Reality (General)

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Sunday, August 11, 2019, 23:59 (413 days ago) @ dhw

This is a really stimulating post – as ever – and I shall cherry-pick for the sake of brevity and clarity.

TONY: We can never be 100% certain that our perception agrees with objective reality or any other perceived reality.

I don’t know why “objective reality” cannot include all the realities that we perceive.

It is different because it exists independent of us and is not subject to our subjective interpretations. Our personal realities are objective reality overlayed with our own filters and perceptions.

TONY: This would mean that objective reality and perceived reality are separate AND unequally valid realities. Objective reality differs in the fact that it can operate absent OUR mind…[dhw: fine with me up to this point]… which means that the mind behind it is on a different, higher in terms of complexity, level of existence. It is different in degree and magnitude but NOT by type.

You say later that “this is not a call for God”, but what else could it be if you say there is a mind behind it?

I am asking the question "Could physical reality be the manifestation of a 'mind', and if so, can we look at our own consciousness and infer questions to ask and avenues to research. It does not exclude God, but does not focus on God either.

TONY: We know that the structure of the brain and the universe are very similar. We know that they both have complex physical structures of deeply complex relationships and nested hierarchies of scale and influence.

Universe > Galaxy > Solar System > Planet > Geological Scale > Human Scale > Cell > Molecule > Atom > Sub-Atomic Particles.
Body > Brain > Hemisphere > Region > Neuron/Synapses > Cell Bodies >

I love this. I also see the body as a microcosm of the universe, in which all individual parts combine to form a functioning whole.

TONY: It is also interesting that the relationship structure is bi-directional. Each structure spreads influence up and down the chain. This, of course, suggest communication up and down the chain. (dhw’s bold. See below.)

In molecular biology, we see this in chemical and electrical signaling between cells. In the physical world, we see this in terms of energy and motion, but, and here is the point, we never look at it in terms of communication. What is being communicated, and is it being communicated in a language we can comprehend? If we could comprehend it, could we communicate with it?

DHW This is where I become partially sceptical. Of course I agree that molecular biology requires communication, but I’m far from convinced that the physical world of energy and motion “communicates”. Communication as you have described it requires a conscious effort on both sides (use of some kind of language, as you say), but influence doesn’t.

Well, not precisely. Chemical communication does not require a consciousness, just something that can interpret the signal. If non-biological communication does exist, it certainly varies in degree, just as biological signalling does.

DHW The vagueness of your conclusion below suggests to me that you are just as aware of this as I am:

TONY: Despite what you might think, this is not a call for God. But rather, a call to look at the similarities between the systems and see if any avenues for research could be inferred.

DHW I don’t think the type of similarity you are looking for can dispense with God, unless perhaps you are considering some form of panpsychism (i.e. all matter has a degree of…let’s call it quasi-consciousness), but I’ll be very interested to read your response to this, as I’m not convinced that I’ve grasped the whole of your argument.

I'm not sure I grasp it all right now. So often these things sit on the edge of my ability to articulate for quite some time. I think in some way, I am questioning our way of looking at the universe. We have it clumped as organic and inorganic, living and non-living, and everything non-living is just big dumb dirt. But our dumb dirt is, in its own way, just as rich and complex as living creatures. I am still trying to work through it. I will try to argue it more clearly later.

What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

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