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Huntn

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25Apr2023 Topic: What Do You Really Know?
Qualifier: Don’t get wrapped up in the little stuff, what might seem proven while visiting the Earth Simulator otherwise known as this Life.


What do I know?
Ref1: Solipsism from Latin solus 'alone', and ipse 'self')[1] is the philosophical idea that only one's mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind.

Ref2: Agnosticism is an applicable concept, but engulfed by reference 1 imo.

I
know four things for certain. To start I like this phase to describe it: I think therefore I am, and I’ll add a qualifier, I have the consciousness, and self awareness to claim I exist In some form, that I have the presence to realize I exist (1). I also know I was inserted into this specific reality described as a simulation or my life (2), and that there is an end date where my presence in this form will cease to exist as it currently does (3). Beyond that, I know nothing…as certain (4).. :unsure:
  • The end of mortal life as it appears in this reality could be the end, but then what is the point? Maybe it’s all chance, and happenstance….but, I don’t know.
  • Counter to chance is design, this could be the Earth Simulator, with someone beyond the gray curtain of this reality pulling levers that make things happen…but, I don’t know.
  • I like voting for the continuation of consciousness, a transistion to something else, a new experience…but, I don’t know.
  • If this reality, the concept of a mortal life, and the premise of souls are all accepted, it could be a repeatable loop… but, I don’t know.
  • _________________________________________________________________ (fill in the blank)

FOR THE REST OF YOU, I can’t really say If you are real or not. For all I know, not only is this a version of the Matrix (1999 movie reference), you all could be like minded souls living in the perfect simulation, or you could be highly developed AI personalities to keep me from feeling lonely on this journey. :unsure: :D

So what is reality?
According to Morpheus, reality is simply electrical signals that your brain interprets, that comes from you senses that are also interpreting an input. <- for using a movie reference. This link discusses what is reality, and how we interpret reality, not on self awareness of one’s existence.



Recently I stumbled across the idea of solipsism, which surprisingly fits with not only the idea of Agnostic, but meshes nicely with a idea I‘ve verbalized for a long time, the Earth Simulator and spirituality. First there is the idea of a soul which may or may not be rejected. I’m not selling this for any purpose beyond intellectual conjecture. Secondly, the essence of the idea, is the soul that exists in another plane and though unknown mechanisms links to human body which subsequently serves as the vessel through which the soul intersects with this reality for as long as the body lasts. Upon mortal death the link to the soul is broken.

Solipsism seems to be controversial, being linked with egocentrism, but for my purposes I’m sticking with the highlighted definition. This fits hand in hand with Agnosticism. What I like about solipsism is the acknowledgment that what we can actually know based on our senses in this mortal existence is limited.
 
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Huntn

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I’ve tried this topic in several forums with no one wanting to engage. Is that because this is regarded as a minefield or a trap, or too mind boggling to talk about in any meaningful way? :)
 

rdrr

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For me it is the latter. I consider myself above average intelligence in a few categories of life. Philosophy is not one of those categories, and frankly it makes my head hurt.

Although it is not a very engaging or insightful comment, I thought I'd give you answer so you wouldn't be so lonely in this thread.
 

ArgoDuck

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I’ve tried this topic in several forums with no one wanting to engage. Is that because this is regarded as a minefield or a trap, or too mind boggling to talk about in any meaningful way? :)
I think the latter. A good topic but there are no easy answers, especially in a forum crafted for (in my case, typically!) 20 seconds of thought and response ;)

Wittgenstein - I think it was in his earliest work Tractatus Logico Philosphicus, which he intended to be the solution to all philosophical problems (!) - declared words to the effect of ‘what we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence’. By ‘speak about’ he meant that language is only meaningful if there is something in the world to which the word(s) point. And many of the problems of philosophy therefore fell into the category of being meaningless, as there wasn’t anything (in the world) the questions pointed to

Without intending it, his work launched the school of “logical positivism”, arguably something of a backward step

Later, Wittgenstein produced his Philosophical Investigations, among the most profound philosophical writing ever produced. In it, he ‘clarified’ many of his ideas about language and how it works, still the subject of intense debate at the time I did a few courses in philosophy in the late ‘70s and then again in the late ‘90s :D

And just as some sort of response to your original post, I too think consciousness is the key starting point. I’ll add that it makes a profound difference whether one thinks consciousness ‘came first’ or whether it’s an emergent property of certain complex biological processes.

Those who think AI organisms will eventually become sentient seem to believe it’s the latter: that consciousness arises from these processes in some way not yet explained.

I’m more inclined to the ‘consciousness first’ line of inquiry, if only because it’s more interesting to me!
 

Herdfan

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For me it is the latter. I consider myself above average intelligence in a few categories of life.

I could have written this same line. Had to take it in college and was glad to put it in my rear view.

But at the same time, I think we all have our own philosophies, even if we can't, or aren't willing to, enunciate them.

Philosophy is not one of those categories, and frankly it makes my head hurt.

Schrodinger's Cat (thanks BBT) is one of those.
 

Huntn

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Thanks for the replies! :) As I age, I don’t dwell on it, am not worried about it, but do think more about especially with my 95 year old father staring at the abyss of sorts, he’s in decent health for a 95 year old, and my 93 year old Aunt who is in hospice.

