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  1. #21

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    Hey, that's a neat video.

    Yeah, I fare much better with the "reality" question when I approach it from a scientific perspective. If I start waxing too philosophically about things I can just go in circles and circles till the cows come home (what is the difference between subjective and objective reality? Is there any such thing as objective reality anyway? Is what we perceive to be objective reality just the collection of all our subjective realities? And if we're all perceiving an objective reality, isn't that by definition subjective? But it can't be a fluke that we all seem to observe, more or less, the same reality. There must be some kind of objective reality out there! WTF is reality anyway?). *cue existential crisis*

    At least science gives me meaningful answers I can run with. And within science it helps to approach things initially from different categories, then move on to bringing those categories together to form a bigger picture and then from there an even bigger picture until eventually I have a reasonable conception of reality (a reality with a good basis in reason and empirical data, rather than speculation).

  2. #22
    The Memes Justify the End EcK's Avatar
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    But it can't be a fluke that we all seem to observe, more or less, the same reality. There must be some kind of objective reality out there! WTF is reality anyway?). *cue existential crisis*
    We all live in the same meme sphere, share an overwhelming majority of our genes etc... it's freaking obvious that we'd percieve things in mostly the same ways independently from any 'reality'.
    and even if people mean slightly different 'things' (because the things only exist in their individual heads in the first place) when they say 'dog' or whatever. Because to them it's some set of association, memories, etc. the limited information we get about other people make people assume that words have discreet meanings when we have evidence of the opposite on a daily basis.
    Expression of the post modern paradox : "For the love of god, religions are so full of shit"

    Theory is always superseded by Fact...
    ... In theory.

    “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.”
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  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by EcK View Post
    We all live in the same meme sphere, share an overwhelming majority of our genes etc... it's freaking obvious that we'd percieve things in mostly the same ways independently from any 'reality'.
    and even if people mean slightly different 'things' (because the things only exist in their individual heads in the first place) when they say 'dog' or whatever. Because to them it's some set of association, memories, etc. the limited information we get about other people make people assume that words have discreet meanings when we have evidence of the opposite on a daily basis.
    Yeah, that's why it's kind of useless (well, not useless, but very inefficient) when learning a new language to map the new vocabulary you're learning to the words you're learning the language in (ie. mapping new German vocab to your preexisting and extensive English vocabulary database). Since behind every word is a concept, it's much more beneficial to map the new word to the concept, even if it's a concept you're really familiar with in your native tongue (like "dog"). But it gets harder to do this the more "entrenched" in your native vocabulary you are. The words and the concepts seem to become inseparable. I guess this is why kids pick up on new languages better.

    But yeah, a French person and a Japanese person both have the same general concept of "dog" in their minds (and perhaps because of geography a French dog will look different from a Japanese dog), but they'll express the concept with different sounds. The dog will still be, genetically, the same thing.

  4. #24
    The Memes Justify the End EcK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegorystory View Post
    But yeah, a French person and a Japanese person both have the same general concept of "dog" in their minds (and perhaps because of geography a French dog will look different from a Japanese dog), but they'll express the concept with different sounds. The dog will still be, genetically, the same thing.
    Wrong
    Dogs aren't 'the same thing', there isn't any 'perfect platonic dog in the sky', we categorize them as 'dogs' because that's how our brains work.
    compare two 'dogs'. Their genes wont be the same, the way they 're expressed into phenotypes wont be the same, they wont have had the same experiences etc.
    Compare one dog with itself and at a given time every cell in the dog won't share the exact same genetic code due to copy errors. Then different cells will have different organelles. Compare the dog with 'itself' 5 years later: different experiences, more differences in genes and phenotype, the cells themselves won't be the same cells you looked at the last time etc.

    The same applies to us, the fact that we 'feel like' we're the person we remember being doesn't make it true. As a matter of fact it doesn't even make it a meaningful statement.
    Expression of the post modern paradox : "For the love of god, religions are so full of shit"

    Theory is always superseded by Fact...
    ... In theory.

    “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.”
    Richard Feynman's last recorded words

    "Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart."
    Mencius (Meng-Tse), 4th century BCE

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by EcK View Post
    Wrong
    Dogs aren't 'the same thing', there isn't any 'perfect platonic dog in the sky', we categorize them as 'dogs' because that's how our brains work.

    The same applies to us, the fact that we 'feel like' we're the person we remember being doesn't make it true. As a matter of fact it doesn't even make it a meaningful statement.
    I see what you mean. I was thinking of it from a taxonomic bent: that a Canis lupus familiaris in France and a Canis lupus familiaris in Japan will still belong to the same genus and species. If you put them together, they could produce fertile offspring. But, again, that system of biological structure is built by our minds. As you said, "that's how our brains work": to make sense of things that are constantly in flux.

