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Thread: My Ridicules Idea

  1. #1 My Ridicules Idea 
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    So I've been thinking about this one ridicules idea of mind that is very self centered and I have heated debates on it with my pals that often come very close to fist fights.

    Here's the idea:

    Everything exists only because humans exist. If every last person would die then the whole world would cease to exist. There I said it.

    One of the simples explanations is color.
    So in reality there is no color. There is no blue, no red, no yellow.
    But color is created through human sensation. We look at a red apple and get this particular light sensation that we have been taught to name Red Color.
    In reality there is no Red Color, there is only a human sensation that (again) humans call Red Color.

    Moving on...

    You are sitting in a room and there is an apply in front of you.
    And I tell you that apple is in front of you only because you are looking at it.
    Looking is believing. You trust your eyes 100% so you "know" that there is apple in front of you, therefore it is in front of you.
    However, if you could make your self believe that your eyes are not the true indicator of reality, and your observation is just an illusion then that apple will actually cease to exist.
    So, if you close your eyes, erase the memory of that apple, then there would not be an apple and it never have been there.

    Discuss...


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  3. #2  
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    Humans are only a few hundred thousand years on Earth. And it is well established that the world, universe and all already existed for more than 13 billion years. That's 0.0015%. If you stick to your idea, you must also argue that the universe did not exist these few hundred thousand years ago.

    Having said that, there is of course a discipline in philosophy that actually transports exactly this idea. It says that reality only exists in our minds. That would also include all the other people around you. So, consequently, you would have to believe that you are actually the only thing that exists. It's a very radical version of "Cogito ergo sum". It's up to you, if you want to believe that. I don't think that this can be proven or disproven. This makes it useless as a scientific theory.

    A milder version of this says that everything we seem to know about reality is derived from our senses that analyse and interpret what they can perceive. Therefore, what we consider as reality is in fact only a model of it.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    Humans are only a few hundred thousand years on Earth. And it is well established that the world, universe and all already existed for more than 13 billion years. That's 0.0015%. If you stick to your idea, you must also argue that the universe did not exist these few hundred thousand years ago. Having said that, there is of course a discipline in philosophy that actually transports exactly this idea. It says that reality only exists in our minds. That would also include all the other people around you. So, consequently, you would have to believe that you are actually the only thing that exists. It's a very radical version of "Cogito ergo sum". It's up to you, if you want to believe that. I don't think that this can be proven or disproven. This makes it useless as a scientific theory. A milder version of this says that everything we seem to know about reality is derived from our senses that analyse and interpret what they can perceive. Therefore, what we consider as reality is in fact only a model of it.
    Probably the best, well thought and open minded reply that I have received about this Idea in a long time. I say Idea because I can't even call it a theory. As you pointed out correctly "this makes it useless as a scientific theory" because if you take this idea for the truth, then all of the scientific knowledge with its experiments could be thrown out because of their "impurity" of being based on only human observation. Now if there would exist this supreme Wikipedia that would tell us what Color Red really is or what things "really" are. But we only have an understanding of the world through our senses. Maybe what I am trying to say is that "reality" is relative to the observer. Different realities for different observers. Different laws of science for different observers. If dogs were higher beings than humans and have begun to understand the world through science, than their "doggy science" would have been much different from our science and their scientific laws would be much different from our own laws. Because the laws directly dependent of the observer. As well as, the observer is directly dependent on those laws.(I think)
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  5. #4  
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    This Idea of yours alexdj1983 occurs to many people, typically in teen years. It's associated with some normal restructuring that happens around then.

