Jump to content

Welcome to Obsidian Forum Community
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

The Dangers of Certainty

Philosophy science tolerance

  • Please log in to reply
41 replies to this topic

#21
KaineParker

KaineParker

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 3021 posts
  • Location:Houston, Texas
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer
I'm certainly certain that the danger of certainty is somewhat uncertain.

#22
Orogun01

Orogun01

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 3844 posts
  • Location:somewhere over the rainbow
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

the can approximate it quite well, and that's only going to get more accurate.

Maybe one day they will be able to quantify things like feelings instead of just brain activity but we are not that close to it.


  • Hurlshot likes this

#23
Gorth

Gorth

    Global Moderator

  • Global Moderators
  • 10683 posts
  • Location:Australia

 

the can approximate it quite well, and that's only going to get more accurate.

Maybe one day they will be able to quantify things like feelings instead of just brain activity but we are not that close to it.

 

 

Feelings are like the static electricity of the brain. It's a byproduct of all the useful things your brain does and then suddenly if goes "Zapp!" and you can start doing repairs on all the things your feelings wrecked ;)



#24
Orogun01

Orogun01

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 3844 posts
  • Location:somewhere over the rainbow
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

 

 

the can approximate it quite well, and that's only going to get more accurate.

Maybe one day they will be able to quantify things like feelings instead of just brain activity but we are not that close to it.

 

 

Feelings are like the static electricity of the brain. It's a byproduct of all the useful things your brain does and then suddenly if goes "Zapp!" and you can start doing repairs on all the things your feelings wrecked ;)

 

I been having the argument of whether the mind can exists separate from the body and it quite merits it's own thread for proper discussion. If your brain goes Zapp and you're still alive then were does your "self" goes, does it cease to exist or is it still preserved somewhere either in your body or as a consciousness? I can't really tell but even though its undeniable that biology plays a big part on who you are, it is not all you are; we have autonomy and choice after all.



#25
Woldan

Woldan

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 326 posts
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

we have autonomy and choice after all.


Oh man, can of worms².

#26
Gorth

Gorth

    Global Moderator

  • Global Moderators
  • 10683 posts
  • Location:Australia

we have autonomy and choice after all.


Certain about that?

How often do you do something truly random and how often do you do something is part of your nature?

Is the very existence of this post triggering the part of your personality that feels compelled to reply or the one that feels it isn't worth the hassle? Was the outcome inevitable (i.e. you replied or not)?

#27
JFSOCC

JFSOCC

    Mentor & Student of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 2255 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

it is a very interesting topic on which there have been a number of recent interesting articles. You can't remove emotion from intelligence, nor can you remove the body for self-awareness. Meaning we're not as free willed as we would like to think.

 

Which doesn't mean we're complete mindslaves. just that it requires a lot of self-awareness, self reflection and education to beat hardcoded and softcoded psychological and cultural behaviour.


  • Hurlshot and Orogun01 like this

#28
Orogun01

Orogun01

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 3844 posts
  • Location:somewhere over the rainbow
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

You put my thoughts into better words than I could.



#29
JFSOCC

JFSOCC

    Mentor & Student of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 2255 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Thanks, I try.



#30
Walsingham

Walsingham

    Obsidian VIP

  • Members
  • 5647 posts
  • Location:The drawing room of Lady Muldoon's residence one morning in early spring
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Having a hard time overcoming influences and your nature is not the same as it being impossible.


  • JFSOCC likes this

#31
AGX-17

AGX-17

    (11) Wizard

  • Members
  • 1735 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

One thing I've always felt was that we're only capable of understanding that which our senses allow us to understand. Those things that lie outside of our ability to physically sense exist as a construct, that over time gets revised. So in that sense I buy Dr. Bronowski's idea that truth in science is really always "truth as we currently understand it".

[...]

However if the universe is not random in its entirety, a God's eye view should be theoretically possible (if only practically possible for a sufficiently omniscient God)


But we are capable of understanding things that are outside the realm of human senses through mathematics and technology. Microscopes and telescopes allow us to see that which is invisible to our senses, more esoteric devices such as Neutrino detectors (pictured) provide virtually concrete (thanks to repeat observations by different devices in different parts of the world, peer-reviewed,) evidence for physical realities which were first hypothesized through the application of mathematics to the study of the physical universe. You cannot detect a neutrino directly, it cannot be observed by any means, but its interactions with other particles produce observable reactions for which there is no other explanation.

