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  1. #191
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Mycroft,

    In my previous comment I equated "universe" with "all of reality" or "everything that exists." I was not just talking about matter, energy, and whatnot, but everything: matter, energy, ideas, numbers, perceptions, feelings, etc.

    In the context that Mycroft uses the term universe, "all of reality" is not to be equated with the items that you have listed. (Numbers, perceptions, energy, ideas and so on.) These entities belong to a part of reality, and not the whole of it. They belong to the world as we experience it and not the world as it is. The world as we experience it is analogous to the world as it is as a madman's hallucination to reality. The vision (hallucination) is inspired by a perception of reality, yet the vision of reality is heavily distorted. The ultimate reality is a single, homogeneous, entirely unlimited (infinite in all respects) entity. Our distorted perception (the world as we experience it) is finite and contains a variety of attributes such as ideas, numbers, perceptions and so on.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    I don't have trouble following anything you've said so far. You just haven't provided good enough support for your claim that "reality, at its highest level must be infinite in all respects".
    ?
    The purpose of my argument below is to show that the view that the ultimate reality is infinite in all respects is more plausible than the view that the ultimate reality is not infinite in all respects and is finite in some respects.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Mycroft's thesis: There is a fundamental distinction between the world as it is and the world as we experience it. This discovery was first established by Immanuel Kant who regarded it as the distinction between the phenomena and the noumena. He called the phenomena the world as we experience it and the noumena as the world as it is.

    (Research more on Kant starting here. Kant's Account of Reason (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy))

    Point 1: The world as we experience it is not infinite in all respects because it does not contain a single entity that is completely unbounded. Another way of expressing this thought is as follows: the world contains many attributes and because of this, all attributes are bounded. If there was one attribute that was not bounded, than this entity would be the only thing that exists in the world.

    Hence, we progress from the premise that the world has many attributes to the conclusion that the world is not infinite in all respects.

    If there is a distinction between the world as it is and the world as we experience it? In other words, is there a difference between the phenomena and the noumena, or is the noumena all that there is? Hence, if the world as we experience is all that there is (and there is no noumena), then the universe is finite.

    Contemporary physicists have established that the universe is finite, but is expanding. Space in particular is expanding.

    My arguments are as follows.

    Argument 1: Is the phenomenal world all that there is?

    1. Lets assume that the phenomenal world is all that exists and the universe is finite.
    2. We also know that this universe is expanding.
    3. If it is expanding, then it must be expanding onto something.
    4. But the universe is all that there is, therefore it is expanding onto nothing.
    5. Premise 4 and premise 5 contradict each other.
    6. In conclusion we can state that premise 1 cannot be true as it engenders a contradiction, therefore the finite phenomenal world cannot be all that there is.
    7. Hence, the opposite of premise 1 is true---the phenomenal world is not all that there is.

    Argument 2: Is the entity that is outside of the phenomenal world finite?

