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onewheeldave
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Posted:As promised in the 'Superultimate Question' thread: -



http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubbthreads/show...ll/fpart/1/vc/1
br>


I've put together my proposed answer to the question- 'why is there something rather than nothing?'.



It's here: -



http://www.geocities.com/combatunicycle/utor/utor.html
br>


Please note before adding to this thread that quantum physics, cosmology, Hawking, the 'Big-Bang', Einstein and Schrodingers cat are almost certainly off-topic due to the fact that the 'nothing' refered to in the question is philosophical nothingness (absolute emptiness) rather than the physical 'empty space' nothingness covered by physics.



(For more on this check out the first link above where this point was extensively discussed)


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onewheeldave
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Posted:Written by: quiet



My main problem with UTOR is this: consciousness isn't a program, it's a running program. If you think it's just a program, then you've got to give some exposition of what the running program would be - and I don't see how you can do this. But if you think that it's a running program, then it necessarily cannot exist in the atemporal realm, because running implies temporality.


I've dealt with the 'running program' issue previously.

To sum that up, I'll say that, like many of the issues around UToR, maybe part of the problem is that we have different understandings of the terms in use.

As far as UToR is concerned, the elements of consciousness are not temporal.

Let's scrap the 'program' term, as it's creating confusion.

According to UToR, consciousness is made up mathematical objects in a non-temporal realm.

If you are of the opinion that non-temporal mathematical entities cannot be the basis of consciousness, then I request that you say why (hopefully without mentioning programs/running programs as, like I said above, in an attempt to ease the confusion, I'm replacing the notion of programs with that of non-temporal mathematical entities).


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Phellan


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Posted:Mmm coming a bit late into this discussion I suppose, but picking up on the threads of the Temporal discussion.

Dave you've said that looking at the clock at 6:45 and 7:00, it would only appear to have a change in time, but in fact they both occured at the same time. . .loosely put. I can handle that.

However, the flaw I find in all of this dealing with the lack of time, is that if it all occurs simultaneously, then HOW can one percieve to make a decision based on prior experience? As that decision would be soley based upon the mind percieving the event at an earlier date--and thus even if they do occur at the same time, the mind has created the time frame by it's percieved differences. And thus that percieved difference is a change in and of itself--you can not consciously recollect a memory without there being a time frame. The mind imposes such a restriction.

Does that make sense? That the mere act of percieving the change in the clock itself--the act requires a conscious state change, even if the two events did both exist at the same time, the perception that they did not relegates them to exist in two frames of reference, and that frame of reference-- that one time occured before the other is a conscious representation of time, of change.

This is probably not as clear or concise as Quiet has been but I'll give it a shot anyways smile


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onewheeldave
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Posted:Written by: Phellan

Mmm coming a bit late into this discussion I suppose, but picking up on the threads of the Temporal discussion.

Dave you've said that looking at the clock at 6:45 and 7:00, it would only appear to have a change in time, but in fact they both occured at the same time. . .loosely put. I can handle that.

However, the flaw I find in all of this dealing with the lack of time, is that if it all occurs simultaneously, then HOW can one percieve to make a decision based on prior experience? As that decision would be soley based upon the mind percieving the event at an earlier date--and thus even if they do occur at the same time, the mind has created the time frame by it's percieved differences. And thus that percieved difference is a change in and of itself--you can not consciously recollect a memory without there being a time frame. The mind imposes such a restriction.

Does that make sense? That the mere act of percieving the change in the clock itself--the act requires a conscious state change, even if the two events did both exist at the same time, the perception that they did not relegates them to exist in two frames of reference, and that frame of reference-- that one time occured before the other is a conscious representation of time, of change.

This is probably not as clear or concise as Quiet has been but I'll give it a shot anyways smile



The two mindstates are entirely distinct from each other.

In the normal view of reality M1 (looking at clock when it indicates 6.45), and M2 (looking at clock indicating 7.00); M1 and M2 are mindstates of the same individual- the same because of their connection, which is both causal and due to the fact that they take place on the timeline of one individual.

In UToR there is no connection, causal or otherwise, between M1 and M2- they are simply part of the collection of all possible 'instants of awareness'/mindstates that exist in the mathematical realm.

Like I said before, even in the normal view of reality, complete with temporality, everything in mindstates, including decisions, takes place in an instant (the 'present'). Whilst in the normal view, all instants occur at different times, this does not alter the fact that , during the instant of their being (when they are at the 'present'), the others (past and future instants) are not, at that time, 'real', or 'accessible' to the current instant.

There's no difference between those instants, and the ones in UToR, so anything possible in the normal view of reality is possible in the UToR, non-temporal view.