    Try not to take yourself (or anybody) too seriously.
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  6. #5  
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    One note. Color does exist outside of human perception. The label RED doesn't though. Different animals see color differently. Some animals (most birds) have 4 color receptors instead of human's 3. Some have 2. Some have 7 (a certain type of shrimp IIRC).
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster
    One note. Color does exist outside of human perception. The label RED doesn't though. Different animals see color differently. Some animals (most birds) have 4 color receptors instead of human's 3. Some have 2. Some have 7 (a certain type of shrimp IIRC).
    Colours are always only a way to represent a (mixture of) wavelength(s). It does not matter HOW it is done by different species. Take e.g. white light. It does not exist in Nature. It is a mixture of several wavelengths. Therefore, you can say that the properties of a photon is that what Nature provides, and our perception (colours) or the use of other instruments are a way to describe something that we call wavelength. This does not mean that we actually know, what a photon is.
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    As an example, take yellow. There are two ways our eyes can register yellow. Either from a light of a specific wavelength, or also from the overlap of red and green light. Birds on the other hand can see the difference between these two.

    (Cue William exclaiming that there is no such thing as wavelength.)
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexdj1983
    Maybe what I am trying to say is that "reality" is relative to the observer. Different realities for different observers. Different laws of science for different observers.
    I would submit to you that if you gave two people (or a person and a space alien, or whatever) exactly the same set of experimental tools and told them to perform exactly the same experiment under exactly the same conditions, they will always get exactly the same result regardless of whatever preconceptions, opinions, or world view they might have.
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    Observations must be communicated by measurement. Measurment is relative to the observer. Human beings arose from natural processes in a natural universe. In your theory, these natural processes must be considered to be abstract; put in place to fulfill a necessity of a conscious being to confirm their actuality. To confirm his own actuality, Conscious Being must first confirm the actuality of the natural processes that created him. If Concious Being thinks, his thoughts are a sum of his natural processes that were created by previous natural processes. Conscious Being confirms his actuality by confirming thought, thereby confirming by necessity the actuality of natural processes to create his thoughts. Though the entire process is abstract, it must still be viable. All pieces of the whole must fit, intertwined for it to work out. Reality to the pieces of the abstraction is the abstraction itself. Relative to the observer, his universe is real; moreover, it is necessarily impossible that the observer cannot determine whether or not his universe is the ONLY thing that is real.

    But if his universe is actually an abstraction, it seems there must be an actual for which the abstract may be empty potential of superposition of this actual; this Absolute. A different way to define the total perhaps. If this is the case, then our abstraction should therefore reflect the nature of the Absolute.

    What does our abstraction reflect? The total output of our universe (because of this little fun fact: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction) is 0. What does 0 represent? The total integer value of Nothing. Can you guys think of anything besides Nothing that could exist as Absolute prior to the existence of even existence itself? I can't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticklemonster
    Observations must be communicated by measurement. Measurment is relative to the observer.
    I strongly object to this. If this were true, there would be no such thing like science. I think, we should separate two things: Measurements/experiments and something that could be called "reality" or the "real world". The measurements always give the same results (within the accuracy of the measurement). This is the central principle of Physics. But it is something very different deriving an idea about Nature from these results. These ideas or concepts can always only be a model of the "real world". As a result, I can always tell you what a thing looks like or what properties it has, but I can never securely say what a thing really "is".
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticklemonster
    Can you guys think of anything besides Nothing that could exist as Absolute prior to the existence of even existence itself? I can't.
    Dude, you are loosing me. Be careful with your words, if you want to derive a deeper meaning from them. You should be clear about the definitions. E.g. what do you mean by "existence"? I'd say that your last sentence is a paradox. Can "nothing" exist? Does "existing" only apply to material things? If "nothing" can exist, it is also a "something" at the same time. Then I could also ask "What preceded 'nothing'?" You see, it is easy to produce sentences, but whether they really have a meaning is another issue. At some point, language appears to be too restricted for such exercises.

