Reality (General)

by dhw, Saturday, November 09, 2019, 10:13 (10 days ago) @ George Jelliss

DAVID: I think quantum mechanics is the basis of reality.

dhw (to David:) "... if you agree that a collision between buses and humans is a genuine form of reality, with all its dire consequences, why do you think that “quantum fuzziness”, a wonderful description of the current state of quantum mechanics, is the basis of reality?"

GEORGE: The fuzziness only becomes significant on very small, molecular and sub-atomic scales. On the scale of humans and buses it is negligible.

Which is why I consider it absurd to assert that quantum mechanics is the basis of reality.

DHW: "... you cannot escape the fact that quanta are material, and yet you believe that the basis of reality is an immaterial ... energy ...”.

GEORGE: This is a response to DT's ideas. I would just point out that according to Einstein Energy and Matter are inter-convertible, just different forms of the same thing.

DAVID: I think there was primordial energy before quanta appeared as God created the universe.

dhw: In which case, you do not think that fuzzy quantum mechanics is the basis of reality.

DAVID: Wrong: our reality is an invention by God from that primordial energy with quantum mechanics as the first step.

So we come back to the idea that there are two forms of reality: one immaterial, which is your God’s reality, and one material, which is “our reality". According to you, then, the basis of "our reality" is material – hence the bus – but there is another reality, as follows:

DAVID: I think my supposition of an eternal pure energy as the source of everything is a reasonable possibility. we don't know what is on the other side of quantum uncertainty.

dhw: I suspect that George will find it even more reasonable to argue that the source of everything is material, but I eagerly await his own comment.

Sadly, George has not commented on this.

dhw: I will stick to the fact that material reality is the only reality we would all agree on (bus smashes into quantum theorist and splatters him all over the road), and since we don’t know what is on the other side of all the things we are uncertain about, the most “reasonable” approach is that of the agnostic, who candidly admits that he doesn’t know and therefore can’t choose between the different theories.

DAVID: The bus is no equivalent to quantum experiments such as late choice. We are not touting multiple worlds or other nonsense.

dhw: I never even mentioned multiple worlds or other nonsense, and I would suggest to you that quantum experiments such as late choice are no equivalent to the solid material reality of the bus. And I would repeat that since, in your own words, “we don’t know what is on the other side of quantum uncertainty”, it is more reasonable to admit that we don’t know than to adopt the fixed beliefs of theists and materialists. But I hasten to add that I respect such beliefs so long as their champions admit that their beliefs demand a leap of faith.

DAVID: The bus is not quantum mechanics, and is a very poor example of a refutation. Our consciousness plays a role in the strange results.

A refutation of what? Do you or do you not agree that the bus is an example of the only reality you, George and I will certainly accept as being as close to objective as we can get? The fact that our consciousness plays a role in the strange results of quantum mechanics is a very poor example of a refutation of the reality of the bus. And while we’re at it, are you now arguing that quantum mechanics is the basis of our consciousness, i.e. that it is NOT immaterial but arises from material particles? Or is our consciousness not part of “our” reality?


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