The difference lies in what brings those instants around- in the normal view, M1 is a causal factor (ie your state of mind in the present is influenced by your memory of previous mental states).

Whereas, in UToR, M2, M1 and, in fact all mind-states are 'caused' only by the fact that all possible mind-states have necessary being ie, logically speaking they can't not be (in the same way that Pi can't not be).

If you're interested in this, it would be well worth having a look at the othger pages in this thread.


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quiet


quiet

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Posted:'If you are of the opinion that non-temporal mathematical entities cannot be the basis of consciousness, then I request that you say why (hopefully without mentioning programs/running programs as, like I said above, in an attempt to ease the confusion, I'm replacing the notion of programs with that of non-temporal mathematical entities).'

Um. As far as I can tell, if you come up with such a theory, the burden of proof (or explanation) is in your court, not mine. But regardless.

1. You started out [in UTOR] by comparing consciousness to a program, and using that analogy to motivate your claim that consciousness was (like a program) a 'non-temporal mathematical entity'.
2. But now it looks like the program analogy won't get off the ground; so the motivation behind the whole 'non-temporal mathematical' stuff has disappeared.

I'm not going to try to argue for the notion that the non-temporal mathematical realm can't ground consciousness, since that would take an awfully long time; the crux of my argument is that consciousness requires change, and you can't locate that in the 'timeless mathematical realm' - EVEN IF I allow that you can accommodate change (that is, a-series style time) within an atemporal sequence (that is, the b-series), then that still won't get you off the hook: because numbers can't change. They are all there, or all not there, but they don't come in and out of existence. In other words, the mathematical realm is completely uniform, and that's why consciousness can't be located therein.

There's a deeper problem here, as well. You start with the question 'why is there something rather than nothing', and derive the conclusion that all minds are necessary entities. But, if that were true, then it would also be the case that ALL POSSIBLE MINDS exist. And that seems straightforwardly false. In answering the question 'why is there something rather than nothing', you raise the further question 'why is there THIS, rather than something else?'. UTOR doesn't allow any room to answer this question, since on UTOR there is not only THIS, but also EVERYTHING ELSE POSSIBLE. That includes consciousnesses which are pure evil, which are entirely composed of suffering, etc etc.

And, finally, UTOR leaves inexplicable the fact that all consciousnesses are located within physical entities; that physical changes affect these consciousnesses (for how on earth could a physical change, such as a blow to the head, or a psychedelic drug, impact on the 'timeless, unchanging mathematical realm'?).


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onewheeldave
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Posted:Written by: quiet


Um. As far as I can tell, if you come up with such a theory, the burden of proof (or explanation) is in your court, not mine.





I think the burden of proof lies in both camps.

I've tried my best to show why i believe that the non-temporal mathematical realm can explain consciousness, and you remain unconvinced.

Maybe you can't grasp what I'm trying to demonstrate, or maybe I've failed to express it sufficiently well.

Either way, i can't say more until I've come up with a new perspective.

Until then, I'm saying that, yes, I can't currently demonstrate to you that the non-temporal mathematical realm can explain consciousness, however, that doesn't mean that it can't.

To establish that, as you are claiming, it can't, requires you to demonstrate that.

Written by: quiet


1. You started out [in UTOR] by comparing consciousness to a program, and using that analogy to motivate your claim that consciousness was (like a program) a 'non-temporal mathematical entity'.
2. But now it looks like the program analogy won't get off the ground; so the motivation behind the whole 'non-temporal mathematical' stuff has disappeared.




The program analogy is fine; it's just that different people think and understand things in different ways.

For you, the program approach seems not to convey the essense of what I'm saying, that's why, I've said let's scrap it and try a different approach.

That doesn't mean that the program approach is not valid, or that I won't continue to use it with others.

Written by: quiet



I'm not going to try to argue for the notion that the non-temporal mathematical realm can't ground consciousness, since that would take an awfully long time;




Why? If it's something you can see to be clearly true, then presumably there's a way to express it consisely.

I may dispute it, and that process could go on a bit; but I think you should at least to be able to get it off the ground and at least indicate some directions as to why you believe that the non-temporal mathematical realm can't ground consciousness.

Written by: quiet


There's a deeper problem here, as well. You start with the question 'why is there something rather than nothing', and derive the conclusion that all minds are necessary entities. But, if that were true, then it would also be the case that ALL POSSIBLE MINDS exist. And that seems straightforwardly false. In answering the question 'why is there something rather than nothing', you raise the further question 'why is there THIS, rather than something else?'. UTOR doesn't allow any room to answer this question, since on UTOR there is not only THIS, but also EVERYTHING ELSE POSSIBLE. That includes consciousnesses which are pure evil, which are entirely composed of suffering, etc etc.