PH20_water_withboat_apr23_wm.jpg

If human understanding of the universe were limited by our senses, none of this would exist because the internet would not exist. You cannot directly perceive the actual workings of a computer. You can't expose your CPU and watch the electrical currents flow along different circuits or see every frame to be displayed until it is transformed from intangible information into the light emitted by your display. Information exists as intangible, imperceptible phenomena regardless of human observation. You can record information on a storage device, but once you remove all the inputs and outputs, how do you know that information exists? You cannot sense it in any way. You can sense the color, shape, weight, texture and so on of the device, but the information stored on it is unseeable, and if we can only understand the perceivable, that information cannot possibly be understood. Yet you can understand it because the device can be connected to other devices which turn that information into something you can perceive.

Which is tangential to the fact that, yes, science is an ongoing process in which new ideas frequently supplant discredited hypotheses as a result of new advances in all aspects of the pursuit.


All that said, minor gripe: Omniscient is, by definition "all-knowing," there are no degrees of omniscience. It's a binary state. There is omnis "all" scientia "knowledge," and there is everything less than "all."
 

we have autonomy and choice after all.


http://www.radiolab..../161754-repeat/

Skip to the story of Christine Campbell, and note the fact that her experience is something her doctor had seen before. You may begin to question your belief in the idea of free will.

For those who can't be bothered to listen: A woman suffered a form of temporary amnesia in which the brain cannot form and retain short-term memories; the result is that the victim/patient repeats the same thoughts and actions once that memory is "reset," the only time variation arises is when inputs are varied. There is no variation unless the inputs vary, every time her memory resets, her "choices" are the same.

Edited by AGX-17, 07 February 2014 - 03:15 PM.

  • Orogun01 likes this

#32
Orogun01

Orogun01

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 3844 posts
  • Location:somewhere over the rainbow
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

Good read, but I think the notion is that choice requires awareness which she doesn't have for obvious reasons. Although you could probably get her to learn typing, piano, or any other physical activity.



#33
AGX-17

AGX-17

    (11) Wizard

  • Members
  • 1735 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Good read, but I think the notion is that choice requires awareness which she doesn't have for obvious reasons. Although you could probably get her to learn typing, piano, or any other physical activity.


She was entirely aware. How are you defining awareness? If you define awareness as "being able to form short-term memories," then she wasn't aware, but that's not the definition of awareness by any standard I'm.... aware of.

#34
Orogun01

Orogun01

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 3844 posts
  • Location:somewhere over the rainbow
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

Awareness of choice, you need to know what the choice is before you make it. 



#35
ManifestedISO

ManifestedISO

    (11) Wizard

  • Members
  • 1776 posts
  • Location:San Diego, California
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Lords of the Eastern Reach Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

the result is that the victim/patient repeats the same thoughts and actions once that memory is "reset," the only time variation arises is when inputs are varied. There is no variation unless the inputs vary, every time her memory resets, her "choices" are the same.

 

 

I wonder about preference. Wouldn't her "same thoughts and actions" repeat because the malfunctioning short-term is essentially making cache requests into long-term storage, into some other brain space imprinted with our individual amalgam of preference and taste ... words, phrases, colors, disposition. With variable input, maybe those cache requests are attempting and failing to read to short-term, until it just "resets" (whatever that means). For that matter, why is it so scary all this really is the Matrix and I have actually no choice in anything ...     



#36
Rostere

Rostere

    Illuminatus of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 1084 posts
  • Location:Stockholm
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

But we are capable of understanding things that are outside the realm of human senses through mathematics and technology. Microscopes and telescopes allow us to see that which is invisible to our senses, more esoteric devices such as Neutrino detectors (pictured) provide virtually concrete (thanks to repeat observations by different devices in different parts of the world, peer-reviewed,) evidence for physical realities which were first hypothesized through the application of mathematics to the study of the physical universe. You cannot detect a neutrino directly, it cannot be observed by any means, but its interactions with other particles produce observable reactions for which there is no other explanation.

 

A neutrino can be observed in a similar fashion to everything else there is in the world, it's just that it is much more complicated in practice.

 

You see, there are (to our current knowledge) four fundamental interactions - strong and weak nuclear, electromagnetic and gravitational. It can be said that the definition of something "existing" is that it can have an interaction with something else. Our senses are just a detection device which lacks a lot of precision. Neutrinos, along with everything else there is, can interact with your own body as well, it's just that for the amounts of neutrinos which fly through and into our bodies that interaction is negligible. It's really unnecessary to make a distinction between what our senses can in practice make out "directly" and what they can't. A scientist noting a detection of a neutrino on a computer screen is not fundamentally different from a captain observing a ship through his binoculars, or you reading a book with glasses on.

 

People often unnecessarily obfuscate and complicate modern physics.


