Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Subjective Reality?

"It's not just tastes that are subjective - to a great extent it's EVERYTHING. To each of us, the universe is nothing more than a series of sensory inputs. As we take in different inputs, our universe changes. If we don't hear that tree falling in the forest, for us it literally doesn't fall."

If you don't look at the Moon it's still there. If you've never seen the Amazon rainforest, it exists there regardless. Your assertion that everything is subjective is just plain wrong. In that case there is no purpose at all in criminal cases as you can be just as guilty as the one who actually killed the man. There is no purpose to science as the results of your experiments are just as meaningful as opposite results or no results. I totally reject that assertion. The people may see things differently and in their own minds have subjective opinions - but that doesn't change the objective facts.

"Quantum mechanics deals with the idea that observation is literally affected by the act of observance. Are you familiar with Schroedingers cat? Until you open that box, it exists in a limbo between life and death."

No, actually this is a common misconception about Schrodinger's cat _paradox_. The point of this story is to show that the conscious observer determines reality hypothesis is absurd. How can a cat be both dead and alive at the same time? The conclusion is that any physical object capable of being affected by the collapse of the wave function is an "observer." This is just as well done by the nucleus of the decayed atom which changed as could be done by a conscious human observer. The human observer can just verify if the atom decayed or not.

Indeed, there have been actual experiments done which prove the observor determination hypothesis wrong. It has to do with spontaneous uranium atom decay. The decay forces nuclei flying apart into some surrounding material. The amount of decay is measured indirectly by counting the number of tracked lines formed by the ejected nuclei in the material. Yet if it is the observer which determines that rate, how could it be measured by already existing lines?

"I'd suggest that faith occupies a similar place in our universe. While its backed by belief and remains real, all the theories ofevolution and inconsitencies in the torah in the world won't alter it and its potent effects."

The universe exists as it does and it makes no difference to the universe what humanity believes to be true about it. Nothing about human beliefs determine the facts of the physical universe. Just because people used to believe in dragons does not mean dragons ever existed.

3 comments:

Shmuel said...
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Shmuel said...

You misuderstand subjectivity. A subjectivist doesnt assume that certain human experiences will not be shared. (hence science can posit experiments that seem universal) however, a subjectivist recognizes that it is irrelevant to speak of something which your senses cannot validate. The moon and amazon rainforest exist because I saw them in books, movies, or literature which I consider accurate. As a critical thinker I am sure you can appreciate the idea that you will not validate an idea unless you see evidence for it. That is precisely the subjectivist doctrine. You needn't create a reality unless you can validate it. At its core subjecticism is a reductionist philosophy. Sure there might be pink elephants on mars, but is it necessary to believe this?

Orthoprax said...

Shmuel,

I doubt that it was in that way that my debatee had meant it since he spoke about faith in a subjective sense. As in, if you believe it then it becomes real for you.

It's basically the inverse of the kind of subjectivism you are talking about.