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Author Topic: On the acceptance of statements and the burden of proof  (Read 5706 times)

Sergarr

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Re: On the acceptance of statements and the burden of proof
« Reply #90 on: September 21, 2015, 06:49:05 pm »

Note that there would be no need to simulate an entire universe. Simply simulate earth and its surrounding space, then feed the simulation data that looks like a rest of the universe.
Hell why even bother with simulating Earth? Just simulate one (1) human and feed it simulation data that looks like a rest of the Earth/universe.
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LordBucket

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Re: On the acceptance of statements and the burden of proof
« Reply #91 on: September 21, 2015, 07:00:47 pm »

Hell why even bother with simulating Earth? Just simulate one (1) human

Well, I was giving you automatons the benefit of a doubt, but... :P

i2amroy

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Re: On the acceptance of statements and the burden of proof
« Reply #92 on: September 21, 2015, 07:18:41 pm »

Hell why even bother with simulating Earth? Just simulate one (1) human
Well, I was giving you automatons the benefit of a doubt, but... :P
Oooooohhhhh.... snap!

Of course if I'm really an automaton there isn't going to ever be any way for you to know.
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TempAcc

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Re: On the acceptance of statements and the burden of proof
« Reply #93 on: September 22, 2015, 12:50:26 pm »

4-Some arguments are beyond proof, for a reason or another: This applies to most religious matters, one cannot say a an argument regarding religion is true or false, simply because these things go beyond our means of verifying the statement. The quintessential example of this are the statements "God exists" and its negation "God does not exist", as both are beyond any means of verification. Not all religion related arguments are beyond proof, whoever, such as those involving historical facts and that aren't constructed as parables or myths, or facts about nature that our current level of scientific development can fully verify. This also applies to what many people consider "scientific fact", but are in fact incomplete truths still being verified. These can be considered to be true, for the time being, for the purpose of research. A good example of this are statements regarding the laws of physics, which are being contested and reviewed constantly, specially in regards to astronomical matters.
Not sure I agree with this. I'd say "some arguments are beyond proof at the current time" rather than just "some arguments are beyond proof, period". I mean for example right now String theory is essentially unprovable in a lot of ways, simply because it's beyond the reach of current technology, but that doesn't mean it will always be that way.

In fact as best as I can tell the only way for a statement to be truly unprovable would be for its true or falseness to have literally zero effect on you at all. For example if God can perform miracles by altering the physical world in some way, then that allows us to gain evidence pointing towards his existence or nonexistence. The only way it's truly impossible for us to gain evidence (and thus be unable to prove something), would be if he had no effect at all in any way, shape, or form, and thus it doesn't really matter if he exists or not, since it won't make a difference to you at any point in time (living or dead).

I didn't exactly mean it as "some arguments are beyond proof, period", but rather what you said. Just poor wording on my part.

Some arguments are beyond proof due to lack of verified info on it. If something cannot be verified under whats currently understood as a scientific method, then it is beyond proof. What I mean by that argument is that, just because something is beyond proof currently, doesn't mean it should be disregarded and/or considered not true. Unless, of course, the source of the info has emitted verifiably false statements before, therefore becoming an unreliable source.
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Bohandas

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Re: On the acceptance of statements and the burden of proof
« Reply #94 on: September 22, 2015, 02:48:50 pm »

My contribution to derail: The first principle that scientists have faith in IMHO is that reality exists and is consistent within itself,

For a certain value of consistent at any rate. It's been experimentally verified that subatomic particles get up to weird stuff when nobody's looking, and some interpretations of quantum mechanics suggest that not only can we not know the exact position and velocity of a particle simultaneously, but that both do not have defined values simultaneously.

That reminds me of a debate on these forums about another unknowable, which was whether we live inside a simulation (The Matrix theory). Virtually every argument against it being so, could actually be shown to have some explanation which you can come up with based on real programming tricks you might use if you have memory limitations or the like.

The main thing wrong with these theories is that they're about as far from parsimonious as one can ever possibly get. Positing as they do something of greater complexity than the entire universe and which we have absolutely no evidence of.
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LordBucket

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Re: On the acceptance of statements and the burden of proof
« Reply #95 on: September 22, 2015, 03:40:00 pm »

Positing as they do something of greater complexity than the entire universe and which we have absolutely no evidence of.

What evidence do you have that the universe is as it appears to be? Occam's razor?

Our universe appears to be an area of at least 10^31 cubic light years full of mostly nothing except for about 3 * 10^55 grams of stuff that we don't know what it is or why it exists. Most of which we can't see, for reasons we don't understand. And when we look very closely at this stuff, it appears to mostly be made out of nothing. But we think it's actually not "stuff," or rather, what we think of as "stuff" is actually fundamentally the same as "the ability to move stuff." Meanwhile, whatever this stuff is that seems to exist in stupidly large quantities, it appears to be impossible to create, and it appears to behave differently when we look at it, and apparently when you put it together in the right shapes, it acts intelligently.

What's your explanation for all this that's "simpler"  than solipsism?

"Consciousness exists" and "it's hallucinating" is much simpler and requires far fewer assumptions than any material explanation for the existence and behavior of the universe that I'm aware of.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2015, 03:45:51 pm by LordBucket »
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Sergarr

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Re: On the acceptance of statements and the burden of proof
« Reply #96 on: September 22, 2015, 03:59:01 pm »

Positing as they do something of greater complexity than the entire universe and which we have absolutely no evidence of.

