject we are attempting to articulate. But this subject has only ever manifested as a conceptual placeholder regarding our misunderstanding of the human body. Mind is simply a linguistic convenience in order to express a medley of certain bodily faculties and processes, all of which are so bundled up together that the whole depends on each one. It is a metaphor.

It’s quite easy to disprove a mind in my opinion. First, it’s not like we can point to a mind. Therefor a mind is empirically absent as far as we can sense. We’ve opened up skulls and examined brains and eviscerated bodies countless times and have yet to find any such thing called a mind. Really, what more proof do we need. Ontologically, there is nothing of an existent mind to disprove. I would ask you to show me what to disprove, but you could only send me to someone else’s ideas regarding the concept of mind—which, as far as we can tell, could be outright mythology. What I can attempt to disprove is the assumption that there is a mind somewhere other than in the rhetoric surrounding the idea, as that is all the “mind” has ever been throughout human history: an assumption made in abstracto, a story, and thus, a fairytale.

You could say the mind is immaterial, but then you’d have to prove how an immaterial substance can operate a material body. It’s a paradox, which is all too common in mind/body dualism. Further, the idea that the body is a machine housing an operator is no different than equating the universe to a clock, and is horrifyingly close to the mechanistic and deterministic worldview.

If we are to be honest, whenever we think of minds outside of the lore we are in fact thinking about the body. A psychologist doesn’t examine any such thing called a “mind” as such, but is in actuality examining the speech, actions, emotions, relationships and opinions of a human organism. The neuroscientist isn’t operating on any mind qua mind, but she is operating on an organ called the brain, which just so happens to be a part of the human body. So far, no mind as such has ever made any appearance in any and all of the thousands of years of medicine, philosophy and psychology outside of pure reason.


Furthermore, if you honestly believe their is no proof for the existence of mind, how are you composing your replies to me? Of course, I can choose to believe you're a philosophical zombie (Chalmers defines this as someone who appears in every way to be conscious, but in fact lacks conciousness) and you can choose to believe it of me. But you can't believe it of yourself.


Do you ever notice in the philosophy of mind that every thought experiment regarding the subject is completely nonsensical? Zombies? Brains in vats? Chinese rooms? Twin earths? What its like to be a bat? I wonder why.

First, I read what you type. I consider your thoughts. I click the keys in a certain order so as to formulate a response. There are unfathomable amounts of processes going into this interaction, both within and without the body. To say it requires something called a mind is superficial at best. But simply, it requires a fully functioning human organism.

Let me ask you; have you ever met anyone without a mind? If you’ve met someone with brain injuries, dementia, Alzheimer’s, coma patients, you’ve met people with bodily afflictions, physical imbalances, deterioration at the cellular level and so on. It would be medically dangerous to say that these people are simply without minds. They are only without the regular bodily function. If not, then what do you mean by someone without a mind? And how do you know that a mind is required for me to type a response to you?

edit on 6-8-2014 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 6 2014 @ 11:31 PM
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a reply to: EmperorFaustus

....continued....


So the very act of living is a proof of the existence of mind. Solipsits can claim (as Blue Mule does above) that this world of matter is 'all in our minds' that is -- if you were in a coma, all this could be a hallucination. Maybe that rock doesn't exist at all, it just seems to you, in your coma, as though it does (this, of course, is the premise of the Matrix) but the converse isn't true, is it? That mind is an illusion? What would it mean for a mind to not exist? Presumably (and I follow Descartes in this) it would be the total absence of thought.


I don’t know if thinking in “could be”s and arguments of solipsism leads to any sort of so-called self-evident truth.

What to you and Descartes is the total absence of thought? Maybe death? coma? But name one death or coma that occurred because thoughts simply vanished—not one throughout the history of mankind. On what grounds do you have to suppose something we cannot detect vanishes from the body at these moments? Let’s deduce from what we can detect. Something physical occurs within the body to disrupt function and thus cognition. So far, the “absence of thought” is the absence of bodily function. What reasoning can you offer to suppose anything more?