    1. Physicists have commented that the universe is expanding.
    2. They may comment only on the phenomenal world, as by definition everything that we experience is finite and not infinite.
    3. Because physicists have not commented on the nature of the realm that is outside of the finite world, it cannot be known whether that realm is also expanding.
    4. Since we do not know if it is expanding, one of the three following theses must be true. (1) It is finite but expanding.(2) It is infinite and not expanding, as it is not possible for an infinite entity to expand because it is all that there is. (3) It is finite and not expanding.
    5. If (1) is true, then the universe that lies outside of the world as we experience it must adhere either to thesis (2) or (3). In other words, it is borrowing the material to expand onto from the infinite, noumenal world (2) or it is borrowing the material to expand onto from the large, finite world (3).
    6. If (2) is true, then there is the noumenal world as conceived of by Kant. That is an infinite realm that is inaccessible to us. Our minds superimpose a perception of the world that they can perceive onto the infinite realm. Therefore there is a separation between the noumena and the phenomena. The world as it is and the world as we experience it.
    7. If (3) is true, the noumenal world exactly as conceived of by Kant is false.
    8. Since we cannot comment on what we cannot experience, we cannot know whether
    (2) is true and (3) is false or vice versa.
    9. We know that either (2) or (3) is true. Both theses entail the view that there is a distinction between the world as we experience it and the world as it is. Hence, there is merit to the Kantian view because we must purchase it either wholesale(2) or in part(3).
    10. If (3) is true or the universe is finite, then it can expand only to a certain point and will contract if it expands excessively. This is impossible in the world of our experience as the law of conservation of mass states: nothing is ever destroyed complete, only changes form. The implication of this is that the universe is either (2) infinite, or (3) so large that it has not yet expanded to its very limits and begun contracting.
    11. As a purely educated guess, it seems more intuitive to maintain that the law of conservation of mass will continue to hold true, or to adequately describe the work of nature. All that we know about science to this day shows that this law of nature is likely to be true and it is hard to imagine an instance where it would be false, as we have not yet seen mass being destroyed. The fact that we have not yet seen this does not show that it is impossible, yet conjecturing in favor of something that has not yet been observed is anathema to the principle of induction. In short, we cannot rule this out (just because the argument is inductively weak), yet at this point we have no reason to believe that the universe will be radically altered in the future and mass will begin to disappear. Therefore it is more plausible to maintain that the ultimate reality (the noumenal world that we cannot experience is infinite), and therefore thesis (2) is true.

    Conclusion: We do not know whether the ultimate reality is finite or infinite. However, what we do know is that the world as we experience it cannot be the ultimate reality. This is the case (see argument 1) because the world as we experience it is expanding, yet if it is all that there is, it is expanding onto nothing which is a manifest paralogism. Although we do not know if the universe is finite or infinite as we lack a rigorous argument to prove the verity of either thesis, the argument in favor of the infinity of the universe is stronger than the argument in favor of the finitude of the universe. (See item 11 of argument 2)

    Hence, the view espoused by Mycroft and Kant is persuasive---the noumenal world, the world as it is, or the ultimate reality is infinite and not finite.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  2. #192
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    Can you objectively define nothing?

    No, because we cannot sense nothing. We can only sense that nothing is there, but that only implies that our senses are too limited to understand what is there. If it were truly nothing, we wouldn't be looking at it.

    I can only experience nothing and infinity internally, subjectively.

    How is it that our minds are capable of perceiving nothing and infinity, yet we cannot objectify it?

    Does it have something to do with the perceptive power of consciousness itself being infinite?

  3. #193
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenity View Post
    Can you objectively define nothing?

    No, because we cannot sense nothing.

    I can only experience nothing and infinity (the opposite of nothing) internally, subjectively.
    That is quite an astute remark. In fact, Kant (the philosopher I have discussed in the earlier post) is famous for claiming that existence is not a predicate. In other words, when we talk of something, we presuppose that it exists. Therefore there is no such thing as nothingness. Hence, what cannot be spoken of (and only what cannot be spoken of does not exist), cannot be defined.

    I heartily agree with you that we cannot define nothingness. Curiously enough, this subtly pays homage to Mycroft's argument that the universe is infinite. The only way there could not be nothingness is if the universe is infinite. If the universe is finite, then there is such a thing as nothingness. But this is a contradiction because when we talk of something, we presuppose that it exists. Hence we talk of nothingness (presuppose it exists) and assert that it does not exist.

    In other words if the universe is finite, it is limited by something. But if it is finite and the universe is all that there is, it is limited by nothingness. Again, this is a contradiction! It is a contradiction because a thing cannot be limited (or influenced in any regard) by nothingness, as anything that is in the picture or is spoken of (as aforementioned) is something and not nothing.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  4. #194
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    How did human consciousness come to be able to perceive nothingness and infinity if we cannot sense it?

    Where did the idea of God come from, if no one ever sensed God?

    Infinity and nothing are only perceivable by human consciousness. They exist in our ideas and theories, created and rationalized only by our minds, experienced only by our minds. But they will never be measurable or detectable by objectivity, detectable by our senses.

    Therefore, human consciousness must be a power beyond the physical, beyond what is detected by sense.

  5. #195
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenity View Post
    How did human consciousness come to be able to perceive nothingness and infinity if we cannot sense it?

