Reality (General)

by dhw, Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 11:07 (317 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: When we get down to the basis of reality we bump into the unreality of quantum actions by the weirdness of what the particles do. You are simply refusing to accept what quantum scientists discover. Why do you try to ignore it and call it a separate reality? We live in one reality even if we cannot interpret what we study contained in one universe.

Why are you now calling quantum actions unreal? They are part of the material world, and I accept the scientists’ discoveries, but since science cannot explain these actions, I refuse to accept that they are more real than the explicable behaviour of the combined particles of the bus! The current state of our knowledge does not invalidate the reality of the bus! And quantum reality is not a separate reality because it is an incomprehensible part of the material world. It is you who have introduced and believe in a separate reality in the immaterial form of “pure energy”, i.e. God, although we “don’t know what is on the other side of quantum uncertainty”.

DAVID: You poo-poo the quantum theorists who propose strange theories by using a bus analogy that is totally off point. The bus is real, but the problem is the unreal nature of the particles that help create the bus. Feynman admitted no one understood quantum theory, which is still the case. Sitting on the fence does not solve the problem of our confusion , which is further confused by the discoveries that our consciousness influences various results. One cannot avoid the conclusion that consciousness is at play in our reality, strange as that may seem.

dhw: Thank you for repeating my argument: the bus is real, and the problem is the incomprehensible behaviour of the individual particles. But you regard the incomprehensible behaviour of the particles as being more real than the bus. Of course sitting on the fence does not solve the problem: I sit on the fence BECAUSE the problem has not been solved! I have absolutely no problem, however, with the conclusion that consciousness is at play in our reality: we agreed long ago that we cannot “know” what objective reality is because all our perceptions of it are subjective, i.e. images created by our consciousness. But as I keep saying, the fact that our perceptions are subjective does not mean that what we perceive is not objectively real. Hence the bus test.

DAVID: And I object to the bus which is simply in our reality, and the analogy explains nothing. The particles create our reality, but as humans we are driven to try to understand how that happens. Why shut your mind to the problem of incomprehensibility? Perhaps understanding God's method will help us understand God.

What analogy? The individual particles are also “in our reality”, though I’d hesitate to say “simply” since we cannot understand their behaviour. And of course we humans try to understand this reality. But how can anyone possibly argue that the incomprehensible behaviour of the individual particles is more real than the behaviour of the bus? This is not “shutting the mind to the problem of incomprehensibility” – it is a refusal to draw conclusions until the incomprehensible has been made comprehensible, which is the essence of agnosticism. Understanding God’s method presupposes that there is a God. An atheist can say that maybe understanding how quantum physics works will convince us that there is no God.

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