  • Walsingham and Orogun01 like this

#37
AGX-17

AGX-17

    (11) Wizard

  • Members
  • 1735 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

But we are capable of understanding things that are outside the realm of human senses through mathematics and technology. Microscopes and telescopes allow us to see that which is invisible to our senses, more esoteric devices such as Neutrino detectors (pictured) provide virtually concrete (thanks to repeat observations by different devices in different parts of the world, peer-reviewed,) evidence for physical realities which were first hypothesized through the application of mathematics to the study of the physical universe. You cannot detect a neutrino directly, it cannot be observed by any means, but its interactions with other particles produce observable reactions for which there is no other explanation.

 
A neutrino can be observed in a similar fashion to everything else there is in the world, it's just that it is much more complicated in practice.
 
You see, there are (to our current knowledge) four fundamental interactions - strong and weak nuclear, electromagnetic and gravitational. It can be said that the definition of something "existing" is that it can have an interaction with something else. Our senses are just a detection device which lacks a lot of precision. Neutrinos, along with everything else there is, can interact with your own body as well, it's just that for the amounts of neutrinos which fly through and into our bodies that interaction is negligible. It's really unnecessary to make a distinction between what our senses can in practice make out "directly" and what they can't. A scientist noting a detection of a neutrino on a computer screen is not fundamentally different from a captain observing a ship through his binoculars, or you reading a book with glasses on.
 
People often unnecessarily obfuscate and complicate modern physics.


My entire point was that, contrary to the beliefs of the one I was responding to, it's possible for us to understand things we cannot directly perceive by way of technological instruments and mathematical models.

You're just going on some strawman tangent listing examples of humans using technological instruments to observe things even making such a rookie 0/10 trolling mistake as mentioning optics like binoculars in what appears to be an attempt to disprove a point I never made, in which I noted that humans can use telescopes and microscopes to view things that are beyond the resolution of the human eye (i.e. outside the realm of natural human perception.)

I never said anything about neutrino interaction with the human body (a vital crux of your strawman, which is to put words in my metaphorical mouth and imply that I claimed they don't interact with matter in the human body even though I explained that a neutrino detector's function is to observe the results of neutrinos interacting with other matter.) I said that a Neutrino cannot be perceived by direct means, but the products of their (rare) interactions with other forms of matter can be observed only indirectly (only with highly sensitive neutrino detectors.) Neutrinos pass by the trillion through your body every second, and the mathematical chances of one actually interacting with any of the mass in your body are astronomically tiny because they're only affected by the weak atomic force, and when they do actually interact with matter in your body you cannot detect it under any circumstance, it's simply through mathematical logic that we know such interactions occur.

Making some vague claim about someone "unnecessarily obfuscating and complicating" "modern physics" is just pointless. Observing a neutrino was a highly complicated feat. Modern physics includes classical mechanics, which I assume is your trump card in claiming I'm pompously making physics sound more complex than it really is. Or are you going to go out and show me you can explain Quantum Mechanics to a group of high school dropouts in such a way that they can accurately calculate the probabilities of electron behavior?

Physics has many levels of complexity. Newtonian physics can be simple, i.e. f=mv, but reaches into far more complex operations and formulae.

Edited by AGX-17, 08 February 2014 - 11:23 AM.


#38
Walsingham

Walsingham

    Obsidian VIP

  • Members
  • 5647 posts
  • Location:The drawing room of Lady Muldoon's residence one morning in early spring
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

I'm not sure it's a strawman.

 

As I see it, Rosti is making the implicit statement that scientific hypotheses with more complex systems are based on those of less complex sub-systems. One of these subsystems is neutrino activity. If neutrino activity cannot be accurately known then we cannot know the higher order hypotheses as being certain.


  • Orogun01 likes this

#39
213374U

213374U

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 5371 posts
  • Location:PIGS
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer

@AGX-17

 

It seems to me that the issue is how you used "observe" in your post in a colloquial sense as opposed to what it means in a scientific context (especially when dealing with particle physics), which is misleading given the otherwise scientific tone of the post. I know I felt that something wasn't quite right with that sentence ("neutrinos cannot be observed"), so I guess the reaction from an actual physicist would be much stronger.

 

Also, I think you are conflating physics with math. And while at a fundamental level, physics is math, the way we make sense out of the math is not by glancing at formulae and going "a-HA!". So you can probably explain the QM atomic model to just about anyone given enough interest and time, but only people that in addition have a strong math background will be able to accurately calculate the probability density for 4f orbitals, or whatever. Does that mean you can only explain physics to mathematicians?

 

Also, f=mv? I don't remember that one from my classical mechanics classes.


Edited by 213374U, 09 February 2014 - 03:34 AM.


#40
Orogun01

Orogun01

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 3844 posts
  • Location:somewhere over the rainbow
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

Why does everyone in this forum seems to have a physics degree?


  • Hurlshot and ShadySands like this





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Philosophy, science, tolerance

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users