    But still, there seems to be a general pattern to all those fluctuations. A dog doesn't change into a moose over time. Even though this dog isn't the same as that dog for all the reasons you mentioned, it's still more closely related to that dog than that cat. And it's not just because our brains say so. Because this dog is not going to have any luck impregnating that cat whether we're there to make sense of it or not.

  6. #26
    The Memes Justify the End EcK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegorystory View Post
    Because this dog is not going to have any luck impregnating that cat whether we're there to make sense of it or not.
    Yeah that's how dogs stay 'dogs' instead of becoming something in between dogs and cats. (genetic or geographic isolation, but it basically always starts with geographic isolation of subgroups of a given genepool )

    A dog doesn't change into a moose over time.
    The universe still existing after nearly 14 billion years implies a degree of stability. So does the existence of life, because it's born of this universe's slow accumulation of complexity (a natural consequence of time in a non perfectly smooth universe) and needs stability to function (reproduction, transmission of traits, homeostasis...)
    This degree of stability is counterbalanced by uncertainty, probably defining our universe's physics at its creation, and making it 'unsmooth', allowing for the previously mentioned accumulation of complexity through a slow build up of differencials with time.

    A dog changing into a moose would just be far too unlikely to happen in the lifetime of the universe, but that doesn't mean that it's 'structurally' wrong. It's just very unlikely.
    And given enough generations what you call dog now won't be recognizable as a dog, yet it'd be a population made exclusively of dogs that give that 'non dog' thing.

    When does it become a 'non dog' then ?
    If you observe that you'll realise that you cannot find that limit because it's a false category. We call 'dogness' static for the same reason that we call glass solid, at the rate at which we percieve time and given our life expectancy we just don't see them change before our eyes and consider them to be 'static' essence-like objects.
    Expression of the post modern paradox : "For the love of god, religions are so full of shit"

    Theory is always superseded by Fact...
    ... In theory.

    “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.”
    Richard Feynman's last recorded words

    "Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart."
    Mencius (Meng-Tse), 4th century BCE

  7. #27
    Senior Member Perch420's Avatar
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    They're lying.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by EcK View Post
    The universe still existing after nearly 14 billion years implies a degree of stability. So does the existence of life, because it's born of this universe's slow accumulation of complexity (a natural consequence of time in a non perfectly smooth universe) and needs stability to function (reproduction, transmission of traits, homeostasis...)
    This degree of stability is counterbalanced by uncertainty, probably defining our universe's physics at its creation, and making it 'unsmooth', allowing for the previously mentioned accumulation of complexity through a slow build up of differencials with time.

    A dog changing into a moose would just be far too unlikely to happen in the lifetime of the universe, but that doesn't mean that it's 'structurally' wrong. It's just very unlikely.
    And given enough generations what you call dog now won't be recognizable as a dog, yet it'd be a population made exclusively of dogs that give that 'non dog' thing.

    When does it become a 'non dog' then ?
    If you observe that you'll realise that you cannot find that limit because it's a false category. We call 'dogness' static for the same reason that we call glass solid, at the rate at which we percieve time and given our life expectancy we just don't see them change before our eyes and consider them to be 'static' essence-like objects.

    So I guess what you're saying (and I could totally be interpreting this wrong) is that there's objective matter (that exists outside of our minds) that is given subjective meaning by us as we interact with it and together that creates our reality? So "reality" is a subjective form of what is actually there and the only reason there's consistency in our subjective perception is that we are all biologically linked to one another?

    And I guess "objectivity" as we see it is simply a smaller degree of subjectivity - the closer we get to the objective matter without injecting too much subjective meaning into it.

    Unless you're implying that there is no "objective matter" which I can see a case for, too. What I glean from the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is that nothing is set in stone. Our "reality" is a web of probabilities. When you zoom in on one probability to make it more definite, it only means that this other area's definition becomes more hazy (we can know a particle's position and the probability of it's momentum or the probability of it's position and it's exact momentum, but never both). In an abstract way this means that our observations of the physical world are completely made by the fact that we are observing the physical world. In some way, it can be said that we make our reality by simply existing and interacting with it. So now my question is, is our reality a result of a collective set of observations that humanity makes together, or is each person's reality different and relative to how they are observing it?

    But then again, the rules of quantum physics need only apply on the subatomic level because once we get to the macroscopic level, the rules of Newtonian physics is more relevant.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Winds of Thor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegorystory View Post
    So now my question is, is our reality a result of a collective set of observations that humanity makes together, or is each person's reality different and relative to how they are observing it?
    Everyone sees things a little differently. Some see things A Lot differently. Some of those are geniuses. Some of the latter are fools.
    "..And the eight and final rule: If this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight."
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