Yes, according th UToR all possible mind-states exist, therefore all possible minds exist.

I don't see that as a problem with UToR.

I cetainly aren't going to accept that it's 'straightforwardly false' smile

Have you a shred of evidence that all possible minds don't exist? (and the fact that you find it unpleasant to think that obviously in no way constitutes a proof that it isn't the case.

Written by: quiet


And, finally, UTOR leaves inexplicable the fact that all consciousnesses are located within physical entities; that physical changes affect these consciousnesses (for how on earth could a physical change, such as a blow to the head, or a psychedelic drug, impact on the 'timeless, unchanging mathematical realm'?).



UToR does no such thing- it specifically denies that consciousnesses are located within physical entities, so obviously it doesn't claim that physical changes impact upon consciousness.

In UToR, all states of consciousness are accounted for purely by their logically necessary being (ie that they can't not be)- not by influence from physical objects.

(UToR does not deny the existence of physical objects, it simply says that they are not relevant in the account of consciousness).


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Posted:--------'The program analogy is fine; it's just that different people think and understand things in different ways.'

No, the program analogy *isn't* fine, because it breaks down as follows: either you think that consciousness is a running program, in which case it can't be taking place in the mathematical realm, or you think that it's just a program, in which case you need to explain what the 'running' version would be. This matters, because you were using the program analogy (at least as I understood you) to motivate UTOR. I'm not sure why you'd think that consciousness is a mathematical object otherwise.


----------Why? If it's something you can see to be clearly true, then presumably there's a way to express it consisely.

No. For instance: I think it's clearly true that the Earth goes around the Sun, or that witches don't exist, but I don't think I can generate a concise proof. If you want, I'll sketch some reasons why I don't think that the timeless mathematical realm could ground consciousness - in fact, I've done that throughout the course of this thread - but since you don't find those considerations convincing, there's no point in my re-iterating them.

Furthermore, I'm not currently concerned to argue that UTOR is incoherent, or self-defeating, etc. (although I suspect that it is). Rather, I'm trying to point out that the motivation behind it is suspect, and that it generates some curious conclusions.

No, of course I don't have evidence that all possible minds don't exist. Nor for one instant do I think that 'unpleasantness' would constitute proof. My point was that this is completely at odds with the normal appearances of reality: that is, people are born, people die, etc. Moreover, you're ignoring your own starting-point, namely:

1. We observe that there is something.
2. Some explanation for this is required (i.e. that there is something rather than nothing).

more precisely, you should have said:

1. We observe that there are some things (NOT 'we observe that there are ALL THINGS THAT THERE POSSIBLY COULD BE')
2. Some explanation for this is required.

UTOR doesn't just [putatively] explain the stuff that there is, it also posits an enormous set of unobserved entities, which themselves do no explanatory work. I think this counts as a demerit of any theory. But regardless . . .

The last point is a biggie:

You state that 'UToR does not deny the existence of physical objects, it simply says that they are not relevant in the account of consciousness'. But this is crazy: do you honestly believe that physical objects (such as drugs, bullets, heavy blows from blunt objects, etc.) do not impact on consciousness? When someone ingests LSD, their consciousness changes. When someone drives a spike through your brain, your consciousness changes. More generally, we can use MRI scanners (for instance) to measure physical changes in the brain, and correlate these to a significant degree of reliability with changes in consciousness. In spite of this, you are claiming that physical objects aren't relevant to the account of consciousness?


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i8beefy2
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Posted:No, they aren't, because the physical world we are talking about is our perceptions of the physical world... That is all we ever experience, so from a strict Empiricist view you never have proof of a physical realm being there, just of similar experiences... but all of those experiences are necessary evolutions based on possibility. I think in essence, UToR must take an idealist approach with a universe that acts kinda like a Leibnizian one... Basically, all possible perceptions are coordinated to be similar based on the evolution of possiblity. In fact, not only our world, but every possible world must exist at the same time, eliminating the need to answer the "why does this specific world exist" question...

Umm... right Dave? This seems to follow based on what I've read here, or at least its how I see it.

In the laymens religious terms, our entire lives are the product of simple Truth. And there are an infinite amount of other parallel experiences happening as well.

I still say there's no such thing as absolute Truth though, so I remain unconvinced. Math being relational and all.


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onewheeldave
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Posted:Written by: i8beefy2


No, they aren't, because the physical world we are talking about is our perceptions of the physical world... That is all we ever experience, so from a strict Empiricist view you never have proof of a physical realm being there, just of similar experiences... but all of those experiences are necessary evolutions based on possibility. I think in essence, UToR must take an idealist approach with a universe that acts kinda like a Leibnizian one... Basically, all possible perceptions are coordinated to be similar based on the evolution of possiblity. In fact, not only our world, but every possible world must exist at the same time, eliminating the need to answer the "why does this specific world exist" question...