    Where did the idea of God come from, if no one ever sensed God?

    Infinity and nothing are only perceivable by human consciousness. They exist in our ideas and theories, created and rationalized only by our minds, experienced only by our minds. But they will never be measurable or detectable by objectivity, detectable by our senses.

    Therefore, human consciousness must be a power beyond the physical, beyond what is detected by sense.
    That is another question. The point is, if we can perceive something, it cannot be nothing. The question that you are getting at (I think) is whether or not everything that we perceive is part of reality as a thing in itself or it is a construct of our minds. After all, (as you may note) all of our information derives from our senses, therefore we cannot know if our senses deceive us. Therefore we cannot decide if our senses give us accurate information about the world as a thing in itself or inaccurate (they deceive us).
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  6. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    That is another question. The point is, if we can perceive something, it cannot be nothing. The question that you are getting at (I think) is whether or not everything that we perceive is part of reality as a thing in itself or it is a construct of our minds.

    We can perceive the concept of nothing, because we are discussing it right now. It can be nothing and infinity in our minds, concepts that have meaning to us that we can see in our minds, not just empty words. Yet we cannot detect these things in physical reality since they are not detectable by physical sense perception, by the human body or extensions of our body, the measuring tools we make.

    Human consciousness can perceive concepts of an infinite number of things, that which cannot be proven to exist in physical reality.

    How can that be?

    Does it make them any less real because we cannot see, smell, or touch these concepts with our hands?

    If human consciousness is limited only to physical sense perception, why do we even have the ability to perceive concepts beyond what is detectable by physical senses?


    After all, (as you may note) all of our information derives from our senses, therefore we cannot know if our senses deceive us.
    Is it really?

    Therefore we cannot decide if our senses give us accurate information about the world as a thing in itself or inaccurate (they deceive us).
    What is accurate information?




    I think the point I'm getting at is that if God existed, he does not exist within this box, or rather, God is this box we refer to as reality.

    Therefore, we cannot perceive or understand God by thinking about things that exist in this box.

    It must be that God is either everything that makes up the contents of this box, or resides outside this box.



    Wow, this is a fucking head trip. I've gotta go. Enjoy the holiday weekend!

  7. #197
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    God is too provinical to be true. Too human for the universe at large.

  8. #198
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    ^ Unless you make up your own definition of God. That's what most N-type religious people end up doing.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  9. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    In the context that Mycroft uses the term universe, "all of reality" is not to be equated with the items that you have listed. (Numbers, perceptions, energy, ideas and so on.) These entities belong to a part of reality, and not the whole of it. They belong to the world as we experience it and not the world as it is. The world as we experience it is analogous to the world as it is as a madman's hallucination to reality. The vision (hallucination) is inspired by a perception of reality, yet the vision of reality is heavily distorted. The ultimate reality is a single, homogeneous, entirely unlimited (infinite in all respects) entity. Our distorted perception (the world as we experience it) is finite and contains a variety of attributes such as ideas, numbers, perceptions and so on.finite
    But I mean everything, both as we experience it and as it is. Insofar as ideas and experiences exist, I include them, but everything else is also included. "Everything" is just what I meant by "universe."

    It seems nonsensical to me to say the universe is "infinite in all respects." Besides using the term "infinite" in a peculiar way, there are obvious respects in which it is not "infinite." When I mention one or two, "they don't count" is the response.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  10. #200
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    SW,

    The universe cannot really be expanding, because what could it expand into? Nothing.

    Imagine that a picture is all that exists, and suppose you were a pixel in that picture. If the resolution of the picture doubled, then it might seem as though the picture has expanded, but it hasn't -- you have just shrunk.

    In other words, an expanding universe could also be decribed as a universe where every object in it is shrinking. From the point of view of anything in that universe, both descriptions might seem appropriate. However, although it's mostly harmless to say that the universe is expanding, it cannot actually expand. But there is no logical problem with saying that every object in the universe is shrinking.

    (Notice the shift from talking about the universe itself to talking about objects in the universe, because what can be sensibly said of one cannot be said of the other.)
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

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