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Game of Egos


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17 hours ago, jcs said:

Great keyword, "likely" which brings probability into the discussion. In the event of no advances in medical science, the state space of your statement could be within that range. However if medical science makes great advances, and those advances are made available to us (vs. kept private/secret), then the state space extends quite a bit more years. So we don't know if that statement is 'true' or not, perhaps we could make a guess based on past advances in medical science, giving us a possibly useful probability of likelihood.

Heisenberg brought to light we can't know anything completely at the lowest levels of physics, with any certainty. And this percolates up to the large scale as well. Douglas Adams had great fun with this concept with the Infinite Improbability Drive in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (read the books- genius and funny too!). The concept of truth, causality, consciousness and reality itself get even weirder with the double-slit and quantum eraser experiments. Combine this with quantum entanglement in general, as well as the apparently quantized nature of 'quantum' physics, and now we have many scientists and philosophers pondering how can the universe "know" in a sense whether there is a conscious observer, or not, and manifest reality accordingly. Folks on the spiritual side of the fence think "God" and on the science side of the fence think "computer simulation". The state space is one, the other, both, or neither. 25% probability for each possible state. There's currently no way to test any of these theories. And again, this entire paragraph is created by an ego and could be completely off the mark as to the 'truth' of the base reality.

You're missing the point. 'When' you and I die is uncertain. 'That' we will die is certain. Like I said before, the stakes are very high.

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I'm actually comfortable with being ignorant of information that we'll never understand. Not sure how any being in this universe is going to be able to answer the "why/how are we here?" question.

It was incredibly eloquent existential trolling, a great performance, and it gave everyone watching on E! News a reason to consider suicide  

Not opting for the reincarnation option after 54 years?  Isn't "truth" a social construct almost invariably used by one section of society as a mechanism of control, authority or influence over o

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JCS: I think you need to step back and reflect a moment. As, I suspect, you well know, there is no way to answer your question - it is impossible for "me" to prove anything to "you" if you are suggesting that everything exists only in your imagination. Reductio ad absurdum. That isn't profound philosophical discourse, it is merely rather silly. Not dissimilar to a child asking "why is the sky?" Why do you ask the question here I wonder. Why not join a philosophy forum and debate the issue (although simply quoting Cogito ergo sum might not impress!). If you are genuinely interested in this and similar questions why not study on a mooc or enrol on a philosophy programme? (Yale offer one which is closely linked to cognitive science which is, I recall, another interest?)

To some extent you actually do answer your own question - the very fact of posting such a (in my opinion, ridiculous) question indicates a need you have to receive external stimuli. The "fact" (it's not really a fact because you are imagining it) that you ask the question presupposes that there is an "outside".

Or, rephrase your question - If nothing external to "me" actually exists then does anything matter? (So why post?)

Jonesy asked you a question - are you alive yes or no?

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57 minutes ago, Jonesy Jones said:

This is what I meant by game of ignorance. 

And since yes, you are alive. And since yes, you will die. The stakes are high. It seems foolish to jeopardize both of those playing a game of ignorance. 

You're presupposing that an inability to know what world we "live" in, and a willingness to question it, means that he will conduct himself with any less meaning than you. 

Take for example a Catholic and an Athiest: a worshipping catholic will likely view this life as a time to honor God through every action, a time to follow God's plan. This gives that person immense meaning and a calling to do good. On the other hand, many Athiests, seeing this time on earth as our only time, with no afterlife or greater power, will choose to make the most of every second still breathing. This includes treating others with respect because this is their only time, too. 

Two opposite ends of the spectrum, same result in action. 

So, why can't someone question this reality without being labeled ignorant? If people never questioned anything, we'd be no different than chimpanzees.

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33 minutes ago, EthanAlexander said:

So, why can't someone question this reality without being labeled ignorant?

jcs has started a very civilized discussion, and thus far everyone has followed suit. Spinning people's statements is not helpful and will eventually lead to a locked thread. 

Regarding the rest of your post, there are too many rabbit trails there. Maybe we'll get there eventually. But I don't know. If someone can't admit/assume/acknowledge that we are alive, then the discussion is pretty much over.

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Everyone in this discussion appears to be alive. How do we know if our reality is direct or an abstraction, an illusory layer? One or more of us could be an artificial intelligence. The more anonymous the user, the easier it would be to fool us. My background is computer simulations, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science, which filters my view of reality and projects this background on what I perceive. Which will likely be a different view of reality than anyone else's here.

This thread was started as a result of Jim Carey's comments on reality, which led to a discussion of the ego, how it can create illusions, and that if we don't acknowledge that our own point of view may be an illusion, as opposed to knowing anything for certain, including are we alive, that we might be deceiving ourselves. That's all.

Observe the other thread where people are arguing about sensor size again. And folks unwilling to use the principle of equivalence to see for themselves another view of reality. What blocks them from even looking?

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3 hours ago, Jonesy Jones said:

jcs has started a very civilized discussion, and thus far everyone has followed suit. Spinning people's statements is not helpful and will eventually lead to a locked thread. 

Regarding the rest of your post, there are too many rabbit trails there. Maybe we'll get there eventually. But I don't know. If someone can't admit/assume/acknowledge that we are alive, then the discussion is pretty much over.