Umm... right Dave? This seems to follow based on what I've read here, or at least its how I see it.









Pretty much, although not the Leibnizian aspect (as I don't know his work), or the 'evolution of possibility' part (as I don't know what that means.



But essentially, yes, UToR describes reality as a collection of all possible instants of consciousness in a timeless 'idealist' realm. And the reason they exist is logical necessity, and a consequence is that all possible experiences of all individuals are represented there.



Quiet, before I commence, I'd like to thank you and everyone else who's been contributing the this thread for the last few pages- I may disagree with your arguments, but dealing with them, and having to see different POVs will greatly help when it comes to future attempts to express UToR.



Also, I appreciate that everything has been kept on-topic.



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



I find myself wondering quiet (and some others here), to what extent you have 'seen' the reality described by UToR.



If you had 'seen' it, yet still disagreed with parts of it, then I would be fully happy.



I suspect though, from some of the things you've posted, that you haven't seen it.



For example, what you're saying above about the physical affecting consciousness seems to suggest a fundamental lack of understanding of UToR.



I could go into as much detail as to why the physical does not affect consciousnes, as I have done with your other issues of temporality etc.



But, if you've got a non-accurate starting vision of UToR, it would probably be futile.



So I'll take a slightly different tack.



Firstly, and you may not want to do this, if so, then fine. But I think it would help me understand where our vision of UToR differs, if you could temporarily put yourself in the shoes of a UToR supporter, and tell me why, from that perspective, bullets etc do not affect consciousness.



Secondly, I'd like to get a clearer idea of your view of reality; as you are saying that UToR is not the correct view, presumably you have an alternative.



I'm guessing that this would involve the existence of physical matter,on some of which consciousness is enacted,and in which consciousness both affects, and is affected by, physical matter?



Could you especially let me know if your view of time is 'a-series', and, if so, which of the following two versions-



1. a line of points which are sequentially visited by a 'now-point' (the present)



2. a single point (the present), which changes



3. a different view, in which case, please specify.


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Posted:OWD: I have 'seen' the UTOR account.

My point is simply that the claim that 'bullets do not affect consciousness' is a demerit of any theory, since it's (at least prima facie) obviously true that bullets (or blunt objects, etc.) DO affect consciousness. You can knock someone out with a heavy punch, or you can knock someone out with a general anaesthetic. Given this, UTOR has some explaining to do - don't you think?

Put another way: if you think that your consciousness is 'necessary and unchangeable', then why be worried about booze, drugs, or being shot?

You cite as one of the benefits of UTOR that it allows you to deal with solipsism. Well, not quite: it guarantees that there are other minds: but it doesn't give any explanation as to why minds are connected with bodies. But that's a side-issue.

//

As regards *my* view of reality, the mere fact that I think UTOR is incorrect doesn't mean that I have an alternative. Nevertheless, I do: as you correctly guess, I think there is physical matter, on some of which consciousness is enacted. I think that consciousness is a property (specifically, an emergent property) which supervenes on physical systems (specifically, the brain).

So I'm a monist - I think there's only one type of thing, and that's physical. And I'm an identity theorist: I think the mind is the same as the brain. Why think this? Because we know that physical changes impact on mental states; because we know that the mind cannot change without the brain also changing; and because an application of Occam's Razor deals with the rest.


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Posted:as regards time: I haven't given the issue a vast amount of thought, and so I'm not prepared to come up with a theory. I simply don't know. I do, however, think that:

1. a line of points which are sequentially visited by a 'now-point' (the present)

is incoherent, because 'the present' isn't a physical object which can move up and down a line. But I'm not prepared to argue for this (since I think it's off-topic)


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onewheeldave
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Posted:Just to make absolutely sure we understand each other here-

when I wonder if you've 'seen' UToR, I'm not talking about if you've looked at and read the UToR webpage, I've assumed all along that you've read the page.

But I'm wondering if you've actually 'grasped' it/fully understood it?

and that is down to some of the stuff you ask, like-

"You cite as one of the benefits of UTOR that it allows you to deal with solipsism. Well, not quite: it guarantees that there are other minds: but it doesn't give any explanation as to why minds are connected with bodies. But that's a side-issue."

Surely, if you've 'seen' and understood UToR, you'd be fully aware that, according to UToR, there are no connections between mind-states and physical bodies, because, as I've said repeatedly, physical objects (eg bodies) do not have relevance in the account. As far as the UToR account, bodies and all other physical matter may as well not exist- it may appear to do so, but, in actuality, the hand that you see as you look down is no more physicaly real than the hand you see in a dream.