    I suppose, you are trying to think beyond the beginning of the universe and what might have been before or even caused it. I agree, this is honorable and can be worthwhile. But whether this really leads to a solution, well, I doubt it. Because, in the end, you will have to test your hypothesis empirically. And this is probably impossible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    I would submit to you that if you gave two people (or a person and a space alien, or whatever) exactly the same set of experimental tools and told them to perform exactly the same experiment under exactly the same conditions, they will always get exactly the same result regardless of whatever preconceptions, opinions, or world view they might have.
    I disagree. If you give to humans same set of tools then they would get the same results because humans are all the same (or almost same) by design. However, I don’t think that space alien would get the same results, moreover, I don’t think that could use the same tools that human would use.
    Humans perceive the world through human senses and they try to understand the world by implementing human-made methods. Right now, our best understanding method is mathematics. But how do we know what mathematics is the true and pure method of understanding and measuring the world. Mathematics are useful to only us, humans, because it fits into our logical nature of thinking. For example, we make up this concept of 1. We look at a tree and say there is 1 tree. And this tree represents singularity. However, this idea of singularity is totally depended on our observation of this tree and Our understanding. Could we really define the singularity of this tree? Do we really know where this singular tree begins and where it ends? Saying that there is 1 tree is just simplifying the nature of what we are looking at so it would be easier for us to understand it. Identifying something as being singular is just a rough estimate of an object. This reminds me of a Russian scientists (can’t remember the name). But when some one asked him what is 2+2 he would reply “About 4”

    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    I strongly object to this. If this were true, there would be no such thing like science. I think, we should separate two things: Measurements/experiments and something that could be called "reality" or the "real world". The measurements always give the same results (within the accuracy of the measurement). This is the central principle of Physics. But it is something very different deriving an idea about Nature from these results. These ideas or concepts can always only be a model of the "real world". As a result, I can always tell you what a thing looks like or what properties it has, but I can never securely say what a thing really "is".
    I slightly disagree. You say “The measurements always give the same results.” However, Newton’s laws were thought of being true for a long time, until scientists received new data and suddenly Newton’s laws were not as accurate as believed before. I think that we can never prove that something is Right, we can just prove that something is Now Wrong for Now.
    You say, “I can always tell you what a thing looks like or what properties it has, but I can never securely say what a thing really “is” “. I think you are agreeing with me here. The key words is “looks like”.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    Dude, you are loosing me. Be careful with your words, if you want to derive a deeper meaning from them. You should be clear about the definitions. E.g. what do you mean by "existence"? I'd say that your last sentence is a paradox. Can "nothing" exist? Does "existing" only apply to material things? If "nothing" can exist, it is also a "something" at the same time. Then I could also ask "What preceded 'nothing'?" You see, it is easy to produce sentences, but whether they really have a meaning is another issue. At some point, language appears to be too restricted for such exercises. I suppose, you are trying to think beyond the beginning of the universe and what might have been before or even caused it. I agree, this is honorable and can be worthwhile. But whether this really leads to a solution, well, I doubt it. Because, in the end, you will have to test your hypothesis empirically. And this is probably impossible.
    Does nothing exist? I think it exists as much as 1 or 2 or 0 exist. We think about it therefore it exists. Maybe it is just an idea of “nothing” that exists. Nevertheless, it must exist because we think about it. It truly would not exist if nobody would ever thought of it. Another point toward its existents is that this idea is communicated through writing and speech and even applied practically (01001010111).
    To twist this even further, if you believe in “I think therefore I am”, then “nothing” exists because we think about it, and if our thinking of it still doesn’t make it exist, then I also don’t exist.

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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexdj1983
    I slightly disagree. You say “The measurements always give the same results.” However, Newton’s laws were thought of being true for a long time, until scientists received new data and suddenly Newton’s laws were not as accurate as believed before. I think that we can never prove that something is Right, we can just prove that something is Now Wrong for Now.
    I think, you are still not exactly separating observations and experiments from interpretation. Experiments always give the same results regardless of who does them. A metre is a metre, a second is a second, if you repeat experiments using identical conditions. This is, what I mean with results of an experiment. How these results then fit into a theory is another thing.