So, if you really ARE in a coma and you become brain dead beyond any hope of recovery (we'll pretend for this thought experiment that it's possible to ABSOLUTELY KNOW whether or not your brain could ever function again and that we know it can't) the majority of people would say it's morally justifiable to turn off your life support. After all, the spark is gone.


It’s interesting you mention the “spark is gone”. Read this when you get the chance. It’s relatively new.
Consciousness on/off switch


All that's left is a lump of immobile meat having blood artificially pumped through its veins. Even the most hardcore of reductive materialists don't deny the existence of mind. They can dispense with souls easilly enough (after all, what's a soul? How would I know if I've got one?) And they can dispense with plenty of our mental qualities such as love and freewill. But they can't deny the very organ with which they're composing their thoughts. Saying the mind 'is just' the brain is very different to saying there's no proof that mind exists. But again, if you can direct me to some philosophers who claim this, I would love to see how they've come to that conclusion.


“The mind is just the brain" is far too superficial. I am against cognitive neuroscience and computation theory in general. The mind isn’t just the brain. We learn most of how to operate in the world at a very young age, which just so happens to coincide with the time we are learning to use our bodies. Our neural connections do not form on their own or because of any mind, but because of the bodily interactions one goes through.

Could you hold a brain in your hands and say it thinks? It is impossible. Only bodies think. Consider this thought experiment:

If you were to operate on a living human organism and remove layer by layer and piece by piece the “lumps of immobile meat” until all that was left was either the brain or an immaterial thinking substance, could we call what was left on that table a “mind”? But the human might have stopped thinking as soon as we removed the skin. It definitely would have stopped thinking as soon as we removed the arms and the legs, and some internal organs. But all we took off the table was arms and legs and a little bit of flesh—if there is no noticeable mind within the rest of the flesh on the table, did we mistakenly remove the mind as well? Is it somewhere in the foot?

Our notions of space, containment, direction, proximity are all bodily notions, and since we learn these and most of what we need at such a young age, our subsequent neural circuitry, and hence, language, thought, and so fourth, are built off these. Studies have shown that people recall memories faster buy utilizing bodily gestures and movement. One can raise testosterone levels by assuming aggressive positions. We subvocalize when we read for speed-reading. One can find calm through breathing exercise. The list goes on. In short, limiting mind to the brain is foolhardy. There’s much scientific data in the growing science of embodied cognition.


Occam's Razor is a great tool, and in essence I agree. It has its limitations, but I have no doubt you're aware of them. But ask yourself -- does the mind with which you're reading this really not exist? How could you have a fake mind? To me, removing the very instrument with which you're understanding the words I'm typing here doesn't simplify anything. It makes it a hell of a lot more complicated. I mean, if minds don't exist, can you explain all this thought, information, etc. etc.


I am using my entire body to read this. I don’t need to fake a mind. How could you have a fake mind? There is no instrument besides the body at work here…unless of course you’re willing to show me another one.

Thank you for the debate, Ted.

Aphorism



edit on 6-8-2014 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 12:59 AM
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Of all the scientists I know or have met (I just started as an assistant prof in Biology) nobody I know has even looked into anything "paranormal." Just me. Yet they say there's no evidence. They're more open minded than most, but far from open minded. It's a rather conservative institution. I don't even tell anybody about my interests in these areas because...get ready for it...it will probably do no good and only inhibit me from being able to do science. Maybe once I get tenure I can spout off a bit more, haha.

It is funny the way things work. Even in science, you're allowed to say you believe in god, but mention that there is a possibility of visitation from other places, you're done. Especially politicians. They all have to show up at church on Sundays, but say they saw a ghost...done. Isn't that strange? I remember the first question they asked Kucinich in a big CNN debate was about his UFO sighting. Done.