Brother, apologies if what I wrote sounded accusatory - That was not my intention. Perhaps I should have phrased it differently. I was simply suggesting that it is just as valid to investigate assumptions that we've never questioned before as it is to leave them be. That is what I was attempting to illustrate with the "opposite ends of the spectrum" example of Catholicism and Atheism. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Received a PM asking about this: 


They cover a few topics, namely science & spirituality, oneness & psychedelics, and is consciousness primary. When we absolutely believe in something spiritual, e.g. something we can't test with the scientific method, that becomes religion. If we absolutely believe in science in the same way, even though scientific beliefs are based on things we can test, that too becomes religion, because we totally believe the results and stop questioning.

If someone is certain that there is no God / nothing 'spiritual' happening or anything beyond what science can test (atheist), that's also religion, because they've stopped questioning. This ties in with the latest studies on quantum physics, which has many scientists wondering if perhaps some philosophers were right in asking, "Is consciousness primary?". Which leads some people to take a deeper look at the theory that the universe behaves like a virtual reality simulation, where nothing is rendered/"created" unless there is an observer present to require the energy / CPU expense to "render" that snippet of reality.

In "normal consciousness", in human form, we feel we exist as separate entities. When we meditate deeply and/or take psychedelics (DMT, LSD etc.), we perceive reality totally differently- that we are all one, part of a collective living being, all connected, all one with each other. All of us making up "God". This awareness / belief can help us to work together and be kinder to each other, animals, and the environment. And also less likely to follow authoritarian rules (unlike say alcohol which reduces perception/awareness). Fortunately psychedelics are now being used in research and select clinics in helping cure people of PTSD, anxiety, and addiction. While some folks are micro-dosing psychedelics in silicon valley for "competitive creative benefits", most wouldn't want the increased awareness provided by psychedelics all the time, as it would be very overwhelming and hard to deal with everyday tasks for survival. Which makes sense that we have this "human filter" running most of the time for daily living. Humans evolved with psychedelics and they are useful tools for living in the human condition. By themselves, they can't do anything. People must choose to change their beliefs to change their lives. Psychedelics simply provide a brief view of alternate ways to think about literally anything and everything.

This "journey" typically has people believing/not believing in many things, and ultimately when one realizes how easy it is to deceive ourselves, as we pull away layers of illusions, we realize that the layers of illusion may never stop. That we can't know anything "for sure". So how do we live, what should we believe in? The scientific method is a useful tool, with limitations. Spiritual/philosophical ideas can lead to new scientific discoveries (such as the Big Bang predicted at least thousands of years ago). What today seems like meta-physics, someday may become regular physics. We can live by keeping an open mind, not "believing" in anything without question, always understanding that our personal perceptions of reality can be illusions. A classic example is a crowd at a crime scene. When interviewed, everyone has a different report, and figuring out what "really" happened takes time. Eye-witness reports aren't always accurate.

So the philosophy student asks, "if we can't know anything for sure, how are we supposed to live our lives"? Zen makes sense to me: When hungry, eat. When cold seek warmth. When in rain seek shelter. Understand attachment causes suffering. Be kind to others and forgive quickly- as much for the relief of your own suffering as well as for the relief of a remorseful person. Even if the other person isn't remorseful, it's helpful for the self to forgive, to reduce self suffering. In human form, what else do you need?

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I'm actually comfortable with being ignorant of information that we'll never understand.

Not sure how any being in this universe is going to be able to answer the "why/how are we here?" question.  

Even if the species learns all else, it stills leads to that point where once there was nothing, then there was something. And how do you answer a question of nothingness?  It's like trying to multiply with a zero.

Knowing the other nuances is all good though.  Discovery is fun.

BTW, this discussion seems like something I'd say when I was younger, stoned, and eating a loaf of WonderBread with grape jelly.  Therefore, for whatever it's worth, I deem it worthwhile.

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I am 100% that there is no scientific proof of G(g)od's (or plural Gods) existence, or the opposite. For me both are equally possible.

In anyway, if they/he/she/it exists is beyond human comprehension, so they/he/she/it will know what to do with me, without expecting much!

I prefer to concentrate on humans, and their behavior, animals, plants and this planet. Whatever it is, this is it. You can not put any more coins, but you can just eat a few mushrooms I guess, they can make you bigger and blinking in retro NES quality!

Also is true, something we don't know yet, can become common knowledge and a scientific law, not much later. Alchemists and wizards were scientists of the past in primitive cultures. 

Imagine your grand grand parents visiting you from the past. My grand mother is 95 years old, they were litterally living in utterly poverty. They had limited primitive tools, her father fought 4 wars and her husband (my grand father) 3. 

Just watch the last Simpsons episode to get a glimpse of a few centuries back.

We are living in exciting times, the best ever in knowing history. 

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@fuzzynormal Isaac Asimov wrote a short story called "The Last Question" which is relevant to your comments and this discussion: http://multivax.com/last_question.html (full text here, just a few minutes to read).

@Kisaha it's super cool that Nintendo put shrooms (Amanita muscaria) in Super Mario Bros. The 'enlargening" isn't physical in real life with shrooms, it's mental/spiritual :) 

These kinds of conversations ultimately affect how we treat each other. It doesn't matter what each of us thinks individually. It does matter when we physically interact with the world and each other. Omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent: that's what all humans connected via the internet compose. Quantum physics experiments show that consciousness effects experiments, and Princeton's experiments show further intriguing interactions with thought and physical reality. Thus there may be some truth to visions on DMT/shrooms that we are all connected in a metaphysical way*  and collectively co-create reality together (where consciousness is primary). If that's all "true", what does that make us?

*related to entanglement in quantum physics and the Big Bang (everything emerging from a single point of unity)

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