    Newton's laws are already a theory, an interpretation, not results of an experiment. Say, you want to do an experiment that can distinguish between the validity of Newton's laws and Relativity. So, you measure time and length and get some results. Up to a certain velocity (also a result) you cannot distinguish between both. So, the same results are consistent with two different theories, or realities, if you like.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    Quote Originally Posted by alexdj1983
    I slightly disagree. You say “The measurements always give the same results.” However, Newton’s laws were thought of being true for a long time, until scientists received new data and suddenly Newton’s laws were not as accurate as believed before. I think that we can never prove that something is Right, we can just prove that something is Now Wrong for Now.
    I think, you are still not exactly separating observations and experiments from interpretation. Experiments always give the same results regardless of who does them. A metre is a metre, a second is a second, if you repeat experiments using identical conditions. This is, what I mean with results of an experiment. How these results then fit into a theory is another thing.

    Newton's laws are already a theory, an interpretation, not results of an experiment. Say, you want to do an experiment that can distinguish between the validity of Newton's laws and Relativity. So, you measure time and length and get some results. Up to a certain velocity (also a result) you cannot distinguish between both. So, the same results are consistent with two different theories, or realities, if you like.
    True, but I am making a connection between observation and experiments this way: people observe the results of experiments and interpret them from our human understanding. Again, measuring something with a ruler is measuring from a purely human (subjective) point of view, since the concept of a ruler (or numbers) is a human-invented method of understanding. So we Observe experimental results from a pure subjective point of view, simply because there is no other way we can observe them.
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    I think it is at least safe to say that aliens will have numbers. I can't imagine any way for them to have formed a civilization without ever having tried to count something. I also can't imagine them having never tried to say how far it is from A to B, but that seems an order of magnitude more likely than no numbers at all.

    Given that, and the fact that certain physical constants are, well... constant, you can say "this (pointing to boiling water) is 100 here" and "this (pointing to ice/water mix) is 0 here".

    Then you can do things like take a thin tube of transparent material and fill it half way with the only metal that is a liquid at 0 and cap the ends. Place that tube in said ice/water mix and mark where the metal rests. Place that tube in said boiling water and again mark where the metal rests. Now make a number of evenly spaced marks. Guess what, you've got a celcius thermometer that anyone can use. Everyone (human and alien) can agree that when the line of metal falls below the bottom mark, water will freeze.

    Additionally, I will point out that recent research has shown that some monkeys have developed simple numbers on their own. They watch the fields and see that two humans go in and only one comes out and they know it's not safe to go there. But when they see two go in and two come out, they raid the field. Unfortunately their understanding seems to be limited to 1, 2, 3, many, so they sometimes get it wrong.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster
    Additionally, I will point out that recent research has shown that some monkeys have developed simple numbers on their own. They watch the fields and see that two humans go in and only one comes out and they know it's not safe to go there. But when they see two go in and two come out, they raid the field. Unfortunately their understanding seems to be limited to 1, 2, 3, many, so they sometimes get it wrong.
    That's interesting. Do you have a reference? I vaguely remember that I read or heard somewhere that it was not all that different in the beginning of mankind. There are apparently ancient languages that have words for exactly the same cases.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster
    I think it is at least safe to say that aliens will have numbers. I can't imagine any way for them to have formed a civilization without ever having tried to count something. I also can't imagine them having never tried to say how far it is from A to B, but that seems an order of magnitude more likely than no numbers at all.
    I agree. A length is a length, a temperature is a temperature, a mass is a mass. It does not matter, if the scales are different (boiling points e.g. depend on atmospheric pressure) like yard, metre, miles or kilograms, pounds, stones, ounces. They still describe the same phenomenon although with different numbers. And this is exactly, what science is about: trying to explain phenomena, i.e. observations and experimental results. Developing possible explanations for this is a totally different thing.
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    The Voyager and Pioneer plaques reference time and distance with hydrogen. How far from Sol to a particular star, what speed to play Bach on the golden record, and so on - all multiples of hydrogen spin or wavelength. So the "numbers" aren't arbitrary.

    Even our Earth inches are standardized through millimeters standardized through light speed standardized through a particular radiation at absolute zero. So all we gotta do is get stuff down to true absolute zero, the rest will follow. :? Anyway, it works on paper.
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    @Dishmaster, unfortunately, no. I don't have a reference to that. It's, lets see, third hand information, I think. I could try and track it down though.
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