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 06:04 AM
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originally posted by: ParasuvO

originally posted by: ArtemisE

originally posted by: the2ofusr1
I think it has become a political tool .It probably always was to a certain degree but more so lately .We seem to have two ways of looking at things but the hard truth is somewhere in between Science and Religion . a reply to: stirling



Obama nor any politician controls the scientific community, that's just ridiculous. The fact is people ( like the OP) just don't like it when science discovers things contrary to there personal belief system. Weather esp or Jesus, people want so badly for there beliefs to be true they shoe horn what they wish were true into any unknown part of science they think makes sense to them....


There could be no conspiracy involving all or most of science. That would require buying off every MIT student every year..... Now science makes mistakes, but then they fix them.



LoL, the scientists believe that NOONE controls them, that nobody can control them or create the reality and the sandboxes in which they work.

Conclusion, Scientists are merely tools, everything they do and discover is very carefully scripted as to when they will discover it.....

The whole system pretends to be on the level, incorruptible, and they have been so cleverly indoctrinated there brilliant minds have no idea in the UNIVERSE why they do not really ask hard questions.

They leave that to the religious, or to nothing at all, because it is just NOT SCIENTIFIC LOL.



They do ask hard questions, people just don't get the answer that matches what they wish were true, so they didn't look hard enough. There is zero evidence of anything we would consider supernatural. While if ANY scientist finds ANY proof of religion or esp, he whould instantly be rich and famous.


So there's only 2 options.

1: there is a massive cover-up, with thousands of scientists turning down fame and fortune, just to not contridict Darwin ( I guess??) or it's all a trick by the devil to confuse us ( totally ridiculous!)


2: what science has found really doesn't match up with any organized religion and after thousands of years of looking there still isn't proof of anything super natural.



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 06:10 AM
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originally posted by: Vandelay Industries
Of all the scientists I know or have met (I just started as an assistant prof in Biology) nobody I know has even looked into anything "paranormal." Just me. Yet they say there's no evidence. They're more open minded than most, but far from open minded. It's a rather conservative institution. I don't even tell anybody about my interests in these areas because...get ready for it...it will probably do no good and only inhibit me from being able to do science. Maybe once I get tenure I can spout off a bit more, haha.

It is funny the way things work. Even in science, you're allowed to say you believe in god, but mention that there is a possibility of visitation from other places, you're done. Especially politicians. They all have to show up at church on Sundays, but say they saw a ghost...done. Isn't that strange? I remember the first question they asked Kucinich in a big CNN debate was about his UFO sighting. Done.



I think it's because even tho people claim to believe in their religion almost none really do. It's just about perception. People look down on atheists as if they arnt moral people. So we pretend we believe because that tells other people we have morals.


If people actually believed there wouldn't be "sin". No one would trade immortality in paradise for a one night stand, human condition or not. People kinda hope their religion is true..... But no one is banking on it.



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 06:26 AM
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We have never, and will never be 100% right. The ocean is far too deep for us to see the bottom.



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 12:34 PM
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originally posted by: justnotnormal
We have never, and will never be 100% right. The ocean is far too deep for us to see the bottom.


To be 100% right you have to know all things on all levels and that includes all souls view of it. Hard to do when you are stuck with a human brain limiting your processing power and not enough sensors.

A question when you use your conscious mind do you have one thought built up on another thought that naturally follow each other or do you think in several separate threads where you can push thru different work at the same time? I am a one flow process/thread kinda a mind.


When your conscious mind is thinking is it using language to word out what you are thinking? I think in English or my native language normally. Sometimes I think in words I do not understand but that is probably a incompatibility between "my brain"/"my conscious mind" who is to energized and goes into creative mode.

If anyone knows a way to process more information/store information then give me please a hint because I have not been able to figure out how to go beyond these limitations.
edit on 7-8-2014 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 12:54 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMule

originally posted by: ManFromEurope

What small shreds? Please don't mention quantum dynamics, as (1) this point is used in about every esoteric doc I have seen the last years and this simply is some kind of fashion right now and (2) quantum dynamics are the very, very hard core of materialism. There is nothing at psychic powers or such which can be attributed to QD.


Given the fact that many if not all of the founders of QM had deeply mystical views, I daresay that thinking of QM as the 'hard-core of materialism' is the mere fashion trend.

www.amazon.com...