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

As for bullets affecting consciousness- according to UToR, no, they absolutely do not affect consciousness.

They appear to do so, and this appearance arises as follows: -

take the normal world view of being shot in the leg ie a physical bullet enters your physical body and nerve signals manifest in your mind, as pain.

ie a physical bullet causes a mindstate (that of feeling great pain)- I'll call it 'M1'.

ie M1 is caused by the bullet.

Does that seem like a good way of describing the 'normal' world view account?

Now let's get UToRs perspective: -

Take M1 in isolation ie there's no physical bullet, body or world, just the mindstate M1.

M1 is the mindstate of someone feeling great pain and having the visual experience of a bullet entering their leg.

Thus, we have the mind state of the above experience, and yet no actual bullet.

Why does M1 exist?

Because, according to UToR, all possible mind states necessarily exist.

As M1 is a possible mind state, it therefore exists; however, though there is the appearance of a bullet causing pain, there is no actual bullet.

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

And that is how UToR accounts for all apparent instances of physical objects affecting consciousness.

All permutations of conscious mind-states actually already exist, totally independent of any physical objects.

How does UToR explain the fact that physical objects appear to us to be real and to affect consciousness?

Precisely that they are appearances, and appearances only.

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

On the UToR page it says, concerning physical matter, that it may, or may not exist- there's no evidence either way (bear in mind the fact that you can see, touch, and feel it, is not evidence, as all that is possible in a dream, where the 'object' is illusory).

So UToR does not say that physical matter doesn't exist, simply that it is irrelevant in the UToR account of reality (our experience).

But, to ease confusion, maybe it's best, as far as you're concerned, to bite the bullet and say that yes, in a sense, on the UToR account, there is no physical matter whatsoever.

All objects you see, feel and touch, are fully real as perceptions, but there is no physical matter backing them up.


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Posted:what goes up comes down, what makes voice is capable of true voice or false voice, senses are common but all humans do not share a common sense or peace would not look at us from many seeing peaces.
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onewheeldave
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Posted:Written by: SirEggo

what goes up comes down, what makes voice is capable of true voice or false voice, senses are common but all humans do not share a common sense or peace would not look at us from many seeing peaces.



Like UToR says, every possible state of mind, however bizarre, actually does exist smile


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Posted:does UTOR have an explanation for why minds tend to wander about the world attached to bodies?

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onewheeldave
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Posted:UTOR does not need an explanation of why minds are attached to bodies, as it specifically denies that minds are attached to bodies.

According to UTOR, minds are logically and necessarily independant from the existence of any physical matter (including bodies).

If it were the case that no physical matter existed, then all currently existing, and, in fact, all possible minds, would nevertheless exist (and still be under the appearance that they existed in bodies).

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

However, UOR does have an explantion as to why minds appear to wander round in bodies, and it goes as follows: -

Of all possible mindstates, some will be mindstates that are experiences of being in bodies and experiencing the appearance of physical matter through the appearance of physical sense organs (eyes/ears etc).

This is undeniable, of all possible mindstates, a certain subset will be experiences of being in bodies; if you have any doubt about this point then simply consider the set of mind states that make up your life. Obviously they must be possible, because they are actual.

Given that mindstates which involve experience of being in bodies are possible, and, in conjunction with UTORs other claim, that all possible mind states necessarily exist; we have the explanation of why some minds appear to be in bodies.


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Posted:Just a second . . .

1. To deny that minds are attached to bodies just seems perverse, and would generally count as a demerit of any theory IMO. If you deny that minds are attached to bodies, then you are left with no explanation for the fact that I don't ever manage to meet you without also meeting your body. Or, similarly, the fact that people's minds tend to follow their bodies around pretty closely.

2. Now, UTOR does *not* have an explanation of why minds appear to wander around in bodies. You disagree with this, so I'll break it down:

i) It is true to say (on UTOR) that all possible mindstates exist.
ii) Furthermore, some of these mindstates yield the *appearance* of being attached to bodies (or however you want to cash this one out). So far, so good.
iii) However, there are many other mindstates which *don't* yield these appearances.
iv) UTOR therefore leaves unexplained the issue of why we have THESE mindstates (i.e. the ones which seem to involve mind-body identity) rather than THOSE mindstates (i.e. the ones which don't).
but
v) To explain why a thing appears a certain way involves accounting for why it appears one way and not another; but UTOR fails to do this.

Do you concur?


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i8beefy2
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Posted:Not so quiet. And in fact, I think that Dave's theory is necessarily idealistic actually... I mean otherwise he'd have to account for something physical (the world) coming from something that isnt (math). So the body problem is no more a problem than it is for any other idealist theory.

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onewheeldave
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Posted:Written by: quiet

Just a second . . .