My Dad seems content that nothing lasts including you and me, even the stars, we are visitors to this place at least in this state of existence, nothing is assured or can be taken for granted, an end or a transistion? That is the big question. Yet we spend a hell of a lot of time worrying about arguably the wrong things getting wrapped up in day to day BS instead of focusing on the big picture.

This existence as is, is not even a blip in the timeline, barely a flash, if that. It is not the normal state, the normal state is trillions of years with us not around at least not in this form. I tend to think, at least hope for a transition that retains consciousness, as I imagine we all do. When you have infinity to work with and it happened once, who knows? :)
 
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Herdfan

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Thanks for the replies! :) As I age, I don’t dwell on it, am not worried about it, but do think more about especially with my 95 year old father

It's great you still have your dad at 95. Lost my dad at 94 and mom at 92.

My Dad seems content that nothing lasts including you and me, even the stars, we are visitors to this place at least in this state of existence, nothing is assured or can be taken for granted, an end or a transistion? That is the big question. Yet we spend a hell of a lot of time worrying about arguably the wrong things getting wrapped up in day to day BS instead of focusing on the big picture.

Can he call my MIL and explain this to her? She was diagnosed with breast cancer at 82 and went into a spiral about "why me?". Because your 82 years old - :poop: happens at that age. Her brother is in the mid-90's as well and has been having some issues and she was furious at his daughter for being too laissez faire about it.

I can see it now, she is going to be 110 and will be pissed when she is diagnosed with something else.

But here is a philosophical question for you. Should we have the right and ability to decide when to end our future?
 

Huntn

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I think the latter. A good topic but there are no easy answers, especially in a forum crafted for (in my case, typically!) 20 seconds of thought and response ;)

Wittgenstein - I think it was in his earliest work Tractatus Logico Philosphicus, which he intended to be the solution to all philosophical problems (!) - declared words to the effect of ‘what we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence’. By ‘speak about’ he meant that language is only meaningful if there is something in the world to which the word(s) point. And many of the problems of philosophy therefore fell into the category of being meaningless, as there wasn’t anything (in the world) the questions pointed to

Without intending it, his work launched the school of “logical positivism”, arguably something of a backward step

Later, Wittgenstein produced his Philosophical Investigations, among the most profound philosophical writing ever produced. In it, he ‘clarified’ many of his ideas about language and how it works, still the subject of intense debate at the time I did a few courses in philosophy in the late ‘70s and then again in the late ‘90s :D

And just as some sort of response to your original post, I too think consciousness is the key starting point. I’ll add that it makes a profound difference whether one thinks consciousness ‘came first’ or whether it’s an emergent property of certain complex biological processes.

Those who think AI organisms will eventually become sentient seem to believe it’s the latter: that consciousness arises from these processes in some way not yet explained.

I’m more inclined to the ‘consciousness first’ line of inquiry, if only because it’s more interesting to me!
Consciousness really is the mystery, possibly one of the keys to understanding this existence. I don’t believe that our modern science knows the location, the origination of consciousness in the brain.

Many science fiction stories take the premise that if you take a highly advanced computer (more advanced than we are currently capable of) equip it with sensors, especially if the memories of a human are uploaded to it, add an advanced AI program that equates to the processing power of the human brain, that not only could it function like a human, that it would attain the quality of coscoiusness, something we have, but don’t know how or why we have it, or what it is.

Consciousness is the unknown, what changes an Android from a typewriter running a gee-wiz AI program to self awareness. It is conceivable that even the process of considering one’s existence on some level could be programmed at least imitated, and I imagine eventually the ability to rewire pathways could happen especially if advances are made in biological circuitry.

But still, it falls back to the question, are the lights on or off? Is this just a program running in the dark, or has self awareness been turned on?

This is where you might feel impelled to insert the quality of spirit, a metaphysical concept held in religious circles, the hypothetical missing ingredient in the equation. :unsure:

My argument is that the highly developed computer equipped with all the sensors, motors, and a complex AI program might function almost indistinguishable from a human, act and react like a human might, but could still be just a machine running its program.

What makes us something other than a biological computer running our programs? I think it has to do with the light of consciousness.
 
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Huntn

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It's great you still have your dad at 95. Lost my dad at 94 and mom at 92.



Can he call my MIL and explain this to her? She was diagnosed with breast cancer at 82 and went into a spiral about "why me?". Because your 82 years old - :poop: happens at that age. Her brother is in the mid-90's as well and has been having some issues and she was furious at his daughter for being too laissez faire about it.

I can see it now, she is going to be 110 and will be pissed when she is diagnosed with something else.

But here is a philosophical question for you. Should we have the right and ability to decide when to end our future?

Absolutely. It’s my body, my life, and a temporary life at that. It is a form of self determination. My impression is that the idea of ending one’s life is a sin, or wrong, comes from religious corners who have decided they know the mind of God, (better yet, the good talker, the self appointed Earthly spokesperson of God for fun, profit, and power), God the one who sets all moral standards by virtue of being powerful enough to create us, or so the thought process goes. For this manner of thinking it‘s as simple as 1+1=2. Some like it simple. Oh if understanding your life were that simple. :) ;)
 
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