A preview of that book is available for free on Google books. The available essay, written by Erwin Schroedinger, actually repudiates your claim here. link

Were I you, I'd check first to see what a book actually says before you use it to further your sparkly ideas about the "mysticism" involved in the quantum world.

Harte



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 01:57 PM
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originally posted by: Harte

originally posted by: BlueMule

originally posted by: ManFromEurope

What small shreds? Please don't mention quantum dynamics, as (1) this point is used in about every esoteric doc I have seen the last years and this simply is some kind of fashion right now and (2) quantum dynamics are the very, very hard core of materialism. There is nothing at psychic powers or such which can be attributed to QD.


Given the fact that many if not all of the founders of QM had deeply mystical views, I daresay that thinking of QM as the 'hard-core of materialism' is the mere fashion trend.

www.amazon.com...


A preview of that book is available for free on Google books. The available essay, written by Erwin Schroedinger, actually repudiates your claim here. link

Were I you, I'd check first to see what a book actually says before you use it to further your sparkly ideas about the "mysticism" involved in the quantum world.

Harte


I've read most of it. So let's step outside and duke it out man to man, so to speak. I invite you to throw the first punch by providing specifics. What exactly does Erwin say that makes you think my claim is repudiated?

“This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of this entire existence, but in a certain sense the whole; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins [wise men or priests in the Vedic tradition] express in that sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear; tat tvam asi, this is you. Or, again, in such words as “I am in the east and the west, I am above and below, I am this entire world.” -Erwin Schrodinger

edit on 839SaturdayuAmerica/ChicagoAuguSaturdayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 02:51 PM
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And somehow you "feel" that these statements by Schroedinger imply some sort of mystical connection in QM?

Exactly how is that?

Schroedinger in that essay is not talking about physics at all. He is stating the fact that there is a "problem" in Philosophy concerning the difference between what is (if anything actually "is,") and what is perceived.

In the Essay, Schroedinger states flat out:

What is new in the present setting is this: that not only would the impressions we get from our environment largely depend on the nature of the contingent state of our sensorium, but, inversely, the very environment that we wish to take in is modified by us, notably by the devices we set up in order to observe it.
Maybe this is so - to some extent it is certainly is. Maybe that from the newly discovered laws of quantum physics this modification cannot be reduced below certain well-ascertained limits. Still I would not like to call this a direct influence of the subject on the object. For the subject, if anything, is the thing that senses and thinks. Sensations and thoughts do not belong to the "world of energy." They cannot produce any change in this world of energy we know from Spinoza and Sir Charles Sherrington.
Emphasis is Schroedinger's

From another part of the essay:

For the observing mind is not a physical system, it cannot interact with any physical system.

Again, Schroedinger's emphasis.

So, tell us again exactly how Schroedinger's philosophical musings somehow indicate a connection between QM and mysticism.
If that is not what you meant to indicate with the link to the amazon page for this book, then say so and tell us what you did mean.

Reading the essay, one cannot honestly come away from Schroedinger's words with that viewpoint.

Harte



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 04:00 PM
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originally posted by: Harte
And somehow you "feel" that these statements by Schroedinger imply some sort of mystical connection in QM?

Exactly how is that?

Schroedinger in that essay is not talking about physics at all. He is stating the fact that there is a "problem" in Philosophy concerning the difference between what is (if anything actually "is,") and what is perceived.

In the Essay, Schroedinger states flat out:

What is new in the present setting is this: that not only would the impressions we get from our environment largely depend on the nature of the contingent state of our sensorium, but, inversely, the very environment that we wish to take in is modified by us, notably by the devices we set up in order to observe it.
Maybe this is so - to some extent it is certainly is. Maybe that from the newly discovered laws of quantum physics this modification cannot be reduced below certain well-ascertained limits. Still I would not like to call this a direct influence of the subject on the object. For the subject, if anything, is the thing that senses and thinks. Sensations and thoughts do not belong to the "world of energy." They cannot produce any change in this world of energy we know from Spinoza and Sir Charles Sherrington.
Emphasis is Schroedinger's

From another part of the essay:

For the observing mind is not a physical system, it cannot interact with any physical system.