1. To deny that minds are attached to bodies just seems perverse, and would generally count as a demerit of any theory IMO.



I disagree; as there is no evidence whatsoever that physical matter or bodies actually existas anything other than appearance, then just because a theory doesn't incorporate them and instead sticks to the existence of things that we know to be real; is not a demerit.

This is especially the case in a 'ultimate theory', as every other approach that does assume the reality of physical matter has failed to address the issue of proving that that matter exists, and also, as far as I can tell, could not, even in theory, give an adequate explanation for how it came into being.

-------

In answer to your question, with (correct me if I'm wrong) seems to be-

Assuming that in addition to the 'normal' set of mindstates that are based around me, appearing to be in a body, in a world; there are also a whole lot of mindstates corresponding to me in a 'disembodied' state; then why do I not have awareness of those states?

As previously expained, each mindstate ('instant of awareness') is independant and self-contained, with no actual causal connection to any other mindstate.

Let's take the set of mindstates which correspond to your actual life as accepted by you- they consist of the present instant you are experienceing now, the set of all your future mindstates, and the set of all your past mindstates.

Then UToR posits the existence of a whole lot of other mindstates which are not in that set (eg you being disembodied).

Now you, now, experience only one mindstate (more accurately, you are that mindstate).

There is presumably no confusion as to why you don't experience the future mindstates.

Additionally, you do not now experience any of the past ones (you may be experiencing a 'memory', but that is not actualy experiencing the past mindstate, but merely a mental representation that has no actual causal connection.

ie 'somewhere' there is a 'you' experiencing things that you don't- in fact there are an infinite (or at least very high) number of such 'you's' and you will no more experience what they do than you experience mine.

They are self contained and independant.


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onewheeldave
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Posted:Written by: i8beefy2

Not so quiet. And in fact, I think that Dave's theory is necessarily idealistic actually... I mean otherwise he'd have to account for something physical (the world) coming from something that isnt (math). So the body problem is no more a problem than it is for any other idealist theory.



Yes.


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quiet


quiet

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Posted:Dave, you've missed the point of my question.

The question is: why is it that we (you, me, and everyone we talk to) all appear attached to bodies, but we never encounter any minds which don't appear attached to bodies?

Presumably you allow that one mindstate (e.g. mine) can interact with another (e.g. yours). So why are all of the interacting mindstates apparently embodies?


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onewheeldave
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Posted:Written by: quiet


Dave, you've missed the point of my question.



The question is: why is it that we (you, me, and everyone we talk to) all appear attached to bodies, but we never encounter any minds which don't appear attached to bodies?







Well if you encountered a mind that wasn't in a body, how would you be aware of it?





Written by: quiet




Presumably you allow that one mindstate (e.g. mine) can interact with another (e.g. yours). So why are all of the interacting mindstates apparently embodies?





Strictly speaking..... No- as previously stated the mind states are independant, complete in themselves, exist by sheer logical necessity, and are in a timeless/non-changing realm- they thus cannot be affected by, or interact with, anything.



In effect though, there is a sense in which minds do interact, or rather there is an appearance of interaction which is as valid as real interaction would be; the relevant part from the webpage is: -



http://www.geocities.com/combatunicycle/utor/utor.html
br>


Written by: UToR webpage






solipsism- the view that you are the only thing in the world; other objects and, most disturbing, other people, are illusory.



Most attempts to employ the useful doctrine of scepticism, yet avoid the horror of solipsism, have, in my opinion, not been successful........







................And yet, it (UToR) denies solipsism, in fact it proves that solipsism logically, cannot be the case.



This is because all possible states of consciousness must necessarily be real. So, in the situation where I am speaking to you, looking into your eyes and communicating; I can know beyond any doubt whatsoever that, regardless of the fact that our physical bodies may not be real; that somewhere you are hearing my words, and that you are real.



As far as I am aware, no other philosophical theory of being so completely shatters the possibility of solipsism.









ie mind states/minds do not interact in the sense that there is any causal connection between them; however, whatever I communicate to (the appearance of) you (and vice-versa), I can be fully confident that somewhere is a mind-state corresponding to you receiving that communication.


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quiet


quiet

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Posted:QUOTE: 'whatever I communicate to (the appearance of) you (and vice-versa), I can be fully confident that somewhere is a mind-state corresponding to you receiving that communication.'


Ah, I see. So UTOR claims that when I talk to your body, I can be confident that there is a mind-state corresponding to you receiving that communication. But this isn't sufficient: presumably UTOR doesn't claim that when I talk to e.g. a rock, I can be confident that there is a mind-state . . . receiving that information. So I'm still completely baffled as to how UTOR accounts for this very simple and very obvious difference: when you talk to humans, you're talking to minds; and when you talk to rocks, you aren't.