What evidence do you have that the universe is as it appears to be? Occam's razor?

Our universe appears to be an area of at least 10^31 cubic light years full of mostly nothing except for about 3 * 10^55 grams of stuff that we don't know what it is or why it exists. Most of which we can't see, for reasons we don't understand. And when we look very closely at this stuff, it appears to mostly be made out of nothing. But we think it's actually not "stuff," or rather, what we think of as "stuff" is actually fundamentally the same as "the ability to move stuff." Meanwhile, whatever this stuff is that seems to exist in stupidly large quantities, it appears to be impossible to create, and it appears to behave differently when we look at it, and apparently when you put it together in the right shapes, it acts intelligently.

What's your explanation for all this that's "simpler"  than solipsism?

"Consciousness exists" and "it's hallucinating" is much simpler and requires far fewer assumptions than any material explanation for the existence and behavior of the universe that I'm aware of.
The moral: do not go for simple explanations, go for ones that have predictive power. You can assume that every single movement of every single particle in the universe has been a result of random quantum fluctuations as a simple explanation for why they move that way, but it's obviously unusable for any practical purpose.
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Fenrir

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Re: On the acceptance of statements and the burden of proof
« Reply #97 on: October 03, 2015, 03:33:42 am »

What's your explanation for all this that's "simpler"  than solipsism?

"Consciousness exists" and "it's hallucinating" is much simpler and requires far fewer assumptions than any material explanation for the existence and behavior of the universe that I'm aware of.
This isn’t true. A hallucination of a reality is necessarily more complicated than a reality. A brain that can simulate physics is more complicated than physics.
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NJW2000

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Re: On the acceptance of statements and the burden of proof
« Reply #98 on: October 03, 2015, 03:37:30 am »

Not this again.
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penguinofhonor

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Re: On the acceptance of statements and the burden of proof
« Reply #99 on: October 03, 2015, 08:04:29 am »

Oh my god Fenrir is back! Don't leave us again, buddy!
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LordBucket

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Re: On the acceptance of statements and the burden of proof
« Reply #100 on: October 03, 2015, 04:43:33 pm »

What's your explanation for all this that's "simpler"  than solipsism?

"Consciousness exists" and "it's hallucinating" is much simpler and requires far fewer assumptions than any material explanation for the existence and behavior of the universe that I'm aware of.
This isn’t true. A hallucination of a reality is necessarily more complicated than a reality. A brain that can simulate physics is more complicated than physics.


What brain?

You mean the brain you're assuming you have based on an experience you think your brain is having? Do you see how that's a circular assumption? It's kind of like "the bible is the word of god, because the bible says so." You wouldn't depend on the information provided by the bible as a reliable source of validation for the information content of the bible. Why would you depend on the information provided by your brain as a reliable source of validation for the information content of your brain?

Let me re-quote myself:

"Consciousness exists" and "it's hallucinating" is much simpler and requires far fewer assumptions than any material explanation for the existence and behavior of the universe that I'm aware of.

That consciousness exists is empirically observable:

Are you having an experience? (y/n)

If the answer is yes, you can confirm that you are having an experience. That doesn't therefore imply that your experience is representative of an external reality or that your interpretation of that experience is valid. It doesn't imply what "you" are or what it is that is doing the experiencing. Material explanations for the universe cannot be logically deduced from observable experience. Positing a material universe require a whole bunch of assumptions. For example, that your experience is an accurate representation of the world, that there's even a "world" that you're experiencing, etc.


"Consciousness exists" and "it's hallucinating" is much simpler and requires far fewer assumptions than any material explanation for the existence and behavior of the universe that I'm aware of.
A hallucination of a reality is necessarily more complicated than a reality. A brain that can simulate physics is more complicated than physics.

Even if we assume a material universe, assume that brains do exist, etc, the brain would be a construct of physics operating within physics rules. Saying that the brain is "more complicated than" physics is kind of like saying a lego house is more complicated than legos. I'm not entirely sure what you even mean by that. My best guess is that you're proceeding from some sort of low to high level programming language analogy in the context of a language becoming complicated enough to write a compiler for itself. Which is not a good analogy for this situation.

Within the context of our particular observable universe, a (single brain's worth of  experience of a universe) clearly involves less complexity than (our entire universe for that brain to experience.) If nothing else, simply because of the scales involved. If you're simulating a brain, there's no need to simulate what's going on in those couple billion galaxies over there. There's no need to simulate what's going on around most of the ~100 billion stars in this galaxy. There isn't any need to simulate what's going on in the vast majority of space around this star.

There isn't even any reason to simulate what's going on 100 feet beyond your vision. All you need to simulate is what's being experienced.

For example, the data content of this post that is reaching you is much simpler than the complicated biological organism with trillions of cells that you assume to be writing it from a complicated computing device over a complicated internet, isn't it? The experience that you're having right now, isn't it far simpler than the complicated biological organism you posit yourself to be, capable of processing data from an external world and translating it into that experience?

Fenrir

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Re: On the acceptance of statements and the burden of proof
« Reply #101 on: October 04, 2015, 03:06:13 pm »

That’s a good point. You said “consciousness”, not “brain”. I must have conflated that with the brain-in-a-jar scenario.
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Strife26

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Re: On the acceptance of statements and the burden of proof
« Reply #102 on: October 04, 2015, 05:06:44 pm »

Oh my god Fenrir is back! Don't leave us again, buddy!

Is it bad that I saw the last poster note and said basically the same thing?
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