Again, Schroedinger's emphasis.

So, tell us again exactly how Schroedinger's philosophical musings somehow indicate a connection between QM and mysticism.
If that is not what you meant to indicate with the link to the amazon page for this book, then say so and tell us what you did mean.

Reading the essay, one cannot honestly come away from Schroedinger's words with that viewpoint.

Harte


Right after Erwin says that, he goes on to say,

"All this was said from the point of view that we accept the time-hallowed discrimination between subject and object. [...] Subject and object are only one."

Erwin didn't accept that discrimination, do you? He was a mental monist. To him subject and object are one not two, and consciousness is absolutely fundamental not a mere brain-generated illusion.

"The multiplicity is only apparent. This is the doctrine of the Upanishads. And not of the Upanishads only. The mystical experience of the union with God regularly leads to this view, unless strong prejudices stand in the way." -Erwin

Sounds like a pretty mystically-open guy to me. Mysticism is about union with God, not dogma and not snake-oil and not creationism. He was a life-long believer in Advaita Vedanta. He had a mystical worldview. There is no denying that. Sorry if that offends Erwin fans who have been conditioned to despise mysticism. Actually, I'm not sorry.

"If finally we look back at that idea of Mach [that `the universe is not twice given'], we shall realize that it comes as near to the orthodox dogma of the Upanishads as it could possibly do without stating it expressis verbis. The external world and consciousness are one and the same thing." -Erwin

Yes there is a connection between mysticism and QM, and there is no way in hell I am going to let anyone tell me otherwise, no matter how much he thinks he knows about QM, because I'm right. Don't have to be an Erwin to see that.





edit on 987SaturdayuAmerica/ChicagoAuguSaturdayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 11:33 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMule

Yes there is a connection between mysticism and QM, and there is no way in hell I am going to let anyone tell me otherwise, no matter how much he thinks he knows about QM, because I'm right. Don't have to be an Erwin to see that.

I've made no such argument to you.

However, Schrodinger started his essay by stating he was not talking about Physics.

He makes no connection whatsoever between any mysticism and QM. He actually goes out of his way to make that very point, as shown in my quotes from the essay.

In fact, his statements are based on a philosophical argument. As he states in your quote.

Are Physicists supposed to pretend Philosophy doesn't exist?

Your statements about some that think consciousness is a "brain-generated illusion" are in this case a strawman. That perspective is merely another, albeit different, philosophical stance.

Neither point concerns itself with QM in any way.

Harte
edit on 8/9/2014 by Harte because: of the wonderful things he does!



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 08:53 AM
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originally posted by: Harte

originally posted by: BlueMule

Yes there is a connection between mysticism and QM, and there is no way in hell I am going to let anyone tell me otherwise, no matter how much he thinks he knows about QM, because I'm right. Don't have to be an Erwin to see that.

I've made no such argument to you.

However, Schrodinger started his essay by stating he was not talking about Physics.

He makes no connection whatsoever between any mysticism and QM. He actually goes out of his way to make that very point, as shown in my quotes from the essay.

In fact, his statements are based on a philosophical argument. As he states in your quote.

Are Physicists supposed to pretend Philosophy doesn't exist?

Your statements about some that think consciousness is a "brain-generated illusion" are in this case a strawman. That perspective is merely another, albeit different, philosophical stance.

Neither point concerns itself with QM in any way.

Harte



In 1958, Schrödinger, inspired by Schopenhauer from youth, published his lectures Mind and Matter. Here he argued that there is a difference between measuring instruments and human observation: a thermometer’s registration cannot be considered an act of observation, as it contains no meaning in itself. Thus, consciousness is needed to make physical reality meaningful. As Schrödinger concluded, "Some of you, I am sure, will call this mysticism. So with all due acknowledgement to the fact that physical theory is at all times relative, in that it depends on certain basic assumptions, we may, or so I believe, assert that physical theory in its present stage strongly suggests the indestructibility of Mind by Time."


phys.org...