//


A more general query: do functions (like +2, or 'move a bit to the left') exist as entities in the mathematical realm?


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onewheeldave
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Posted:Where a rocks concerned, the question is- can there be a mindstate corresponding to that of a rock being spoken to?

If 'no', then there is no such mindstate in the UToR account; if 'yes', then there must be as, according to UToR, all possible mindstates do exist.

I don't know if such a mindstate could be- as rocks seem to lack eyes/ears/tactile perception, that would suggest to me that maybe the mindstate of 'being a rock, listening to quiet' is perhaps not possible.

Then again, as all possible mindstates do, according to UToR, acually exist, then there would certainly be a mindstate corresponding to that of a being which believes itself to be a rock, listening to what it believes to be the voice of quiet.

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

Do functions exist in the mathematical realm?

I guess it depends on the exact definition of function. I'm inclined to say that I don't see why not; with the proviso that, if by function you mean something that requires temporality or process over time, obviously that couldn't exist in the mathematical realm.


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quiet


quiet

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Posted:you still haven't addressed the question: if you're going to claim that minds are attached to bodies, you have to give an account of why this should be so.

when you say 'all possible mind-states', do you mean 'all the ones that might appear in the world if we examined it (i.e. all of the sentient creatures on the world at the moment) or 'all of the minds that could possibly ever exist' (i.e. all of the possible sentient creatures)?

furthermore: if you're going to allow that some things (like rocks) can't have minds, then you are claiming that 'because there is nothing to instantiate it - no brain, ears, eyes, etc - there is no mind', and this directly contradicts the premisses of UTOR.

you're claiming both that the physical world does, and also does not, place restrictions on what exists in the mathematical realm. please clarify.

does the existence of minds, or does it not, depend on the physical world?


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onewheeldave
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Posted:Written by: quiet

you still haven't addressed the question: if you're going to claim that minds are attached to bodies, you have to give an account of why this should be so.




A direct quote from the last time I answered this: -

Written by: onewheeldave

UTOR does not need an explanation of why minds are attached to bodies, as it specifically denies that minds are attached to bodies.

According to UTOR, minds are logically and necessarily independant from the existence of any physical matter (including bodies).

If it were the case that no physical matter existed, then all currently existing, and, in fact, all possible minds, would nevertheless exist (and still be under the appearance that they existed in bodies).

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

However, UOR does have an explantion as to why minds appear to wander round in bodies, and it goes as follows: -

Of all possible mindstates, some will be mindstates that are experiences of being in bodies and experiencing the appearance of physical matter through the appearance of physical sense organs (eyes/ears etc).

This is undeniable, of all possible mindstates, a certain subset will be experiences of being in bodies; if you have any doubt about this point then simply consider the set of mind states that make up your life. Obviously they must be possible, because they are actual.

Given that mindstates which involve experience of being in bodies are possible, and, in conjunction with UTORs other claim, that all possible mind states necessarily exist; we have the explanation of why some minds appear to be in bodies.





Written by: quiet


when you say 'all possible mind-states', do you mean 'all the ones that might appear in the world if we examined it (i.e. all of the sentient creatures on the world at the moment) or 'all of the minds that could possibly ever exist' (i.e. all of the possible sentient creatures)?




I mean all possible minds, which includes all present sentient beings, plus all the others that can possibly be. All possible mindstates, and therefore all possible minds, no limits, no exceptions- if it's a possible mind, then it exists.



Written by: quiet



furthermore: if you're going to allow that some things (like rocks) can't have minds, then you are claiming that 'because there is nothing to instantiate it - no brain, ears, eyes, etc - there is no mind', and this directly contradicts the premisses of UTOR.






I never said rocks can't have minds, my previous answer expressed doubt on that point.

A lot depends on what you mean by rocks- if by 'rock' you mean a chunk of physical matter in the world, then no, UToR doesn't deal with physical matter as previously elaborated on.

However, if there's sense to the notion of a possible mind that represents belief that that mind is a rock, thinking, then yes- that mind would exist.


Written by: quiet


furthermore: if you're going to allow that
you're claiming both that the physical world does, and also does not, place restrictions on what exists in the mathematical realm. please clarify.

does the existence of minds, or does it not, depend on the physical world?




The existence of minds does not depend on the physical world- as far as UToR is concerned the existence or non-existence of the physical world, or any physical matter whatsoever, is irrelevant to UToRs account of our experience of reality.

From now on, I'd advise you to assume that, as far as UToR is concerned, the physical world does not exist (strictly speaking, UToR does not claim with 100% certainty that there is no physical world, but it does say that it may as well not exist.