Sounds like he's talking about physics and mysticism to me, Harte.

I don't have access to the full essay you keep referring to, I no longer have a copy of Quantum Questions and I can't find the full essay on-line. But I think you're misunderstanding him. I think it's pretty obvious he found a satisfying resonance between his mystical beliefs and QM.


Marin hopes that scientists today might gain a new perspective on their research by considering how the founders of quantum mechanics viewed the theory.

“Whenever I read scientific articles citing the classic equations conceived by German scientists, it seems to me they could have been improved by researching how the scientists themselves interpreted their own equations,” Marin said. “Among contemporary quantum field theories, the important gauge theories are indebted to the work of [Hermann] Weyl and Pauli. Yet many physicists today would be shocked if they learned how Weyl and Pauli understood the concept ‘field’ when they wrote their classic articles. They were both immersed in mysticism, searching for a way to unify mind and physics. Weyl published a lecture where he concluded by favoring the Christian-mathematical mysticism of Nicholas of Cusa. Moreover, Pauli's published article on Kepler presents him as part of the Western mystical tradition I study.

“For those who do not favor the Copenhagen interpretation and prefer the alternative proposed by David Bohm, I would suggest reading Bohm's many published dialogues on the topic of Eastern mysticism,” he added. “Eddington and Schrödinger, like many today, joined forces to find a quantum gravity theory. Did their shared mysticism have a role to play in whatever insights they gained or mistakes they made? I do not know, but I think it's important to find out.”


edit on 645Sunday000000America/ChicagoAug000000SundayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 02:03 PM
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Some people are smart, some people sound smart... Some people are neither, but try really hard.




posted on Aug, 10 2014 @ 03:18 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMule


In 1958, Schrödinger, inspired by Schopenhauer from youth, published his lectures Mind and Matter. Here he argued that there is a difference between measuring instruments and human observation: a thermometer’s registration cannot be considered an act of observation, as it contains no meaning in itself. Thus, consciousness is needed to make physical reality meaningful. As Schrödinger concluded, "Some of you, I am sure, will call this mysticism. So with all due acknowledgement to the fact that physical theory is at all times relative, in that it depends on certain basic assumptions, we may, or so I believe, assert that physical theory in its present stage strongly suggests the indestructibility of Mind by Time."


phys.org...

Sounds like he's talking about physics and mysticism to me, Harte.

Actually, he's stating, in essence, that observation by a mind is not necessary to collapse a wave function. His example of a thermometer, while not on the level of quantum events, shows that the temperature is what it is, and what it is is meaningless without some structured reasoning mechanism (such as the mind) to make sense of it.

That is true in all things, even QM, but it's not mystical. It's Philosophical.

There is barely a strand holding up the idea that consciousness has to be involved in QM, and that strand exists in the form of a recorded observation.

All the "weird" stuff occurs in QM whether or not there is a "consciousness" observing. This happens all the time with recorded observations. The consciousness gets involved when the recordings themselves are observed. I say this is barely a strand because of the consideration of the time delay involved. What if the recording is lost for a century? Did the quantum event not occur until a century after the fact?

When you take a hunk of iron and heat it to red-hot, it is emitting photons at an energy level that corresponds to visible red light. The emission of photons from the electrons of any atom is a quantum event, causing the electron to immediately and completely disappear from it's position in the electron cloud while simultaneously appearing in a lower-energy area of that electron cloud. This happens trillions and trillions of times every picosecond in a steel mill, with nobody watching and no consciousness involved in the process at all. Now, the light itself is observed (by anyone with their eyes open) as a collective of these photons, but are you prepared to state as a principle of Physics that the light wouldn't be there if no one was there to see it?

The mystical view of QM cannot explain this. Schroedinger states that the involvement of consciousness is not necessary to the process, but is necessary if the process is to have meaning.


originally posted by: BlueMuleI don't have access to the full essay you keep referring to, I no longer have a copy of Quantum Questions and I can't find the full essay on-line. But I think you're misunderstanding him. I think it's pretty obvious he found a satisfying resonance between his mystical beliefs and QM.

I'm limited to the essay I linked. It's the only one given in the preview.

Look, I'm not trying to say that scientists can't have beliefs that might be described as "mystical." Most of them are actually religious people, to some extent, and that certainly implies at least some level of mysticism. All I'm trying to get across is that the originators of QM were not under the impression that a conscious mind must be involved for a probability wave to collapse. If that's not what you were getting at, then we don't really disagree.

Harte



posted on Aug, 12 2014 @ 08:32 AM
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originally posted by: Harte

Actually, he's stating, in essence, that observation by a mind is not necessary to collapse a wave function. His example of a thermometer, while not on the level of quantum events, shows that the temperature is what it is, and what it is is meaningless without some structured reasoning mechanism (such as the mind) to make sense of it.

That is true in all things, even QM, but it's not mystical. It's Philosophical.


Vedanta is a mystical branch of Indian philosophy. There isn't a rock-solid boundary between mysticism and philosophy.

"The unity and continuity of Vedanta are reflected in the unity and continuity of wave mechanics. In 1925, the world view of physics was a model of a great machine composed of separable interacting material particles. During the next few years, Schrödinger and Heisenberg and their followers created a universe based on superimposed inseparable waves of probability amplitudes. This new view would be entirely consistent with the Vedantic concept of All in One.”

-Walter Moore


The mystical view of QM cannot explain this. Schroedinger states that the involvement of consciousness is not necessary to the process, but is necessary if the process is to have meaning.


Well, it seems to me that if conscious awareness can actually alter probability itself, then it is 'necessary' to the process. Or at least, stronger than it. If reality as we know it and meaning itself are linked, which I believe they are, then a primordial, timeless awareness is fundamental to reality. I think that's what Erwin believed.


Look, I'm not trying to say that scientists can't have beliefs that might be described as "mystical." Most of them are actually religious people, to some extent, and that certainly implies at least some level of mysticism. All I'm trying to get across is that the originators of QM were not under the impression that a conscious mind must be involved for a probability wave to collapse. If that's not what you were getting at, then we don't really disagree.


What I'm getting at is that a mystical philosophy is consistent with science. The parallels between Vedanta and QM are well known. Science does not demand a reductionistic materialist worldview. Actually, when all things are considered, science favors a mystical philosophy.

Suppose that the human mind can reach out through spacetime, consciously and/or unconsciously, and actually change probability itself. Suppose the human mind can reach out through spacetime and collapse the wave. What would be the philosophical implications of that, in your opinion?

edit on 606Tuesday000000America/ChicagoAug000000TuesdayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 12 2014 @ 12:04 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMule

originally posted by: Harte



Actually, he's stating, in essence, that observation by a mind is not necessary to collapse a wave function. His example of a thermometer, while not on the level of quantum events, shows that the temperature is what it is, and what it is is meaningless without some structured reasoning mechanism (such as the mind) to make sense of it.



That is true in all things, even QM, but it's not mystical. It's Philosophical.




Vedanta is a mystical branch of Indian philosophy. There isn't a rock-solid boundary between mysticism and philosophy.

Certainly can't disagree with that.



originally posted by: BlueMule



The mystical view of QM cannot explain this. Schroedinger states that the involvement of consciousness is not necessary to the process, but is necessary if the process is to have meaning.




Well, it seems to me that if conscious awareness can actually alter probability itself, then it is 'necessary' to the process. Or at least, stronger than it. If reality as we know it and meaning itself are linked, which I believe they are, then a primordial, timeless awareness is fundamental to reality. I think that's what Erwin believed.

There is no "reality" at all if there is nothing to observe it, true.

But things like the collapse of a probability wave would occur with or without observation by a consciousness. All that is required is observation (recording) of the results, not actual, conscious observation.

In other words, the recorder collapses the wave without being conscious, and that was my point.

Harte





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