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prosparityfire
SILVER Member since Apr 2004

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Posted:In jumping in to such an extensive thread I unfortunately am compelled to address certain things pertaining to previous statements but atleast to the extent of the 6th page.

It seems that some of this debate is a debate of semantics.

--why is it that we (you, me, and everyone we talk to) all appear attached to bodies, but we never encounter any minds which don't appear attached to bodies?--

That is a skeptical reproach to an assumption (we NEVER encounter) that all entities MUST be encountered through only 5 senses that science and math have overwhelmingly clarified to be inhibited.
The question would be how could we possibly intuit that I have experienced a mind or entity outside of the realm of our five senses?

Do you believe quiet that we as bodies have all possible tools to become aware of a gun bullet, hit of the bong, and any other phenomenon from the pure and only "something" that we collaberate with?

Minds, conscience, and awareness are very easily manipulated and taken out of context or used in the exact same intention which I have "I believe" seen through out this exact thread.

Conciousness is becoming aware of oneself through the consequences of distinction of the awareness of the world, or the simple epoche of awareness in its mere action precursing the mindset making it dependant on the physical world.
There are so many different variations of such an overused phrase. Some clarity would be appreciated


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quiet


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Posted:Dave, you're still not addressing my query:

quote: 'Given that mindstates which involve experience of being in bodies are possible, and, in conjunction with UTORs other claim, that all possible mind states necessarily exist; we have the explanation of why some minds appear to be in bodies. '

Right - but do we have any explanation of why no mind fails to appear to be in a body?


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onewheeldave
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Posted:For clarity, and to avoid misunderstanding, I'll point out that on the UToR account, no minds are in actual physical bodies.

On the UToR acount, many minds are under the appearance of being embodied, for example, your current mind-state is of appearing to be in a body.

With that being made clear, I'll assume that you're asking why there are no minds that do not appear to be in bodies.

And the answer is that, according to UToR, it's not the case ie there do exist mind-states that are disembodied.

To the extent that a disembodied mind state can poosibly be, then it must exist, as UToR says that all possible mind-states exist.

So the answer to your question, is that there are mind-states that lack the appearance of being embodied.


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spiralx


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Posted:I'm sorry but apart from anything else does this theory make any testable predictions? Or is it just another invisible pink unicorn in my shed?

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mo-seph


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Posted:Written by: quiet

quote: 'Given that mindstates which involve experience of being in bodies are possible, and, in conjunction with UTORs other claim, that all possible mind states necessarily exist; we have the explanation of why some minds appear to be in bodies. '

Right - but do we have any explanation of why no mind fails to appear to be in a body?



Written by: onewheeldave

So the answer to your question, is that there are mind-states that lack the appearance of being embodied.




So if I understand things right, there should be mind-states that correspond to "me just after interacting with a disembodied mind"? Or "me just after interacting with a mind embodied in a rock"

And I would understand quiet's question as "why do I only experience mind states in which I interact with embodied minds" or rather "why does my current mind state and those of the majority of the human population contain no memory of interactind with disembodied minds"

I've got a couple of ideas, such as

- there are massively more mental states which correspond to embodied minds (which makes some sense, as one would assume that embodiment entails more possible information, hence there are more possible embodied states)

- what is important is "mind states which correspond to interacting with disembodied minds". There may be disembodied minds everywhere, but if you cannot interact with them, you'll never know. A mind could only fail to appear to be in a body if you could percieve it as such, and I'm not particularly good at perceiving non physical things. (Which is a bit of a shame...)


My thoughts are:

I like the idea of all possible mental states existing in a timeless realm, and in itself, that seems both fairly solid [1] and like it might be a useful basis for argument. I don't think that it sheds much light on things in itself, though, as it offers little explanation for why there appears to be a succession of mental states which appear to be linked in some manner such that they can be called a mind. (I think this is very close to quiet's "consciousness is an instantiated program" argument). It seems that describing a mind a "a mental state which contains memories of other mental states which are in some way coherent" seems lacking.


[1] For example, if we were to take a mental state to be a description of a set of neurons, with their connections and activations, we could then encode this as a unique number, so any mental state could be linked to a number (or other mathematical entity) and therefore said to exist in an ideal realm. (There would of course be the issue of interpretation, but that's kind of a different question)

Also, I'm not saying that mental states *can* be described by neuron connections and activations (or anything along those lines) I'm just giving an example of a possible way it might work

(Quick disclaimer, I have read most, if not all of the thread, as well as GEB, Mind's I, some Searle, Putnam, Dennet etc. I don't think Goedel's theorem is particularly relevant, I have a suspicion that UTOR is susceptible to the issues raised in the Searle's Chinese Room, but working in an AI lab, I have to carry Searle's stuff wrapped up in a brown paper bag so noone can see wink )


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